top of page
  • Writer's pictureTemenos


Dear friends,

It is hard to believe we have come through one year of a worldwide pandemic. For many, it has been a very long year indeed. How well I recall last March when the Temenos garden gates were closed for the first time in twenty years and our village streets suddenly deserted.

Most of us have had to face extraordinary challenges. Some have had to embrace grieving, some the frightening damage to a livelihood. Others have suffered separation from those they love, and a great loneliness that has all too often led to despair. Yet, through it all, there are those who have discovered new creative opportunities and come to enjoy the gift of more solitude and silence and a simpler way of life. I would guess that many of us too have come to realise how fragile and precious life is, and the special relationships we share. I, for one, find myself celebrating the gift of Life much more frequently.

Many years ago I befriended Les Petites Soeurs de Jesus, an order of nuns dedicated to serving the most marginalised in our society. Interestingly, before they take their final vows they spend months in the Sahara Desert in the presence of the ‘hidden face of God’. Their vocation places great emphasis on simplicity and a deep surrender to the adversities they are often called to face. They once shared with me a wonderful image that has helped me see through many challenges. When faced with seemingly overwhelming circumstances, instead of immediately struggling to make sense of everything, we choose rather to ‘pitch our tent in the desert,’ and wait. By consciously doing this we push a pause button which allows our hearts to absorb the deep paradoxes and mystery of being fully human.

This waiting is not without hope for in its own time we may find the gifts that come from surrendering and non-resistance. ‘Hope’, as Desmond Tutu reminds us,’ is being able to see the light despite all the darkness’. For some, the Beloved will come in the form of divine consolation and inspiration. Others will uncover a deeper appreciation of the cycle of life. Often too, a commitment to one’s spiritual practice, whatever personal form that takes, gradually begins to kick in, and we become aware of the movement of the soul in all the circumstances that we daily face. What once seemed like a desert, a hermit friend reminded me, may become a carpet of flowers. Those of you who have been to Namaqualand will know of this miraculous transformation. ‘A beautiful metaphor for resurrection!’

As I approach this Easter my heart is filled with a deep sense of gratitude. Gratitude, on a personal level, for the remarkable loving relationship I had with my father and with Michael, a lifelong companion. Both died during these last months. I have gratitude too for the friends who have shown so much support to me and Temenos. Our garden of the Beloved is still flourishing and looking more beautiful than ever. l If we are patient, and observe ourselves with softer eyes, hope is ever-present, as are the possibilities of new beginnings.

I wish all my Christian friends a blessed Easter and to my Jewish friends a happy festival. To everyone else I wish for you a tent in your desert times, and fields of flowers that never cease to surprise you or fill you with wonder.

With love,


Our Easter programme and Upcoming Retreats at Temenos


March 26 – 28

A nourishing and restorative retreat with Heidi and Ba bara to reconnect your true self. The retreat includes guided creative mindfulness exercises, evening and morning meditations, as well as gentle vinyasa and yin yoga. For more information

The Self Compassion Break

April 9 - 11

This is the perfect time to extend your Easter break and ensure you make it all about learning the art of nurturing yourself. The creative process is a gateway, which allows the space to observe our way of being with new, fresh eyes. For more information on this creative retreat contact

Zen Pen: A Writing, Being and Meditation Retreat with Dorian Haarhof

April 16 - 18

Time to talk, circle the garden, sit amidst blue glass, breath and be…

What do writing, being and breath share in common? They all bring alive and expand the present moment. They invoke a conversation with ourselves and others.


April 30 – 2nd May

This weekend offers a unique conscious movement experience that uses the outstanding postural alignment techniques of the Bowspring, traditional Yoga and Mindful practices.

For more information, contact Charmaine Horsburgh


Certain weeks have been set aside at Temenos for individuals wishing to embark on a guided silent retreat. Set aside time to be with yourself, to relax in the beauty and stillness of the garden and to meet with a Retreat facilitator who will assist you in structuring your own formal retreat depending on your own specific needs. The retreat gently aims to balance rest, reflection and the deepening of your chosen practice or spiritual path. The Retreat begins on Tuesday morning and ends on Friday. The retreatant is asked to check in on Monday night (free of charge) so as to centre oneself before beginning. Please note that self-catering is required on Monday night.

Contact for more information.


21 – 23rd May: 2 – 4th July: 16th – 18th July

This Autumn and winter we are bringing back this popular hike. Come for a relaxing weekend at Temenos and include a hike, with an experienced guide, into the Riviersonderend Mountains. This spectacular hike starts at Die Galg, which proceeds down the Historical Route to a waterfall and rock pool. It’s the perfect place to swim and have a picnic, thereafter returning back to Die Galg via the scenic route, confronted with magnificent views of the Riviersonderend Mountain Range, in addition there is an abundance of flora and birdlife. This trail is fairly strenuous and hikers MUST be fit and well equipped. The distance is 11 -12 km and duration approximately 5 -6 hours but can be completed in less time depending on pace. Our weekend package includes 2 nights’ accommodation, 2 breakfasts and 2, two course dinners as well as the cost of the guide and the permit into the nature reserve. R2500 per person sharing: R2700 single, Guests may have Sunday night FREE.

Contact for more information.


In the inclusive spirit of the Temenos community, our marking of the Christian Feast of Easter is interdenominational and open to those of all faith traditions.

Thursday 1st April at 17h00 in The Well

This Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) worship consists of two parts: the first, a selection of poetic readings, silence and ritual of foot washing. This celebration, while distinct and complete in its own way, anticipates the second part, the celebration of Holy Communion.

At 18h30 Tebaldi's Restaurant will be open to those wishing to join a table in the joyful spirit of an Easter community. BOOKING is ESSENTIAL as the restaurant can only accommodate a fixed number of diners during the long weekend.

Friday 2nd April at 12h00 in The Little Way

This Good Friday gathering will be a guided reflection on the Stations of the Cross.

Sunday 4th April at 09h00 in The Little Way

Easter Sunday celebrations will begin with poetry, prayers and silence as we participate in the lighting and blessing of the Easter Fire. This ritual will take place in the garden outside The Little Way. At the conclusion of this ancient ritual, those who seek to share in Holy Communion will move into The Little Way where we will join together in the blessing and receiving of bread and wine, and in proclaiming the Easter joy of Christ’s resurrection. A Greek celebratory Easter menu will be on offer at Tebaldi’s.

Contact for more information.


For those of you spending the weekend in McGregor, our local theatre and movie house – just one block from Temenos, will be offering Wagner’s Parsifal and Mahler’s magnificent Resurrection Symphony.

For more information or to reserve a seat contact Michael

Accommodation Specials

  • Seven Night Special : R4200 single/ R3650 per person sharing

  • Romantic Weekend Autumn Getaway : 3 nights’ accommodation, 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts and a complimentary bottle of McGregor wine.

  • Still Waters – Special offers for all caregivers

  • Pensioner’s Special – Monday to Thursday. Stay 4 nights and pay for 3

Contact for more information.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page