Buddha in Zululand

Buddha in Zululand

This is a documentary about a Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo, one of the largest Buddhist Centres in South Africa, by Karin Slater. The film concentrates not solely on the Centre, but more particularly on the community in which it is situated, which is in a poor part of the country.

The film specifically follows the life of S’lungile Chiliza, a young girl suffering from dire poverty, with drunken parents and lack of opportunity, who is being helped through the Centre.

The Centre itself was set up by the Dutchman Louis van Look in the 80s, and is having a significant impact on the local community as well as providing retreat facilities for the more fortunate population who visit the place for retreats.

The Centre maintains an open door policy and has teachers from many different traditions, and my own teacher Acarya Godwin Samaratne also used to teach there regularly during the 90s, and it is one of the last places he ever taught at, in 1999. It is good to see the Centre still flourishing.

For those who would like to know more, this Wikipedia page about Buddhism in South Africa may be of interest, and this is the Centre’s webpage.


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