Spiritual Director of Sat Chit Anand

The Path to Happiness

and Freedom from Suffering

Friday 06 – Sunday 08 May 2005



Everybody wants happiness and nobody wants suffering. Yet we constantly create the causes for more suffering. Why is this? Because we don’t understand the true causes of happiness and suffering. Using the Four Noble Truths as a foundation, this retreat will examine the true causes of happiness and suffering which exist within our own minds. Since we don’t like suffering, there is no choice: we have to practice Dharma!


The Buddha taught a Path that leads to happiness, freedom and enlightenment. This Path starts with a realisation of the suffering of unenlightened existence, which is experienced physically (sickness, bodily ailments etc) or mentally (tension, inner dissatisfaction, discontent etc). The Buddha called suffering a Holy Truth, because our suffering has the capacity of showing us the Path to liberation. It is the mud out of which beautiful lotus flowers can grow. 


We will examine in detail the nature of suffering and see how it effects our lives. We will look at the true causes of suffering, so that we may learn how to recognise, transform and eventually eliminate them. We will apply the teachings to our own lives, so that we may gain insight and understanding, and start to create the causes for happiness. According to the Buddha, the end of all suffering is possible: this is the state of Nirvana. We will learn how to walk the Path to true happiness, spiritual freedom, and the bliss of enlightened existence, using practices from Plum Village Monastery, such as the practice of cultivating moment-to-moment mindfulness, the practice of conscious breathing, the practice of peace, the practice of beginning anew, the practice of touching positive seeds, the practice of flower watering and more. 


"To live diligently and mindfully, to perceive the Noble Truths, and to realize Nirvana - this is the greatest happiness." [Discourse on Happiness] May all beings be happy. May all beings be free from suffering.


"You are me, and I am you.

Isn't it obvious that we inter-are?

You cultivate the flower in yourself,

so that I will be beautiful.

I transform the garbage in myself,

so that you will not have to suffer.

I support you, you support me.

I am in this world to offer you peace.

You are in this world to bring me joy."

Poem by Thich Nhat Hanh


LEELA has degrees in Psychology and Law, and practiced as attorney in Johannesburg. Strongly drawn to Eastern religion and philosophy, she spent several years travelling in India, doing retreats, attending teachings and studying under Spiritual Masters and Buddhist Teachers. She is an ordained member of the Lay Monastic Sangha and Order of Interbeing of Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, from whom she received the Dharma name ‘True Stream of Light’. Her approach is non-sectarian and is based on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, whom she feels has a special capacity and talent of making Buddhism available to Westerners. She lives in Plettenberg Bay, where she runs Sat Chit Anand Buddhist Centre, and continues to study, practice and teach the Dharma (Divine Law).


SAT CHIT ANAND is a Buddhist Centre and Guesthouse in Plettenberg Bay. It has been hosting meditations and Buddhist teachings for several years, and in 2005 it is pleased to host spiritual retreats, which may be attended on a residential or non-residential basis. A retreat is a time to remove oneself from the distractions of the world, and focus intensely on one’s spiritual practice. Traditionally this involves receiving and contemplating teachings, meditating and doing spiritual practices.





19h00 – 20h00: Introductory talk

20h00 – 21h00: Evening meditation

Noble silence till morning Dharma talk



09h00 – 10h00: Dharma talk             

10h00 – 11h00: Dharma discussion and practice               

TEA BREAK                                          

11h30 – 12h30: Guided meditation              

12h30: LUNCH                                        

14h00 – 15h00: Dharma talk             

15h00 – 16h00: Dharma discussion and practice               

TEA BREAK                                          

Free time, walking meditation on beach

18h00: SUPPER

19h00 – 20h00: Q & A session

20h00 – 21h00: Evening Meditation

Noble silence till morning Dharma talk 



09h00 – 10h00: Dharma talk

10h00 – 11h00: Dharma discussion and practice


11h30 – 12h30: Guided meditation

12h30: LUNCH

14h00 – 15h00: Dharma talk

15h00 – 16h00: Sharing

TEA and depart home




RESIDENTIAL: Retreats commence on Friday evening and finish on Sunday afternoon. Price includes 2 nights shared accommodation in garden cottages, meals (vegetarian food only), and teacher’s dana.

Residential: R500


NON-RESIDENTIAL: Special price for local residents who wish to attend the retreats, excluding accommodation, but including meals, and teacher’s dana.

Non-residential: R300


Deposit of 50% is payable upon reservation of place for residential retreats, and balance payable in cash or cheque upon arrival. Deposit may be posted or paid into bank account, details of which will be provided when booking is made. If booking is cancelled 2 weeks prior to retreat, the deposit will be refunded, less cancellation fee of R100.


Plettenberg Bay is a popular holiday destination. It is possible to come early and/or stay after the retreat. Special rates for retreatants participating in our conducted retreats, who wish to stay longer in our self-catering cottages, are R150 per person per night.




SCA is a non-smoking space. Retreatants to uphold the 5 Buddhist Precepts (see Code of Conduct). We hope you can join us on the retreat. You don’t have to be a Buddhist, because anyone can benefit from the Buddha’s teachings. Number of places limited, so early booking is advisable: phone (044) 533 0453 or email for further enquiries and bookings.




There are 3 entrances to Plett: Coming from Cape Town side, take first entrance into Piesang Valley. Coming from Port Elizabeth side, take third entrance into Piesang Valley. Drive down the valley, till end of the road. There is a traffic circle, garage and some shops. Turn right towards the BI Hotel (left goes up the hill into town). Pass 1st right being Longships Road. Take 2nd right into Longstone Road. There will be a small park on your left hand side, and we are in the road that runs behind this park: no 16 Great Basses Road. NB please phone on arrival, because we do not always hear the doorbell.


J SAT CHIT ANAND namaste to you Buddha-to-be!