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The Way Of Ubuntu: Exploring traditional South African healing

  • Buddhist Retreat Center Ixopo South Africa (map)

What is Ubuntu? A unique Southern African philosophy on Humanity. It speaks about a human circle or radical interconnection.

It has been coined by Nelson Mandela & Archbishop Desmond Tutu as ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’.

John will lead participants in a traditional South African healing ceremony over three days during which they will learn to connect to their Ancestors (bones), Dreams, 'Umoya' (spirit) and one another. 'Ubuntu' means 'I am what I am because of who we all are'. It is a circle of interlinking relationships connecting the seen and unseen worlds. The ceremony will involve a plant cleanse, using medicinal plants to cleanse the spirit and open the heart. John will lead an in-depth discussion on 'African cosmology' and the understanding of ancestors, plant medicine and dreaming to create 'Ubuntu'. Retreatants will learn one of the most ancient and misunderstood cultures in South Africa today - traditional healing from a sangoma perspective. 'Ubuntu' in essence represents harmony and is similar to the Zen circle. Linking the past and present, it is an evolving state of co-operation and compassion whereby every human being is linked to their own families and communities as well as the unseen world of ancestors. Please bring a plastic basin which will be used for medicinal foot healing, a dream journal, pen and paper to take notes, a meditation blanket and an open mind. This retreat is suitable for all therapists, healers and those with a desire to heal South Africa.

John will be available after the retreat to offer private ‘bone divinations’ or sangoma consultations. To make an appointment please email John directly via

EXCHANGE: 3 days' accommodation + R350 surcharge