“Bodhi Is Light” – A Documentary Film Celebrating the BRC

by | From Debra’s Desk, Winter 2023

An evocative documentary on the BRC “Bodhi Is Light – Impressions of the BRC” has just been released by renowned film maker, Richard Pakleppa.

Moved by his experience of a silent retreat, Richard shares impressions of South Africa’s first Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo, Kwazulu Natal. Through his camera lens and his ‘inner eye’, he has captured the spirit of place and people and the heartbeat of the Ixopo valley. The film’s authenticity is a stirring tribute to the BRC as a space of spiritual friendship and soothing silence, far removed from everyday life. In Richard’s words, the film “has many layers – focusing on Louis van Loon’s personal journey, the journey of creating the space of the BRC, the fellow travellers and their take on the deep and far-ranging fundamentals of a Buddhist world view and practice”. The visual narrative follows nature and the ever-changing elements to touch moments when the mind is awakened to discover its own nature. Observing the mist rising and the dew falling, the film takes us into what happens when we choose to take refuge in silence. “Bodhi is Light” is a celebration of the many women and men who built and sustained this unique place over the last forty-three years.

Those who have previewed the film have been deeply touched…..

“This is a beautiful film and a beautiful tribute to Louis and to all that passed through him. So many minds, hearts and bodies tuning into the Old Way.” – Antony Osler


” You are completely immersed and really enjoying yourself. I love the film. I want to go on a silent retreat right now.” Leo Regan – Irish Film Maker

We include the trailer as a taster – and hope that those who share a history and a deep connection with the Centre will support the film.

View “Bodhi Is Light” Trailer

If you would like to view the whole film, please apply for the link at: [email protected] and consider making a donation of R200 or more in order to preserve the ongoing work of the Centre. We enclose banking details. Please reference with your Name/ Film.

All funds raised from this film will be allocated towards ensuring the longevity and welfare of the Centre into the future. Please help us to realize this goal.

Send an email to [email protected]

Debra Robins

Debra Robins

Odyssey‘s custodian & editor

Debra Robins is a savvy and insightful corporate jungle escapee, wordsmith, author, publisher and magazine editor, Debra is passionate about upliftment through the power of the written word. Former natural healer, teacher and healing academy principal Debra blends together extensive expertise in wellness, both in the corporate and personal contexts, as well as over 25 years’ experience in driving and delivering corporate wellness initiatives for local and global corporations. Student of law and corporate consultant by trade, naturopathic practitioner by design and magazine editor by choice. Debra is honoured to be the custodian of Odyssey Magazine