Mindfulness Retreat: Making Friends with Death ~ 29 Jun – 3 Jul 2016

When: Wednesday 29th June – Sunday 3rd July 2016
Where:  Susurumba, Juliasdale, Nyanga
Course Presenter: Dave Sheehan

“We are on a journey that begins with our birth and ends with our death. At  each moment of that journey, we confront the boundary of life and death. We are constantly in transition. At the moment of death, theoretical understanding is of limited use. Many of our ideas are untested and merely reflect our fears and confusion. As we try to avoid pain, we only increase our suffering. We need a different approach. Instead of avoiding the reality of death, we need to look into it and examine our own fixed ideas and preconceptions.”
~ Judith Lief, from her book “Making Friends with Death”

During this retreat, we will look freshly at our immediate experience through meditation, or mindfulness practice. Mindfulness practice is a way to drop our preconceptions and reconnect with our immediate moment-to-moment experience of life and death. With that as our ground, we can begin to explore our relationship to death in a systematic way by means of the traditional practice: contemplating the reality of death. Through this powerful combination – mindfulness practice and the contemplation of death – we can change how we relate to death and enhance our appreciation of life. We can begin to make friends with our own death.


Start time: Suggested arrival 2-4pm on Wednesday June 29th. Evening soup is at 6pm followed by Introductory Talk at 7pm.
Finish time: 10am Sunday July 3rd.

Suggested Cost

  • Shared rooms – $150
  • Single room – 50% surcharge (if available)
  • Camping: $100 – bring all your own gear
  • Students – 25% discount on the above

In this environment, cash would be preferred where possible please.

A financial contribution to the support staff at the end of the Retreat would be appreciated.

Please contact us if you have financial constraints – this should not be an obstacle to attending the retreat.

Retreatants may be asked to make an offering of soup or a pre-cooked vegetarian meal but we will contact you closer to the time when numbers are confirmed.

Booking form below. For more information please contact Dave on zimsheehans [at] gmail.com.

All Proceeds from these courses and retreats to Mindfulness Foundation of Zimbabwe


Susurumba, Juliasdale, Nyanga (immediately behind Pine Tree Inn) – approximately 70kms from Rusape, take the Pine Tree turnoff and follow the driveway to the hotel. At the hotel car park, branch left behind the hotel buildings. Follow this road for +/- 1 km, keeping left.


Main house


Please complete the booking form below and return by email. This is essential for planning purposes.

Download the Booking Form for this retreat:
– Word version
– PDF version

Completed Booking Forms and proof of payment to be emailed to Dave Sheehan at zimsheehans [at] gmail.com

Please contact Dave Sheehan at zimsheehans [at] gmail.com if you have any queries or phone Dave on 0772 317424.

Background about retreats

Regard joining the retreat as an act of compassion to yourself

Retreats offer us ‘time out’ from our busy, often stressful lives, to ground ourselves in our meditation/mindfulness practice. The peaceful seclusion and mountainous setting of Susurumba, Nyanga, assists in the process of allowing our busy, distracted minds to settle, allowing our deeper energies of kindness, compassion, wisdom and clarity to reveal themselves. Retreatants can find solace and a deeper inner peace through meditation, taking breathtaking walks, swimming in the clear mountain dams, etc.

While there is now limited cell phone reception at Susurumba, we recommend that you keep your cell phones turned off – you are, after all    trying to get away from the bustle of everyday life. If you must use a cell phone – even for SMS – we request that you do so in the privacy of your room/ tent and not in the public spaces. While in the shrine room or dining room, they must be switched off.

Noble silence

All attending will be encouraged to observe “Noble Silence” for part of the day, as this will help you obtain   maximum benefits from the retreat. Noble Silence will be explained at the beginning of the retreat, but in essence it acts as a method to access deeper tranquility and to connect with others at a level beyond words and concept. If we are constantly engaged in conversation it becomes increasingly difficult for the Mind to settle.

Daily Programme

Susurumba - Bottom Dam

Susurumba – Bottom Dam

The day will begin with early morning meditation followed by breakfast.  After breakfast there will be meditation instruction, discussion and meditation practice.  This will be followed by tea, then sitting/walking meditation, mindful activity leading up to lunch and rest.

There will be one afternoon sitting/walking session followed by tea and a guided walk around the valley.

In the evenings there will be soup followed by a talk /discussions/loving kindness training.

Participants have total freedom to attend as many or as few sessions as they see fit; there is no pressure whatsoever. Mindful walking and even swimming are encouraged (although Nyanga water can be quite invigorating in winter!).


Susurumba kopje

What to bring

  • Bedding (remember Nyanga can be quite cold –especially early mornings), pillows,  towel
  • Raincoats/umbrellas (it can rain at Nyanga at any time of the year)
  • Torches/headlamps & spare batteries (very important)
  • Toiletries/bath soap. Hand washing powder if you need to do personal laundry
  • Comfortable walking shoes (plus optional CROCS?)
  • Loose, comfortable clothing
  • Warm clothing plus wraps for when sitting in the meditation room (tracksuits, extra socks)
  • Hat & sunblock cream
  • Notebook and pens
  • Towels and swimming costumes (lovely refreshing mountain dams and small swimming pool).
  • Personal meditation cushions and mats (there are cushions available at the retreat centre)
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