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 “Yesterday I was clever, and I tried to change the world. But today I am wise, and I’m working on changing myself.”

High Hopes established itself as a retreat centre 17 years ago


It is one of the world’s only small, highly personalised retreat centres, known for the quality of its deeply transformational retreat programmes.  We are committed to offering healing and growing compassion on Earth one human at a time. With four core retreat programmes to choose from, High Hopes Retreat is sure to have a programme just right for you.

If not, we undertake to create one specially for you. Write to us to tell us what your most compassionate choice for yourself would be. With just five, private entrance garden rooms, set in the tranquil mountain village of Greyton, only an hour and a half from Cape Town – High Hopes is easy to find, easy to reach and worth the journey.

Covid health and hygiene protocols are all in place. Join us at High Hopes for a healthy stay of plant-based full catering, personal growth programmes, healing programmes and relaxation options available. Great access to pristine nature – two nature reserves, cycling tracks, and exquisite hiking trail full of light and colour.


The great news is, this is something we can train in. Yes, I said train. Because healing, from the root Latin word, “hal”, means to make whole.
And just like any training, we need guides, teachers, and we need to show up and be willing to, as Pema Chodron says, “Take the Good Medicine”. So what is the good medicine?…..

Through learning the daily skills of mindfulness practices, through great nutrition and through practising trauma release exercises, our nervous systems get out of cell danger response, they unfreeze, stop fighting or running. Our energy gets unlocked, and becomes available for living life again, rather than being locked into fear and anxiety. Our body’s immune system also becomes available to clear out fight toxins and pathogens. We start clearing a path and seeing a new future.

Two buzzword which are on the lips of leading doctors, enlightened therapists and cutting-edge scientists right now, are “trauma”, and “inflammation”. The most promising current research is talking about harnessing this power of our innate ability to heal from within to reverse even depression, panic disorders, fatigue, auto-immunity, cancer, heart-disease, diabetes, arthritis, chronic stress and other difficult conditions.

The current pandemic is calling our attention through a global crisis to find new solutions deep within ourselves. To limit the damage of this pandemic, and to be able to meet other new and future health challenges, we need to look after our nervous systems. In doing so, we also take great care of our immune systems. When I  help myself, I also help my loved ones and my communities. Being the change we want to see in the world, by healing ourselves and then witnessing the ripple effect out from this one, this new me. This me, as I heal myself, is the most powerful tool I have to be force for good in the world. Beloved teacher, author, nun and mother, Pema Chodron, reminds us,

     “The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger         confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes. ”    

 ― Pema Chodron

Immunity lives within each individual cell, within all of the body’s systems, but also in our relationships, our finances, our spiritual connectivity, our intellectual health, our emotional wellbeing and in our environment. When we learn to sit with all parts of ourselves, when we touch all parts with listening and compassion, new possibilities open up.

Our primary focus at High Hopes this summer is to help you to befriend your nervous system and to safeguard both your immediate and your long-term immunity. We do this by walking with you into gentle, powerful and loving daily habits through our comprehensive healing programmes. A primary focus in our year ahead at High Hopes is on harnessing your brain’s natural neuro-plasticity for effective change. One of the core ways we do this is by teaching you how to heal your own maladaptive stress response. Together with our healing therapies, you can reset your nervous system from hyper or hypo-arousal, to balanced, engaged and healthy. Nutrition also plays a major role, along with nature and specific healing modalities.

Setting yourself on a path of calm and ease is like getting an inner trust fund which you can draw on for your whole life. This is something that we can each learn. But first, as teacher Jack Kornfield so skillfully puts it, “we have to be present to win”. It is our deep joy to help you win.

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