Poplar Grove is a small farm in the arid Karoo region of South Africa. It lies about thirty minutes drive from the town of Colesberg on a good dirt road. The homestead consists of a farmhouse with outbuildings and guest rooms, a zendo (meditation barn), a self-contained two room cottage and two small hermitages. A spring rises nearby and flows into a kloof through a grove of poplar trees, from which the farm gets its name.

The farm is the family home of Antony and Margie Osler. Antony is a long-term Buddhist practitioner and teacher, a former Zen monk and an author; he also runs a part-time professional arbitration practice. Margie runs the farm and the retreat facilities and leads the childrens’ workshops.

 

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Poplar Grove is not a full-time residential Zen Centre, but rather a home of Zen Practice. Poplar Grove Zen consists of formal Zen retreats, informal retreats for groups or individuals, workshops for children in need, self-catering guest accommodation, as well as farm work, walks in the veld, sitting on the stoep and gazing over the koppies.

Whatever we do is done with attention and an open heart - in one sense, this is nothing special; in another, it is a rare and brilliant flower.