Cape Town, South Africa

Tuning into Reality, a Cape Town based project, works with mainly unemployed youth from the townships, offering self-development workshops using the principles of Zen Coaching.


Over the past 8 years Lisa Garson and Mbuyi Yanta have worked with hundreds of young people who deal with serious challenges on a daily basis, and through their experience and the positive feedback from workshop participants, it is clear that the need for inner work is critical.


Tuning into Reality kicked off with a bang in 2019. In our first year we worked with 325 youth from disadvantaged communities.

The support from Kare Landfald and the Zen Coaching network has enabled this project to kick off!

We are unable to continue with our normal activities due to the COVID-19 virus and so we are focusing on the most urgent need - getting food to hungry people. 


In response to the recent developments
in South Africa due to COVID-19 we need
your help again urgently!


South Africans living in townships are very vulnerable to the ravages of the virus and we have a hard lock down in place to slow the spread. Many people have lost their income. Our social support system is inadequate and people have started to run out of food and are experiencing hunger.


Members of our Zen Coaching South Africa community have raised some funds and started a food distribution project in response to this disaster. We are supporting 30 families (120 people) living in townships with food parcels containing provisions to last 2 weeks. With your help we can expand that assistance to reach many more.


Volunteers from the Cape Town Zen Coaching sangha are assisting with shopping, packing and distributing, and our 5 Zen Coaching trainees from the townships will be identifying and distributing to those in need in their areas.


The Costs: A food parcel to feed a family of 4 for 2 weeks costs about €25. If we raise €12 000 we will be able to supply 80 families (320 people) with food parcels for the next 3 months. 

All donations will go towards buying food for more people. Thank you in advance! We are so grateful for the opportunity to spread this way of giving.

Here is why we are running this project:


  • Young people living a township life are mostly unemployed and often go hungry – for food and also for meaning, purpose, contentment, connection, love and compassion.

  • Overcoming the daily challenges of ghetto life such as poverty, crime, massive unemployment, addiction and violence, while unfair and traumatizing, also brings to light the best qualities in  these young people. They are resilient, courageous, strategic, kind and sharing. They are able to experience joy in the moment, they express themselves authentically and are open to changing their view of the world and finding a way to come home to themselves.

  • Due to this willingness to shift their mindset, we have designed several workshops to motivate and support people on their inward journey. We use many techniques and teachings from Zen Coaching including listening, inquiry and exploration, allowing feelings, being present. Some of the workshops we run include:


  1. Breaking Beliefs:  8 x 3 hour modules:  challenges youth to question their conditioned beliefs.

  2. Non-Violent Communication: A one-day course introducing the principles and practical applications of NVC.

  3. A variety of one-day and half-day workshops looking at subjects such as: “Who am I without my story”, The Power of Curiosity, The Value of our Feelings and many others.


  • We find that when participants are supported to tap into their inner resources they are able to find their own solutions to their issues. There is an inner knowing that the solutions to external challenges are to be found through self-discovery.


These courses have been tested among hundreds of youth over the past 4 years and have been an amazing success, with participants reporting life-changing results.

This is what some of them have to say:

Simbongile Nelani.jpg

I come to the workshops because it’s literally the only safe space that I have access to. At these workshops I can be open about what’s going on in my life without worrying about being judged. I always leave the workshops knowing that I am not alone in this world, there are other people out there who care and who also go through the same challenges that I go through.
Simbongile Nelani

Lihle Matshanga.jpg

The Tuning into Reality workshops have given me social skills that I use to deal with my day to day challenges. The workshops have put me on a journey of self-discovery, I have become more comfortable with who I am and I no longer feel the need to prove myself or justify who I am to others. Through all of this my self-confidence has grown. The workshops are for my personal development.
Lihle Matshanga


It's important because every session you learn and unlearn a lot of things, positive or negative.  It has given me a chance to breathe again, to be me in exchange for nothing. Also it has given me a chance to know I don't need to be a superhero whether the problem is internal or external. I cannot encourage someone to attend if they feel like they don't need it, what I can do is tell someone who needs this workshop that it's a chance to walk into a space  where you can unmask and breathe and heal.
Awethu Baliso

Zikhona Jara.jpg

These workshops have given me an opportunity to explore and discover who I really am. Throughout my life I thought I was my circumstances but now I have realized that I am not that. I am not my thoughts, I am not my past and I am not what society defines me to be. Whenever I remember this I am at peace and more in touch with who I really am, a human being.
Zikhona Jara

We are very grateful for your support, thank you!