|Meditation teaching at la Fira de la Terra|
“I want to let you know how things are progressing with plans to develop Dharma activities in Barcelona and also to ask for your help.
“Currently there is a small group, some of who are strongly committed which has been maintained by Paramachitta and Amalamati over the last two years. Both of them live in Valencia and commute to Barcelona. This group meets weekly in a rented room in the centre of the city just off the famous Ramblas. There are perhaps 6 people who make up the core and another 30 who regularly participate.
“In April this year a group of us set up Bodhin's geodesic dome at Barcelona's annual alternative fair La Fira de la Terra and we taught over 200 people to meditate in the midst of a huge festival of music, therapy, food and fun in Barcelona's lovely Parc de la Ciutadella. In subsequent weeks the little meditation group was swamped with newcomers. There is clearly lots of potential. The local group are very keen for some Order Members to move to Barcelona.
“Sinhendra and I are planning to move to Barcelona early in 2011 to start a proto-community and start to develop activities further. First off we would establish a regulars group in addition to the beginners drop-in so that we can build more depth with the existing Sangha. We don't think of trying to get a Centre at first, but rather to build up a series of classes all around the different barrios many of which have quite different cultures. Perhaps we would also do an english language dharma class since there are many foreigners living and working in Barcelona. We also intend to set up frequent (perhaps monthly) weekend retreats to help build sangha and because apparently the Catalans love getting away on weekend workshops.
“Once we have a better feel of the city and where we are most effective we may start to look for a building to be a base. Other Order Members are also involved. Nagesvara is planning to arrive in the city once he has qualified as a mental health nurse. Siddhisvari is keen to come and wants to start a Right Livelihood vegetarian café: several people have already said they would like to work with her including Rochini and a mitra in Mexico. There are several other OMs and mitras who may come or are thinking about how they can be involved in coming years.
“Naturally with the Valencia Centre, EcoDharma, Akasavana, Guhyaloka nearby and many Order Members in the region I am very much hoping to get the Order in Spain very involved in the project: Guhyapati, Padmadharini and others may well come and do events in Barcelona from time to time.
“I would particularly like to help Sinhendra get some support so that he is free to do more Dharma work in our first year. Money for expanding activities would also allow us to be more adventurous with new classes, retreats etc. Do you have any idea if we could fundraise for the project in the UK? How should we go about it?
“I hope that gives you a taste of what is going on.
Triratna Barcelona have an on-line fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/triratna-barcelona.
Their events website is at http://budismo-barcelona.com.