“Things have been very active on the Sangha front here in Barcelona. In April we organised to erect a large meditation dome at Barcelona's big alternative festival La Fira per la Terra. We taught about 150 people to meditate and gave out lots of publicity for our classes. Then I attended the Encuentro de Pascua, the Valencia Buddhist Centre's version of a Buddhafield retreat. We camped out at a venue near to the town of Caudiel, set in some lovely hills. Several of our friends from Barcelona attended. The weather was very British, it poured unrelentlingly most nights, several of the tents didn't survive. I gave a couple of workshops - in Span-glish - on community living and team based right livelihood.
|Sinhendra and Rijumati|
“The weekly introductory class in Barcelona itself continues to thrive, often there are 10-12 of us there. Since I am the only Order Member involved in the class who lives here I tend to lead the class when the others can't make it (Amalamati, Padmadharani, Paramachitta). It has been rather an initiation by fire to lead the class in my faltering Spanish, but the Catalans are very forgiving. Usually I get my good friend Obi to teach the meditation in Catalan, and then I lead a workshop on some aspect of meditation or Buddhism. The Sangha here is small, very warm and loves to meet up after the class. It is a delight to be part of it. Additionally Sinhendra and I have started a weekly practice night on Sunday evenings (Sinhendra still works in Valencia several days each week) where we meditate together, do puja and share a light meal afterward - meditacion, puja y tapas. That is quite popular with anything from 4-10 of us practising together.
“On 15th May we celebrated Buddha Day, the first Triratna celebration of Wesak in the city. We did a ritual on the Montjuic hill near the castle (one of five we are planning in the city) to help establish the Dharma here. Then I gave a talk about the Buddha's awakening - in a mixture of Spanish and english - followed by meditation and supper. It was a lovely half-day event with about 15 people and one dog attending.
“I have been doing some meditation teaching in English, a contact via Vajranatha. Currently I go to their home, but I am hoping to find a venue for an English language class soon, there are clearly many anglophones in the city who would be interested in learning meditation.
“I am also very busy in other ways: continuing to arrange the details of life here, ongoing work on my book (checking copy edit version, sending off images for the proofs), attending an intensive Spanish course each weekday, rebuilding the Barcelona Triratna website, administrative matters for the piso, and a regular flow of guest: things are busy. Siddhisvari is visiting for a month, she is considering moving here next year along with Nagesvara and Nuria Murcia.
“The summer is retreat season and I am currently setting up a couple of weekend retreats for the local Sangha. One will be in the summer somewhere close to the city. The other will be in the autumn and hosted by the Ecodharma community
. Both we in Barcelona and the community at Ecodharma are keen to make the most of our mutual connections. Additionally in August I will be attending the annual summer retreat in the mountains of Montseny in Catalunya, organised by Triratna's Valencia Buddhist Centre
. Several of our friends from Barcelona are intending to come.
“There is plenty of work to do and the money we receive through our Triratna Barcelona Just Giving Fund-Raising Page
will be dedicated to paying for Sangha events like setting up weekend retreats (and for example covering expenses for the meditation classes at the Fira per la Terra
) or buying useful equipment like meditation cushions and mats.
Labels: Barcelona, Spain