Submitted by Sudaka on Mon, 08/14/2023 - 20:18

Back in one of my favourite places during this summer season. The hammock between the Cypresses. Also. In between retreats. We just successfully hosted the “Centro Budista de Valencia”, where Maitrighosha and friends led a retreat on the Five Spiritual Faculties. Coming up in an intimate Music And Meditation workshop and Retreat with our old friend David Minguillon from Tenerife. 

I am headed over to the UK on Thursday. Primarily to have a break from the Paradise that is Suryavana Retreat Centre, but also to see my mum and dad who are respectively 81 and 82 this week. My mums birthday is the day we arrive. It’s going to be my longest stay back in England since I left 20 years ago at the end of 2003. Looking forward to the fresh salty air of Plymouth where we will be based. 

I have had a good run on a personal level. We have had a solid run of activities here in Suryavana with a spectacular full-bed occupied event with a guest group and their teacher from Barcelona. 32 Beds occupied. Full house. Even the “Sky-beds” as I call them. The high bunk beds in a couple of the rooms. Amazing. They loved the lace and were really appreciative. 

I did a lot of preparation the week before and we had a team of 6 of us for the weekend. Was great working as a team and I could see the last three years of careful cultivation of working together came together for a smooth and friendly delivery and service in a moment of intensity and high drama.  

May we be blessed by such guests again!

Somehow too, thanks to the between times in the hammock, I have worked my way through a bunch of books the last few months. The last couple focussing in on our relationship with money. Both were great and more than anything helped clarify what I want, we want and how to consciously organise myself better. Money does seem to be a topic of much conversation. With my wife. With respect to Suryavana and in relation to Bodhiyoga with Sadhita. Maybe partly because our work can be highly precarious. Careful planning and provisioning helps ease the anxiety there. And it’s been great making plans with my partner Jesu for future adventures. One positive outcome was opening a joint savings account and pushing a few euros that way to save for a trip away for my wife’s 50th birthday (end of 2024). After 10 years together, being married even, we finally did the proper couples thing of having a joint account!

My mental state improved a lot on back of “letting go” or rather “loosening” my relationship to Suryavana in March earlier this year.  It’s a lot of project. Some €55K project a year. For one person and some extraneous help from time to time it’s a lot of responsibility. I am the Chair, the Maintenance man, Gardner and Guest Master, do the cleaning and washing up when necessary. I do the website and social media, keep track of accounting and so on. We do have an active Treasurer, Yashomani who does a sterling job. Always ready to sort out bills and tricky admin issues. 

I love the project and do feel grateful for the opportunity to stretch myself and facilitate what I believe to be a really valuable project; creating a beautiful space for folks from all walks of life to have a retreat or retreat-like experience. In the nature. In a relatively comfortable and safe setting. I want to get the place to a certain point, with a well established routine of retreats and activities, some of our debts paid down and ideally a meditation dome built and installed and in use all year round. 

“Loosening” my relationship has meant having confidence we are doing all we can to keep things moving in the right direction and letting go of trying to control the outcome. 

Projects like these, in Triratna (and elsewhere ofcourse) are built slowly with a lot of patience, care and love. I am up for that for now.

It’s been a major life decision for me and my family to leave the city. It’s been three years now. Since 13th March 2020.  I can see we have all benefitted from it. Fortunately Jesu and I have the means to support ourselves (outside of Suryavana) and subsequently we have been developing new skills and knowledge having chosen to live in “España Vacía”. “Empty Spain“. As the politicians don’t like to call these sparsely populated rural parts of Spain. It’s clearly got its benefits and there are downsides. The kids are loving it right now. But I can imagine when they hit their late teens, it will be off to the metropolis they go. And I will encourage them to go. 

All the best love Sudaka