Submitted by Sudaka on Thu, 09/15/2022 - 07:26

Suryavana Retreat Centre, Alta Palancia, Spain 

Greetings. We are back in the Retreat Centre and I am back to the nitty gritty of retreat centre maintenance (the pool pump was leaking air and water) and organising weekends and retreats and so on. This week School finally got going after nearly three months holidays (for the kids) so too the School run! Hallelujah!

After not really going anywhere for more than two years we made a family trip to the the UK to see my parents in Plymouth via London in August. The trip was lovely, mostly restful and with the kids being a little older, mostly less stressful. 

Sadly on the last day we heard my brother died. I last saw him on our last trip to Plymouth three years ago. He had been on a long journey of self destruction through alcohol abuse. Having stopped drinking several months ago he was found on the dry side of the dam at Burrator Reservoir up on Dartmoor; one of our favourite places to visit as kids and especially important to him. We don’t really know what happened but he was suffering from alcohol dementia according to the people helping him and was generally in a confused mental state. His gentleness and kindness did shine through and he was loved by the folks sharing his life the last year or so. They will all be at the funeral. He leaves his 24 old daughter Jesse and our sorrowful parents. I did keep up once a year typically around Christmas time or on a pass-through journey when I came over to teach in the UK. Though tragic his death is not a complete surprise. A lot of people tried to help him but one of his qualities was stubbornness!

On Monday we fly over again to Plymouth to be there for my parents and participate in the closing rituals. He was 49 years old in May. 

I am feeling that until I can “bury my brother” I have unfinished business on my mind. 

Changing the theme. Suryavana is looking splendid and we just had end of summer rain, much needed for the parched earth. There has been a good run of retreats over the summer and it has been great to leave the place to other helping hands. David and Carlos Luis in August from the community in the Valencia and Sadhita more recently with a “Going for Refuge” retreat. The idea is to delegate more often the running of weekends and retreats to facilitate others to get involved and allowing me to let go.

It is however taking longer than I imagined to crawl out of the trough left by the pandemic. The main focus is to run as many events as possible and build up a reserve of funds for the future. 

All the best