Submitted by Sudaka on Sun, 10/30/2022 - 07:21

Hi all. I am actually hanging out in the village this weekend missing a much awaited Order weekend, which I would have loved to attend at Suryavana. However I am “frito”, fried, that is to say, tired and I need to do some family time, with pleasure and dog-duty, my new love! (We just got given a sheep dog by our neighbours. The kids have named him “Sonic” (after the movie character). 

Sadhita and I finished on Friday (28th) our annual Bodhiyoga Residential yoga teacher training. 15 days full-on, full-power! Dawn til dusk, 12 hours a day with one day off. Lots of work but deeply satisfying. 

It’s been some 12/13 years since the conception of the idea of a Buddhist/Mindfulness informed Hatha yoga training. Auspiciously Sadhita and I starting working together by accident when we met in 2005 in Nagakoka in Nagpur in India, when I covered a workshop that he had set up. We starting teaching in Dhanakosa, doing that for many, many years. This is where the model began to emerge. Yoga-meditation-Dharma. Bodhi-yoga. 

We have now run 10 trainings missing the Pandemic year and each year refining the process. As a consequence of the Pandemic we moved to a modular system with several Online trainings before the Residential. This means students turn up already knowing each other. A big bonus. They have basic training in meditation, Mindfulness, Anatomy and posture work. So we can really get into the material and the practice and go deeper more quickly. 

This year we had a really lovely group of women. Much gratitude to them! 

I am generally well. Last month I did a unplanned trip back to the UK to “bury my brother”. I think I mentioned this last time. He came to the end of several years of alcohol abuse (although he had stopped drinking last year) and was suffering from Alcohol Abuse Induced Dementia. I had no idea it could get that bad. He “fell” to his death at Burrator reservoir, a place he really loved some 10 miles from Plymouth. It is a big deal and is essentially a tragedy more than anything. My folks really affected by it. 

Suryavana continues with its ups and downs financially. This does affect me a lot. It’s very much “hand to mouth” and the project is underfunded by all accounts. What I could do with 20/30 thousand quid! The crawl back out the trough left by Covid is going to take us years. Fortunately bookings are going well and I am endeavouring to practice “contentment” in relation to what comes. Enable what comes and cultivate equanimity. I am doing all that I can in the most measured, sustainable way to “make” the project happen. My focus has been on making the place attractive, and clean. Offering a good service and being as friendly and warm as possible. Basic stuff really. I promote the website and post to Instagram. My sence is word of mouth is most important in Spain. Now folks have to book with us and bring their people. Something that I can’t control directly. 

We offer Suryavana once or twice a month to outside groups, non-Triratna. This makes an important economic contribution to the project but also is a case of offering something very good to the world. Suryavana is a treasure. Why not share it. So long as there is a resonance of values. The rest of the time we offer ourselves to the Order, Going for Refuge retreats, Mitra weekends and Valencia Buddhist centre retreats. All of that is going very well. Much easier I think since we formed two separate Councils, so each council can concentrate on what it needs to do. 

It feels at times a privilege to live in such a beautiful environment and at times it’s a nightmare of stressful running around sorting out some broken bit of infrastructure or disagreement with a neighbour! All rich textures. I imagine it as a Cremation Ground! Ideal for practicing in!

All the best, love Sudaka