Submitted by Sudaka on Sat, 06/29/2024 - 12:19
Finde de la Orden Triratna, Suryavana

Suryavana, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain 18th June 2024

Hi all. The summer is heat is slowly building up but we were blessed by a few stormy afternoons these days. A pleasant relief after a very dry Winter and Spring.

Suryavana just hosted a wonderful Order weekend with a really healthy mix of folks from all around Spain; Sevilla, Barcelona, Finestrat/Villajoyosa and Valencia as well as the International Order Conveners; Aryajaya and Vajrapriya. I personally really appreciated some of the “material” they brought in as I had been thinking and reflecting on some of the themes we discussed. They seemed pertinent. 

Particularly I was struck by the challenges of being idealistic in everyday life (the neo-Platonic nature of Bhante’s teaching). I am a family man and am managing a retreat centre. Also, the “koan” of an Ordination which is neither-lay-nor-monastic. Lifestyle secondary and Going for Refuge primary. The constant challenge of bringing “practice“ to life and “life” to practice.

I have been “accompanying” Kamalashila in his classes and meditations which feels like a very potent thread through my experience at the moment. He is generously leading three sessions a week Online at the same time as being very conscious of dying. I appreciate him doing this and it seems amazing that he is doing it. I can only imagine myself wanting to curl up in a ball and say “no” if such a prognosis landed my way. Yet as he says, dying is so “normal”.

The Order weekend brought a welcome e flurry of euros for our much depleted bank accounts and gave me faith in the project that is the Suryavana Retreat Centre. The project was dreamed of for so long by so many people but the everyday running of the business is a hard grind. We welcome now a roll of guests, both Triratna and otherwise. The place being a great place to be in the warmer months!  We have a swimming pool!

I am signed up to a streaming service (who isn’t) called FilmIn. “Independent Film”, I guess that would be. I watched a documentary (High & Low) about John Galliano, the British fashion designer behind Dior, who, ofcourse, being me I’d never heard of. What a phenomenon!? And there was that theme of how genius flows over into madness and all the chaos that goes with that. Wonderful and moving. And somehow superficial and profound at the same time. We also watched the disturbing and brilliant “Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf?” with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (1966), which painfully reminded of how messed up and mediocre we all are sometimes. 

Sending you all my love Sudaka