Rijumati writes with news of Triratna’s burgeoning activities in Barcelona, where they’ve had a very busy year including finding a new venue for their activities, the arrival of several Order Members and their first death: Virananda, ordained in 1978. He says:
“Almost a year ago on our winter retreat the first three people from Triratna Barcelona became mitras: Frank Bergman, Juan Carlos Dudier and Maria Pardos. It was a very joyful moment.
In the early part of the year Virananda entered the final stages of cancer destroying his body. Sinhendra and Rijumati saw him more frequently and his sister Clare came to stay here for the final week of his life. It was sad yet very moving to be with him those final weeks and days, seeing his acceptance of death and patience with the pain. He died on the 19th April 2012. Many of his possessions, including a substantial poetry library and some wonderful Japanese cooking knives, have found a home in our community and are a regular reminder of the quiet, deep and creative man that was Virananda.
We continue to run regular classes two or three times a week and retreats every 8 weeks. The retreats are very popular and almost always fully booked. We are fortunate to have found 3 excellent venues nearby: Ecodharma, Tushita retreat centre (run by the FPMT) and the house of a friend in the lovely Penedés countryside south of Barcelona. The qualities of stillness, simplicity, community and friendship often seem to inspire people the most.
In the late Spring and Summer 4 more Order members arrived in Barcelona to help with forming a Sangha here: Sugarbha, Siddhisvari, Nagesvara and Amalasiri (who was ordained at Akashavana this year). They join Sinhendra and Rijumati to form a small Order Sangha of 6 of us living in Barcelona. They’ve all written a short introduction on our website: click here to see it – though it is in Spanish!
This autumn we took on renting a space in the very heart of the old city in a district called El Call. It is above a spiritual bookshop and run by a lovely lady called Claudia who has strong links with Buddhism and knew Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche and Dudjom Rimpoche, Claudia is very generous with us so that our rent is manageable. We are still developing the space for our activities, for instance we’d like to install a large image of the Buddha and buy new cushions. In October we had a weekend with the Sangha decorating the space as part of these preparations.
All in all it is an exciting time of change for the Triratna community here in Barcelona. With metta, Rijumati!