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Triratna’s sangha in Barcelona, Spain, bought their first Buddhist Centre last year. Just six weeks from opening they are working hard. They still need to raise €15,000.
Sugarbha writes: “This is a really exciting project for Triratna Barcelona. Thanks to a legacy donation, in summer 2016 we secured a mortgage and purchased a building to convert into a centre. This is obviously a huge step forward for us, and for Triratna in mainland Europe.
We were able to secure the mortgage mainly due to a substantial sum we received from the legacy of Virananda, an English order member who lived in Barcelona for many years, who sadly died of cancer as the first wave of our Order team arrived here more or less six years ago.
Triratna Barcelona started life as group affiliated with the Valencia Buddhist Centre. It was set up by two friends living here with the help of Order members from Valencia who came up twice a month to run a class. On arrival our Order team took on responsibility for the group since when the sangha has flourished. We have a core of about 15 Mitras and Friends.
Up until now we’ve been renting rooms for classes in other people’s spaces, but it became really obvious that we needed our own space to help us root more deeply in the city and take the project to the next level.
Sinhendra, our Chairman, got together a team of Friends and Mitras, who were at the helm of the centre search. Two of the women being an architect and a lawyer, their help was invaluable.
In late summer we signed the contract on a property of 135 sq meters. The property is situated on Carrer de la Marina which runs from the sea to La Sagrada Familia which as you probably know is an iconic landmark in the city. It feels fitting that you can see Gaudi’s great masterpiece from our doorstep! The property is well placed for access to the metro, tram system and has ample underground car parking very close by.
We chose our premises carefully so as to avoid lots of costly work but to transform the building into a functioning centre we need to raise €35,000 (Euro). We are doing whatever work we can ourselves and this has saved a considerable sum to date but we will need to contract professional builders, electricians and plumbers to do work we simply cannot do ourselves, due to legal and competency issues.
We still need to raise €15,000 but we have been hard at work raising money ourselves, for example through Siddhisvari’s pop-up cafe!
It’s an inspiring and sometimes challenging project we have on our hands but I can say with all confidence that we are doing really well. I have no doubt at all that we will thrive in the new centre, working in a more effective and focused way to help spread Triratna and Sangharakshita’s vision of what human life can become.”