As you read this, all being well, I would have been back in Guhyaloka for a couple of days. For those that don’t know Guhyaloka is the men’s ordination retreat centre in the mountains about an hour or so from Alicante.
Guhyaloka means the secret place and the name is quite apt. Nestled between to vertical cliff faces that run East to West with a vertical drop of several hundred feet at the East end affectionately know as Worlds End.
Over the time I have been here the valley does seem to have attracted an increasing number of visitors, walkers, climbers, cyclists and the occasional horse rider but even with this increase it still retains a sense of stillness and peace that I have yet to find anywhere else.
Triratna purchased the land back in the 1980’s and have steadily made improvements over this duration. There is a purpose built shrine room, kitchen with indoor and outdoor eating facilities, a library and a variety of different huts as well as the original buildings such as El Morer and Sangharakshitas bungalow. There have also been several small huts that have been erected to house the support community.
For the men invited here Guhyaloka can take on a mythical dimension and is often seen as the realm in which one takes one of the most significant steps of their lives. This step is a step from our nuclear family into the Buddha family. a step that takes us beyond self and other. A step that continues the heritage of the Buddha Shakyamuni whose teaching is as relevant today as it was 2500 years ago.
The significance of the event and the mythical nature of the valley seer this experience into ones being and thus Guhyaloka becomes a place of pilgrimage be it literally or figuratively as a well of nourishment and inspiration.
I hope that, one day, you may take the step into the secret valley, be reborn in the Buddha family and return to the world to continue to share buddhadharma for the benefit of all.