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Help set up a spiritual retreat in Spain

mindatriskmindatrisk Veteran
edited August 13 in Sanghas

Hi,

I'm living in an off-grid community in the Spanish mountains. The owner doesn't use the site from October to Spring-time each year, and I've suggested setting it up as a meditation location, which he is supportive of. The location is in a valley about 7km drive from a small town called Maella. It is ideal conditions - basic amenities, miles and miles of solitude and peace, and a stunning location. I think it could support perhaps 3 or 4 individuals doing their own retreats, i.e. no teacher or classes.

I have no idea how to go about setting such a project up, but maybe there are some people here who could offer some advice and guidance. The idea (at least initially until it is established as a location) would be to make it financially accessible, as I know things like this can be expensive. What it becomes in the future would be the choice of the owner, but I'd envisage the first few years offering a great opportunity for those who'd like to do long silent retreats but can't afford the usual options.

Any thoughts or pointers? And how much has anyone paid in the past for a similar retreat situation? I have no idea what a reasonable amount would be to charge. Thank you.

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 13

    Advertise online - set up a website, with loads of pictures. The location has to look idyllic, peaceful, isolated but welcoming.
    Consider all your overheads: Are you going to offer transport to the location from the nearest town? If so, you'll need a vehicle, too.
    What about those who might wish to bring their own vehicles (cars, motorbikes, etc)

    Then there's the added consideration therefore, of security....

    Now to other stuff:
    Accommodation. (Sleeping quarters, beds, bedding, privacy.)
    Catering. (A good kitchen with all necessary amenities to cater for veggies, vegans and those who are particular for religious reasons.)
    Staff? You'll need helpers if the invitation is short-, medium- or long-stay.
    Do you have running water? Washing facilities?
    What about terrain for those who wish to bring their own tents, maybe?

    Very important to also lay down comprehensive ground rules to consider the environment, local laws and the comfort of all.

    How's that for starters? ;)

  • @federica said:

    How's that for starters? ;)

    Great! Thank you! I think we are covered on all of the above. It is off-grid, so it is simple living, but I think that appeals to many. The 'market' I'd aim for would be more monks and nuns than lifestyle meditators... it would be nice to provide an opportunity for those who struggle financially to fund this kind of retreat. The owner might end up with different ideas (££££) but he'd have to upgrade a bit to satisfy the lifestyle folk. Thank you for your input!

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited August 13

    @mindatrisk said:> Any thoughts or pointers? It would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    It sounds exciting, but I think the devil will be in the detail, particularly in terms of the involvement of the site owner. Do you currently have a formal agreement with the owner in terms of your own tenure, and would that need to change? You will probably need to think about boring stuff like liability insurance too.

  • @SpinyNorman said:

    @mindatrisk said:> Any thoughts or pointers? It would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    It sounds exciting, but I think the devil will be in the detail, particularly in terms of the involvement of the site owner. Do you currently have a formal agreement with the owner in terms of your own tenure, and would that need to change? You will probably need to think about boring stuff like liability insurance too.

    No formal agreement. It's just an idea at the moment with me responsible for researching and fleshing it out. Insurance is a good point. I don't know how informal it can be... the more informal the better, I think. It will be very low key, not a big, fancy retreat centre.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    I'd recommend getting in touch with Buddhist and other meditative communities in the area. They're likely to have previous experience with such things and are most likely to have interest. They could give some good guidance on what they might need and help spread the word.

    Also, there is a retreat center in my area that is on the Insight meditation timer that friends people and thanks them for meditating with them I assume as a sort of outreach and advertisement.

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