Time is but fictional in Beneficio, it is either day or night. simple as that.
I’ve lost track of the days and dates and usually this would bother me, or make me
believe that I’m doing something wrong as it’s typically something everyone pays
attention too. Like trying to catch a river in your hands, time spills and wisps
around you, unable to capture it, changing shape, morphing to whatever best suits
the atmosphere and environment.
It is for this reason that I have lost contact with the outside world and kept even
my phone interaction to phone calls to family, alongside the fact that I currently
have no internet, rarely any battery, no signal and not a god damn care in the world.
The last of my posts situated me in Grenada/Benerabba toying with the idea of moving
north and exploring Grenada, I am infact now in Grenada, Orgiva to be precise and
the anarchistic hippie community that has secluded itself from civilisation in
Beneficio to hit the nail on the head. Just outside of Orgiva is a fourty minute walk
uphill, or even better a 5-10 minute hitchhike in either a cramped sweat box or a modern
car depending on how lucky you get. Either way I advise against walking uphill in 35’c
with a backpack full of food and carrying extra bags/tarp/rope/etc. Before I indulge in
the curiosity that is Beneficio and all its mystery, I spent a small stint of my time
recently in a yoga retreat called Hidden Paradise a mere stones throw, albeit a throw
downward into a vastly deep valley with tall eucalyptus trees encrouching on every turn.
I still haven’t decided wether my choice to leave Hidden Paradise so abrutly was down to
my own self destructive need to throw myself into every situation without full thought, or whether the whole vibe of Hidden Paradise was too elusive for my style of meditation.
Kudos to the guys who run it, for privacy I will refrain from using names, the entire place as beautiful, well designed, and ran as smooth as a marble surface. Three meals a day, all vegetarian and made with an abundance of different vegetables and vegan alternatives, it is probably the best I’ve ever eaten in my whole life, and I mean it with all honesty. It was a luxury to eat a wide variety of vegetables and help cook them with a professional chef, it gave me a good insight into the different ways being vegetarian can really improve aspects of your health compared to meat. Asides from cooking I was kept busy for 4 to 5 hours a day with cleaning, and this included my own private hut, use of the facilities, three meals a day and wifi/charging etc. The entire purpose of the retreat is to rent out the space and the facilities to other spiritual ‘professionals’ who run different kinds of yoga, couples therapy, meditation techniques, sexual healing, and so on.
I have never been so unsure as to the atmosphere, in some ways I felt totally relaxed, and in others so out of place and almost forcing myself to get along with it. I met some truly inspirational people, and have a deep respect for those who were genuinally so intriqued by my adventures and the optimism they shared with me. However, to look at both sides of my experience, there were many people who I felt were really forcing this facade of a ‘happy’ and ‘calm’ spiritual aura and just trying way too hard to make an
impression. It wasn’t what I needed right now, I am still exploring buddhism and its many different traditions based on its origin in different countries and to have other peoples spritual ideas and theories pounded into me from a totally biased point of view is too conflicting. In my humble opinion, those who wish to study the path of spiritualism, shouldtake an agnostic style of view, where no one person can know what truly ‘is’ and it is important not to dismissothers beliefs and lifestyle choices as if yours are concrete and law. I have taken what positive experiences I can from my time at this retreat and will use them in my exploration of spiritual/hippie cultures, as I firmly believe the link between the two is constantly interweeving and tying together in many different ways.
Beneficio is the perfect place to dive into and speak to the community that is made of old school hippies, flower power, spiritual gurus, travellers, shamans and those who REALLY love taking phycedelics (My next post will be mostly on this subject and my experiences). Buddhism has taken a particular interest due to its variation based on location and its profound presence in this part of Andalucia, ranging from traditional, japanese zen, and many others I am yet to study. So far it seems that there is a dominating germand and italian presence who have claimed many areas in the forest, and up on the plateu.
My camp has been set up in the further depths of the forest which is made up of a vareity of Australians, English, Spanish and Norwegian, my camp has been set up and im trying to spend as much time outside of it speaking to those around me. This has been hindered today by my visit to the hospital to try and get my thumb sewn up, a rather tough sweet potatoe gave me a not so sweet surprise when the shape of the potatoe caused me to slip and put a kitchen knife a solid centimetre and a half into my thumb at an angle, however from leaving it a day or two to see how it heals it was apparently too late to sew up and the tape stitches were applied after a deep clean. I left straight from the kind nurses who helped me and charged up my laptop at my favourite cafe over a nice fresh juice and cafe con leche, the cafe plays an endless playlist of indian and spanish music which is really pleasent to write too.
I have little oppertunity to write on my laptop due to its poor battery and lack of ability to stay powered up, I intend on travelling north and taking my exploration to france, then east wherever my path so follows (or how much my budget allows). I’m currently deep into reading Jack Keroacs ‘Dharma Bums‘ after reading his other book ‘Wake Up‘, which I donated to a friend I made at the retreat who also has an interest in Keroacs views on Buddhism. In the spirit of the great adventurer Jack I will try and hitchhike as far as possible offering good conversation and money for fuel when possible! Until then, what are you doing? what adventures have you been on? What are you views on buddhism? Keep me posted, its great to get notifications through from you guys when I finally reach somewhere with signal. I’m truly enjoying the peaceful freedom away from society and where possible I will avoid it at all costs. I hope to invest in a turbine that is powered by wind or water to charge my devices that is portable, they price up at roughly
$160 but seem totally worth it! For now, adios and much love, Hasta Luego!