Who are we?
Centro de Retiros budista Arya Tara (Buddhist Retreat Center Arya Tara, Madrid) is a non-profit organization in the Spanish capital Madrid. Each of our team members who assumes a role within the retreat center does so for free, without any charge, in line with the statutes of the organization, which is a kind of generosity that we have voluntarily agreed to observe.
Centro de Retiros budista Arya Tara was the first Buddhist retreat center in Madrid, in terms of both the capital itself and the immediate surroundings. We are called “Arya Tara” because arya in Sanskrit means venerable and Tara is the name of the feminine Buddhist aspect, the patron buddha of Tibet. She is green in color, as you may see from the image above.
Since meditation is so important to Buddhism, our center is open to all traditions and branches of Buddhism as a non-sectarian Buddhist retreat center. There are now at least 15 Buddhist centers in Madrid that include different schools, from Theravada, to Zen (Japanese and Vietnamese), and from Pure Land to Tibetan Vajrayana.
What do we do?
We organize retreats for Buddhist centers, especially those in Madrid, and for other Buddhists and yoga schools who are interested. However, we do not lead the retreats; this is done by the master from each different center.
We also organize Buddhist academic events, such as the I Jornadas de Budismo, which is the first time the Jornadas de Budismo has taken place in Spain. The event is being held on 29 January 2022 in one of our retreat places, El Espacio (see images), to promote Buddhism in Spain and especially in Madrid.
We also accommodate one-day Buddhist conferences and talks. When the majority of visitors are flying via Madrid’s airport, it seems convenient to plan a retreat or talk to gather attendees around the capital. We can also help to organize travel itineraries and in particular promote events that are organized by female practitioners.
Since we are sharing information about our retreat houses for the first time, we understand that we should also take charge of coordinating reservations for the retreats. These reservations are all carried at no additional cost. Our prices are offered at a discount on behalf of the Centro de Retiros budista Arya Tara.
We have one retreat house in Madrid and one on the outskirts of the city: Rafaela María and El Espacio, respectively. El Espacio offers two possibilities: “the Little House” or “the Hotel.” Rafaela María occupies an entire block, which helps to ensure the necessary silence that is most conducive to meditation.
Both houses offer individual rooms with ensuite bathrooms, a room for meditation, and a beautiful garden, with space for car-parking. Rooms are priced at €34 per person for lodging and full board (breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner) at El Espacio and €55 per person for lodging and full board at Rafaela María.
Where are we?
We are happy to welcome you to Centro de Retiros budista Arya Tara and to all Buddhist centers and other places of interest, especially those in Madrid. You can reach us by email at: [email protected] with any questions you may have.
Last, but not least, we have summarized our three-person team at Centro de Retiros budista Arya Tara:
President: María Drolma. PhD History of East Asian Art, since 2010 dedicated to Buddhism, translated two Buddhist books into Spanish, former secretary of a Buddhist center in Madrid.
Secretary: Ana Guerrero. Physicist and daughter of a practicing Zen Buddhist.
Treasurer: a Rime monk of 20 years’ experience.
Born Madrid in 1972, María Drolma holds a BA and MA in Japanology and non-European Art History, and a PhD in East Asian Art History. María first encountered the Buddhadharma in December 2007 in a meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She subsequently took refuge with Geshe Thubten Choden in 2009. Maria has served as secretary (and English-Spanish translator) with the Instituto de Budismo Tibetano Hayagriva in Madrid, and was ordained as a Buddhist nun from 2012–13. She was also instrumental in introducing the Bhutan Nuns Foundation to the Lumbini Foundation in Caceres, Spain.