Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche visited Gomde Pyrenees in the winter of 2017 to offer his blessings and support to a group of students in search of a practice center in the heart of Europe. Impressed by the location, and beauty of the Catalan region, Rinpoche noted the peace and and quiet of this magnificent space as an ideal landscape for long and short term retreats, as well as home for students of Buddhism in France and Spain.
As the spiritual leader of Gomde Pyrenees, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche encouraged the team of European practitioners to work together to grow a spiritual community that is open to the local Buddhists in France and Spain, and to the wider international sangha. The larger vision for the center is to embrace, expand and deepen authentic Buddhist teachings, long term and short term individual and group retreats, and practice in a supportive, cost effective and inclusive community guided by the visiting Rinpoches and Lamas, nuns and monks, who have devoted their lives to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
Gomde Pyrenees is located in the beautiful Mas Can Pere Courreu in the French Pyrenees. The closest village is La Bastide, a small friendly community of farmers and artisans, where during the season there is a local restaurant opened a few days a week, and in the nearby villages where one can buy fresh bread and locally grown vegetables. Although Gomde sits perched against the backdrop of the magnificent mountains, from the top floor of the house, on a clear day, you can see both the highest peak of the sacred Mount Canigou and the Mediterranean Sea. As a result of its location, days are mostly sunny with spectacular sunrises beginning each day and sunsets announcing time for rest.
Each day, each month, for the past two years we have seen great changes and creative growth in the rapid transformation of this former family home into an international center for short and long retreats. Crews of volunteers still work alongside construction crews to redesign, and update the facilities necessary to accommodate temporary residents and long term inhabitants.
Gomde Pyrenee, a spiritual community with a difference, is shaping as a campus of retreat cabins, tipis, gardens, and a large house with rooms and facilities to support visitors and residents. Work must continue but progress made is visible.
Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s dream for Gomde Pyrenees is becoming reality. Gomde Pyrenees is Europe’s newest Center for Buddhist studies and retreats.