Getting to Gomde Pyrenees
Gomde Pyrenees is located on a country road in the mountains of the Pyrenees, a short walk from the village of La Bastide. We are about 1h 15 min drive up into the mountains from the city of Perpignan, and 3+ hours drive from Barcelona in Spain. For driving directions we recommend using Google maps, as this is the most accurate GPS in our remote mountainous region.
From Barcelona, Toulouse and Paris there are frequent buses and trains to Perpignan. If you are coming for a seminar or short retreat, it is usually fairly easy and inexpensive to rent a car in Perpignan or in whatever city you fly into. We also post a rideshare board during registration for all programs so that participants can carpool and share rental/driving costs. If you are coming between scheduled program times, please contact us to arrange a taxi or pickup at the Perpignan train and bus station.
Preparing for Your Stay at Gomde
Gomde is in a very remote location, more than one hour’s drive for supplies of any kind. Please plan accordingly and pack all supplies you will need for your stay—there is very little public transportation in our area, no machines to withdraw cash, and our volunteers are not often able to make trips into town. We recommend bringing layers of clothing to be comfortable in cool temperatures as well as the heat, and to be prepared for strong sun and sudden storms with rapid changes of weather. There are beautiful trails nearby for walking and hiking, so please bring appropriate shoes and gear if you like being outdoors.
Gomde is a vegetarian and alcohol-free center. If you are used to a diet high in animal proteins, we recommend that you bring supplements with you such as a protein powder or protein bars of your choice. During seminars, all participants are assigned a small daily dharma service job to ensure that the event runs smoothly. Please respect your service commitment and remember the success of the seminar depends on all of us, and the retreat environment is maintained when we are each mindful and conscientious of our own conduct. We also have opportunities for part-time volunteering both during and between regularly scheduled programs. If you would like to offer your technical skills such as construction, carpentry, plumbing, electric service etc., or skills with cooking and cleaning for large groups, please contact email@example.com in advance for more information.
Buddhist Shrine Room Etiquette
When visiting Tibetan Buddhist shrine rooms, there are a few guidelines for conduct that we ask everyone to observe in this space:
Please stand as a sign of respect when Lama(s) enter and exit the shrine room.
When stretching your legs, please avoid pointing your feet towards the shrine or Teacher.
Buddhists traditionally prostrate three times when the teacher enters the room, or after he/she has been seated. For newcomers who are not familiar with this custom, it is also ok to stand respectfully while others around you make the prostrations.
Please do not put Dharma books, texts or beads (malas) on the floor.
Be on time, dress appropriately, turn off cell phones, try to keep silence in this space, and refrain from eating and drinking in the shrine room.
We ask that people wear slippers instead of outdoor shoes in the Gomde main house, and that the shrine room is free from both slippers and shoes.
Local Guesthouses and Outside Accommodations
For those with a car, there are numerous guest houses (gîtes) and airbnb’s offered in nearby villages so you can stay near to Gomde and commute to and from our center each day. The closest towns to La Bastide are St. Marsal, Valmanya, and Baillestavy. During holiday seasons many guest houses are full, so it is advisable to book well in advance. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you find a place.