Visiting Sanditthika

living simply · growing in wisdom

Kaspars Jaudzems
4 min readMar 9, 2019


Sanditthika is a small group of Buddhists from around the world, living simply and practising meditation in the caves of Almeria.

“The daily life in the caves is centered around meditation.”

“Everyone is free to practice in whatever way he/she feels to be most beneficial, and instruction is available when needed. There is a meditation cave which is a nice place to practise, but one can meditate alone in their own cave, or in nature. The group comes together for two hours each day for group sittings. After the sittings sometimes we ask questions or discuss the Dhamma.”

“We don’t pay any rent, Kaspars”, Anuttara says quietly, after the morning group sitting on the way from meditation cave, while looking at the beautiful sunrise over Almeria and Cabo de Gata on the horizon.

The word sanditthika is from the Sanditthika Sutta, where the Buddha points out six occasions (two for each of the three root defilements — greed, aversion and delusion),

of how the Dhamma is visible here and now:

The fact that when greed is present within you, you discern that greed is present within you; and when greed is not present within you, you discern that greed is not present within you: that is one way in which the Dhamma is visible here and now, having nothing to do with time (timeless), inviting one to come and see, onward-leading, to be realized by the wise for themselves.

When one day the nuns are going for alms, I ask if I may come with them and take photos.

It’s a small, but lively market where local people come to buy food, clothing and other things. In Therevada Buddhism going for alms is often perceived as giving the laypeople the opportunity to make merit. They just stand there radiating happiness and compassion. Some people come by and give food, some are known and they chat a little, everybody is greeted with a smile, and when they turn to walk away I notice their hearts moved by emotion.

One of the ten precepts the nuns observe is not to handle, use or possess any form of money, that’s why Sayalay Dayā is holding a sign “Solo comida por favor” meaning “Just food please”.

The act of giving and receiving is mutually beneficial — almost essential: “If we move further away from this part of the city and we can’t come anymore to this market, that would be a pity!”.

On the way back I feel blissful and uplifting, still thinking about the people at the market.

I wonder, how much a little moment can change?

One day we go to a gorgeous valley in the nearby hills, that they affectionately call Paradise.

Despite heavy winds, me and Iván stay over night.

The group is looking for opportunities to establish a meditation centre and we visit a possible site.

This is one of those rare experiences in life, where you look back and wonder: did this actually happen? Feeling happy it did!