About | The Europe Center
The Europe Center project preserves the living transmission of Diamond Way Buddhism, and is an international meeting point for all Diamond Way groups worldwide. Meditation courses, meetings, workshops and many other means of communication happen at the site. It is a place where Buddhist practice deepens, where friendships grow and where the transmission of Buddhist teachings of the Karma Kagyu lineage is ensured through family-like closeness.
We were looking for such a place for more than 10 years. We sought a location where we could host our high teachers, give a home to our worldwide Buddhist friends and hold international seminars and courses. All our wishes came true in 2007 when we saw the breathtaking landscape and buildings of Gut Hochreute. We had found the Europe Center.
Buddhism was founded by the Indian prince Siddhartha Gautama, who, at the age of 35, reached a state of lasting, limitless happiness – enlightenment. During 45 years of constant traveling, he encountered different kinds of people and gave general and specific advice for all life’s situations. By using suitable meditations, our intellectual knowledge turns into direct experience; additional methods secure attained levels of consciousness. The goal of Buddha’s teachings is the full development of body, speech and mind.
Diamond Way Buddhism belongs to the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. Because of its practical approach closely related to everyday life, it is the most widespread form of Buddhism outside of the traditional Buddhist countries.
The Europe Center lies in the foothills of the Southern Alps at an altitude of 850m above sea level. The house faces onto a beautiful natural lake (der Grosse Alpen See). The nearest town is Immenstadt (approx 4kms).
All the buildings were built between 1910-11 by the architect Karl Surber in Art Deco style, according to the wish of the family of Dr. Walter Martini. The Estate used to be self-sufficient producing their own food – vegetables, milk and meat. It was a very contemporary building at the time, much discussed in art and architectural magazines. All the buildings are of excellent quality and remain in mostly good and their original condition; having survived two World Wars they have not been fundamentally modernized since being built. The internal features were created especially for the house, and remain in the same style to this day.
The estate is listed under monument protection, which means the buildings are of special architectural, historical and cultural significance and therefore have to be restored in keeping with the style of the place and various rules. Fortunately, we have experts in the restoration of furniture, textiles, paintings and wood working with us. More about the house history can be found here.
Buddhists of the 600+ Diamond Way Buddhist centers and groups throughout the world, which are built on an international network of idealism and friendship, are the real owners of the Europe Center. However, the legal owner of the site is the Diamond Way Buddhism Foundation, formed in 1999. The goal of the Foundation is to make millennium-old Buddhist wisdom accessible to modern people in the West.
The lineage holder of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism to which we belong, is H.H. 17th Karmapa Thaye Dorje. The Europe Centre was established due to the unique inspiration of Lama Ole Nydahl.
After having found Gut Hochreute, inspired practitioners from all over the world started to raise money for its purchase. In only 3 months the Diamond Way Buddhist centers raised the necessary amount of money through various fundraising ideas and projects, inspiring thousands of Buddhist practitioners to become part of this unique project.
Whoever wants to support the project’s running and development today is welcome to join in the EC membership program I Grow EC! The membership makes the day-to-day maintenance and operation of the Europe Center possible.
The international network is created by various programs: daily meditation, basic and advanced Buddhist lectures, center and teachers meetings, weekend courses, restoration and building activities, workshops, statue exhibitions, concerts and weddings. Once a year Gut Hochreute will host an international summer course, an intense meditation and teaching program taught by the highly qualified Lamas of the Karma Kagyu lineage.
As in all Diamond Way Centers everybody’s work and contributions are voluntary and based on individual surplus.