EC Blog News & Reports
As a continuation of our recent EC change weekend, we will take a day each month to keep all the fresh development going at a big center meeting additional to our regular weekly center meetings.
This EC change day was characterized by more lively discussions and in-depth analysis of the way we do things at the EC – and enjoying the most beautiful autumn weather outside in the breaks.
Inspired by the recent statements by Lama Ole regarding the organizational structure and style at the Diamond Way Centers around the world and especially at the Europe Center, it was our common wish to dedicate a whole weekend – and more time if necessary – to reflect on the current state of things and the new situation after the finalisation of the construction work for the new building.
The Diamond Way centers around the world are – according to Lama Ole and Hannah Nydahl’s wish and example, run by voluntary work and donations, based on idealism and friendship. On a purely organizational level, the basis for the voluntary team work in the centers is both democratic as well as meritocratic where beneficial.. Very basically said, this means those who do and know more about a certain topic or area of activity also carry the responsibility, in accordance with the whole sangha. After years of managing the EC on a huge construction site, it is high time to reinvent the Europe Center and the way we work to shape the future together!
So in brief, over 100 sangha members frequently involved in the daily EC life came together for a fruitful weekend full of in-depth talks, very honest opinions, collecting of new ideas and asking of critical questions. It provided an excellent basis for further very necessary EC change meetings and the lively development in the months ahead.
And the weekend showed one thing very clearly: The incredibly strong motivation in every single EC team member to make the Europe Center the best place it can possibly be for the international Diamond Way Buddhist sangha – based on idealism, friendship and trust!
Traditionally, October is a rather relaxed time at the Europe Center. Lots of time for meditation, reading, exchanging with friends and getting things done which had been waiting for more quiet times to come after the Summer Course and the Open House day.
The idyllic nature outside is starting to retreat as well – nights are getting chilly, the mornings become misty and the leaves start coloring and falling around the EC.
So much for the quiet times – it wouldn’t be our EC after all if everything went as planned, would it?
So one evening, we found ourselves being visited by quite a few fire engines and lots of heroic firefighters after the central fire alarm system went off. However – there was no fire to extinguish. Turned out that the thermometer for the wood chip container had set off the alarm because the inserted wood had been a little bit moist, making the temperature in the wood chip storage go up above the limit set as a precaution due do the steam that developed.
So basically, the alarm proved that the security system in the new building is running really well. However, what we were most impressed with was the few minutes it took the fire fighters to come rushing to our rescue, up the mountain all the way from Immenstadt and other neighboring villages. Good to know we are so well taken care of – thank you very much!
One of the many activity teams at the EC open for everyone to join is our outdoor team taking care of everything… yup, you guessed it: outdoors on the huge grounds of the Europe Center.
For some fun and team building, they took everyone interested along for a hike, climbing one of the highest mountains in the area, the Grünten. If you are familiar with Immenstadt, you can easily recognize this mountain looking up from town because of the large antenna on its top.
To Buddhists, there is something else that’s quite remarkable on the top of the Grünten: a mountain infantry monument shaped quite a bit like a Tibetan stupa – a Buddhist monument with deep meaning, representing Buddha. So how did that get on top of a mountain in Bavaria? Its architect Bruno Biehler traveled a lot in Asia. The monument was inspired by the so-called “Lathos” in Tibet – heaps of stones arranged in a shape similar to that of a stupa, often decorated with prayer flags on mantra stones and treasured by the locals for hosting energies.
Whoever hadn’t seen the new Europe Center buildings got his or her chance at the Open House day with tours of the premises, the new buildings, the villa and of course the possibility to try a meditation as well.
The potato salad was a class of its own. Along with coffee and cake, it was the perfect lunch for sitting in the sun on the new terrace in front of the cafe. Lots of lively exchange between visitors and Buddhists everywhere, with many questions answered and lots of laughter in between. Introductory talks and guided meditations in our beautiful meditation hall under the old roof of the barn were one option, the guided tours of the old and new buildings were another. There was even the possibility for a glance through one of the open windows of the new building to get an impression of how the inhabitants of the Europe Center live their everyday lives.
Of course, for those who missed this chance of getting to know the Europe Center and Diamond Way Buddhism and take part in a meditation, it is not too late: every Thursday at 7pm, anyone is welcome to join an introductory talk and the guided meditation in German language afterwards.
After lots of new and old residents moved into their new rooms after the Summer Course, they invited everyone for a snack and a drink in their homes.
We’ve been doing this with the friends living in and around Immenstadt, calling it a “Mandala Tour” – this time, it was time to check out our new EC and its inhabitants!