Inauguration of the EC Long Life Stupa

EC Blog News & Reports

A very special day for the history books of the Europe Center: In a beautiful ceremony on August 20th, Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche inaugurated the Europe Center’s Stupa together with Lama Ole Nydahl.

The Stupa of Long Life or Complete Victory was orginally blessed and inaugurated by the late Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche in 2001 and now given to the Europe Center as a very generous gift by the Sangha of Bern/Switzerland.

The Stupa of Long Life is one of the eight classical forms of Tibetan stupas representing significant events in the life of Buddha. It commemorates Buddha’s successful prolonging of his life by three months following the request of his students. Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche pointed out that this stupa is also dedicated to the long and healthy life of Lama Ole Nydahl. Furthermore, he reminded us how immeasurably beneficial a stupa is not only to the people who circumambulate it, meditate close to it, make wishes for the benefit of all in its proximity, but actually for the whole region and all beings inhabiting it.

May our Europe Center Stupa benefit countless beings on their way!

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For weeks before the inauguration, our EC Stupa-building team was busy inside the striped tent behind the villa, no matter what the weather.

After Lama Ole had placed a treasure vase in the foundation, a complex wooden construction was tons of concrete were mixed and poured into form to become the base of the stupa. In the meantime, the statue filling team sorted the donations for the filling of the stupa sent in from sanghas all over the world. Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche then guided the filling of the treasure vases (tib. bumpa) for the stupa itself and its filling together with Lama Ole Nydahl.

Both teachers expressed their amazement concerning the activity and generosity of the worldwide sangha both for the fillings of the EC’s new Buddha statue as well as for the filling of the stupa.

So the Europe Center’s Long Life Stupa is a truly international project, inside and outside!

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Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche is a great meditation master highly respected both in the East and in the West. He generously offered us three empowerments into different Buddha aspects at this year’s summer course.

The empowerments were given into Six-armed black Mahakala (skt. Shadbhuja Mahakala, tib. Chagdrugpa), Gampopa, Founder of the Kagyu Lineage, and Almighty Ocean (skt. Jinasāgara, tib. Gyalwa Gyamtso), the united form of Loving Eyes.

An empowerment or initiation by a realized teacher introduces the Buddhist practitioner to a certain Buddha aspect, passes on his blessing and, if desired, empowers him or her to meditate on this Buddha and his enlightened qualities.

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The common dinner evening with our Lamas and all friends attending the course is a wonderful summer course tradition – and the presentations following the delicious dinner are both informative and entertaining.

This time, the Czech sangha took to the stage to perform a slightly altered version of John Denver’s “Country Roads”, the Budapest Buddhist Center impressed with a highly professional and artistic trailer for their course with Lama Ole coming soon, the Buddhist Center in Granada/Spain came up with a very creative and hilarious film script proving how urgently they need a bigger center, the Londoners shared good news that were not even a day old… and so much more!

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Lectures on Guru Yoga

August 16th, 2014

In a series of lectures complemented by sessions of topic-related questions and answers with Lama Ole in the evenings, Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche shared his deep knowledge about the meaning of the meditation on the Lama.

Identifying with the teacher’s mind’s enlightened qualities in meditation is the essence of Diamond Way Buddhist meditation. The traditional scriptures state that Guru Yoga makes enlightenment in one lifetime possible. To quote the great yogi Chen, a highly accomplished teacher of Lama Ole and Hannah Nydahl who did not leave his home in India for 21 years, “When male and female essences are balanced in a Lama, any meditation on him is Maha-Annutara-Yoga-Tantra, the fourth and highest initiation level.” In this case, any practice identifying with the teacher may bring the highest level of accomplishment.

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We were lucky enough to get the pictures of friends who hiked up the mountain on the opposite side of the lake and flew over the course site with a microlight during the first week of the course – these pictures here are the result.

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Meditating in the presence of one’s Buddhist teacher is a huge gift for any Diamond Way student. This summer, we definitely had the maximum of meditation time with our Lamas Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and Lama Ole Nydahl.

We enjoyed two 8-hour meditations to meditate on the 16th Karmapa and on Loving Eyes, the united compassion of all Buddhas. With the patter of the pouring rain on the roof of the tent, a warm blanket and a thermos with tee or coffee – what could be more meaningful than this?

The 16th Karmapa Meditation: This ‘Meditation on the Lama’ (Skt. Guru Yoga, Tib. Lami Naljor) is a practical and comprehensive tool for enlightenment composed by the 16th Karmapa. The emphasis is on actively continuing the pure view, obtained in meditation, into daily life. It is the basic practice of Diamond Way Buddhism.

Meditation on Loving Eyes: No character trait is finer than compassion, and Buddha was very conscious of this. He frequently advised people to specifically develop this quality. The different forms of Loving Eyes (Skt. Avalokiteshvara, Tib. Chenrezig) manifest to help beings everywhere and represent the widest expression of kindness on the beyond-personal level. This meditation text was composed by the 12th Century Siddha  Thangtong Gyalpo “King of a Thousand Valleys” (1361–1485).

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This year’s motto of the International Summer course at the Europe Center was “Enjoy Space!”.

This was pointing at the grand opening of our spacious new gompa, the flexible program with lots of open space for spontaneity – and first and foremost at the enlightened, joyful, compassionate and fearless nature of mind experienced in lots of meditation sessions – which is like space!

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Explanations for meditation practices and meditating together afterwards are an important part of the summer course. Twice in two weeks, the Diamond Way Teachers gave introductory explanations for the beginners’ Refuge Meditation, the Four Preliminary Practices (tib. Ngöndro) and Guru Yoga on the 8th Karmapa.

The meditations used in the Diamond Way Buddhist centers are traditional meditation practices of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. They were transmitted to Lama Ole Nydahl by various masters of the Lineage, notably by the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje and translated to Western languages to give a direct access and understanding to Buddhist students in the West. Lama Ole has entitled more than a hundred of his experienced students, the Diamond Way Teachers, to pass on the practice explanations for Ngöndro.

If you would like to know more about the respective meditation practices and their origin and transmission within the Karma Kagyu Lineage, please visit www.diamondway-buddhism.org.

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After so much work and eager anticipation, on August 10th 2014, Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and Lama Ole Nydahl (and a few thousand friends) unveiled the unique Buddha statue and opened the new gompa at the Europe Center.

Beautifully decorated with 16 thangkas depicting the lineage of the Karmapas, pictures of the 5 Dhyani Buddhas indicating the 5 directions according to Buddhist cosmology on the walls and the ceiling of the new mediation hall and a beautiful altar in front of the still to be unveiled new Buddha statue, Rinpoche and Lama Ole guided the inauguration ceremonies.

In his introductory speech before the consecration ceremony (tib. Rabne), Rinpoche pointed at the significance of this place connecting Diamond Way Buddhist practitioners from all over the world and at the very auspicious circumstances of this event, bringing together a very special full moon day, the 16th Karmapa’s birthday, the inauguration of the meditation hall as well as the unveiling and blessing of the 1,70 high, shiny new Buddha statue.

Since the new gompa fits nearly one-thousand, but of course not several thousand people, Lama Ole repeated the inaugural meditation of the gompa all day long in order to enable everyone present at the course to participate in the inauguration.

As if the touching ceremonies were not more than enough for a day to remember already, everyone was presented with a Tsatsa (Tibetan half-relief) of the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, relics and blessing strings after passing through the new dining hall of the EC on the way out. Looking at the many hundreds leaving our new gompa, one could only see shining eyes and bright smiles.

May the Europe Center’s new gompa benefit countless beings on their way to enlightenment!

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