Open House at the EC

EC Blog News & Reports

Open House at the EC

April 24th, 2016

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. 

Surprise of the day was definitely the weather – all the fresh green and beautiful spring flowers sudenly got covered up with quite a few centimeters of snow! However, the Allgäu people say that there is no bad weather, there is just bad clothing! So the weather did not keep app. 500 visitors from checking out the EC and Diamond Way Buddhism!

Lots of lively exchange between visitors and Buddhists too place 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 for the visitors, 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 currently 38 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.

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To most of her many students and friends, Hannah Nydahl was not only an extraordinarily dedicated Buddhist practitioner and pioneer of Buddhism in the West, but also the epitome of kindness, compassion, wisdom and unconditional love for everybody.

She was often compared to the female Buddha aspect White Liberatrice (Skt. Sita Tara, Tib. Drolma Karmo or Drolkar). The weekend’s atmosphere somehow seemed to reflect this – dedicated meditation and love really were all around and clearly showed how her legacy is carried on in all our hearts.

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Remembering Hannah Nydahl

April 17th, 2016

For years it had been the strong wish of many to have a weekend of remembering and celebrating the life of Hannah Nydahl, and finally that wish came true. Close friends and students came to the EC to share their lively memories of an unforgettable woman – and Lama Ole guided a meditation on White Liberatrice via live streaming for his students around the world.

Hannah Nydahl was a student of H.H. the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the great Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche, and many other teachers. Together with her husband Lama Ole Nydahl, she helped to bring the authentic teachings of the Karma Kagyu to the West. She was traveling companion, translator, and friend to many high lamas including Shamar Rinpoche, Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche, Lama Jigme Rinpoche, and others. Hannah passed away on 1st April, 2007, after a six-month fight with cancer.

The barn was beautifully decorated with pictures of Hannah for the weekend (and actually, they are so beautiful that we just left them hanging after the weekend). After the deeply touching meditation with Lama Ole and wonderfully inspiring lectures about her life and her work, we celebrated what would have been Hannah’s 70th birthday with a festive dinner together.

One of the highlights of the weekend was most certainly the screening of the touching, award-winning film “Hannah – Buddhism’s Untold Story” in the cinema in Immenstadt on Sunday. You can get news about the Hannah film and watch the trailer here: www.hannahthefilm.com

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Weekend with Lama Ole Nydahl

March 28th, 2016

Finally!!! After some months of focusing on traveling and retreat, Lama Ole Nydahl returned to the Europe Center this weekend for a three day course. And as expected, hundreds of friends came from all over the globe to receive teachings.

After a lecture on Friday night, Lama Ole and his students spent Saturday meditating together, followed by Mahamudra teachings and lots of time to ask questions. The weekend ends the Meditation Days, where many students gathered at the EC for concentrated practice together during the week preceding the event.

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A weekend with more than 1.000 people attending the lectures by Lama Ole Nydahl obviously needs more than a bit of preparation and constant action “behind the scenes” – here’s just some of our unsung heroes making it all possible.

It all started weeks before with the coordinators meeting several times to prepare for the weekend. Planning the cooking, doing the grocery ordering and shopping, building up a big extra tent for the shoes and baggage, shuttling up and down the EC hill for days, organizing the flow of people for entering and exiting the gompa and queuing for food, taking care to keep everything clean all over the place, registering hundreds of friends for the event, selling things and giving information in the Dharma shop, taking pictures for this blog and the EC Facebook page, serving friends food, coffee and drinks almost around the clock… just to name a few.

Big thanks to the team and to all the wonderful guests who offered to take over a mini-job or two at the event’s job center – you are just wonderful!!

PS:: Oh, and then there was some very secret and even more joyful preparation going on as well – rehearsing the dance for the flash mob on Sunday, which the EC team performed as a surprise to thank all the visitors with for the great time we had with them once again!

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In the run-up to the big weekend with Lama Ole Nydahl, his close longterm student Tomek Lehnert gave a report on their recent tour to Nepal.

Maniwa Lama Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche performed a fire puja and gave the Long Life Empowerment to Lama Ole Nydahl at the Maratika cave in north-eastern Nepal. In this place, Guru Rinpoche (skt. Padmasambhava) and his female consort Mandarawa received the Long Life empowerment from Buddha Tsepame and realized the meditation practice.

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Big Centers Meeting

March 1st, 2016

For our third exchange of big Diamond Way Buddhist Centers at the EC, friends came from e.g. Moscow, Prague, Heidelberg, Braunschweig, Zurich and Hamburg.

Due to the weekend with Lama Ole just one week later and judging from the number of attendants, it was a rather small weekend. However, the exchange of experiences of how to run a big Buddhist center, the stories like the one of the successful purchase of the new huge center in Moscow were intense and interesting none the less with lots to learn from each other. With the questions of decision making in democratic and/or meritocratic ways all around in the centers for the last months, it became even more interesting to hear how these topics are dealt with depending on the conditions of the respective center. To round everything off in the best way, we spent most of Sunday meditating together.

We would very much like to thank the friends who came to share their experience with us!

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Everyday Life – The EC Way

February 29th, 2016

Just because there are no big events in February doesn’t mean there is nothing going on at the Europe Center…

As a matter of fact, there is a whole lot going on in every corner of the house! With snow and rain outside, it gets even more of a warm cozy feeling inside. Lots of time to talk to friends and goof around with them, preparing blessing strings and planning the organization of the event with Lama Ole in March, getting to know visitors from overseas who decided to come at a more quiet time, cooking and eating together…  and of course lots of time to meditate, meditate and meditate!

And last but definitely not least, may we introduce our very youngest resident to you? Little Thore was born at home in the Europe Center on the auspicious day of Guru Rinpoche‘s enlightenment. :)

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Stupa Inauguration in Renchen-Ulm

February 28th, 2016

February marked the historical inauguration of the world’s first relic Stupa of Shamar Rinpoche at the Bodhi Path Center in Renchen-Ulm, Germany.

Following the kind invitation by the Bodhi Path Sangha, many members of the Europe Center team drove to Renchen-Ulm to help and take part in this very special celebration, honoring the second highest teacher of the Karma Kagyu Lineage, whose last incarnation passed away in this very place during the summer of 2014. Shamar Rinpoche’s relics are now preserved under an elegant pavilion-like roof structure in a golden Stupa, all surrounded by a beautiful garden for meditation. Meditating close to relics of highly realized teachers like Shamar Rinpoche is considered to be very powerful in Buddhism.

With hundreds attending the ceremony, the inauguration was conducted by Shamar Rinpoche’s brother Jigme Rinpoche, who also taught at a meditation course ringing in the festivities. After the inauguration, colorful balloons with wishes for the benefit of all beings and especially for Shamar Rinpoche’s swift rebirth were released into the skies above Renchen-Ulm.

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Welcome, Fire Monkey!

February 9th, 2016

Welcome to the new Tibetan year, the year of the male fire monkey! Chinese astrology promises for this year to be a rather challenging one for the world and, at the same time, full of opportunity to succeed by applying patience as well as creativity.

So why not celebrate the New Year with a traditional Nepali and Tibetan dinner: momos! For a whole afternoon, the EC team including the kids came together in the kitchen to prepare 800 (!!!) of these steamed dumplings with filling. Traditionally, momos are prepared with minced meat filling. Our creative chefs also offered delicious vegetarian versions for the festive dinner.

So – may you all enjoy a free, peaceful, healthy, happy and meaningful year of the Fire Monkey, wether you believe in astrology or not! ;)

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