Checking out the progress in the new building

EC Blog News & Reports

Taking a break in between a marathon of meetings and talks, Lama Ole, Caty and Tomek went for a tour of the construction site.

The interior works are progressing fast now, so chances are very good that the new living building will be ready in time for Gyalwa Karmapa’s visit in August. Lama Ole met the workers doing their best to finish the building in time and was very impressed with the eco-friendly heating system run on wood pellets and the machinery running it.

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After months of traveling the world – Siberia, Australia, New Zealand, North and South America, South Africa, Ireland, to name but a few destinations -  Lama Ole Nydahl has arrived at the Europe Center right in time to celebrate his birthday on March 19th.

Wasting no time as usual, Lama Ole went straight to the gompa in order to greet a few hundred students eagerly awaiting his arrival, guided the meditation on the 16th Karmapa, recounted his recent travels and answered questions.

At midnight, he was presented with a huge birthday cake and of course countless well-wishes – only to immediately continue answering his students’ questions and giving advice and teachings a few minutes later, being, as always, the most inspiring example of a Bodhisattva constantly working for the benefit of others.

We could not be happier to have Lama Ole back at our Europe Center with us. A long and healthy life for you, dearest Lama, and many happy returns!

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In seven years of running the Europe Center, we have had the pleasure of facing a challenge or two concerning running bigger events. We learned to do our best to make it possible for everyone to come and enjoy, and we also developed confidence and trust that no matter how big the challenge, at the end of the event, pretty much everyone has had a magnificent time.

And of course, just like every other Buddhist center, we put extra effort in making everything even more shiny in time for the Lamas’ arrivals. Because of the capacities of the new building and Lama Ole’s physical absence for more than five months, hundreds of people from all over the world registered for the event, looking forward to seeing their Lama again.

So after weeks of organizational meetings preparing for the Transmission Weekend “Entering the Diamond Way” with Lama Ole and an unprecedented number of his students, we took to action with the help of many: refurnishing, cleaning, polishing, labeling, planning, preparing Lama Ole’s birthday cake and 200 more cakes (using 1500 eggs…), meditating – and having a very joful time together with our traditional pub quiz.

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Happy Losar, everyone! We love to welcome the New Year twice a year – once according to the Western calendar and once, approximately two months later, according to the Tibetan calendar of the Karma Kagyu lineage.

The Europe Center sangha got a very special New Year’s message from H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje – along with his best wishes for the year of the wood sheep, Gyalwa Karmapa sent a beautiful booklet with the prayer for the swift return of his teacher Shamar Rinpoche, who passed away last summer, asking his students to make wishes for Rinpoche to return and teach again very soon.

Another beautiful surprise awaited us: after a bit more than one year, we finally got to welcome the long awaited set of 16 Karmapa statues for the villa gompa. You might remember that the EC sangha had given the first manufactured set of statues to the Bern sangha as a thank you for the Stupa of Complete Victory or Long Life they had given to the Europe Center last year. Here you can see the pictures of the Bern sangha taking their Karmapa statues home in December 2013.

The Europe Center sangha would like to wish everyone a very joyful, healthy and meaningful year of the wood sheep!

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Australia-New-Zealand Night

February 22nd, 2015

Another rather chilly winter weekend – perfect setting for a fabulous New Zealand themed event at the EC!

Organized by the sanghas of Australia and New Zealand, we enjoyed delicacies from the other side of the planet for dinner before meditating together. The highlight of the evening was a screening of  the movie ‘The Lord of the Mind’ video created by our very talented New Zealand sangha in order to fundraise for the development of the Diamond Way Retreat Center Glentui. It is situated on New Zealand’s beautiful South Island, just an hour away from Christchurch.

The screening along with popcorn and NZ snacks was followed by a fun(d)raising party with a playlist of the best music from down under. Thank you to the friends who organized this lovely evening and greetings to the sanghas of Australia and New Zealand from our EC – we hope to see you here for the Summer course (latest)!

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BBQ in the Snow

February 20th, 2015

It’s never too early to start the year’s first barbeque, or is it?

Shortly before the middle of February, a snow bar with a nice bonfire in front was built, warming drinks were provided and our BBQ masters braved the cold for hours to provide everyone with steaks and grilled veggies.

So – when are you starting the BBQ season?

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EC Team Weekend in Innsbruck

February 15th, 2015

Once in a while we like to get away from our day-to-day activities at the EC, where we are always running somewhere and spend a different type of quality time together to further strengthen our friendship.

For this purpose, a couple of times a year we organize EC Team weekends. We meditate, travel and have fun together. This time we were lucky to be invited by Innsbruck sangha, for a weekend of meditation and teachings from two of the EC’s resident Diamond Way Teachers. A lot of people were attracted by the invitation and it was quite a squeeze in the Innsbruck center. Nevertheless, we managed to squash ourselves in for not only the lectures, but also a moreEC auction and a party. We also managed to see the city, spend time together and make friends with Innsbruck sangha.

Last but not the least, the most dramatic event of the weekend happened on Sunday. Everyone was getting quite nervous waiting for this last activity – 46 friends tried the famous Innsbruck attraction – the Skeleton – a bobsleigh ride at the speed of 90km/hr, face-down in an icy tube. And we loved it!

Thank you Innsbruck, for the lovely time!

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We haven’t for a while counted how many nationalities are living ia the moment in and around the Europe Center, but there are definitely a lot!

So we invited our friends to join forces nationally and cook for their friends – the specialties of their respective countries, of course! After the Poles and North Germans had lead by example last year, it turned out that Dutch people somehow manage to stay healthy despite preferably covering their breakfast bread with colorful sugar sprinkles and loooots of peanut butter or chocolate cream. And Bulgarians like to cook yummy things that fit with their hair color… ;) Thank you, friends, it was delicious – and we look forward to more country cuisine at the EC!

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