Hello, how are you? – Hallo, wie geht’s?

EC Blog News & Reports

More and more people from all over the world are moving to Immenstadt to be part of the Europe Center team. Learning the German language is pretty essential for them in order to integrate and make a living here.

Of course, except for the German nights on Thursdays, we speak English at the Europe Center so everyone has a chance to understand and take part in the conversations. This makes sense, but it also makes it more difficult for the learners to practice their German skills. So some German friends had the idea of setting up a free class for everyone interested. From now on, it is going to take place once a week.

Tonight’s first lesson: “Hi, how are you?”: “Hallo, wie geht es Dir?”.
But of course, some Allgäu dialect can also be useful: “Griaß’ Di!”

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Yogis Transmission Weekend

November 15th, 2014

We invited Diamond Way teachers and friends who met the last great accomplishers  in Tibet and have spent long time in meditation retreats themselves to share their experiences. The weekend’s all-pervading questions was: So what exactly are yogis?

Many people think of yogis as the renunciative practitioners in the lonely mountain caves of the Himalayas, spending their lifetime meditating in order to reach enlightenment. And of course they are yogis. Other people may think that yogis are people practicing all kinds of artistic yoga asanas – which is actually related to Hinduism, not Buddhism. Again other people may think one has to be a monk or a nun to be a real yogi.

Looking back at the many centuries of its history and then as well at Diamond Way Buddhism as it is practiced in the East and in the West today, the term yogi (skt. masc.) or yogini (skt. fem.) might be best defined by someone’s mindset, more than by his or her way of life. Since Buddha’s highest teachings are applicable and helpful in all life’s situations, it is possible to turn every minute of one’s daily life into intense practice of the dharma – be it by sitting in formal meditation or by practicing to apply the highest possible view, compassion and wisdom to one’s every thought, word and action while carrying on with the daily tasks and enjoying the challenges.

This is how lay Diamond Way Buddhism is practiced in our centers around the world – meditation, action and view in everyday life for the benefit of all beings!

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Most of the cute Allgäu cows are already back in their stables in the valley for winter. However, some of them were still up for an adventure on the mountain apparently…

A few days ago, a herd of around 25 cows made their way from their meadow two kilometers away all the way to the Europe Center. This is actually quite a hike even for mountain-trained Allgäu cows. Maybe that’s why they seemed very happy to finally arrive at a house. After checking out the garden with the stupa behind the villa, the courtyard and the entrance of the new gompa as well as the construction site, we managed to convince them to wait for their farmer in between the construction storage in front of the EC.

Our dear neighbor Magnus was ready to help immediately as always – he quickly came up and installed a fence around the cows so they could enjoy some yummy grass until their relieved owner arrived – to take them home the same way they had come!

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Since 2007, the Diamond Way Buddhist Center in Braunschweig is the host of the german-speaking centers’ meeting. Once a year, around 600 representatives of the meditation centers founded by Lama Ole Nydahl in Germany and its neighboring countries meet there for intense exchange amongst each other as well as with Lama Ole.

Although the historic background of this labor-intensive weekend goes back to Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the meeting is by now very international, being broadcast via live streaming to the centers around the globe because the topics are relevant and beneficial in all the centers and meditation groups.

As representatives of the Europe Center, of our home countries’ centers and of other international projects, the EC team exchanged with Lama Ole, Caty, Tomek and friends from other centers about the development of the EC, developed new visions and ideas for our meditation centers in group workshops and collected feedback and suggestions how to make our Europe Center shine even more.

We would like to thank the Braunschweig sangha and all helpers for once again having been great hosts of a very inspiring weekend!

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Once a week on our kids afternoon, many of the parents and kids living in Immenstadt come together at the EC. This time, beautiful paintings and aquariums made of card board boxes, toilet paper rolls and a lot of love and enthusiasm were created.

While the children are having a great time attended by some of the parents, the other moms and dads meditate upstairs in the gompa, help with dharma activities in the center or can simply relax and exchange a bit. This way, everyone benefits: the kids, the parents and the Europe Center – and of course everyone who might be lucky enough to get one of the pretty aquariums as a gift from the kids!

Next task for the EC kids afternoons? Lots of christmas preparations from handicraft to baking lots of yummy xmas cookies for moreEC, of course. ;) You are welcome to join the fun!

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Our shining new Buddha statue

November 10th, 2014

Probably it is not exaggerated to say that pretty much everyone who has been to our gompa until now has fallen in love with our new Buddha. One of the biggest Buddha statue manufactured in the West until today, it is truly a class and blessing of its own.

All the items for filling the statue were collected around the world, the whole sangha worked together on this: mantra rolls were produced in the centers, many friends gave jewels or dried flowers and herbs from their gardens. During this year’s summer course, everything was brought to the EC from all over the world before Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and Lama Ole filled and blessed the statue.

[ECTV]: New Buddha arrives in the new EC meditation hall

The shiny surface of the statue perfectly mirrors our beautiful new gompa, so it was a real challenge for our photographer and his team to take professional pictures of the statue. A photo tent was built up and every ray of light was calculated precisely to take pictures of the statue which can also be used for books and other media independent of its surroundings.

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EC Mandala Tour 2014

November 2nd, 2014

Because of the ever-growing number of Buddhists moving to Immenstadt and surroundings in order to live close by and benefit the Europe Center, we have a very nice tradition: checking out our sangha’s houses and flats on our Mandala tour.

Already for the fourth time, we visited friends in their homes and were welcomed in each flat or house with something nice to drink and some snacks. Starting in the early afternoon, we drove and walked our way up and down through Immenstadt and Bühl, admiring 5 beautiful homes, finding time for chats with many friends and eating up pretty much all the delicacies their owners offered. We rounded off the day with a long night of joyful dancing and chatting at the Villa in Immenstadt, well taken care of by the friends living there.

Many thanks to everyone who opened their doors for their hospitality, friendship, and all the many different kinds of activity they are supporting the Europe Center with!

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Once or twice a year, the EC team members living in and around Immenstadt take some quality time together. Often enough in times busier than autumn, the running events keep us so busy and well-entertained that there is not much time left to talk to the people actually living next door to you.

That’s why we have the EC Team weekends. Time for taking time: to meditate together, to get each other updated about what’s going on in our lives, get to know friends who recently moved to Immenstadt from somewhere on this planet, to check out some friends’ houses and flats in Immenstadt on the Mandala tour, bake cookies, dance the nights away… and okay, let’s admit we also had great fun working outside together on Saturday afternoon – even the “bats” normally stuck behind their computers found their way out into the sun! ;-)

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The months of October and November are traditionally more quiet at the EC – lots of time to focus on meditation, getting the place ready for winter and spending quality time with friends! And the brightly colored foliage, clear air and bright sunshine bring along  lots of opportunities for beautiful pictures, especially in the morning hours.

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Ten days of project days at the EC are over for Lama Ole and everyone who came for the Mediation Weeks and the Transmission Weekend.

Continuing and rounding off a time of lively exchange and action with his students, Lama Ole met with the currently present residents of the Europe Center for dinner and afterwards went straight to the gompa to guide a meditation and give blessing to everyone. Early the next morning, he drove off to the train station to catch a train to the centers meeting in Braunschweig, accompanied by several students and making best use of the train as a mobile office.

Thank you for the wonderful time, dearest Lama, and see you in December!

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