EC Blog Archive for April, 2014
A few times a year, the local EC team takes up on nice invitations by friends and heads out to visit another sangha. This time, there was a very special reason why we chose to go to Prague together.
Ever since the beginning, the Czech sangha has been a major force in building up and supporting the Europe Center. Frequently, Czech friends come to the EC on weekends to cook or help in other ways and thereby enable others to enjoy the teachings and meditation sessions. But somehow in addition to this, they still managed to purchase and renovate a huge new meditation center in Prague.
When we get together to celebrate the opening of a center, we put a lot of effort, along with many wishes that it may be of great benefit to everyone. From the beginning, finding the new Prague center and while building it, the Czechs wanted it to be an international center. This is why they invited Caty Hartung, who gave the very first impulse to purchase the property – and the whole EC crew for its inauguration.
So we filled up a whole bus in Allgäu and carefully packed one of our biggest Buddha statues. The Green Tara had long been gracing the main staircase of the EC Villa and was recently chosen by the Prague sangha for their new center. Another nice way of connecting the EC to Prague and vice versa!
After a fun bus ride from Allgäu to Prague, we were heart-warmingly welcomed by many friends – with the EC’s motto “Welcome Home!” lovingly painted on a huge sign. The new meditation hall had only been finished an hour or two earlier, right in time for our arrival.
The next morning was the big day! After the ribbon to the new center was cut, we meditated together on the 16th Karmapa as the first meditation taking place in the new gompa, well aware that also Lama Ole in America knew what was going on in Prague and was with us in his mind for this special day. Somehow the Prague friends after the months-long renovations and preparations still managed to find the surplus to spoil us all weekend long: with their amazing food, wonderful ideas like EC postcards that we all signed together sending them out to all the Diamond Way Centers around the world, sightseeing tours in the old city center, great evenings and most of all their impressive cordiality and warmth in any situation.
We would very much like to thank everyone in the Czech sangha for supporting the EC in so many ways and for this wonderful weekend of course – may our wonderful connection keep growing and may the new Diamond Way Buddhist Center in Prague joyfully benefit countless beings and enable them to find their way to lasting happiness!
It’s done! After only a few weeks of roofing, the last “beaver tail” tile is fixed on the roof of the old barn, our soon-to-be EC gompa and dining hall!
For more detailed updates on the construction, please visit our moreEC Construction Illustrated Blog.
On the first weekend of April, the EC was stunningly empty – which was because pretty much everyone got on a plane to London to celebrate!
Saturday 5 April 2014 marked an important day in the history of Buddhism in London and the UK. After over a year of renovation works to prepare the Beaufoy Institute to host a regular programme of meditation and events, the London Diamond Way Buddhist Center officially opened its doors to the public. You can read more about the opening ceremony with the Beaufoy family and many special guests as well as Buddhists from around the world on the Diamond Way Buddhism UK Blog.
Lama Jigme Rinpoche gave the first ever empowerment at the Beaufoy on Diamond Mind (skt. Vajrasattva, tib. Dorje Sempa), followed by teachings from him and Lama Ole Nydahl during the first meditation course at the new London Buddhist Center.
The opening was followed by another very special event attended by Lama Jigme and Lama Ole – a private screening for cast, crew & sponsors of “Hannah – the Film”, telling the touching story of how Lama Ole and his late wife Hannah Nydahl brought Diamond Way Buddhism to the West on behalf of the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, Lama Jigme’s uncle.
The London sangha gave an impressive example of how it is always possible to put that extra effort making such celebrations truly memorable for everyone involved. Despite the constant renovation works in the huge building and the preparations for a course with many hundred people, they paid attention to all the little details and came up with a very creative and fun fundraising fair in the Beaufoy’s big hall, featuring many kinds of entertainment, like hoola-hoop competitions or typically british betting games for the benefit of the Beaufoy’s ongoing renovation works. Afterwards, everyone joyfully danced the night away to round off an unforgettable week of celebrations.
May the biggest Buddhist Center in London benefit countless beings!