EC Blog Archive for January, 2015
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!
The team leaders of the International Summer Course’s teams know their Europe Center very well – naturally mostly in its summer look. So for their first planning meeting in 2015, we ordered some serious snow for them…
The first SC team meeting always comes with a very special energy, mostly created by the people who have been organizing and running the summer course together for years and have become very good friends on the way.
2015 is going to bring a new challenge because of a few more guests from all over the world for them: we are very excited and happy that H.H. 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje is going to visit the Europe Center for a program of empowerments, meditations and lectures!
The first weeks of the new year already brought a nice surprise-surprise visitor: Acharya Tenzing Wangpo, nephew of the late Shamar Rinpoche and of Jigme Rinpoche, came to visit the Europe Center, teaching on two consecutive evenings about Shantideva’s “Guide to a Bodhisattva’s Way of Life”, one of the most important Buddhist texts.
Born in Tibet, Tenzing Wangpo resides and studies at the Diwakar Buddhist Academy in Kalimpong, India, and has been traveling Europe several times, accompanying his uncle and teacher Shamar Rinpoche and teaching at the Bodhipath and Diamond Way Buddhist centers in Germany. To show him also a bit of Bavarian culture and history, we went on an excursion to Neuschwanstein castle, also known as cinderella castle, which is only an hour’s drive away from the EC.
The next day, we visited our neighboring retreat center in Schwarzenberg. After a delicious lunch, we meditated together, took a walk through the snowy garden, circumambulated the Stupa of Reconciliation and made wishes for the Sangha to live in harmony for the benefit of all beings.
We would like to thank Tenzing Wangpo very much for taking the time with us and wish him all the best for his activity. Hopefully, we will see him again soon!
New Year’s Eve’s colorful party night was followed by a first day of the year that could hardly have been more beautiful.
After days of intense snowfall the sky cleared completely, turning the Europe Center and its surroundings into a white and blue daydream, inviting the kids for sledding all day long and everyone else for a refreshing walk outside. Great start for 2015!
On December 31st, the place to be for a Diamond Way Buddhist was of course the New Year’s Course in Hamburg. For those who stayed at home because of the kids, their job, or other reasons, there was a very nice celebration anyway.
We spent the day meditating, connected to Lama Ole and the thousands meditating in Hamburg via live streaming on the big screens in our new gompa. In the evening, we joined the celebration in Hamburg again to give the promise of the Bodhisattvas: the promise to strive for enlightenment and work for the benefit of all beings, with unending diligence and strength. Lama Ole and his students traditionally start the new year with this before the big party takes off.
Followed by fireworks in the snow and hours of dancing in the pub, we welcomed the new year in appropriate style, and would like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2015, may all your wishes be fulfilled for the benefit of all!
Our kids had a proper New Year’s Eve in their own right and surely made the most of it…
Supported by their parents and voluntary helpers, they prepared their own dinner: yummy pizza, of course! The children even baked some extra pizza for the adult’s dinner buffet later on. Powered by pizza, they went out to get some fire crackers going and afterwards went on an torch-procession adventure down the EC road to the lake.
One could think that was enough to get them ready for bed – far from that. Kid’s karaoke and a fun dance-and-freeze game rounded of our youngsters’ New Year’s Eve. Looking at the pictures, it was apparently not only a lot of fun for the kids but also for the grown-ups!