Our Annual Statue Exhibition

EC Blog Archive for the ‘Buddhist art’ Category

As is EC tradition, we open the doors of the Villa every Sunday in June for our beautiful statue exhibition.

Visiting the statue exhibition, one can learn not only about the meaning of Buddhist statues and their profound symbolism. The heart of the annual statue exhibition is made of the collection of statues residing at the Europe Center. Many of them are used in the center’s daily life for Buddhist meditation practices. On top, there are always some „hidden treasures“ displayed, chosen especially for the occasion.

It might come as a surprise for people not familiar with Buddhism that Buddhist statues actually do not depict any gods—Buddha is not a god but rather reference to a perfect state of mind. The different forms, with precisely prescribed proportions, attributes and expressions, are thus symbolizing and reflecting various enlightened qualities of one’s own mind.

EC Statue Exhibition 2015

July 14th, 2015

Every year in June, the Europe Center opens the villa’s doors to everyone interested in Tibetan Art with its precious Buddha statues and scroll paintings (tib. thangka). Each Sunday afternoon, guided tours around the monument-protected art nouveau building attract many visitors from the Allgäu region and beyond.

After learning a lot about Buddhism and its ancient discipline of Asian art now also practiced and supported by the Diamond Way Buddhism Foundation in the West, the visitors took the opportunity also to have a look at the new meditation hall in the rebuilt barn of Gut Hochreute. Here, many also participated in a short guided meditation, before enjoying home-made cake and coffee in the garden or the cafeteria.

If you would like to know more about the art and deep meaning of thangka painting and Buddhist statues, the full-color book “The Life of Buddha” offers deeper insight and is available online.

EC spring would not be EC spring without some good friends from the neighboring sanghas keeping with tradition to come for a weekend of fun and helping to thoroughly clean the EC Villa.

No spider web is high enough not to be spotted, no gap too narrow to be cleaned – now the villa is really shining right in time for the statue exhibition starting on May 31st at 15:00. Every Sunday afternoon until June 28th, the Villa will be open to visitors to admire the precious Buddhist statue art on display in the monument-protected, century-old Art Nouveau building. As is tradition, the statue exhibition is going to be topped off by the annual Classical Music Summer Matinée under the arcades of Gut Hochreute on June 28th at 11am.

And last but not least, with a weekend of crawling under them, screwing and welding broken parts, our utility vehicles were well taken care of in order to be ready for the Summer course build-up and countless drives up and down the mountain transporting people and cargo wherever needed.

In the Dharma Shop

August 13th, 2014

A very popular way to spend the breaks in between the course sessions is shopping at the dining tent’s Dharma shop.

Finding presents for friends or oneself that are at the same time beautiful and meaningful is easy here: meditation supply, Dharma books, thangkas or statues, Buddha pictures and beautiful jewelry with Buddhist motives – one only has to choose! And then of course there is the “World’s Best Shop” with products from sanghas all over the world – from beautiful dresses to precious olive oil from Spain.

Enjoy your shopping spree!

At the Europe Center, we try to take every occasion to connect with the area and make the beautiful Gut Hochreute buildings accessible to visitors. The popular „Cultural Weeks“ with the statue exhibition and the classical music concert are a great opportunity for that – many from Immenstadt and the Allgäu area take the chance and visit us on Sunday afternoons in June and July.

Visiting the statue exhibition, one can learn not only about the meaning of Buddhist statues and their profound symbolism. The heart of the annual statue exhibition is made of the collection of statues residing at the Europe Center. Many of them are used in the center’s daily life for Buddhist meditation practices. On top, there are always some „hidden treasures“ displayed, chosen especially for the occasion.

It might come as a surprise for people not familiar with Buddhism that Buddhist statues actually do not depict any gods—Buddha is not a god but rather reference to a perfect state of mind. The different forms, with precisely prescribed proportions, attributes and expressions, are thus symbolizing and reflecting various enlightened qualities of one’s own mind.

Stupas Transmission Weekend

October 25th, 2013

For this autumn’s Transmission Weekend, Maggie Lehnert, Wojtek Kossowski, Eva and Manfred Seegers and Caty Hartung came to share their deep knowledge, experiences and many magical stories about Stupas with us.

Mind’s full potential can show itself in many different forms. For centuries, buddhist cultures around the world have been building stupas to symbolise enlightenment. They are full of meaning and are a blessing for the region and the whole country they are built in.

Stupas are vivid monuments to the enlightened mind, Buddhist monuments for peace, prosperity, harmony of the world and an ideal place to learn, reflect, and meditate. The outer structure of a Stupa has a deep meaning at many levels and its inner treasure chambers are filled with symbolical objects. Consequently qualified Lamas charge the Stupas through powerful ceremonies. Maggie’s stories of her 20 years of assisting Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche while he guided the construction of the first stupas in the West touched us deeply.

Eva and Manfred Seegers took us on a virtual world tour to show how stupas developed over the millennia and around the world. Originating from Nepal and India, just like Buddhism they can today be found e.g. in the whole of Asia, Russia, America and Europe.

According to the Buddhist teachings there are eight different types of Tibetan Stupas, of which all have also been built in the West over the last decades. Each of them represents an important event of the Buddha’s life story. The Enlightenment Stupa Chang Chub Chorten in Tibetan) symbolises the achievement of Buddha’s enlightenment, the nature of a fully awakened mind.

Each of the 8 different Stupa types is built according to very precise instructions where both the exact design and proportions have to be correctly followed. Our architect expert Wojtek Kossowski gave un an insight on the many things that need to happen on a very practical level when building a stupa.

Stupas are normally closed monoliths, which Buddhists circumambulate (by Tibetans referred to by the term kora) while expressing their deep wishes as being in front of Buddha himself. To absorb its beneficial influence into our lives it is recommended to walk around the Stupa in a clock wise direction. Buddhists believe that wishes done near a Stupa may become true.

If you would like to know more about Stupas, please visit the website of the great Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmàdena, Spain.

Buddhist art arrived at the Europe Center in a big way – for several weeks we happily hosted a master of the art of thangka painting: Dawa Lhadripa. He joined us for the Summer Course and stayed on to paint a new version of the Karma Kagyu Refuge Tree thangka (Tibetan scroll painting) ordered for our meditation centers and practitioners by the Diamond Way Buddhism Foundation.

Years ago H.H. 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje asked Dawa to bring his painting mastery to the West. Among his work in the West to date are the impressive paintings in the Thaye Dorje meditation hall in Karma Guen, Spain and the oval paintings above the doors of the Yellow Room at the Europe Center.

The Karma Kagyu Refuge Tree depicts all of the important teachers, buddha aspects, liberating teachings, bodhisattvas and protectors of the Karma Kagyu transmission lineage containing over 150 figures with numerous details and symbols. Dawa received instructions on this complex painting from H.H. 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Shamar Rinpoche, Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and Lama Ole Nydahl. The complete structure was put together over the course of several years and finalized this summer by lama Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche during his European tour, adding his deep knowledge about the details of the different buddha aspects.

Dawa’s current work is a great example of collaboration between East and West. Once finished, it will be not only be used  for meditation in Diamond Way Buddhist centers from Vladivostok to San Francisco, but will also be available to all Karma Kagyu practitioners around the globe who wish to have it. Thus this ancient Buddhist art produced in the West will find its way back to the East where it originated from.