Dismantling the Summer Course – with Lama Ole Nydahl!

EC Blog Archive for the ‘Summer Course preparation’ Category

To the friends who returned home straight after the Summer Course:
If possible, you might want to try to stay longer and help with the dismantling of the infrastructure next year…

Why? Not only because of the merit and the great atmosphere of joyful activity for the benefit of others, but also because the person helping you to carry that huge piece of wooden tent floor just might be – yes, Lama Ole!

Our tireless teacher gave the perfect example of unending diligence and strength once again, coming out of his retreat and helping with the dismantling on several occasions. And it broke records: taking the huge cafeteria tent floor to pieces took less than an hour!

On top, right before leaving the Europe Center almost a week after the course had ended, Lama Ole guided a meditation for the helpers who had worked all the past days and gave blessing.

We could not be more grateful to our always inspiring Lama and wish him all the best for his ongoing retreat! We will do our part and use as much time as possible for meditation as well!

Diamond Way Family Meeting

August 1st, 2016

As is tradition right before the Summer Course, around 60 friends from Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Israel, Colombia, Ukraine, USA, Australia, Austria, Russia, New Zealand, Spain, Venezuela and Serbia came together for two full days of intense exchange.

The Diamond Way Family meeting has been taking place for several years already, with many frequent participants as well as some fresh faces joining in. In a wonderful, really family-like atmosphere, the main point of discussion was one which has been dealt with in pretty much every center around the world over the past year: the right balance of democracy and meritocracy in the organization of our Diamond Way Buddhist Centers. Listening to the experiences made in other parts of the world, finding similarities or new ideas… all this made it a very fruitful get together which is to be continued next year!

Thanks to all the diligent and joyful helpers, we are ready for the International Summer Course 2016 – and would like to thank everyone who came to share their surplus for the benefit of many, many course guests, and filled these building-up weeks of July with so much power and joy!

The final week of the building-up was hard work during the day and meditation, lectures by Diamond Way teachers and lots of fun like the traditional “Pub Quiz” at night – with apparently unending diligence and strength. On top, some of the helpers even volunteered to provide the runners of the annual “Allgäu Run” passing by the EC with refreshments and music – as is by now tradition during the course preparation phase.

Marking the EC’s International Summer Course in the calendar each year far in advance? “Check, of course!” Marking the building-up weeks before as a yearly fixture in one’s calendar? “Check, of course!” – for many friends who come every year to share work and joy for the benefit of all!

If just for a weekend or for the whole time being, and/or for the dismantling of the course infrastructure in the middle of August, you are most welcome to join the fun anytime! And now we let the pictures do the convincing talking of just how much fun it is…

Many of our friends surely remember how much hard work it was every year to build up the floor for the Summer Course kitchen tent. Great news – that’s history now!

Just to mention the most infamous of all kitchen floor tasks, tens of thousands of screws had to be put in and taken out again each year to provide a solid basis for the industry-size course kitchen on the rather swampy grounds of the kitchen plateau. The old system was simply taking lots of time and material and needed a great amount of helpers.

Therefore, based on the experience of 7 years, some friends developed a new system which is being put to practice for the first time this year.

A permanent basis in the ground is being installed. For this, 360 tubes with 360 huge screws of app. 1m length have to be put into drilled holes, app. 800 wooden beams have to be sawn to fitting length and connecting pieces have to be fixed on each beam. The beams will be dismantled and reinstalled every year, but the new system works without screws or metal angles.

Therefore, it will take a lot less time to build up the floor of the kitchen tent in the future.

We would very much like to thank the planners and the hard workers who braved pretty unpleasant weather conditions over the past weeks – and if you would like to still come and help, you are very welcome to do so!

Winter is long for the team of the International Summer Course – such a long time apart! So there was joy all around for the extended core team aka. the team leaders and other friends to meet up at the EC for a weekend of planning and brain storming for the 2016 course.

The revision and restructuring of decision making processes and teams were an important topic also for the international team coordinating the organization of the big EC course. Lively discussions, touching honesty and clarifying talks took place. Some of the core team members are taking breaks or are stepping back from their areas of responsibility in order to give space for new ideas and visions to develop and blossom.

However, at the end of the day, most of us felt that the friendship which has grown over so many years of running the course together is so deep and precious that it will survive any challenges coming on the way anyway and just become deeper and deeper every year.

Countdown to the course

July 29th, 2015

Right in time for the course, Lama Ole Nydahl and many friends gave a heartfelt welcome to Maniwa Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche – in the new courtyard of the Europe Center. Lama Ole had spent the morning together with some of our photographers to shoot a new official portrait.

Rinpoche is going to give Mahamudra teachings, guide an 8-hour meditation on Diamond Mind (Skt. Vajrasattva, Tib. Dorje Sempa), and he will give empowerments into the Mandala of the 2nd Karmapa Karma Pakshi and the 1000-armed form of Loving Eyes (Skt. Sahasrabhuja Avalokiteshvara; Tib. Chagtong Chentong Chenrezig).

Maniwa Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche is a highly respected lama of the Kagyu lineage. “Maniwa” is a title given to masters of the Chenrezig practice who has accomplished at least a billion OM MANI PEME HUNG mantras.

Welcome home to this year’s International Summer Course at the Europe Center, Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and Lama Ole!

It’s done! The construction workers, carpenters and voluntary helpers outdid themselves over the last weeks in order to finish the new EC building in time for the start of the International Summer course… they managed, and the new building is really shining.

The beautifully laid-out wooden floors made of oak for inside and of mountain pine for the balconies create a warm atmosphere all around. Daylight comes flooding in through the light wells and the huge windows everywhere. Thanks to the anthracite stone tiling, also the bathrooms with their shower cubicles have a natural feeling to them. Colorful furniture donated by friends and centers, the fair-faced concrete and steel staircase railings combined with fine fabrics for the covers of the beds give the building a unique, modern style. Oh, and yes, then there’s that view across the Allgäu mountains and the lake, of course…

On August 2, H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje will bless and inaugurate our new living space – and put the crown on the years of work of a large team of architects, countless construction workers and dozens of volunteering friends from around the world bringing their expertise, sheer manpower and the millions donated to moreEC, orchestrated by Caty Hartung and inspired by our Lama.

High time to celebrate what we have achieved together!

As soon as the construction workers had finished their work, the work only began!

An armada of voluntary cleaners, strong friends carrying donated and EC-made furniture and decoration experts entered the rooms of the new building to prepare them for the Lamas and parts of the Summer Course team to live in during the course. Within days, they transformed the “raw” rooms already equipped with built-in cupboards into lots of cozy, individually furnished living space for the guests during the course.

Also, the terraces to enjoy meals, tea or just a chat with friends on were finished in time for the course – one at the gate and the big one underneath the two big chestnut trees in front of the barn.

We can’t help but share more of all that energy, joy and friendship here at the EC during the last days of the build-up. Enjoy!