A weekend of deep teachings we did not expect…

EC Blog Archive for the ‘EC People’ Category

In Diamond Way Buddhism, we learn and develop not only by listening to lectures or reading books, but we apply what we have learned in everyday life. We learn from the examples given by our Lamas and our friends on the way – in life and also in death.

This week, two men showed deeply touching examples of how dying in Buddhism is a chance and not the end of everything that would have to be feared.

For the first time, someone died in the Europe Center. The 90-year old father of one of the co-founders of Diamond Way Buddhism in Russia had spontaneously cancelled the preparations for his birthday party with 100 people in Russia. Instead, he insisted on his daughter and granddaughter (and great-grandchildren) to take him to the EC for the first time. After a few relaxed days with us, he went back to bed after having breakfast and peacefully passed away. For decades he had accumulated great merit, giving his children the freedom and support (and his office with a telephone) to choose Buddhism and spread it in the world’s largest country. He took part in a Phowa course with Lama Ole Nydahl, who visited the family in their flat several times.

Only two days later, one of our beloved Summer course core team and EC sangha members passed away equally peacefully on Sunday morning. For the past months after having been diagnosed with terminal cancer, Peter showed us a deeply impressive example of how many years of meditation practice and the unshakable trust in one’s Lama and the Buddhist teachings of death and rebirth take the fear of dying away, showing confidence and humor until he apparently consciously passed into the Pure Lands applying the Phowa teachings. We will keep Peter dear in our hearts, and we trust that his next life will be even more powerful, joyful and shining, as Lama Ole said.

The atmosphere at the EC was very special this weekend – we lack the words to describe this appropriately. But we can share with you the auspicious rainbow around the sun that showed this weekend – leaving us assured that the minds of our friends went straight to the Pure Lands of the Buddhas!

landscape-Alpsee-im-winter-sunrise-2906-Pano-2

Europe Center Mandala Tour 2016

September 11th, 2016

Safe to say we’ve recovered from the Summer Course and its dismantling pretty much by now. More quiet times have come at the EC as every late summer – time to catch up with what’s been going around in and around Immenstadt!

It’s one of the local EC Sangha’s annual traditions to go on the so-called “Mandala tour” together: inviting the sangha friends for a drink and some snacks in one’s new (or not so new, also okay) home, or just joining the group moving from one flat in Immenstadt to the next, visiting often more than five places in one day. No matter how nice it is in one place (and they were all very nice!), after one hour the whole bunch moves on to the next stop.

It’s a great way to get settled in Immenstadt and to get know each other better, and it’s simply a whole lot of fun for everybody!

Everyday Life – The EC Way

February 29th, 2016

Just because there are no big events in February doesn’t mean there is nothing going on at the Europe Center…

As a matter of fact, there is a whole lot going on in every corner of the house! With snow and rain outside, it gets even more of a warm cozy feeling inside. Lots of time to talk to friends and goof around with them, preparing blessing strings and planning the organization of the event with Lama Ole in March, getting to know visitors from overseas who decided to come at a more quiet time, cooking and eating together…  and of course lots of time to meditate, meditate and meditate!

And last but definitely not least, may we introduce our very youngest resident to you? Little Thore was born at home in the Europe Center on the auspicious day of Guru Rinpoche‘s enlightenment. :)

Stupa Inauguration in Renchen-Ulm

February 28th, 2016

February marked the historical inauguration of the world’s first relic Stupa of Shamar Rinpoche at the Bodhi Path Center in Renchen-Ulm, Germany.

Following the kind invitation by the Bodhi Path Sangha, many members of the Europe Center team drove to Renchen-Ulm to help and take part in this very special celebration, honoring the second highest teacher of the Karma Kagyu Lineage, whose last incarnation passed away in this very place during the summer of 2014. Shamar Rinpoche’s relics are now preserved under an elegant pavilion-like roof structure in a golden Stupa, all surrounded by a beautiful garden for meditation. Meditating close to relics of highly realized teachers like Shamar Rinpoche is considered to be very powerful in Buddhism.

With hundreds attending the ceremony, the inauguration was conducted by Shamar Rinpoche’s brother Jigme Rinpoche, who also taught at a meditation course ringing in the festivities. After the inauguration, colorful balloons with wishes for the benefit of all beings and especially for Shamar Rinpoche’s swift rebirth were released into the skies above Renchen-Ulm.

Continuing our process of finding new and improving old ways of decision making and team building, the local EC sangha met for another big center meeting.

This is taking place once per month now, providing the opportunity for most sangha members, who might not be able to join the weekly center meetings on Wednesdays, to take part in talking about important decisions that need to be made and to inspire each other.

After the annual foundation meeting with Lama Ole in Amden/Switzerlandat the very beginning of the year, the connection and processes involving both the restructured Diamond Way Buddhism foundation as well as the Europe Center were an important topic. Several of the foundation board members came to join the meeting in order to report from Amden and exchange with the whole EC team.

EC Sangha Meeting with Lama Ole

November 18th, 2015

After the months of ongoing changes in structure, organisation and style at the EC, it was a wish of both Lama Ole and the people frequently involved in running the Europe Center to have time for an intense exchange between teacher and students about these specific topics.

In the beautiful castle of Immenstadt (which has been beautifully restored by the same Buddhist friend in charge of the restauration of the EC villa, by the way), we had the chance to get answers to all the questions which had come up during the process of change since the Summer course.

After a long and very interesting session of Q&A about the EC, mistakes that have been made, changes that have taken place or will still take place, Lama Ole for example advised us to learn from the past, take things one step at a time on a democratic and meritocratic basis together and, most importantly, to focus more on meditation now that the new buildings are standing and the process of creating a new EC for our future is in full swing: “We all share in the wish that everybody will become enlightened and that everybody will learn what is necessary!”

As a thank you for his constant support and precious advice during this exciting process of developing the Europe Center, the sangha presented Lama Ole with a stupa handmade of precious wood. We rounded off the evening with Lama Ole guiding a wonderful guru yoga meditation on the 8th Karmapa. Afterwards, we stopped by our sangha friend’s Italian bistro right next to the castle for a little midnight snack and drink.

EC Change Day

November 1st, 2015

As a continuation of our recent EC change weekend, we will take a day each month to keep all the fresh development going at a big center meeting additional to our regular weekly center meetings.

This EC change day was characterized by more lively discussions and in-depth analysis of the way we do things at the EC – and enjoying the most beautiful autumn weather outside in the breaks.

One of the many activity teams at the EC open for everyone to join is our outdoor team taking care of everything… yup, you guessed it: outdoors on the huge grounds of the Europe Center.

For some fun and team building, they took everyone interested along for a hike, climbing one of the highest mountains in the area, the Grünten. If you are familiar with Immenstadt, you can easily recognize this mountain looking up from town because of the large antenna on its top.

To Buddhists, there is something else that’s quite remarkable on the top of the Grünten: a mountain infantry monument shaped quite a bit like a Tibetan stupa – a Buddhist monument with deep meaning, representing Buddha. So how did that get on top of a mountain in Bavaria? Its architect Bruno Biehler traveled a lot in Asia. The monument was inspired by the so-called “Lathos” in Tibet – heaps of stones arranged in a shape similar to that of a stupa, often decorated with prayer flags on mantra stones and treasured by the locals for hosting energies.

New EC Mandala Tour

September 15th, 2015

After lots of new and old residents moved into their new rooms after the Summer Course, they invited everyone for a snack and a drink in their homes.

We’ve been doing this with the friends living in and around Immenstadt, calling it a “Mandala Tour” – this time, it was time to check out our new EC and its inhabitants!

Preparing and serving thousands of delicious and healthy meals three times per day…
Keeping 7 x 125 sqm industrial kitchen on highest hygiene standard…
Managing tons of ingredients delivery from the Allgäu region every day…
Cleaning thousands of plates, forks, knives, spoons and glasses every day…
Practicing the “Haka” with the whole team…

Uhmmm… wait a minute. Practicing WHAT…?!!?

Yes, yes. The Summer Course kitchen team is giving the Rugby team of New Zealand a run for their money, performing this traditional ancestral war dance from the Māori people. The New Zealand sports teams’ practice of performing a haka before their international matches has made the dance more widely known around the world. It is a posture dance originally performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength. But haka are also performed for welcoming distinguished guests – and of those, the kitchen team has enough this summer course.

Why are we sharing this with you? Because we think it’s one wonderful example of a very joyful, highly efficient and very powerful Summer Course team’s surplus – powered by meditation and friendship. Thank you for your impressive attitude and work, friends!