Day 7 – Inauguration ceremony of the new building

EC Blog News & Reports

The day the international Diamond Way Sangha has been waiting for has finally come: the inauguration of the new EC buildings!

H.H. 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje, Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche, Lama Ole Nydahl, dignitaries from the area, as well as hundreds of Sangha members from around the world who made it all possible with their donations came together to celebrate what we have achieved together.

The rainy skies cleared right in time for the ceremony. After an appropriate Bavarian salute with gunshots from the new building’s roof, accompanied by alphorns and the traditional Tibetan wind instruments played by Karmapa’s monks, a series of touching speeches followed. Immenstadt councilman Dr. Ralph Kellner, the deputy administrative officer of the Oberallgäu district Ulrike Hitzler and the German Buddhist Union’s representative Gunnar Gantzhorn offered their congratulations and good wishes for the future and great benefit of the Europe Center.

Afterwards, Philip Leube and Caty Hartung on behalf of the architects and the Diamond Way Buddhist Foundation put in words what everybody present had in their hearts: deepest gratitude to our teachers for giving us the timeless means and motivation to make the dream of the Europe Center project manifest like this over just a few years!

Lama Ole Nydahl reminded us of why we built this place: to make it possible for more people to get in touch with the timeless Buddhist wisdom, and especially to have a home to meditate in. And this is what was done – a spontaneous meditation on the 16th Karmapa, the meditation practiced in and giving energy and growth to all the Diamond Way Centers around the globe.

Gyalwa Karmapa touched everyone deeply with his speech. “All of this would not be possible without two main ingredients: that of our heart and our aspiration, and then the same kind of aspiration in the form of the blessing of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, meaning those who have fulfilled that aspiration… when those two points meet, then all of this wonderful environment becomes possible.” Karmapa finished with the wish for us to keep the conditions that made this possible in our hearts, for the long life of Lama Ole and for our bonds to be strengthened more and more!

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Each country with Diamond Way Buddhist Centers was invited to contribute an item that represents an important historical turning point in the development of the Dharma. These items have been placed into a time capsule buried by Gyalwa Karmapa and Lama Ole today and the plan is to open it again together in a future life in 108 years.

In the time capsule, there is a collection of special items representing the expression of Karmapa’s lineage as it has appeared in the West through the tireless work of Lama Ole and Hannah Nydahl and all their students and friends. In addition to these items, people have written wishes including Lama Ole and Gyalwa Karmapa, who wrote his wish right before sealing the capsule.

May these items inspire our future Diamond Way sangha to know their roots and feel the power of this great lineage. May this time capsule be a symbol of gratitude from us to our teachers and secure the continuity of their activity. May our bond with our teachers and our sangha strengthen for all time and may we bring massive benefit to the world together.  May we always be close and our societies remain free so that we may all enjoy opening this treasure together in 108 years!

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Following the celebration of the finished construction, H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje guided a classical inauguration ceremony (Tib. Rabne) of the new EC gompa and its beautiful Buddha, together with Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and Lama Ole Nydahl.

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After the courtyard celebration, the inauguration of the gompa and the burying of the time capsule, Gyalwa Karmapa and Lama Ole were far from calling it a day – the afternoon was filled with more celebration, together with many hundred students from around the world!

Coming straight from the Rabne in the gompa, Karmapa went on an extensive tour through each and every room of the new buildings, blessing basically every corner followed by an ever-growing number of students. After this, he guided a classical circumambulation (Tib. Kora) of the whole premises of the Europe Center. During the Kora, colorful Tibetan prayer flags were hung into the trees up on the summer course gompa plateau.

And last but not least, Karmapa and Lama Ole had a toast and a cookie together with everyone in the gompa tent, watching performances and presentations sitting right in the middle of the crowd of students.

For sure, this was a truly historical day in the history of the Europe Center which we will not forget so quickly!

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This course’s second empowerment was given by Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche on the auspicious day of the arrival of H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje at the EC.

The 1000-armed form of Loving Eyes (Skt. Sahasrabhuja Avalokiteshvara; Tib. Chagtong Chentong Chenrezig) is the compassion of all Buddhas. Rinpoche started the preparations early in the morning. Completing the empowerment, Rinpoche and Lama Ole blessed everybody present for many hours before closing it together.

Afterwards, every corner of the EC was buzzing with activity, with tidying, decorating and polishing going on everywhere in the houses and the lama service team having a last minute meeting. Under the guidance of thangka painting master Dawa Lhadripa, students painted the Eight Auspicious Symbols with sand in front of the villa entrance to welcome Gyalwa Karmapa.

After hours of eagerly awaiting his arrival, Karmapa finally arrived, coming from Dhagpo in France, and was greeted by Lama Ole and over a thousand of their students.

We are overjoyed that the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism is back at the Europe Center and look forward to an amazing program with him and our other teachers!

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A second day of deepest Mahamudra teachings by Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche – and lots of preparations for the arrival of H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje!

Colorful prayer flags were put up across the courtyard of the new building, now blowing in the wind sending the mantras and good wishes printed on them into all directions for the benefit of all beings. The registration queue is getting longer and the ladies from the joy center (formally known as the job center) are walking the long line queuing for food to find voluntary helpers for the hundreds of jobs which keep the course running. And last but certainly not least, Caty made the day even more complete with a tour of the new building for everyone who wanted to join in.

Oh, and one more thing: I Grow EC is back, better than ever! You can become a Europe Center member no matter where you live. To find out how easy it is to support the EC and get some goodies on top, just visit www.europe-center.org/come-join/i-grow-ec.

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Some of the rooms furnished for the Lamas and the Summer Course team – come on in!

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Four sessions of teachings about the Great Seal (Skt. Mahamudra) texts by the 3rd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje with Rinpoche in two days – a lot to learn and great inspiration to meditate even more right the same evening.

In Buddhism, meditation means “effortlessly remaining in what is.” This state may be brought about by calming and holding the mind, by realizing compassion and wisdom, or by working with the body’s energy channels and meditating on Buddha forms of light and energy. The most effective method is the constant identification with one’s own Buddha nature which is taught in Diamond Way Buddhism.

The most effective method is the constant identification with one’s own Buddha nature which is taught in the Diamond Way. When the oneness of the seer, what is seen, and the act of seeing is unbroken—during and between the times of meditation—the goal of the Great Seal (skt. Mahamudra) is reached.

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Before Lama Ole left for Dhagpo in France to welcome Gyalwa Karmapa to Europe and accompany him to the EC, he started the first of two 8-hour meditations this year together with Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche.

As an introduction and inspiration for the following meditation session over 8 hours, Rinpoche explained the practice and the 100 syllable mantra of Diamond Mind (Skt. Vajrasattva, Tib. Dorje Sempa). The meditation practice on Diamond Mind purifies karmic imprints left by former harmful thoughts, words and actions in our subconscious. Is the second of the Four Foundational Practices (Tib. Ngöndro), also known as the preliminary practices of the Great Seal (Skt. Mahamudra). They lay the basis for realizing the true nature of mind. Involving many repetitions, they create strong positive imprints, making one unshakeable.

The third day of the course was rounded of with a panel of Diamond Way teachers from Italy, Australia and Russia.

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What’s happening onstage is one part  – the world around is another multi-faceted side of the Summer Course!

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