EC Blog News & Reports
Christmas time at the EC – being Buddhist doesn’t keep us from celebrating together.
Our kitchen team got very busy early for christmas eve – preparing a delicious three course meal for the evening. The opulent dinner was followed by a special christmas edition of our world-famous “Pub-quiz” and just a wonderfully cozy family time together. On the first day of christmas, we packed everyone and enjoyed a lovely evening with our friends at our neighboring Buddhist Center in Schwarzenberg. And last but not least, christmas was crowned by this year’s first “serious” snow fall. Happy holidays!
….just another ordinary weekend at the EC…
Last weekend we had our annual 12hr meditation on the 16th Karmapa. However, “just meditating” wasn’t enough for us! So we also decided to prepare 1700 pralines to give as gifts at the New Year’s course in Hamburg, at the same time completely empty the pub to clean and oil the lovely wooden floor thoroughly AND put the 800 New Year’s cards and EC event calendars 2015 into envelopes.
So we kind of felt like having made the most of just another weekend at our Europe Center! ;)
Last weekend, we experienced culinary delights from both Northern Germany and Poland.
Both national teams had a lot of fun preparing and showing off their regional dishes, which were enjoyed by the hungry EC gang, who worked up quite the appetite signing 1000 New Year cards, which has become a tradition at the EC. Back to power after having been fed so well, the karaoke session afterwards was a full success!
Es ist bereits eine Tradition am EC: Jedes Jahr treffen wir uns, um die Neujahrskarten zu unterschrreiben, die vom EC aus in alle Welt gehen.
In den letzten Jahren nahm diese Aktion zwei Stockwerke der EC Villa ein, sodass alle 800 Karten von jedem unterschrieben werden konnten. Dieses Jahr war es einfacher. An zwei Tage trafen wir uns im neuen Pub, in dem genug Platz für alle war. Natürlich werden wir Euch nicht die Karte zeigen – ihr werdet sie ja bald in den Briefkästen Eurer Zentren finden. Wir freuen uns immer darüber, wenn wir die Karte an den Infoboards der vielen Zentren hängen sehen – und wir sind sicher, die 2015 Edition wird Euch auch gefallen. ;)
As every year at the EC we get the Christmas tree from our forest.
This year JC prepared a wonderful adventure for the EC kids, teaching them how to measure and assess for the perfect tree! After checking several trees, they finally found the perfect one, which was cut (not by the children!), decorated and is now proudly standing in the pub.
More and more people from all over the world are moving to Immenstadt to be part of the Europe Center team. Learning the German language is pretty essential for them in order to integrate and make a living here.
Of course, except for the German nights on Thursdays, we speak English at the Europe Center so everyone has a chance to understand and take part in the conversations. This makes sense, but it also makes it more difficult for the learners to practice their German skills. So some German friends had the idea of setting up a free class for everyone interested. From now on, it is going to take place once a week.
Tonight’s first lesson: “Hi, how are you?”: “Hallo, wie geht es Dir?”.
But of course, some Allgäu dialect can also be useful: “Griaß’ Di!”
We invited Diamond Way teachers and friends who met the last great accomplishers in Tibet and have spent long time in meditation retreats themselves to share their experiences. The weekend’s all-pervading questions was: So what exactly are yogis?
Many people think of yogis as the renunciative practitioners in the lonely mountain caves of the Himalayas, spending their lifetime meditating in order to reach enlightenment. And of course they are yogis. Other people may think that yogis are people practicing all kinds of artistic yoga asanas – which is actually related to Hinduism, not Buddhism. Again other people may think one has to be a monk or a nun to be a real yogi.
Looking back at the many centuries of its history and then as well at Diamond Way Buddhism as it is practiced in the East and in the West today, the term yogi (skt. masc.) or yogini (skt. fem.) might be best defined by someone’s mindset, more than by his or her way of life. Since Buddha’s highest teachings are applicable and helpful in all life’s situations, it is possible to turn every minute of one’s daily life into intense practice of the dharma – be it by sitting in formal meditation or by practicing to apply the highest possible view, compassion and wisdom to one’s every thought, word and action while carrying on with the daily tasks and enjoying the challenges.
This is how lay Diamond Way Buddhism is practiced in our centers around the world – meditation, action and view in everyday life for the benefit of all beings!
Most of the cute Allgäu cows are already back in their stables in the valley for winter. However, some of them were still up for an adventure on the mountain apparently…
A few days ago, a herd of around 25 cows made their way from their meadow two kilometers away all the way to the Europe Center. This is actually quite a hike even for mountain-trained Allgäu cows. Maybe that’s why they seemed very happy to finally arrive at a house. After checking out the garden with the stupa behind the villa, the courtyard and the entrance of the new gompa as well as the construction site, we managed to convince them to wait for their farmer in between the construction storage in front of the EC.
Our dear neighbor Magnus was ready to help immediately as always – he quickly came up and installed a fence around the cows so they could enjoy some yummy grass until their relieved owner arrived – to take them home the same way they had come!
Since 2007, the Diamond Way Buddhist Center in Braunschweig is the host of the german-speaking centers’ meeting. Once a year, around 600 representatives of the meditation centers founded by Lama Ole Nydahl in Germany and its neighboring countries meet there for intense exchange amongst each other as well as with Lama Ole.
Although the historic background of this labor-intensive weekend goes back to Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the meeting is by now very international, being broadcast via live streaming to the centers around the globe because the topics are relevant and beneficial in all the centers and meditation groups.
As representatives of the Europe Center, of our home countries’ centers and of other international projects, the EC team exchanged with Lama Ole, Caty, Tomek and friends from other centers about the development of the EC, developed new visions and ideas for our meditation centers in group workshops and collected feedback and suggestions how to make our Europe Center shine even more.
We would like to thank the Braunschweig sangha and all helpers for once again having been great hosts of a very inspiring weekend!