3rd Building-Up Weekend

EC Blog News & Reports

3rd Building-Up Weekend

July 20th, 2014

We have to admit there is one day during the summer course building-up phase that might be our favorite day. After weeks of driving screws into the afterwards everything-proof kitchen tent floor in any weather from pouring rain to 35 degrees bright sunshine. It’s the day the big tents go up!

Within only a few hours and with the help of pretty much all present helpers from many countries, first the metal construction goes up, immediately followed by the white tarpaulins being pulled across the construction strip by strip. Every year, it’s the most obvious evidence of how much can be done together in no time- with so much fun to come along despite the really tough work.

And every year, the summer course build-up just seems to become even a little bit more powerful, a little bit more joyful and at the same time more relaxed. Every year new people join the team and become friends – starting and finishing the day with two common 16th Karmapa meditations, working “on the hill” all day long and then somehow still finding the energy to celebrate with friends in the Baucafe at night.

All our admiration to everyone involved in this build-up – you manage to impress and inspire us deeply time and again!

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The first two big steps towards the inauguration of our EC stupa have been taken!

After the Lamas gave green light and instructions concerning the exact placement of the stupa, the ground was broken to prepare the foundation, which is going to be 1,80 meters deep in total. At over 30°C, we started to dig the big hole and after a few hours, it was so deep that it was a challenge to get out again.

In the evening, the moment we had been anticipating for months was finally there: the Swiss sangha brought the stupa from Amden in Switzerland, where it had been stored since it left its former home at the Bern Buddhist Center. Looking around the courtyard when people got the first glimpse of the stupa, one could spot a tear or so in many eyes – it was a very touching and intense moment. After carefully unwrapping the well-secured monument which will be filled and consecrated by Lama Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche after the summer course, we took to the baucafé to thank and celebrate with our Swiss friends.

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With the “old barn” which is now our future gompa and dining hall to be finished very soon, it was high time to say thank you to the diligent professional workers involved in the construction with a nice afternoon barbeque in the courtyard right in front of the result of their work.

Many of the skilled craftsmen who rebuilt the listed building have been working at the EC for way over a year now, becoming friends with us, meeting Lama Ole, celebrating with us on several occasions and sometimes even meditating with us. “I have never worked in such a joyful, energetic environment before” assured one of them. “I don’t know if it is because you are Buddhists, but fact is that whenever I meet one of you guys, there is always something to laugh about no matter how tight the schedule is. I am going to miss that!”

Well, they are all welcome to come and visit any time they like of course. For now, we would really like to thank them for all the effort they put into the future heart of the Europe Center and wish them all the best – keep up the good work!

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Shiny happy people…

July 16th, 2014

In the unlikely case that the other posts were not showing enough summer course building-up joy already, here are just some of the beautiful and happy faces of this year’s preps!

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Byebye, swallow babies…

July 15th, 2014

In case anyone was worried that the construction site could keep our house swallows from nesting under the arcades – you can stop worrying.

Swallow-mom (or was it dad?) did not even mind the Matinée musicians performing right next to her nest and just kept on feeding her brood, and a few days later the youngsters took straight to the scaffolding of the future gompa on their first excursion. Have a good flight, friends!

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2nd Building-up Weekend

July 14th, 2014

A very short and incomplete résumé of the Summer course build-up after the second working weekend:

Kitchen tent’s floor is basically done, the beautiful wooden floor of the soon-to-be EC gompa is well on its way, as is the Brasserie underneath – and lots of friends from Italy, Czechia, Spain and many other countries came to make it happen. And to round of a perfect weekend – we watched the German soccer team win the worldcup!

Otherwise – we will just let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy!

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Finally! Last Thursday, everyone felt the energy at the EC shifting to Summer Course mode with the arrival of the first members of the Summer Course team. This always creates a very family-like atmosphere. Old friends with many shared memories meet, fresh members join the team and immediately feel at home – it is simply what the Europe Center is all about!

“For the next two months.” is the answer one mostly gets now when asking new arrivals how long they are going to stay, and we love it! On Sunday evening after the Matinée, accompanied by beautiful rainbows, some early birds built up their sleeping tents. Even though there is actually no need to hurry: because of the new terraces on the gompa plateau, there are masses of perfect places for putting one’s tent – all on dry and even ground, overviewing the EC and and lake. Enough space for everyone!

The technical tent on the kitchen tent plateau is already up as well to provide the tools, pipes and power supply for the construction of the huge kitchen tent with its super-stable wooden floor and for the gompa tent later on. Summer course build-up 2014, here we go!

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Now in its seventh year, our annual Matinée has become a regular fixture for many from Immenstadt and surroundings.

In between rather rainy days, the sky brightened up right on time for our guests to enjoy the concert in the Europe Center’s courtyard in the sunshine. Professional musicians and opera singers performed “Evergreens” of classical music under the Art Nouveau arcades of the Europe Center’s courtyard.

After the concert, it was time for homemade cakes and typical Bavarian white sausage with pretzels in the garden. Friends from the local and Danish sanghas donated an impressive collection of cakes – hardly anyone managed not to try at least one of them and enjoy them in the nicely decorated EC garden, with a view of our soon-to-be-inaugurated gompa – one year ago at the time of the Matinée, the old barn had disappeared almost completely and has now been rebuilt.

The Matinée also rounded off our annual statue exhibition and most of the concert visitors took the chance to join one of the final exhibition tours in the villa. This year’s Buddhist art exhibition drew a few hundred visitors over the weekends of June and July. We look forward to continuing these traditions with many new guests next year!

Just when all the guests had returned home and stage and Matinée café were dismantled, a beautiful double rainbow appeared across the Great Alpsee Lake and Immenstadt.

To say it with one of the performed evergreens: “What a wonderful world!”

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There is a very sweet tradition that comes with our annual Matinée…

Every year, our cakebaking-savvy Danish ladies pack a car in Denmark filled to the roof with cakebakers and all kinds of magical cake ingredients donated by them. They drive down all the way to Allgäu and spend a whole weekend and most of the night before the Sunday morning Matinée in the EC kitchen, creating what can only be called pieces of art.

Since they again outdid themselves compared to the years before, we just had to post a separate cake-exhibition blog to share at least the visual part with you – because of course all cakes and cupcakes were eaten up by hungry Matinée guests and our hard-working summer course and gompa-builders the very next day. And trust us, the cakes taste as good as they look.

We would very much like to thank you Danish friends and our local cake-baking friends for putting all this effort every year. Probably latest next year, the EC Matinée will be just as famous for its cakes as for its magnificent musical performances…

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The Brasserie, our future dining hall and kitchen on the ground floor of the “old barn” underneath our soon-to-be gompa, is buzzing with activity. Finally, our worldwide sangha can take part in the building activity, together with the professional workers who seem quite impressed with the diligence, dedication and joy of their voluntary helpers.

The thousands of bricks from the old barn which were cleaned and polished by many diligent helpers a few months ago are now in place, already giving the barn a cozy, rustic atmosphere even though it is still a construction site of course. Now all the bricks and the gaps in between are being filled and afterwards scraped into shape again, one by one. Looking at the bright faces and shining eyes, the friends doing this could not be enjoying this more – literally brick by brick building our future living room together!

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