At the Europe Center, we try to take every occasion to connect with the area and make the beautiful Gut Hochreute buildings open for visitors. The popular „Cultural Weeks“ with the statue exhibition and the classical music concert are a great opportunity for that – many from Immenstadt and the Allgäu area take the chance and visit us every Sunday afternoon. This year people can learn not only about the meaning of Buddhist statues and their profound symbolism, but get as well an update on the Europe Center project and especially its just started construction.
The heart of the annual statue exhibition is made of the collection of statues residing at the Europe Center. Many of them are used in the center’s daily life for Buddhist meditation practices. On top, there are always some „hidden treasures“ displayed, chosen specifically for the occasion. It might come as a surprise for people not familiar with Buddhism that Buddhist statues actually do not depict any gods—Buddha is not a god but rather reference to a perfect state of mind. The different forms, with precisely prescribed proportions, attributes and expressions, are thus symbolizing and reflecting various enlightened qualities of one’s own mind.
At the opening on June 2, around 30 visitors joined the first guided tour of the exhibition. Caty Hartung and Pit Weigelt gave explanations on the meaning of Buddhist statues. While the first-time guests from Immenstadt and surroundings were gaining insights into the topic, the inspiration was no smaller for the many Buddhist friends who joined the event.
Rare 16th Karmapa exhibit
This year we are excited to display for the first time a new statue of the 16th Karmapa, a rarely-made form of a teacher dear to all Diamond Way Buddhists. He was one of the greatest yogis of Tibet in the 20th century and the main teacher of Lama Ole and Hannah Nydahl who later brought Tibetan Buddhism to the West. This particular statue is even more unique because it was made by a western statue maker. Learning the art of Buddhist statue-making is a long and demanding process, not easily accessible in the West. Given its excellent quality, it is suitable for use in meditation.
As every year, the exhibition will be traditionally rounded off by the Classical Music Summer Matinee. The open-air concert will take place on June 30th, 2013, at 11:00 and promises to bring us some less-known pieces of classical music. In case of bad weather the concert is held indoors.
We are now entering the last week of this year’s exhibition, so you still have a chance to see what the EC has to offer in Buddhist art. And after you’re done, come to digest and share your impressions to our Baucafé. It has become a lively meeting place on Sunday afternoons since the exhibition has started and as several of our fine ladies adopted a delicious habit of baking cakes for the occasion, your stay at the EC will surely be enjoyable.