First steps

EC Blog News & Reports

First steps

May 23rd, 2013

After years of fundraising, planning, talking, and preparing the place, the first steps of construction started a few days ago.

Together with some friends we were happy to do the first part of the renovation of the old barn ourselves: dismantling the tool-shop between the barn and the gatehouse. After we finished this, the construction company took over. At this very moment, they are dismanteling the barn. All day long, tiles have been sliding down the over 1500 square meter roof and the wooden planks surrounding the upper floor of the barn have been taken down as well.

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Our recent Transmission weekend was a family affair on many levels.

Firstly, the topic was about the second generation of Diamond Way Buddhists (the few now in their 20s & 30s and the ever growing baby boom), their experience of growing up in Western Buddhist families and their parents experience of how to manage one’s Dharma and family life successfully. Secondly, as we had more parents and children than usual staying at the EC and participating in the sessions, there was a playful family feeling about the place.

Over weekend we had a very inspiring talk on Compassion & the 6 Liberating Actions, we meditated together, had working groups, and  questions & answers with parents, children and those who have lived & worked in centers for many years.

 

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Another reason to celebrate, another very important step taken on our way to the new EC building!

After days, weeks, and even years of working on the plans, Caty, Gergö and the architects on behalf of the foundation gave the building company the green light for starting the construction today. All the formalities were agreed on and sealed by handshake and a toast with the construction manager and his team afterwards.

“Let us make the big wish that the project will benefit many, many people and that it will be a step on the way to enlightenment!” (Caty)

The road is being fixed this week, the heavy construction trucks will be able to go up and down – the way for the transformation of the old barn into our future gompa, kitchen and dining hall is clear and the kick-off only days away now. We could not be more excited and will keep you updated!

 

Update: [ECTV] short movie about the event:

 

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Once again the team running the Summer Course came together to prepare this year’s event. Even though the individual teams work together constantly throughout year to make the next course even more enjoyable for everybody, it is very important to meet with the whole team in one place, for a weekend. Such a meeting serves the purpose of addressing issues that concern more than one team, e.g. planning the individual team budgets for the upcoming course. It is also a chance for new people to join the different teams and help run the course. Last but not least: The more we know each other and the better friends we become, the better we can run the course. So we therefore, also use the time to get to know each other better.
This year is the 20th anniversary of our yearly Summer Courses, which started 20 years ago in Kassel. After a short movie about the course in ’93, Gerhard shared some words of inspiration, as to why we organize a course and what it means for us and for the people who attend courses like this one. I am at a loss to repeat what he said, but it was incredibly inspiring for everybody and made us all look forward to sharing that inspiration with all of you at the summer course.

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[ECTV] Groundbreaking

May 9th, 2013

On April 8 Lama Ole Nydahl and the mayor of Immenstadt officially broke ground here at the EC, kicking off our construction project to create space for more meditation, more activity, and more friends!

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A few weeks ago (better late than never) around 60 Russians took over the EC and cooked for us, worked in the barn, meditated with us and shared their culture and wonderful music with us. Spasiba friends! Enjoy these impressions of an exciting week at the Europe Center!

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The Bühl Fire Brigade

April 20th, 2013

The fire brigade in the local village came to visit us the other day, but luckily it wasn’t to put out a fire. They came to practice their manoeuvres: unloading the truck, getting hoses & pumps hooked up, rescuing a damsel in simulated distress from a window and spraying water around as if there was a fire. They also came to accept a donation – they’re in need of a new fire truck, and the Diamond Way Buddhist Foundation was glad to support them with a cheque (oversized of course) for €3000. After practice, the giant cheque and handshakes all round, everyone headed to the Baucafe for warmth, coffee, cake and sausages. Should we ever have need of them at the EC, we know we’re in good hands with the Bühl Fire Brigade.

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April 8, 2013 was quite a historic date for the Europe Center: the groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of the construction for the new EC buildings!

Lama Ole greeted Immenstadt officials, members of the local brass band, and the traditional shooting club, most of them dressed in typically Allgäu region dirndl dresses and leather trousers. The band played to introduce the ceremonies.

Immenstadt mayor Armin Schaupp appreciated the architects’ plans for the new building: “One can feel that there is quality behind the work. The team of architects checks well what fits.”

Following speeches by Lama Ole Nydahl, the mayor, and Caty Hartung, a bumpa was filled. This is a vase which serves as a ceremonial gift to the local environment – with semi-precious stones representing the transformation of disturbing emotions into enlightened wisdoms.

Afterwards, Lama Ole and the mayor put the first strokes in with a pickaxe and a spade, digging a hole to bury the bumpa. Lama Ole placed the vase in the ground. Everyone in the crowd was invited to throw a handful of semi-precious stones in with the bumpa and make wishes for the prosperity of the Europe Center.

The local shooting club put a bang into the ceremonies with a canon, fired five times by Lama Ole, Armin Schaupp, Caty Hartung, and two of the project’s architects.

The huge barbecue proved popular with the band, the Buddhists, and everyone else as well. And this was only the beginning of a very long, lively, and typically Bavarian evening together.

We would like to thank the mayor and the people of Immenstadt once again for welcoming us so open-heartedly from the beginning.  We feel at home in Immenstadt, and Immenstadt seems to feel at home at the EC as well!

Also, don’t miss the ECtv video of the day!

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Every year in March, Lama Ole’s students who teach around the world meet at the Europe Center to meditate together, discuss their work, and strengthen friendships…

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On March 19th on the morning, we gathered in the gompa to send congratulate Lama Ole for his 72nd birthday via Skype.

We had the opportunity to thank him for his tireless activity for the benefit of so many – and for the Europe Center. As a gift, we gave him a statue of the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, his main teacher who sent Lama Ole and his wife Hannah to teach Buddhism in the West over 40 years ago.

Lama Ole spent his birthday in Christchurch/New Zealand, giving explanations of great meditation master Tilopa’s pith instructions on Mahamudra/The Great Seal. The lecture was part of Lama Ole’s tour of Australia and New Zealand 2013.

A long and healthy life to our Lama!

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