EC Blog News & Reports
More and more people come to the EC or even move to the vicinity in order to support the growing amount of work with their idealism, talents and trust. To get an idea what friends made possible to happen at the EC throughout the year 2012, have a look at this:
2 transmission weekends • 2 country weekends (2 more to come this year) • 4 building-up weekends • 2 weeks of summer course & meetings • 2 dismantling weekends • 5 weeks of book-retreat with Lama Ole Nydahl incl. meditation retreats • classical music summer matinee • open house day • statue filling weekend • 4 Sundays of statue exhibition • team meetings (summer course, finance, foundation, Online Media Group etc.) • international traveling teachers meeting • ski & meditate weekend • 108 ways for effective center meetings workshop
private visit of the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje • Lama Tönsang • project days of Lama Ole Nydahl • school-classes • 3 charity clubs • Protestant bishop & company • members of the ministry of education of Bavaria • captains of the “pirate” ship of the Alpsee • architects • engineers • builders • monument protectors • foresters • road construction team …
road construction • completing the roof of the villa • new dormitories in the villa • refurbishing the windows
snow clearing • shuttling guests • preparing 3 meals per day, 365 days a year • housekeeping • wood making and selling • sanitary facility installation • tidying the barn and decorating for summer course to use it as a meeting place • apple harvesting and bringing to the apple-juice factory • collecting and sorting 2 containers of lost & found items • 3D modeling of the new building • on the flea market • registration • laundry • bed and mattress allocation • clearing out the attic • workshop and tool responsibilities • vehicle maintenance • support and coordination of international projects • administering the EC websites • writing this blog…
Many thanks to everyone involved in making this year such an enriching one!
After two summers of intense work by Edwin, his team and lots of helpers, the work on the roof of the EC villa is completed.
Lama Ole and Caty put the last tiles on the very top of the roof – covered with good wishes for the good of all beings by our highest teachers. In very touching speeches, Lama Ole, Caty and Edwin thanked everyone involved in building this roof to last for at least the next 100 years to come.
For 550 squaremeters of roof, app. 21,000 roof tiles, of which app. 5,000 have wishes written on them, 5000 meters of roof laths, app. 27,000 nails, 2,500 stainless steel screws, 150 cubic meters of insulation material and app. 85 square meters of giant cedar wood shingles were used.
And we could not imagine a more precious roof than one that covers the Villa with thousands of good wishes for the benefit of all beings – built by friends from around the world.
For the third year in a row, the Europe Center opened its doors to everybody interested, like all other Diamond Way Buddhist Centers in Bavaria on on September 23.
Over 300 visitors took the opportunity to visit the exhibitions, took part in guided tours of the EC villa or walked the grounds that the new construction will be built on and looked at the detailed miniature model of it. Many participated in introductory talks about Buddhism and tried out a short meditation afterwards.
Bright sunshine all day long – what better way to round off the day than with a cup of tea, home-made cake and pretzels in the garden of the villa or on the terrace of the “Baucafé” overviewing the Great Alpsee.
A few months ago we were invited for a cruise by members of the crew of the Alpsee buccaneer sailing along the EC almost daily on the Great Alpsee and made some new local friends.
After this memorable evening with dinner on the banks of the lake with the captains afterwards, we invited them for a return visit to the EC on September 20, since they had expressed great interest in getting to know the house and its inhabitants.
Following a welcome toast in the garden, more than twenty captains and partners toured the Europe Center grounds and took the chance to get information about Buddhism, meditation and the art of Buddhist statues. Then we enjoyed a delicious dinner. Also Lama Ole joined the evening, having several conversations and afterwards giving some of his signed books as presents. They also got a huge blessed protectors’ knot for their ship
It was an easy-going and warmhearted evening - and we are pretty sure that this was not the last time we got together with the Alpsee captains. We hope they enjoyed their visit as much as we did and would like to thank them!
By the way, next time you come to the EC with some extra time, the Alpsee cruise might be a nice option for a one-hour excursion. One gets to see the Europe Center and its beautiful surroundings from a perspective one does not have so often – from the middle of the Great Alpsee.
We often get asked who can live at the EC and for how long etc., what the frame conditions are, especially as long as the living space is so limited. Caty took the time to explain a little bit at one of the last center meetings to clarify.
We have 3 groups of people directly at the EC:
- longterm guests
All are worldwide sangha and friends, and we need different people for different things at the EC.
Ideally, EC residents should have an international mindset, international connections, have traveled with the Lama, they should have been practicing for a long time, be “people-people” and be able to speak English. We aim for an international group living together.
First, new residents move in for one year, and afterwards we decide together, if it is good to stay together. We really like to have residents who have been in Dharma for a long time, we try to get people from the whole world who have experience in living in a center, can calm down situations, who can explain the dharma, guide meditations, know many of the visiting guests & are surplus people.
The so-called long term guests come from different centers and countries, they learn and support the EC and then go back to their country in order to bring back their experiences. Often they have a lot of time and surplus.
Living in a dormitory is not a solution forever. As we do not have enough beds for all the guests that come, you give up your private life, have no private altar etc. . The natural changing of long term guests is important for this place and for everyone. Many people should get the chance to learn here, participate and get the transmission. If long term guests later wish to build up a new life in Immenstadt, we kindly ask them after around a year to find a flat downtown.
And the timing is important. From experience it seems that if we wait too long and one stays for too long under our momentarily challenging conditions, the surplus and joy of our friends can diminish. For the EC, life feels first more complicated after a friend moves down to Immenstadt. With the eagle view it doesn’t matter where you live. We are one sangha running this place, and this depends on the surplus and time of everybody, not on where their bed is located.
By the way, Lama Ole recently repeated that it is not his wish that Buddhists who move to Immenstadt are receiving social welfare. He wishes for us to work and integrate into society.
And one last thought: If you move to Immenstadt, we found out that it is much easier to first live at the EC in a dormitory for a while before moving downtown in order to get to know the place, get to know the sangha and make connections. From here at the EC it will be easy to find a nice flat. So – we always have beds for newcomers and they should know this! :)
Only three weeks after the dismantling of the summer course infrastructure, it is already hard to find traces of the two big and the many small tents that were up on the Europe Center’s meadows. These pictures were taken on Sept 7 – by now the grass is even higher due to a lot of rain and sunshine during the past week. Allgäu is green and beautiful – and so is our EC. :)
Thank you so much to the whole team who takes such good care of our beautiful estate!
A guest post by the Aussie-Kiwi group visiting the EC
The Antipodean “Invasion” of 2012 started with approximately 25 friends attending the Phowa course and the teachings and initiations with HH Gyalwa Karmapa. This is actually quite an impressive representation for two countries with very small Buddhist sangha numbers compared to Europe – approximately 130 members in 11 buddhist centers in Australia and 40 in New Zealand, which has 4 centers and one retreat place.
Nine of the Aussies then enjoyed the beauty of the Amden Retreat Center in Switzerland for a couple of days, which confirmed itself as the perfect place to wind down, get clean and sample some Swiss delicacies and may well become an annual pilgrimage for the Australian “tourists”.
A brave 6 then proceeded on a whirlwind 16 day tour staying at the Buddhist Centers in Salzburg, Graz, Vienna, Budapest, Brno, Prague, Berlin, Copenhagen and Hamburg, with lunches along the way at Innsbruck, Bratislava, Dresden and Kiel. The pace of the tour certainly gave us a new appreciation for the work of Lama Ole Nydahl and his students in Europe. In each and every place, our intrepid travelers were warmly welcomed by the locals and treated to great food, wonderful sightseeing tours and nice evening parties. Stories from and about the centers were swapped and new and old friends meditated together.
The journey finished with the travelers returning to the Europe Center. There they were joined by several other friends from Australia and New Zealand who had been teaching, traveling or visiting relatives and the crew from downunder hosted a country weekend for a small but enthusiastic crowd. The EC was treated to the delights of “Vegemite” (concentrated yeast extract which devastated one small child when she realized it did not taste like Nutella), Aussie burgers, meat pies and BBQs. Our European friends were also taught how to speak with an Australian accent and to play cricket.
Matt Balara and Phil Carlisle, 2 of the 11 Australians asked by Lama Ole to teach Buddhism, gave inspiring talks and we even managed to link up online with a lot of friends in Australia and New Zealand in their home centres. This way, they were able to present their centers themselves online and listen to the other talks and presentations despite being on the other side of the globe.
Needless to say, our friends returned to their respective homes in the southern hemisphere inspired by their experiences and with many wonderful memories and new friendships. There are plans to put together a presentation about the journey and the stories from various centers visited, many of which have been established for longer than those in Australia and New Zealand. The inspiration provided by seeing the power of working and meditating together will no doubt open many opportunities for the Aussies and Kiwis!
And if you look carefully around the EC and the centers visited, you may see evidence of Australian wildlife and other reminders of the Antipodean Invasion strategically placed by our visitors… ;)
– The Aussie-Kiwi tour group