Classical Music Summer Matinée

EC Blog News & Reports

Now in its fourth 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. Professional musicians and opera singers paid tribute to the genius of Mozart under the Art Nouveau arcades of Gut Hochreute.

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…

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. We look forward to continuing these traditions with many new guests next year!

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Statue filling is an ancient Buddhist discipline with its own very special transmissions and knowledge.

The filling mostly consist of mantra rolls, semi-precious stones, dried herbs and flowers, or precious relics. Tibetan Buddhist statues embody a profound symbolism that goes far beyond purely artistic expression. The statues serve as inspiration for meditation practice and thereby function as a key to opening deep layers in the meditator’s subconscious.

Whilst many local guests enjoyed the beauty and richness of the statue exhibition in the villa, a group of friends skilled in statue filling got together in the Diamond Room and outside to clean and fill statues.

For the fourth year the statue fillers and many diligent helpers met at the EC to exchange their knowledge and joint efforts to prepare and fill more than 85 Buddha statues from friends around the world.

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With H.H. Karmapa Thaye Dorje and Lama Ole Nydahl giving empowerments and teachings at big courses around Europe for thousands of students, the Europe Center saw rather quiet times in June.

However, some of us were quite busy moving: from Immenstadt into the Europe Center like Ricarda and Torsten, or from the Europe Center into new family homes in Immenstadt like EC veterans Jürgen and Verena with little Robin, as well as Jesper and Charlotte with Helena and Bjørn. We wish them a great start in their new homes and are very happy to still have them as very active parts in our everyday EC life. :)

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On the weekend of May 26-27, the 2012 International Summer Course team gathered at the EC for our planning meeting. Highlights of this year’s course include a seven-day Phowa course with Lama Ole, followed by a full week of teachings from Gyalwa Karmapa and Lama Ole on guru yoga and about various Kagyu masters. We will also enjoy a twelve-hour meditation on the 16th Karmapa guided by the 17th Karmapa himself, along with initiations of Rechungpa and Marpa.

A few logistical improvements will also ensure a smooth course: Following Lama Ole’s request to have better focus in the gompa, children will not permitted in the gompa but instead will be taken care of by a team of childcare professionals.  In addition, there will be a designated family area with streaming in the dining tent, and a special program for teenagers is also taking shape. The barn will be lightened up and spruced up to be the main meeting space throughout the course and for the International Diamond Way meeting before the course. Country video presentations will be held in the dining tent, letting us keep the gompa for teachings and meditation. Lastly, parking will be very limited, so please try to carpool with friends instead of driving alone.

We’ll have four “building-up” weekends before the course (beginning on July 7-8), and we expect 100-200 friends from many different countries each weekend.  To learn more or to register to come help, visit http://europe-center.org/events/upcoming-events/.

For all information, see the main EC Summer Course page: http://www.summercourse.ec

We very much look forward to welcoming you all to these year’s course, and until then enjoy the photos below.

Your EC Summer Course Team

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Our statue exhibition takes place at the Europe Center every year at the beginning of summer. The art nouveau villa at Gut Hochreute opens its doors for the visitors to serve as the harmonious setting for an exhibition of Buddhist statues.

Last Sunday, Lama Ole Nydahl guided this year’s first tour of the exhibition. Tibetan Buddhist statuary is the embodiment of a profound symbolism that goes far beyond purely artistic expression. The statues displayed are used as support and mirror-like inspiration for Buddhist meditation practice – with the goal of developing for the benefit of all.

Guided tours for everyone interested with explanations about the symbolism of the statues and their attributes are available on Sunday afternoons from 3-5 pm until July 1, 2012. Dates and prices for groups and school classes are available by appointment. (phone: +49 170 7309766).

This year’s exhibition will be rounded off by our traditional annual Classical Music Summer Matinée under the arcades on July 1, 2012 at 11 am.

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Friends from the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Germany came to learn how to get the most out of organizational meetings at their home Buddhist centers.

On this weekend we shared knowledge and experience both from Buddhist point of view and from the technical point of view of group facilitation. Everyone agreed that the ideal basis for joyful and efficient center meetings with meaningful results is an atmosphere of good style and respect for each others’ different qualities and skills.

We started with an introductory round in the garden, exchanging experience from our activities in the centers and meditation groups we are from. In the course of this weekend, we learned a lot about how to communicate without misunderstandings, how to overcome such and dissolve other hindrances in communication and group processes.

Last but not least, we became very aware that the goal is not to always be perfect in what we do –  our common development is the most important thing – and to enjoy efficient team work together.

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Outside spring action

May 25th, 2012

After a long winter with a lot of tree cutting activity (we also want to use our own wood for the construction of our new building), we had a big task cleaning up all outside areas.

The last two weekends a lot of this work was done with the energetic help of some Czech friends. Working together was a joyful way of once again strengthening the bonds between the EC and the Czech sangha. Thanks to Volker and Fabian we now have a new and bigger sandbox for the playground in our courtyard. Many fathers helped to build it and the kids observed the construction work closely. ;-)

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Success in Zoning Lawsuit

May 12th, 2012

Dearest friends,   Great news! Today the city of Immenstadt won the court case against the zoning for the master plan of our new building project. From now on there should be no more hindrances in completing the EC, and we will start building in the spring of 2013. The necessary permissions will be handed [...]

Read the rest at more.ec/blog

Springtime in Allgäu

May 11th, 2012

Spring is definitely back – and so is a lot of action as well as the scaffolding around the EC Villa.

Many friends came to help with some thorough spring cleaning both inside and outside of the EC; Abel is working on the brand new interiors of our dormitories in the villa basement, and Edwin and his team started with the renewal of the front and left side of the villa’s roof, following on from the back and the right side already redone last year. We hope that they find the time to look around despite the work – to enjoy the lively colors of Allgäu in spring!

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During the weekend of April 21-22, the long-planned meeting finally took place. Friends from different editorial boards of our magazines found a free window in their tight schedules to meet.

Did you know that our oldest magazines – the German Buddhismus Heute and Polish Diamentowa Droga – have already published more than 50 issues? This means more than 25 years of work. At the same time, we have enthusiastic friends in “new Buddhist countries” who are about to prepare their first issues.

This was also the reason why the meeting took place – to get to know our history, our ways of working, different conditions in different countries, to share experiences and materials, and above all to get to know each other.

The meeting was attended by friends from Germany, Poland, The Czech Republic, France, Greece, the USA, Estonia, and Venezuela,. We had a lot to share and also a lot of fun.

On Saturday morning Detlev told us about the history of the German Buddhismus Heute magazine. He also showed us the very first issues from the time without printers, fax machines and cell phones. In the afternoon our friends from the Polish Diamentowa Droga presented their workflow and familiarized us with the process of preparing their magazine. In the evening there was time for sharing ideas and suggestions about our future cooperation, which will bring even more beautiful and useful magazines to our countries. During the day some friends from Russia, Hungary and South America also joined in via Skype.

On Sunday we continued on the practical level, preparing questions together for the interview with Jigme Rinpoche that will take place in June at Karma Guen in Spain.

And since all the participants found the meeting useful, we are already thinking of having such a meeting again in the future—we will definitely meet at least briefly during the Summer course. We all hope that such meetings will also bring some benefit to you – the readers of our Buddhism Today magazines.

Honza from Czech Buddhism Today

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