Welcome Home, Lama Ole!

EC Blog News & Reports

Welcome Home, Lama Ole!

August 2nd, 2016

Things are a bit different this year during the Summer Course – because a few weeks ago, Lama Ole followed the advice of his teachers in the East to spend the rest of the year in retreat, which includes only the big courses in Europe with one lecture per day.

So even more students then originally expected took the chance to see their Lama and came to the Europe Center to attend his afternoon lectures and more of the program. In the mornings, evenings and nights, Lama Ole is doing his meditation practice in his retreat room. During this time, his students also follow the motto of this year’s course: taking what we have learned over the years “from the head to the bones” by gaining more meditative experience. On top, there are lectures and panels with Diamond Way teachers in the evenings.

Amongst other meetings, there was a get together of international friends in the meet & connect area of the dining tent, collecting creative input and ideas for the Europe Center and its worldwide connections.

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Welcome home, World! The Summer Course is off to a great start – with a public lecture by Diamond Way teacher Karola B. Schneider from Schwarzenberg.

Along with hundreds  of Buddhists from across the globe who traveled here for the course, many interested people from the surrounding area came to listen to Karola’s introductory talk about Diamond Way Buddhism, joined a common meditation and took a guided tour of the event premises and the Europe Center buildings before the lecture.

For those interested in Buddhism and the Europe Center who missed out on this lecture, feel free to join us for one of the public evenings (in German language) with explanations and meditation each Thursday after the course – all year around at 7pm.

We don’t know how many of the listeners enjoyed the unusual “rain” of falling stars in the sky above the stupa afterwards, but we do have some breathtaking impressions from our EC’s Stupa of Long Life at night for you just in case!

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As is tradition right before the Summer Course, around 60 friends from Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Israel, Colombia, Ukraine, USA, Australia, Austria, Russia, New Zealand, Spain, Venezuela and Serbia came together for two full days of intense exchange.

The Diamond Way Family meeting has been taking place for several years already, with many frequent participants as well as some fresh faces joining in. In a wonderful, really family-like atmosphere, the main point of discussion was one which has been dealt with in pretty much every center around the world over the past year: the right balance of democracy and meritocracy in the organization of our Diamond Way Buddhist Centers. Listening to the experiences made in other parts of the world, finding similarities or new ideas… all this made it a very fruitful get together which is to be continued next year!

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Thanks to all the diligent and joyful helpers, we are ready for the International Summer Course 2016 – and would like to thank everyone who came to share their surplus for the benefit of many, many course guests, and filled these building-up weeks of July with so much power and joy!

The final week of the building-up was hard work during the day and meditation, lectures by Diamond Way teachers and lots of fun like the traditional “Pub Quiz” at night – with apparently unending diligence and strength. On top, some of the helpers even volunteered to provide the runners of the annual “Allgäu Run” passing by the EC with refreshments and music – as is by now tradition during the course preparation phase.

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Marking the EC’s International Summer Course in the calendar each year far in advance? “Check, of course!” Marking the building-up weeks before as a yearly fixture in one’s calendar? “Check, of course!” – for many friends who come every year to share work and joy for the benefit of all!

If just for a weekend or for the whole time being, and/or for the dismantling of the course infrastructure in the middle of August, you are most welcome to join the fun anytime! And now we let the pictures do the convincing talking of just how much fun it is…

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Thought construction activity has come to an end at the Europe Center? Think again!

The fieldbarn project is actually going to keep our carpenters, builders and helpers busy for the next four summers. This year, the first of four barns is being built up on the Summer Course plateau. The barns will provide storage place for all of the course equipment and more. This will save a lot of money on the long run because the rent for external dry storage space can be saved in the future.

The wooden barns are being built in the typical style of the Allgäu region, blending in perfectly with the typical landscape of woods and meadows with some field barns on them every now and then. And of course, they are being built by our wonderful voluntary builders and carpenters.

Feel like supporting the project? Helpers are always welcome (and might be rewarded with homemade field barn-cakes as well! :) )

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Rainbow Magic

June 17th, 2016

There was definitely at least one bright side to the extremely rainy weeks of late spring in the Allgäu – one of the most stunning double rainbows we have ever seen over the EC!

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As is EC tradition, we open the doors of the Villa every Sunday in June for our beautiful statue exhibition.

Visiting the statue exhibition, one can learn not only about the meaning of Buddhist statues and their profound symbolism. 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 especially 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.

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Many of our friends surely remember how much hard work it was every year to build up the floor for the Summer Course kitchen tent. Great news – that’s history now!

Just to mention the most infamous of all kitchen floor tasks, tens of thousands of screws had to be put in and taken out again each year to provide a solid basis for the industry-size course kitchen on the rather swampy grounds of the kitchen plateau. The old system was simply taking lots of time and material and needed a great amount of helpers.

Therefore, based on the experience of 7 years, some friends developed a new system which is being put to practice for the first time this year.

A permanent basis in the ground is being installed. For this, 360 tubes with 360 huge screws of app. 1m length have to be put into drilled holes, app. 800 wooden beams have to be sawn to fitting length and connecting pieces have to be fixed on each beam. The beams will be dismantled and reinstalled every year, but the new system works without screws or metal angles.

Therefore, it will take a lot less time to build up the floor of the kitchen tent in the future.

We would very much like to thank the planners and the hard workers who braved pretty unpleasant weather conditions over the past weeks – and if you would like to still come and help, you are very welcome to do so!

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Recently we started to have a lecture by a Diamond Way Teacher every Saturday, and sometimes even for several lectures on one weekend.

Lama Ole Nydahl has asked more than 100 of his experienced students to travel and share their experience and knowledge of Diamond Way Buddhism around the world–the Diamond Way teachers.

We had the pleasure of welcoming teachers from Germany, Russia, Hungary, Israel, Slovenia, Italy and other countries over the past months, and many more of course still to come. Amongst others, the lecture topics were “Meditation, Action and View”, “The Sangha”, “The Student-Teacher-Relationship in Diamond Way Buddhism” and “The History of the Karma Kagyu Lineage”.

Please join us on Saturday evenings for the lectures and please check our Facebook page or event calendar for updates frequently!

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