Meditation retreat

EC Blog News & Reports

Meditation retreat

February 18th, 2012

Halfway through Lama Ole’s book February book retreat , here’s a glimpse of some the activity that has been going on and continues to go on.

To get the most out of these weeks for everyone visiting the EC, traveling teachers are guiding a meditation retreat in the Lama’s power field, with four meditation sessions per day. At the same time, Lama Ole has enough uninterrupted time to focus on writing the book together with Caty. The book will be about the different meditation practices of Diamond Way Buddhism. Before Lama Ole started to write, he gave a lecture about the meditation on the 16th Karmapa and spontaneously guided the morning meditation. The transcript of the lecture is now being used for the book.

In between the meditation sessions and meals everyone participating helps with the housekeeping, outside work, or restoring the villa for an hour; and of course there is also time to enjoy the EC winter wonderland.

In the evenings there is time to chat with friends from all across the globe, ask questions and listen to Dharma teachings. Guido and Florinda from Austria talked about Love and Partnership from a Buddhist perspective. The following night, Lama Ole decided to leave his desk for a few hours to join his old friends Pedro and Dorrit, recalling how the 17th Karmapa Thaye Dorje came to the West as a child. There was so much to tell and so many memories to share that Pedro spontaneously gave a second lecture the following afternoon.

The meditation retreat will continue for the duration of Lama Ole’s book retreat.

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A kind of state of emergency happened at the EC lasting about 36 hours: During the book-retreat a heavy gale swept through the Allgäu region and brought more than one meter of fresh snow.

Despite four meditation sessions a day and the intense bookwork, friends from all parts of the world tirelessly shoveled the masses of snow  from morning until night. Lama Ole joyfully insisted on taking part, interrupting his bookwork several times and ploughed through the snowdrifts in his familiar powerful manner.

Supported by a snowplough and a wheel loader that kept the road free and pushed the piled up snow heaps to the sides, most of the visitors could arrive or depart without too big problems, also without getting stuck. Regardless the heavy storm which whipped into one’s face, made the clothes white and the neighboring shoveler disappear behind swirled up snow clouds, everybody’s mood was excellent – and for many a unique experience! As a nice close to the day, Lama Ole guided the evening meditation and then watched an exciting movie together into the night.

— by Pit Weigelt

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“This place will never stop inspiring and touching people.”

Lama Ole Nydahl at the Summer Course team meeting, Feb 4, 2012

At the beginning of February the teams preparing the International Summer Course at the EC met for the first time this year. They updated each other about the current state of the planning. To many participants it did not even feel like an organizational meeting though. The experience of our Summer course “veterans” from previous years provides a solid basis of knowledge that makes it possible to focus on fresh ideas and more detailed questions concerning e.g. the kitchen area, child care or site-management already now.

By working together over the last four years, we developed further individually and as teams. We got to know each other and our complementary qualities and skills, learned how things work best, and improved in different areas and on many levels. So the organization of this year’s Summer Course is already well underway and we had a relaxed and joyful weekend together.

Inspired by the growing joy and friendship, we just took the time to chat and meditate together and enjoyed the sunny weather outside as well as the friendly atmosphere of an inspiring weekend.

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A walk in the snow

February 13th, 2012

Taking a short break from writing a new book about meditation in Diamond Way Buddhism, Lama Ole and Caty went for a walk up the mountain with the guests at the EC – enjoying the sunshine and the view across Allgäu at Siberian temperatures around -25° Celsius.

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Ski & Meditate

February 5th, 2012

Recognizing one’s friends last weekend was not so easy – funky shiny people wearing thick layers of neon-colored clothes, funny glasses and helmets met for our 2nd “Ski & Meditate” weekend.

It started with teachings about meditation by Patricia Press-Schaffrick and meditating together. Another dharma lecture by Sax Camarata from Italy rounded off the weekend later on.

On the mountain, we worked our way through bumpy ski-slopes and powdered through deep-snow hills. Since the sun was in hiding, some decided to spend more time on meditation in the EC gompa, while others were putting their luck and the stability of their bones to a test at what pilots call “zero sight” conditions – foggy -8 °C. A pure view was helpful to enjoy bumps suddenly appearing out of nowhere and sometimes making on end up in the snow with the nose first. ;-)

The EC is situated in between more than 15 ski resorts of every kind of level that snowboarders, alpine and nordic skiers and sledge drivers like to enjoy. Beautiful mountain hikes are easily accessible for walks in winter from here. So the name of the weekend kept what it promised: skiing & meditating… plus sharing laughs with friends and enjoying the fresh air and the beautiful EC surroundings.

Let´s do it again next year!
– by Tom

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For the last 4 years, since we bought our beautiful Europe Center, I’ve had a dream to visit it not only during the Summer Course. And dreams came true. On the 1st of January one handsome knight brought us to the EC. I spent 5 amazing days in our EC. What can I say. This place is totally different in daily life. It’s very quiet, but still has a lot of power at the same time.

Time runs very fast there: you wake up, meditate, help to make dinner or do something else in the villa, then again – meditation, dinner and evening meditation and nice talks with friends, full of fun and then the next day!

In the beginning of January there were not so many people at the EC. Many residents had gone traveling. Mostly there were guests from different countries – Germany, Austria, Russia, USA, Canada, Denmark. Every Wednesday there is a center meeting at the EC. People living in Immenstadt come for this meeting, which is held in the Diamond room. After the meeting there is always time for some nice jokes and talks about what’s happening in the Diamond Way centers around the world. This time Jana from Moscow told us about the moreEC campaign in Moscow. On Thursdays there’s a German evening. People come for meditation from Immenstadt and the meditation is guided in German.

When we arrived, there was a bit of snow on the hills, but the day before leaving, a storm started and covered the entire EC with a snowy blanket. Which meant not only a beautiful view, but also a lot of work for the guys and tractors, clearing the road.

It was not so easy to leave the EC. To meditate in a gompa surrounded by Buddhas, to work together and just to relax – all of it gives you a feeling that you are really at home. Home, to where you always want to come back.

Welcome Home! Now I know, what it means.

by Marina from St Petersburg

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Those of us, whose did not go to Hamburg at New Year, celebrated together at the EC. We started off early in the day by joining in the 12hr meditation on the 16th Karmapa. Towards of the end of the meditation the practitioners in the gompa appeared to be not just the usual bunch of international sangha and guests, but possibly from further afield! ;-) Not happy with just internationality at the EC, we went intergalactic, with the Sci-Fi theme for our celebrations….enjoy!

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Christmas at the EC

December 30th, 2011

Christmas evening at the EC was one to remember. We started with a 16th Karmapa Meditation, followed by a show and a festive dinner in the beautifully decorated main hall and the dining room of the villa.

One of the funniest things was the “Wichteln”. Everybody gave and got one non-material gift each, like going on a hike with Jürgen, or snowboarding with Florian. So in the coming weeks, these presents will bring friends closer together, and people who sometimes did not even know each other before.

The evening was rounded off with dancing in the Baucafé and playing some games with a very international group – most of those games are apparently known all around the world across different cultures.

by Marie

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Lama Ole quite frequently spends his project days at the Europe Center. Therefore we worked on a concept to get the most out of those days and weeks for everyone.

On the one hand, we need to make sure that the Lama and his team have enough time to focus on writing books or articles, answering his students’ mails or working on other projects that need very focused attention. On the other hand, many friends come during those weeks and we want them to get the  most of what the Europe Center is about – connecting on a worldwide level and meditating and learning together.

Frank Huhn was asked by Lama Ole to teach Buddhism many years ago and kindly agreed to guide the first open meditation retreat during the project days. With an average of approximately 80 people on site each day, we practiced together up to five times a day, listened to lectures and talks in the evening and had lots of time to exchange during the meals and in between the sessions.

In between work, Lama Ole found the time to guide meditations and give blessing, as well as for a moreEC movie night in the Diamond Room. He answered questions in personal interviews for hours and started a 12 hour meditation on the 16th Karmapa before leaving for lectures in Poland, Austria, Slovakia and Greece.

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Actually – there is no business as usual at the EC. Every day is different and brings all kinds of challenges on many levels. So we caught up randomly with just some of the activity going on all over the place to give you some impressions.

Olena from Ukraine for example spent most of the time organizing her home country’s moreEC via the internet. Ewa and Janosh spent days carefully restoring some walls in the villa, while others wrapped our moreEC “retreat huts” for the New Year’s course in Hamburg.

Leonie, Alexandra and Ilona took care of bookkeeping and guest registration in the office, Frank gave explanations on meditation practice in the Yellow room, and our EC electrician Jörg fixed some lamps in the basement of the villa.

Bernd, Jürgen and Frank brought our Christmas tree inside. And – to really get us into a holiday mood – it also finally snowed. A lot!

The snow team ploughed the snow on the road and in the courtyard with the tractor several times a day to enable the cars to go up and down from Immenstadt. The heavy snowstorm loosened a metal board on the roof – so JC climbed up to fix it.

Besides all these activities, of course we also found the time to meditate in the cosy gompa and enjoy winter outside. To warm us up again afterwards, Sonia, Frauke and Henkjan cooked a delicious Italian dinner – for everyone to enjoy some time together before the holidays and to raise some money for moreEC.

Happy holidays from the EC team to everyone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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