Only a week after Lama Ole finished a tour of the Nordic countries, many Danes, Finns, Norwegians, and Swedes made their way down to Bavaria to meet again – this time at the EC for the Nordic Country Weekend.
The weather could not have been more welcoming to the Vikings – icy temperatures at night and warm sunshine with bright blue autumn skies all day long. The perfect setting for the Finnish “Outside adventure”, which saw brilliant performances in disciplines like wheelbarrow races. ;-)
For the sanghas of the North, it was a nice opportunity to come together, get to know each other, and focus on the exchange of experiences. Denmark is going to celebrate 40 years of Buddhism in the West next year – we learned a lot about the roots of Buddhism in Western Europe this weekend.
Following the wishes of their teacher, H.H. the 16th Karmapa, Lama Ole and his wife Hannah started one of the first Buddhist Centers in the West in their hometown of Copenhagen in the beginning of the 1970s, after returning from meditating and studying Buddhism for years in the East. Karmapa visited the North for the first time in 1974. Leif Andersen, a contemporary witness and international traveling teacher today, shared lots of inspiring memories and showed pictures from these times. Diamond Way Buddhism in the West started in Skandinavia and Graz – with over 600 centers around the world today.
Rounding up an evening of questions and answers with traveling teachers from all present Nordic countries, the Baucafé saw a very joyful party at night – viking style, of course! This did not stop anyone from showing very informative presentations and telling about the ongoings in their home sanghas on Sunday. Even the very young Icelandic sangha sent greetings and a portrait of their meditation group in Reykjavik via video.
It was certainly a weekend of many new friendships and connections – with lots of fun and tasty regional specialities in and in between the lectures and meetings. Inspired by this weekend, the next and from now on annual meeting of the Nordic sanghas was already fixed for next year in Sweden.