The Summer Course is in the air

EC Blog News & Reports

On the one hand a time is passing very quickly here, during the build-up phase of the International Summer Course, on the other hand we can not agree with the calendar: for us a few days here feels more like weeks.. :) Sometimes our posts on the blog are not as fast as the work outside and also in the offices – we want to show you some „old” photos of the moments of preparing the floor in the gompa tent and moments of sharing work and fun.

Nowadays we have a few sunny days after a lot of rainy hours. So when you consider that the mud outside the gompa tent was similar to that inside the tent, you can imagine how difficult it was to set up a wooden floor. The work is not only happening with construction or building up the course. We have a bunch of friends who at the same time are quietly working on their computers – preparing the moreEC campaign, graphics, registration systems, program schedules, translations and much much more.

Of course we are not only working: we have lectures of the traveling teachers who are here (like John from the US or Peter from Spain), movie evenings, late night talks and – surprisingly – parties in the Bau-Cafe :)

..and only a few days and we meet with our Lamas and thousands of our friends! Life is great at the EC!

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The renewal of the EC villa’s roof is well on the way – and it will be a very special roof: 14.000 tiles will cover the villa for at least a century – and we want every single one of them to have a wish for the benefit of all on it! So next time you come to the Europe Center, just “buy” as many roof tiles as you like – for whichever “price” you like – and write your wishes on them. All these donations will be used to support the new EC buildings.

You can also take your own piece of the house home or give it to a friend as a present – an old roof tile, sealed with the Diamond Way firewheel.
Diamond Way Buddhist Centers and Groups can pre-order a special rounded tile that will later go onto the top of the roof for 108 Euros by e-mail. The whole sangha can write their wishes on one – like the Hamburgers already did.

Lama Ole already wrote his wish on a sealed tile after returning from working in the forest this week – “For timeless growth of our Diamond Way!”. Lama Ole’s other wish that is going to be one of the thousands covering our EC villa:

“May all who stood here obtain every goal!”

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Here comes the sun – after three days of monsoon-like rain, we finally dared to take a camera outside to show you the results of the hard work that has been going on regardless of the weather.

Many friends stayed to help after the 2nd build-up weekend, and we have never seen the big tents go up in such a short time. So many people having so much fun together despite being soaked to the bones while putting them up. We are truely amazed at the spirit in this year’s build-up phase and would like to thank everyone who came for their great support and diligence!

And then there was a very special supporter of the work – following a movie night together in the Diamond Room, Lama Ole joined the boys for some serious wood chipping behind the barn. Afterwards he returned to his desk to work on projects like an interview for “Buddhism Today” together with Caty and the team.

Still there is of course looots of work left until the course starts – so please come, put up your tent in the sunshine and join the fun!

On the pictures you can also see the new dishwashing machine for the course. No more bringing your own dishes and cleaning them yourself afterwards – just pick up plate and cutlery and enjoy the service! :)

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On Sunday evening Lama Ole arrived at the EC directly after a phowa course in the Czech Republic. He will spend a few project days here before he leaves to Stupkalnis in Lithuania. On Monday we joined him on the walk around our property looking from the highest points of the land onto the Summer course building site. The Lama enjoyed the forest and he showed everybody the places he walked with the 17th Karmapa on his first visit to the Europe Center in 2007. To get the impression see the photos from Anastasia from Russia.

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The building up phase for the 4th International Summer Course at the Europe Center started last weekend. Many friends came from Russia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands and other countries to join the kick-off.

In beautiful sunny summer weather, the pick-ups, trucks, and forklifts were constantly driven up and down the hill with tons of wooden bars for the kitchen floor. The hardworking friends putting them together on the course site were supplied with refreshments and sun protection by others whenever it was needed. Saturday night was relaxing time – chatting and dancing in the Baucafé after looking at the plans for the new EC building.

Step by step, the kitchen floor, stairways, and some security fences as protection at the steeper parts of the grounds are being built up. All over the place the familiar beeps of the walkie-talkies could be heard…  it feels like summer course a bit already! ;-) The course site is growing by the day – people are arriving,  staying to help and enjoying each other’s company.

We all loved the family-like atmosphere and and felt at home as alyways. Thanks to the EC team and everyone involved!

The EC-addicted North Sanghas


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We greatly appreciate that our neighbors and locals from the towns around in general are very open and supportive when it comes to the Europe Center and its activities. To say thank you we organize – already since our first year at the Gut Hochreute – two events: the Neighbors’ Day (with barbeque and cakes, this year baked with love by a group of Danish beauties) and the Classical Summer Matinée with live classical music and a late „Weißwurst-Frühstück“).

It all developed into a lovely tradition. This year, there were more visitors than ever and an amazing concert focused on Italian classics like Rossini. After each piece, the three artists from amongst our Buddhist friends received a great applause and at the end they had to add two pieces before the audience let them go. A relaxed weekend atmosphere amongst friends. Thank you Immenstadt!

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Once again whilst many 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. For the third year they  met  in the EC to exchange their knowledge and joint efforts to fill many statues from friends around the world.

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

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Everyone knows that the Summer Course Team meeting has become far more than just an organizational event to discuss administrative issues. It is a meeting of old friends, and one can only imagine how strong the friendship is, that has been built up while sharing many hours of hard work, be it in the kitchen, cleaning or driving shuttle cars up and down.

The weekend started with a lecture from Kai Burmeister who shared the history of the EC project. Kai told us about the Lama’s vision, the work of the inspired people who were trying to implement that vision for almost 10 years, the success of buying of our beautiful Europe Center and of it’s running for the last 3 years.

The topic of this weekend was not only Summer Course issues, but also the main topic of the upcoming course – the start of the fund-raising campaign for the new buildings “More EC”.  Stands with information about the campaign will appear on all the main courses of this summer- Karma Guen, Kuchary, Tenovice, Becke and Lolland, but the main kick-off will be at the International Summer Course.

The teams discussed not only organizational questions, but also the spirit of the Summer Course – working out of surplus, human development and our idealistic view. It is not only important to work well as separate teams, but also to be interconnected with other teams and share information.

The last day of the meeting, as is usual for this time of the year, is also the public statue exhibition at the EC. We are grateful to all the SCT meeting participants who helped us to clean, prepare the house and to represent the Lama in the most beautiful way.

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Bullriding for the EC

May 28th, 2011

The creativity of our Hamburg friends knows no limits. Going through a construction phase in their center themselves, they gathered to celebrate the completion of their new kitchen in a spectacular way, last Saturday – by bull riding! But not only that, they used the occasion also for supporting the Europe Center. Not waiting for the new “More EC” fundraising campaign to start officially in the summer, they collected all the profit from the event as a donation for the upcoming EC expansion project.

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Meditation in retreat, running and building up a retreat place were the main topics of last week’s 8th EC Transmission Weekend. Besides meditating together a lot, experienced friends running retreat places e.g. in Spain, Austria, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Switzerland and Lithuania, shared their experiences and gave advice on how to do a mediation retreat or run a retreat place.

Buddhist meditation shows the mind to the practitioner. It reduces the influence of habits,  expectations, as well as  solidified patterns. A retreat of a few days or weeks tremendously amplifies such results by creating more distance to everyday life. The lack of distraction by daily necessities leads to a deeper and more fluid experience of calmness of mind and insight. Due to the view in Diamond Way Buddhism, shorter retreats and daily life blend together excellently and have beneficial effects on each other. Diamond Way retreat centers enable modern people having family and profession; the combination of activity and meditation. The local friends who uphold the retreat centers are well experienced and skilled people in meditation and have a profound understanding of Buddha’s teachings.

If you would like to know more about the different kinds of retreat, here’s more info: diamondway-buddhism.org.

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