Bon voyage!

EC Blog News & Reports

Bon voyage!

February 16th, 2011

Before leaving for Hong Kong this morning, Lama Ole gave us yet another great gift to round off two weeks of project days at the EC last night – meditating together with around 100 friends, answering questions, and giving blessing.

We would like to thank the Lama and everyone who came and contributed to make this two inspiring weeks to remember for a long time. Never before did we welcome so many people coming here to meditate in the Lama’s powerfield, spending quality time together and helping to run the Europe Center during a retreat. Many pointed out how much the EC really has become home for them by now. So we are looking forward to having you all back here at home very soon!

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A dinner, a paradox and a quiz

February 15th, 2011

We just had an EC residents and long term guests dinner. Getting together for an easy time over a meal makes everything flow much smoother in the center and we all enjoyed it very much and decided to do it regularly. Tonight we talked mainly about a paradox we often face here:

  • we always seem to lack helpers for the jobs the daily center life and projects require
  • many of our guests feel a bit lost here and don’t know how to help when they want to

With so many people coming and going all the time, it’s crucial to have a clear, easy-to-understand and ongoing way of matching these offers and demands together. We’ll try to learn from the great Summer Course’s job center and come up with something friendly and practical that will make the lives of both guests and residents at the EC easier.

And finally a small quiz for you: what do traveling teachers Florinda Czeija, Egle Rasimaite, Wojtek Tracewski, Gert Boll, Honza Matuska and Peter Malinowski have in common?

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Welcome home, Lama Ole!

February 14th, 2011

After guiding a meditation course in Karlsruhe with 2000+ students over the weekend, Lama Ole arrived back at the EC last night, followed by “a couple” of friends. He will spend two more days of his work retreat here before leaving for touring Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Welcome home, everyone!

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24 hours

February 13th, 2011

Last Sunday we sat down with 3 of friends to talk. It was very late after a busy Summer Course Team weekend, and one of us posed a simple question – how was your day? As we started to recount each other’s day, this impressive list of things that happened in the last 24 hours appeared:

  • the EC Steering Team met, as every Sunday, to work on an agenda of questions, issues and tasks that accumulated over the past week
  • Shamar Rinpoche greeted all while on the phone with Lama Ole
  • Lama Ole finished a manuscript of a new question-and-answers book and a first part of a three-part article on transmission
  • the Summer Course core team summed up the very successful weekend and fixed the program of the upcoming Summer Course 2011
  • Manfred K. came from Munich to set up a new address book system for Lama Ole’s team (aka “the pool”)
  • Bulgarian friends visiting the EC drove home happily with 3 new statues for their centers
  • 2 film crews shooting documentary movies about Lama Ole and Hannah came to the EC to discuss their projects and their financing
  • the Press Team sent out a statement about the recent events in the East
  • a new Diamond Way Musicians international group was created, putting together sangha musicians who want to support various projects (e.g. movies) with their music
  • old water boiler in the villa collapsed – accidentally, all the experts were around and replaced almost it immediately
  • the new EC road sign was designed
  • we (finally) sent out Lama Ole’s New Year’s cards

And this was just the 3 of us talking about things we were involved in mostly outside of the Summer Course team weekend program. The other 90 people attending the weekend would add much more to the list as their teams met to prepare the Summer Course: the gompa team, the transportation team, the finance team, the purchasing team, the registration team, the dharma shop, mini-market & merchandising teams, the cafeteria, the childcare, the sound team, the kitchen team, the medical team, the I-grow-EC! team… you name it.

Life’s never boring! Especially at the EC.

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An EC morning with Lama Ole

February 4th, 2011

During Lama Ole’s stay, the EC fills up with friends from around the world. They enjoy being in the Lama‘s powerfield – meditating, working and enjoying each other.

The day started with a special gift – Lama Ole guided the morning meditation. He showed everybody how he would like us to read the meditation, where to give people time. Afterwards he again pointed out how important it is to go deeper and to pause, as every single word has deep meaning. How important it is to find „the space in between“… If we catch that moment of naked mind, it means big progress.

What a beautiful beginning of another meaningful day.

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Austrian Weekend

January 26th, 2011

It was about time for our close neighbours, the Austrian Sangha, to take over the Europe Center for a weekend! The Austrian Country Weekend was all about transmission in every direction – between the Europe Center, its international sangha and Austria as well as in between the Austrian centers themselves. Also sharing a lot of fun  meant growing together more and getting to know each other better in unusual situations for many of the participants.

The meaning and vision of the EC became clear during a spontaneous questions & answers session with Caty. “Now we really identify with the EC and – apart from that – also with our own center, our roots and our culture. We realized that the challenges we experienced in our centers are the same as in other centers in the world. We shared so much fun and creativity – it was amazing to see how much surplus we had together to organize this big thing!”

Another friend put it this way: “Hey, this is great, we can be at the EC whenever we want. It is ours!!!”

Thank you for a very unique and inspiring weekend!

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Celebrating a first big step!

January 25th, 2011


Here’s a reason to celebrate in the centers around the world! After months of intense planning work by the architects, several presentations of the building plans and talks with the local citizens and authorities – the first very important step on the way to the new building of our Europe Center has been completed.

Last  week’s official vote in Immenstadt changed the zoning for our plot, so that we will be able to build the new building according to our architects’ plans!

Now we are free to go into architectural  planning. A final preliminary design is going to be finished until February 1st. Afterwards, the planning will go into every necessary detail until autumn.

For example, the rooms facing the lake will most likely become guest rooms, in order to give our visiting friends the joy of the beautiful view. There will be space for around 40 residents and 60 guests, and the room sizes will vary between approximately 12 and 18 square meters – wider than the model of a guest room shown during the  International Summer Course 2010 here at the EC. Some more spacious rooms for e.g. teachers or handicapped guests will also be available. The model of the new building on the picture will be updated soon. It’s to give you an idea where the new building will be, but the plans have been altered a bit since it was made. Expect an updated model soon!

Stay tuned for more details as they come up – for now: time to celebrate and thank everyone involved – especially the architects’ team for the amazing work they already did – which is just the start of what’s to come during the next three years!

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One might think that January is a quiet time with a lot of snow and little action…
Not at the EC! The first weeks of the new year were packed with spontaneous talks and presentations, looong breakfasts and evenings with friends from all across the globe – and almost no snow. ;)

Diamond Way Buddhism in the US was the focus of three nights. Joshua and Jeremiah dug deep in their piles of pictures and memories from the times when a few very inspired and active friends in the US drove for days and nights in order to listen to a public lecture by Lama Ole or meditate together. This was the start of eight centers with a lot of members in the Heartland, the Midwest of the United States, today. To round this up, a report on Lama Ole’s recent US tour gave us an insight on the recent happenings in North America.

Roman from Melbourne made clear that driving is not really an option “down under” – the distances between the meditation groups are way too big. So as an Australian buddhist, you sometimes have to hop on an airplane to meet your friends from the next town for a weekend or listen to a travel teacher’s lecture. Breathtakingly beautiful beaches and the characteristically Australian need for one’s personal wide space have not kept Buddhism in Australia from developing impressively over the last years. In Melbourne, there are eight friends living together in one center, other centers are also growing quickly, and a beautiful retreat house at the beach for meditation was just purchased for all members of the Australian sangha to meet at.

For Europe, Karolina, Ilona and Danas gave an inspiring insight on the dynamic development of Buddhism in a comparatively small country like Lithuania. They showed that with devotion a relatively small group of friends can bring Buddhism into a whole country. Today there are four centers, and the big retreat center is getting ready for the visit of H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje.

Our new weekly movie night premiered with the fascinating travel documentary “Searching for the old Tibet” by Maria from Gdańsk and Thomas from Berlin. You’re more than welcome to come and join our movie nights in the cosy lounge!

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A few days before Christmas, Lama Ole came to the EC for so-called “project days”. Project days are a working retreat, a reserved time for the Lama and his team to focus on books, articles and other manuscripts in progress, for answering dozens of e-mails and letters from students and generally doing all the behind-the-scenes work that is not possible to complete on the road during teaching tours and travels. For us, Lama Ole’s students, the best we can do is to respect this time as a closed event – a retreat –and create the conditions for the team’s uninterrupted work.

This time, the project days were even more interesting, because apart from the normal work, Lama Ole did a series of audio recordings. What was recorded were selected meditations used in the Diamond Way Buddhist centers around the world – like the Guru Yogas on the 16th Karmapa and 8th Karmapa – that Lama Ole guided both in English and German.  Later, these will be available in our centers’ dharma-shops.

On the evening of Dec 23rd, before his departure to Copenhagen, Lama Ole managed to record a short movie about a planned joined “Americas Course” in 2012, addressing all North and South American students. After that he joined us in the dinning hall for a small get-together and we had the rare opportunity to be the first to hear the draft of Lama’s New Year’s letter that will be read just before the last midnight of 2010 in Prague and send to all Diamond Way centers and friends worldwide.

It is a precious occasion for the EC crew to be able to host Lama Ole and we are already looking forward to his next course or working retreat.

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Allgäu Winterwonderland provided perfect conditions for our 24 hour meditation on Loving Eyes (tib. Chenrezig, skt. Avalokiteshvara), the embodiment of the love and compassion of all Buddhas. With below -10°C and half a meter of snow outside, we had a wonderful time meditating together in our cosy gompa in the EC Villa. On Saturday evening, we rounded up the meditation with an inspiring lecture by buddhist travel teacher Pit Weigelt about love and compassion – and a nice get together afterwards in our snowed in Baucafé.

The kids definitely got their weekend’s highlight on Sunday afternoon. They decorated the beautiful christmas tree in the hall of the villa – right in time for welcoming Lama Ole for a few days of bookretreat at the EC, starting tomorrow…

And then there are three more friends we were finally able to welcome this weekend: our new resident family Nastia, Martin and little Nik from Prague. Great they’ve finally come to stay!

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