The Hungarian country weekend in the EC

EC Blog News & Reports

Friday evening

Thanks to heavy snow in Austria, all the participants came much later than it was planned, therefore Hungarians took over the EC only in the evening. Everyone was welcomed by a bit of Hungarian palinka (schnaps), meanwhile the cooks started to prepare the dinner. After evening meditation we got a nice teaching from Didi and Zsuzsi Rowek about the beginning of Hungarian Buddhism. Didi and Zsuzsi were the first traveling teachers who started to teach in Hungary many years ago.

Saturday

7.30 wake-up with live Saxofon music, meditation and traditional breakfast. After this early start the contest among 9 mixed groups in 9 locations in the house took place. Tasks were really joyful: archery, building Buddha-statues from snow without talking, protecting flying eggs with different tools, finding out what is Hungarian invention etc.

After presentations about the history of Hungarian buddhism and videos from the past we enjoyed an unbeliveable cultural evening in the BauCafe: folk songs (presented by professional Buddhist artists) and folk dances with amateur friends.

Sunday

Wake-up music again, but with a bit bigger company (Saxofon, ancient Hungarian drum, violin and a singer) visiting again all the places where people were sleeping. After breakfast we went on with the presentations of the Hungarian buddhist history and then 6 traveling teachers made a session of questions and answers creating constant smile on the faces of the audience. For lunch there was of course a nice goulash with cottage cheese ball as dessert. Quick cleaning of the building and good bye (everyone got sweets and sausage with bread for the way home).

Well, that was a blog written by Majki from Budapest accomanied with photos and videos from Hungarian friends, who came in 7 minibusses and 6 cars. In the EC we had more than 85 Hungarians, several friends from Vienna, Transylvania, Uzhgorod and Greece  alltogether with many visitors. They all consumed 20 kgs of sausages and several kgs of Erős Pista (chili sauce)!

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On the last weekend the EC hosted the Ngöndro days with several traveling teachers, who explained  the background teachings for Foundational Practices to around 60 people. Inspired by the program we had guests from close and also far away centers.

During these days we could hear the voices of Karola Schneider, Charlotte Jorgensen, Hinrich Vollmer, Roman Laus and Frank Huhn talking about teacher and student relationship,  the meaning of refuge, Bodhisattva attitude, cause and effect and the two accumulations. On Saturday evening there was a session of Questions and Answers with all the speakers.  We went deeper into our practice during a longer meditation sessions and it again showed us how important is to meditate together.

For the Ngöndro weekend more than 30 friends from Berlin sangha came to run the EC and thanks to them the EC Team could attend the full program and also get to know the Berliners better!

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ITAS workshop

November 22nd, 2010

Again a weekend is over in the Europe Center. For the first time we had the pleasure to host an ITAS weekend here. For those who don’t know ITAS, ITAS is the International Institute for Tibetan and Asian Studies based in lovely Karma Guen in Spain. Around 20 people came to talk about how ITAS can bring the most benefit to as many beings as possible in the longest time. They talked about the future and the present: processes of ITAS, new IT projects, e-Learning, financial issues and much more. Finally they could meet in one place which gives a lot of possibilities to exchange opinions, make clarifications and get to know each other better. That is one of the reasons why we have the Europe Center – meet and connect!

Other friends came for a weekend to help and enjoy the time together. Everyone found their areas to work and time to meditate. Finally every evening all of us met at the Bau-Cafe – the most famous bar in the world ;)

After the ITAS workshop was over the EC Team came together on Sunday evening to do the Phowa practice – like all other Diamondway Centers around the world we do it 4 times a year (including summer course). That night the full moon was extremely breathtaking…

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This weekend the Europe Center was invaded by some 100 bavarians! It was about time, since it is located in the big German federal state of Bavaria. The Bavarian centers were and are much involved in the long process of finding the EC and building it up afterwards – and of course they can get here within a very short amount of time. Therefore they are quite important to keep the Europe Center running.

We heard very inspiring stories about the history of the EC and of Buddhism in Bavaria from the “old dogs”, brainstormed how to get the Bavarian sanghas even more actively involved in the Europe Center activities, and learnt a lot about the world-famous Bavarian culture – especially about the delicious food and the traditional clothing – “Dirndl” dresses and leather trousers. And the translators had an extra-challenging job this time – they had to translate from Bavarian dialect to English – and vice versa, of course!

Oh… if you should be wondering if accidentally some summer pictures slipped in between – this is not the case. We had “Weißwurst” brunch outside in the sun –  in the middle of November and weeks after the first snow in Allgäu. Anything is possible in Bavaria! ;-)

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Another EC day dawning…

November 6th, 2010

It’s November, it’s Immenstadt – and that means we have another good reason to get up early. One beautiful sunrise is followed by the next. Here’s just two of them… but we might have to post follow-ups because it’s just breathtaking and veeery romantic almost every morning. ;-)

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A brand new Diamond Room Gompa!

November 1st, 2010

Thanks to the efforts of the Brühl sangha and our resident restaurator Beate, our gompa for big events – the Diamond Room – really shines now. They spent the weekend neatly covering the walls with a white fire-proof fabric. And as if that was not enough, the Brühlers also refurnished the hallway in the Villa’s basement, carefully srcubbing the monument-protected walls with a paintbrush, then white-washing them and putting a new ceiling. The hallway appears so much wider and brighter now!

In between, everyone watched live-streaming from the Braunschweig center meeting, meditated together and enjoyed their morning tea in the sunshine.

It’s a nice example of what can be achieved with the joint efforts of just one small group of friends. If your sangha has an idea or would like to help with such a project, please just let us know. It’s a great way of growing together as a sangha and making our jewel Europe Center shine even more!

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Taking down trees

October 28th, 2010

Another sunshiny autumn day – ideal to pick up on our cutting-trees-with-the-Lama-tradition again. In accordance with the plans for the new building and the authorities, some of the old trees will be taken down during the next years and healthy young ones are going to be or have already been planted (one of them is still so tiny that it lives in a little red bucket and you can hardly spot it on the photo… ;-) )

Today Lama Ole and the boys had a good time taking down about 15 trees – and it was already exciting enough just watching the huge trees fall! Now we certainly have enough firewood to heat the EC this winter.

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Lama Ole arrived for a few project days at the Europe Center this week. The main purpose of project days is to give our permanently traveling Lama the possibility to focus on “office” work like book writing and answering his students’ letters in a quiet environment. So of course he spends most of the time in the house, working with the team on these tasks.

Project days also give everyone who’s here the precious opportunity to meditate in the Lama’s powerfield… or  to go for a spontaneous walk across the wide and snowy EC grounds with him to have a look at the progress on the site – like we did yesterday!

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The EC Team weekend

October 26th, 2010

We, the EC sangha (also know as the EC team) decided a few weeks ago that it was our turn to go away together. So off we went across the border to Austria, some by car and some of the more crazy by bike, with the plan to spend some quality time together. And that’s exactly what we did. All our agendas quickly flew out the of the window into the snow and what naturally appeared, was exactly what our Lama always asks us to work with – friendship & trust

PS: We would like to take the opportunity to thank those who stayed at home and held the fort ;0)

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Spring and fall are known to be very short in Allgäu – we can confirm!

The first snow fell right on top of blooming roses and autumn-coloured (partially even still green) trees during the last days and it’s quite chilly already. Thanks to the sunny weather, the ten centimeters of snow are melting away again quickly, though. Good thing – because we still need to mark the road with long sticks to save us from driving down the hill “off-road” when there will be a lot more snow soon. ;-)

For now – here are some snowy autumn impressions for you to enjoy.

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