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EC Blog News & Reports

Welcome home!

July 26th, 2010

Shortly before the 3rd International Summer Course, we would like to take you on a virtual tour through our beautiful EC Villa…

Our resident conservator Beate and a team of diligent and skilled helpers put great effort into the preservation of the almost 100 years old, monument-protected building all year around. It’s their everyday challenge to restore the art nouveau building according to both our needs as an International Buddhist center and the monument protection laws. The original antique furniture combines somewhat naturally with our statues and thangkas, and the “Inner Beauty” team has come up with amazing ways of finding inexpensive fabrics and interior pieces to brush up the looks of the house.

When you come to the Europe Center for the first time, please ask one of the residents to take you on a tour, we would be very happy to show you around. The house will be open during the summer course and we will organize guided tours to make sure everyone interested gets a chance to see our beautiful EC home anyway!

For now, here’s the photographic tour through the villa – welcome home!

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Last week started with a three day visit by Lama Ole at the EC.  An inspiring sangha meeting with him on Tuesday gave us a wonderful opportunity to get answers to questions and challenges arising in daily Europe Center life.

Around 200 friends e.g. from the Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Australia and Germany came for the 2nd Summer Course Build-up Weekend. Pretty close to the speed of light, they built up both the kitchen and the cafeteria tent. On Saturday, a downpour of app. 20l per squaremeter in 15 minutes only started when the tents already had their roof – so the installation of the wooden floor could continue despite the very wet conditions. When the sun was back on Sunday, we enjoyed breakfast and lunch on the terrace and went on with the work both on the 2nd House’s roof and the Summer Course areal after a long evening with an inspiring lecture on Buddhism by Kerstin, meditating together and enjoying a great party at the Baucafé.

The 3rd International EC Summer Course is getting very close – kicking of 03 August. Please remember to register online in time – and of course you’re more than welcome to join our build-up phase whenever and for how long you wish! Just send a mail in advance to join@europe-center.org to let us know about your stay.

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The sun was shining all through last sunday’s 3rd Classical Music Matinée under the art nouveau arcades of Gut Hochreute. Six great artists took us on a musical journey to the “New World” with their virtuoso performances, inspired by the 4th of July – American Independence Day.

The four stringplayers of the “Rossini Streichquartett”, pianist Fabio Ceroni of the Munich State Opera house and stunning mezzosoprano Sibylle Wolf gave sweeping performances of e.g. Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” or Gershwin’s famous “Rapsody in Blue”.

The matinée has become a wonderful EC tradition of winding up the statue exhibition with a cultural highlight for the region. We celebrated both with lots of homemade cake and coffee afterwards and are already looking forward to next year’s exhibiton and matinée. Many thanks to all the friends who made this such a joy and big success!

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Up on the EC roof…

June 30th, 2010

The summer sun is back at the EC after a very rainy period. And so Achim, Edwin and the boys are again hard at work on the roof – or rather what will soon be the brandnew roof of the EC’s “Second House”. We’ve learned quite a bit from our skilled experts about roofing with the traditional bavarian beavertail tiles by now. And we are very close to envying them for the breathtaking view of the Villa and the Great Alpsee lake they have from up there. So here’s the view for you – enjoy!

Our cook Fernando and his team take good care that our hard-working guys get nutricious and very tasty Italian food and cappuccino afterwards, and a bit of stretching in the evening does the rest to keep them fit for the next day on the roof. In time for the 3rd International Summer Course, the Second House will have a roof that surely is going to last for a very long time!

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Key people weekend

June 28th, 2010

Over the last weekend, the second keypeople meeting of the year took place at the EC. “EC Keypeople” are those who have a function to bring the EC vision and project to life in their own countries, and the focus of the weekend was on exactly this.

With over a dozen countries represented (including distant places like Australia, New Zealand, and the Americas), the thorough conversations proved to be stimulating and fruitful. The crew of about 40 received latest updates, identified important themes to further develop, clarified questions, exchanged ideas about how to connect friends back home to the EC on deeper levels, discussed ways how to encourage support for the renovation and expansion project, and most importantly offered to carry out various tasks ranging from communication to renovation. Perhaps most important was the strengthening and deepening of friendship bonds which reach across the vast expanse of the globe.

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Last week many friends from Reutlingen came to kick off our first “ECtropy up!” weekend. “ECtropy up!” is a concept of special work’n’joy weekends organized every couple of months at the Europe Center. The aim is making the EC facilities nicer, cleaner, more useful and organized and saving some money by reusing or selling unused material. And of course, we don’t forget to meditate and have fun.

The Reutlingers cleaned our garden house and built a beautiful and safer bridge to make it more easily accessible for guests. Some of them did a great job inside the villa hosting our neighbours on Saturday and helping with the housekeeping and cooking all weekend long while others worked in the forest or the courtyard. Even the road leading up to the EC improved thanks to them – they filled up all the pot-holes caused by the large amounts of rain during the last weeks and cleaned the drainage system along the roadside.

If you would like to join us individually or with your Sangha friends for working and having fun at the Europe Center, please let us know by sending a mail to join@europe-center.org.

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We spent a wonderful day with our local friends from the surrounding farms and villages last weekend. Our neighbours came up to Gut Hochreute for homemade cake, a chat and listening to Beate and Manfred giving two virtuoso musical performances. Of course our guests also got a guided tour of the statue exhibition (open to the public until 04 July, every Sunday 3-5 pm). Some came up with very useful suggestions for the new building after Caty and Philip presented the architects‘ models.

It was a great opportunity for all of us to get to know each other a bit more and to exchange experiences and views. And most of all – for us to say „Dankeschön!“ („Thank you!“) for all the support, openness and warmth our neighbours have shown towards us and the Europe Center during the past years.

We‘re looking forward to welcoming them and hopefully a lot of you again for our Classical Music Summer Matinée under the beautiful EC arcades on 04 July!

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Statue Filling Weekend

June 16th, 2010

Last weekend friends skilled in statue filling from many countries – even Australia, Canada and New Zealand – met for the second time here at the EC. They exchanged their knowledge and joined efforts to fill around 80 beautiful buddhist statues within just 48 hours.

Statue filling is an ancient budhist 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 opening deep layers in the meditator’s subconscious.

Guided tours of our ongoing statue exhibition in the Villa (German or English) are offered every Sunday between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. until 04 July. You are very welcome to join one of the tours and learn more about the fascinating art of buddhist statues!

To conclude the statue exhibition, a third open air classical concert will be held at Gut Hochreute on 04 July at 11am. As in previous years, our guest artists will give virtuoso performances using the wonderful acoustics of the arcade.

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Finally we have a new parking place in front of the EC. In order to create natural borderlines for cars parking up the hill, we planted a dozen of cherry trees – the same way this place looked in the times of the previous house owner.  Our “yard gang” guided by Till, Jürgen, JC and many helpers did a great job. Be prepared for a serious blooming in the spring!

As we want to keep the parking up-the-hill nature-friendly, the number of cars parking up has its limits. The few parking places inside the yard serve for people who live in the houses. Cars that won’t fit on the cherry parking place in front should be always parked on prepaid public parking places in Immenstadt. Visitors coming for busy weekend events can easily use shuttle service we always organize. While registering for an event, don’t forget to write down the shuttle phone number to call to be picked up. Unless, of course, you enjoy nature walks – the short one up to the EC offers the best lake & waterfall views…

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Many visitors from around the Immenstadt came for our statue exhibition opening last Sunday. Six guided tours were led through the villa by some of our experienced travel teachers. Even though the weather was quite cold, the visitors found their way up to the Europe Center on the hill above the lake Alpsee, Immenstadt. They enjoyed the exhibited Buddhas in the art nouveaux athmosphere, as well as coffee and cake in our construction café and lots of information about buddhism, the villa and us.
The statue exhibition is still to be seen every Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. until 4th of July when we have the traditional classical Summer matinee. One hour guided tours will be offered at these times every half hour.  You are all welcomed to come and enjoy.

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