I GO EC – the Czechs are coming

EC Blog News & Reports

I GO EC is the name of a new project, which was inspired by Lama Ole´s wish to be involved more in international activites. The same way as the Hamburg sangha, that comes to the EC every six weeks, the Czechs decided to organize regular weekend trips. For all friends without cars and also those who want company on the way, the Czechs scheduled a line Brno – Prague – Pilsen – EC and back every two months. There will always be two vans leaving Brno on Friday evening and coming back on Sunday night. This weekend was the pilot one, and it already brought nice success – at the end of the weekend friends did not want to leave the EC and some were immediately trying to find ways to stay here longer or come more often.. simply I GO EC!

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The weekend grand finale

(This is a 2nd part of the report from the Russian week. 1st part can be found here.)

From our Russian reporter: Lots of friends joined the Russian week finale on Friday evening and Saturday.

Tolek Sokolov’s Friday lecture was followed by a weekend-opening party at the Bau café. Around midnight, a surprise performance of Russian folk-dances spiced up the party with elaborate traditional costumes and dancing figures (see the video below). Russian sense of humor continued on Saturday during the Russian culture festival. We meditated, worked outside and organized “master-classes” in Russian singing, dancing and cooking.

The cultural highlight of the weekend came on Saturday evening with the concert of a Western Siberia band Drugiye Dyady from the city of Barnaul. They traveled about 6000 km to play their amazing groovy jazz-rock to a great delight of all the 240+ dancing and applauding spectators, including many Immenstadt locals. After 3 joyful and energetic hours of performance they handed the night over to Russian DJs sets.

From the EC team: What do add? During their week at the EC, our Russian friends generously hosted many Austrians, Belgians, Belorussians, a Brazilian, Czechs, Danish, Englishmen, French, Germans, Latvians, a Pole, Scotsmen, Swiss, Ukrainians and a Venezuelan. But in accord with the week’s motto it became clear, that although our passports may be different, there is a bit of a Russian in each of us :)

Thank you for the great week and many new east-bound connections with the EC!

PS: We started to experiment with videos along with the popular photos on our EC blog. Enjoy the first two!

 

Russian folk dance in the Bau Café

Drugiye Dyady in Immenstadt

Pictures

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With a little delay in posting and big thanks to Vienna sangha, who participated in organization of the event, we are here with the blog from the 5th Transmission weekend!

Whole event started with Friday evening lecture about the transmission of Buddhist art from East to West. As the topic of the whole weekend was quite vast, therefore a basic overview of how Buddhist art and symbolism came to the West was needed.

Saturday morning was dedicated to explanations of the statues, especially the clay statues from Braunsweig or Ladakh. In the afternoon we went into depths of  meanings of  symbols used on thankas, usually connected with meditation practices  in Buddhism. Whole day was rounded by many questions and answers as well as several stories.

On Sunday morning we got the transmission of how thankas are made, especially thankas used in our centers which are mainly made in Karma Gadri style. Despite the fact that deep meaning of symbols is only explained by one’s teacher in connection with particular yidam practice, a knowledge gained during this weekend will certainly help us for better understanding the goal of all Buddhist symbols – understanding the nature of our mind.

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From our Russian reporter: Most of our Russian group arrived to the Europe Center on April 31st but our journey started already a few days before in Berlin. There, as an unofficial start of the Russian invasion to the EC, we organized a party for the Big Moskovsky – the new Moscow Buddhist center project. It was our response to the Mila center party in December 2009 in Moscow.

At the EC, we were warmly welcomed home by the residents and soon after we received a direct transmission of how the center works and how to take care of the houses since we are in charge for its functioning during the whole week. Our Russian group took the responsibility for the cooking, the cleaning and taking care of the newcomers and guests. We also prepared and organize the program under the motto: Are you all Russians or what? This was the questions everyone who liked to visit our program this week had to answer while meditating, working and getting to know more about the Russian mind & culture.

Since the start of the week on May 3rd, we are exchanging a lot – the Russians made a presentation of the new center in Boyarsk on the Baikal lake and the new Moscow center and the EC team Beata explained about the history of the houses and presented what was going on at the EC last 12 months and what is planned for future. Marina Viller and Olga Komarova made a lecture about the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje’s tour through Russia in 2009. On Friday, one of the first traveling teachers in Russia, Tolek Sokolov, made a lecture about the history of Karma Kagyu Buddhists in Russia which has its roots in traditional Buddhist regions like Kalmykia in the 14th century.

But the Russian week is not over – there is still the whole weekend program, including a concert in Immenstadt, ahead of us! Come and join in!

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The Swiss weekend

April 28th, 2010

The tone for the Swiss weekend was given among other things by the following message: “Dear all:-)) short reminder: bring a little bit of your favorite “schocki” with you to Allgäu for our friends from around the world “. We responded accordingly and as a result, on every table of the Europe Center, chocolate appeared as if it came from the horn of abundance.

The activity planning was prepared in advance. Each one of the bigger centers would take care of one of the meals. There would be lectures by our Swiss teachers: Anne, Markus and Matthias; the Swiss centers would present their projects; Amden would have a special presentation and Alain and Päddu,  our Bernese DJ’s, would animate the party on Saturday evening at the Bau Café.

But the Swiss can be flexible as well. The weather was gorgeous and roses, flowers and trees had to be planted! What else to do? The plan was dropped and we did what was needed to be done with a lot of pleasure.

The menus were typically Swiss. On Saturday evening the centers presented their projects and talked about their history: Bern presented its new G14 house; Basel, St. Gallen and Zurich talked about their newest plans. The friends from Luzern offered us “Vo Luzärn gage Wäggis zue” accompanied by a guitar and the typical rocking movement.

In the evening at the Bau Café the DJ’s Päddu and Alain, as well as our bartenders from Amden: Mona, Corinne and René animated the party with good music, drinks and fantastic Swiss “Bergkäse”.

On Sunday, big cleaning action, more planting and a video of the Swiss Stupas rounded the weekend up. It was a fantastic experience. We are all looking forward to repeating it again soon.

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As you can see from the headline – we had quite a packed and intensive time during the last weeks…

Lama Ole spent  some days here on a book retreat, which was very successful and the book is almost finished. Just a few more proof readings and we can all look forward to a new book, which will guide us through the process of dying, the bardo state and being reborn again.  Lama Ole had also few free minutes to come outside  and cut the trees which are blocking some of the windows from sun and light.

On Friday the organizers of the next International Summer course came together like every year. The new program for the summer was announced: It will start with a Phowa course and then 4 transmission days both given by Lama Ole with a lot of interesting topics. Whole course will be rounded off with a Mahamudra & Dzogchen three day course and initiation given by Shamar Rinpoche. The main topic of this preparatory weekend was to make the upcoming course more simple and at the same time keep the quality of the previous years.

Last but not least was a meeting with our architecture office, who are preparing the plans for the new gompa and building. Lama Ole liked the proposal, but as everything is still in  process, the final solution was not reached,  just lots of new ideas and new inputs. So we have really something to look forward to!

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By the  Lithuanian Sangha

The first joint country weekend was a true success. The Lithuanian sangha is grateful to its Italian friends, who accepted and warmly supported the idea of letting  another  sangha co-organize a country weekend at the EC. We jumped the queue as usual and enjoyed it a lot.

The Lithuanian team arrived on Thursday night thanks to bank holidays back home. We enjoyed a nice relaxed Friday with a group trip to local roller coaster and waited for the Italians with a big Lithuanian dinner, which included 50 liters of red beat soup. The weekend continued with the Italian sangha arriving on Friday night, which one could recognize without leaving the room due to significantly increased sound level.

Together we listened to the lectures of Lithuanian and Italian traveling teachers,  presentations of Diamond Way Buddhism’s development in these two distant countries and enjoyed delicious Italian food. On Saturday night the Italians really proved they do it better, by presenting a real Italian trash party followed by karaoke show and tiramisu.

Two sanghas, that do not usually meet too often, enjoyed coming together and finding out new things about each other (for example where Lithuania really is on the map). And as it was said in one famous movie: “I think this is a beginning of a beautiful friendship!”

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The Slovak Country weekend

February 23rd, 2010

By the Slovak sangha:

“Only a week after Valentine’s day, our hearts are beating fast again. Not only did we have the chance to take care of our amazing Europe Center and help its wonderful residents & team, but we also had a chance to fall in love with the place, if it had not already happened a long time ago.

Slovak cooks cooked healthy and delicious international meals, as well as less healthy but even more delicious Slovak specialties. Besides eating, we meditated a lot and listened to Dharma lectures by Slovak traveling teachers. Saturday evening was dedicated to the history of Diamond Way Buddhism in Slovakia. One could learn that DWB in Slovakia was born only fourteen years ago in the hearts of karate kids, who got inspired by Lama Ole Nydahl. Instead of working only with their bodies, they started to work with their minds as well. We watched a short movie about Slovak Buddhist centers and an inspiring documentary about a journey some of the Slovak sangha made to Mustang. Later on, we enjoyed some social time together with many surprises…

On Sunday morning, we listened to the last lecture, meditated together and cleaned up after lunch. Some made new friends, some deepened old friendships, and some fell in love. This place is just magic. Coming here, it welcomed us with a huge hug of snow and leaving it, it waved us goodbye with rays of sun.”

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More Winter Magic…

February 8th, 2010

The Allgäu winter wonderland just keeps amazing everyone coming to the EC in these months – so here are some more snowy impressions from all across our beautiful Europe Center…

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It is Sunday evening and the Europe Center seems completely deserted, despite the few people sipping tea, meditating, wandering around and napping after a long and intensive weekend. At least it feels like it, in comparison to the full house only a few hours ago when the Transmission weekend ended with a common meditation on the 16th Karmapa.

The subject – How I met the 16th Karmapa – presented by friends practicing Diamond Way Buddhism already around 30 years, attracted people from many countries. Not even the true Allgäu-winter conditions with half-a-meter of new snow every day, nor the fact that the provisory limited gompa was packed, would discourage friends to come.

The personal experiences, histories, never-before-seen pictures and videos we shared in the last 2 days brought us all closer again to the great inspiring teacher and yogi of Tibet, H.H. the 16th Karmapa. Through his openness to Western students and the power of his wisdom and joy, he planted the seeds for the rapid growth of the Diamond Way Buddhism in the West.

Even today, almost 30 years after his passing, the 16th Karmapa remains the essential source of inspiration and blessing that materializes in the ever growing number of DWB centers around the world. May we all be inspired by his example!

p.s.: many worked hard to make this event possible but the indisputable heroes of the weekend are all the kitchen-magicians and snow-fighters that made the roads and paths accessible. Thank you, friends!

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