Statue and Thangka Painting Course

EC Blog News & Reports

From February 24th to March 1st, a small group of very talented friends from Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Germany came together for a wonderful thangka and statue painting course, guided by the painting master Tashi Gyaltsen of Dharamsala, and Silke Keller of Munich. Schwarzenberg’s resident statue painting group and Petra from Braunschweig also joined in.

The first step was to learn the measurement construction of a Buddha. Then the group started to draw Buddha faces using a special raster system. We then practiced drawing a Buddha’s hands, feet and robes. Finally we learned how to paint the faces of statues.

We enjoyed the course in a bright and lovely room, the EC’s winter garden. Outside, we had a view of a beautiful winter landscape. The snow and sunshine made it look like a fairy tale. Many thanks to the EC team for their warm hosting and tasty meals.

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On the weekend of 21-22 February, representatives from the cities, nominated as European Capitals of Culture, came together at the EC. The international workshop was joined by Austrians, Hungarians, Lithuanians and Germans, who represented Linz, Pecs, Vilnius, Rurhgebiet and Liverpool. We worked on the common vision of this exciting project, shared the experiences from different countries and presented our plans for 2009 and 2010.

The sanghas from the different cities will organize statue and thangka exhibitions, courses, public lectures and meditations, Buddhism and Science groups, film festivals and many other events. The main task of this project is to take part in the cultural life of Europe and to present our timeless values to society.

Our purpose has changed from not only participating in European Capitals of Culture projects to generally participating in European culture. Lama Ole told us that we should definitely take part in the cultural life of Europe, because we have something to offer that nobody else has.

You don’t have to be from the city who is nominated as European Capital of Culture to join. If you are interested write to us: info@diamondway-culture.org .

While all of this was going on the first floor of the villa, in the main hall on the ground floor, a small team of residents and friends were on their hands and knees, carrying out the painstaking job of scrubbing the floor clean with small brushes and olive soap. This was done three times over the weekend and Monday. The immaculately clean floor was oiled on Wednesday and finally sealed on Thursday. We hope you will all enjoy the transformation.

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Losing the view……

February 14th, 2009

And now for the weather-forecast: snow, snow, snow

It has been snowing almost without interruption, since Tuesday, 10th February, and the weather forecast predicts at least another five days of intense snowfall. As a result of this, we often lose our beautiful view of the mountains and lake.

Everybody, including the kitchen-crew, made their last visit to the supermarkets down in the valley, in order to prepare for the probable effect: the EC will be cut off from the outer world. Only cars with four-wheel-drive and snow-chains manage to climb up the ever narrowing road to the center. Jürgen, Jesper and Lasse try to keep the roads clear with the tractor and many hands support them with snow shovels and brooms. As Jürgen said this morning after two hours of work: “It’s gorgeous outside!”

Nevertheless the friends at the EC are enjoying this rare & heavy snowfall. After two days, the snow is already up to one’s thighs, and some of the residents have found a very fast way down to the lake, enjoying moonlit sledge rides down the mountainside!

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Improving the View

February 12th, 2009

Due to the condition of some of our trees between the villa and road, it was decided that a selection needed to come down. The up-side of this is that the view from the villa and land above to the lake is much improved. So last week some contractors, under Jürgen’s watchful eye, felled many of our trees and now we have enough wood for several different projects.

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Milena & Gerrit

February 10th, 2009

Love is in the air

Last Friday love was truly in the air at the EC, when Gerrit and Milena got married. Theirs is a story of love found and nurtured and formalized within the walls of the Europe Center. They met here one year ago and fell instantly in love. In true fairytale & EC style they did not let distance, cultural boundaries or language hold them back. They then met up in London, and afterwards Gerrit traveled to Bulgaria to meet the family and bring his beautiful bride back to the EC. When Lama Ole said: “people will fall in love here privately”, as usual he was absolutely right!

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Thangka painter in the EC

January 28th, 2009

We have a new guest in the EC – smiling thangka painter named Tashi. Lama Ole invited him to EC when they met each other in Russia on the place called Elista. Tashi came last week and immediately started to work on his new paintings. He knows every detail by heart and if you ask him how many years he had to learn, he always smiles and replies: Oh, many many. Many many…

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Statue filling weekend

January 26th, 2009

Beautiful but empty statues, mantra’s, saffron, paper, glue, various odd looking tools, cotton, tape, incense, flowers, gold, precious stones and a highly motivated & skilled international group of statue fillers. The proper ingredients for a very inspiring “International Statue Filling Coordination” weekend.

A group of around 20 seasoned statue fillers came together last weekend to enjoy a series of workshops, in order to share their best methods and the highest quality. One of the goals for the weekend was to divide the work that needs to be done to prepare and fill the many Europe Center statues.

Werner, Hannah and Dagmar, three of the four most experienced statue fillers, each gave a short lecture, sharing their experiences. The happy participants left this afternoon to return home and share their inspiration to begin preparations with many more friends and centers, for the big task ahead.

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One of those days

January 22nd, 2009

This Wednesday was one of those days when it´s good to stay in the bed no matter what. Winter time brought us typical mountain adventures like snow storms and icy roads. Although we are cleaning the road up to the EC every day, this time the weather conditions were really hard and many cars did not manage to come up. More than that Beate´s car became quite uncontrollable and she went down the road. All protectors were present so fortunately nothing happened to her. The next day a car company and Lasse driving the tractor, worked three hours on pulling the car up the cliff. If you decide to come in snowy weather, please make sure to have chains on your tires, or a strong four wheel car. Sometimes it is even very smart to leave the car down the hill and walk up.

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Friends, we do not know how it happened (or maybe we do), but the babies are attacking EC! They are small, soft, funny, happy and everywhere. And after some deep investigation of this phenomenom we have found out that they like to swim. This buddhist baby swimming invasion group had to be guided to the closest warm swimming pool otherwise they would try spontaneosly swim in our half frozen lake.

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If you come to EC looking for a guy who can build a house, teach you how to ski, meditate with you everyday, go swimming in the early morning to the cold lake or have a nice chat with a beer in the evening, ask for Alexander. He came from Vienna last winter and since that moment he is all the time working outside of the house leading the construction. And his dark sides? Well, he really hates brocolli, unhealthy food and non action movies. So friends, check the pictures and meet Alexander…

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