Forest work

EC Blog News & Reports

Forest work

March 30th, 2008

Czech students had amazing opportunity to go to EC and work here. We organized collection called ,,Good impressions for everyone’’. Working people gave us money and masseurs gave massages in the Brno center and all money supported our journey to EC. We are so happy to be here and participate in this wonderful project. We are having great time and lots of joy together with people from Europe.
Except us arborists (treeworkers)from Czech republic and Germany came and we all together took care of garden and forest. We were cutting branches of trees near the house for their health and keeping the good shape. Also we cleaned the forest and built the fence against the cows. It was hard work but everybody enjoyed it. We are so happy to be here and do things together. Everyone who has a chance to go here and join activity does something that will benefit all.

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Spring came to the EC with a lot of snow, that’s why we time to time woke up in the morning with a special exercise – snow removal. It is very healthy and refreshing – we can all recommend it. In fact, our friend Nicolas from Uruguay saw the snow for the second time in his life, so he looked very amazed by this experience.
In two days the weather has changed, which was great because our foresters and arborists could get into the trees and woods and we also could start to rebuild the small bridge across our road. As the whole construction started, the beautiful rainbow appeared on the sky out of no rain or snow…

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This weekend was the most quiet weekend in the EC since January. Almost everybody jumped in the car and went through some unpredictable funny snowstorms to Emmendingen for the Easter course with Lama Ole. Great course, wonderful atmosphere, good food, hot showers and wonderful friends – that was an offer for all us for almost five days. We are really lucky to have such a great teacher and also very lucky to have nice sangha friends everywhere. It was so nice how people talked to us about EC plans and how all of you reacted on our presentation about EC. Your feedback is very important for us and also it is a warm feeling to know, that you are enjoying the EC project. And friends we are grateful for the special present from UK sangha. We drink tea from your cups having a UK flag visibly in our office. Thank you!!!

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Good news

March 26th, 2008

This weekend, we once again had full activity inside and outside. And also the promise of much more activity in the future…

… because Friday afternoon, Caty went to the local notary to sign the contract that our conditions are fulfilled and we can carry out the summer course. When Caty came back, she told us all about the process to get to this point and we saw pictures from the beginning of the early Europe Center days when the group of key people one night started to call everybody in their mobile phone address books to ask for money for the new project. So Friday was a great, happy and very important evening for our work.
We also welcomed Patricia and Alex (who had moved in during the week) with flowers. In return, Patricia told the story of their long way to the Europe Center. It is so nice that they are finally here now after many years’ of being ready to come.
The weekend work included finishing custom-made closets in the lama flat and rearranging and cleaning everything there. Outside, a group of strong men from Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and one strong man from Denmark, Nicolai, did a lot of practical work. Natascha from Copenhagen (formerly Berlin) helped to cook nice food for us. Along the way, there was always full activity at the laptops around the office table on the first floor. And Saturday evening, activity was centered around the karaoke display in the kitchen area/bar/chill-out zone in the basement… and we did enjoy it very much.

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March 24th, 2008

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Before and after

March 16th, 2008

The old historic site “Gut Hochreute” is currently undergoing the probably most major changes since 100 years. While applying great and thorough care to the special preciousness of the building it is slowly becoming the new worldwide “Europe Center” for Diamond Way Buddhism. Just some of many many examples:


Above: The former main living room or fireplace room currently serves as a gompa and is used for common meditation twice a day. A history-filled family room evolved to a blessing-charged meditation place.


Above: The first floor in the villa was a big intersection-room and also partly served as a furniture storage. Today, a little more than a year later, it is used as one of several office spaces for project teams and meetings.


Above: The old dining room is the new dining room (besides the basement where we eat as well when being many). It has been cleaned up, painted and has more light now. And we love the flowers that can be found on every single table.


Above: A downward look from the villa’s staircase into the main hall shows the centrally positioned Tara statue now and freshly cleaned walls.

Beside the “outer” (visible) transformations of course the inner (non-visible) transformations are important as well. Here a “before and after” will exist as it does in the material world – and it counts for the worldwide Sangha as well just like for those on site in the EC: What new capabilities does the Europe Center stimulate in us? How is communication evolving in multi-national teams? What new values is internationality bringing into our Diamond Way work? And much more. We need all of this in order to root Diamond Way in the West, and our growth will need to reflect it – if we are in the EC or in our local center or at home. So the better we get, the better we’d better get…

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Official enough

March 12th, 2008

Thursday morning last week, Caty returned from two weeks in the East with news, samples of house shoes and greetings from Karmapa. And so, with Caty back home, freshly painted hall walls and a sparkling house, we were ready for a weekend of important visits.

Aside from all our efficient friends who came in to help prepare the house, the architect group had a meeting about the water supply with Martin from Berlin. They put their bright heads together to find the best solution for our water supply, particularly so that all friends coming for the summer course will also be able to have nice showers and be clean for Karmapa!

Saturday evening we were happy to welcome the new Mayor of Immenstadt, Armin Schaupp and the Mayor of Hindelang, Adi Martin. Nicklas & Karsten produced irresistible snacks and Thai soup for a beautifully set table in our dining room. Afterwards, our guests wrote in our new guest book and got a guided tour through the house. Along the way, they were lucky enough to get an offer of “tree cake” freshly in the door with our Lithuanian friends who had just arrived after a 24-hour ride in a minibus/maxicar for two days of enthusiastic work. Both mayors liked our house and our project a lot and the visit was a success on all levels. We look forward to continuing the good cooperation in the future.

After 100 years, “the castle” opened up for the first time to its neighbours. It was us, being the new owners, that invited the locals for a special neighbour day last Sunday. Philip and Mirjana had gone from door to door with invitations and for some happy hours, all living room tables and chairs were filled with happy, chatting, laughing and friendly neighbours. All stomachs were quickly filled with amazing varieties of cake from our huge cake buffet, produced by some of our friends with talents in the cake field. The pile of meditation cushions was flying all over and filled with the local gang of wild children. The hall was filled with classic music performed by Karin from Garmisch on flute and Holger from Schwarzenberg on guitar.

This week, work in the lama flat is being finished with a new guest room and a wardrobe and in the ground floor, a former storage room containing a collection of furniture, vegetables and tools has been cleared and turned into a light and spacious dormitory (to some it may be useful information that it is only approximately ten steps to get bed there from the new and already popular chill-out lounge.) Caty’s mother has been here to visit and also helped with the work. Our three Bulgarian stars from last week were so great and we managed to keep Milena for March and April also. Now we are ready for a new weekend with many friends.

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This week we were mainly concerned with finishing building sites from the last two weeks, cleaning the house and planning the Sunday afternoon for our neighbours. Our three pearls, Milena, Plamena and Mariana from Bulgaria are very pleasant and not only good at cleaning but also in cooking original Bulgarian filled paprika and the traditional Balkan salad. They spoilt us.

After the Balkan dinner we had the Grand opening of our new basement chill-out lounge. We have comfortable sofas and a hot tiled stove. The main film was about ten years of Diamondway Buddhism in Lithuania. The popcorn was delicious. Work in the lama flat is nearly finished. We have moved one dry wall to gain more space. Now we are ready to clean up there too.

For Sunday we have invited our neighbours for coffee and cake. We want to get to know each other and give them the chance to see the house. Baking cakes and setting tables will start tomorrow. This will be the first weekend without dust and where we can show our good manners. We are looking forward.

Today the Green Tara statue arrived. She is very beautiful in our central hall and welcomes everybody.

Yours EC Team

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This weekend we expected not only friends, but also Emma, the Storm. Emma arrived smoothly on Friday evening and stayed for the whole weekend.
With her came the boys from Czech to help in the forest. We were lucky that Emma in fact was a very lush storm at the EC. In fact nothing really happened but some rain and quite moderate winds.
Not even the electricity broke down like in many parts of the region. The Boys from Czech went to the forest and did their job like real men do – the is no bad weather , only bad clothing -!
In the house we continued the work in the basement and the Lama flat with the help of friends from Austria and Germany. Today three girls from Bulgaria arrived and will say one week. Our task for the coming week is to prepare for next weekend – we have invited the neighbours for coffee and cake next Sunday. That is also the reason why we cannot have guests next weekend : )

Our cook Niklas is coming back tonight after one month teaching tour. Welcome Home!

Yours EC Team

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Raw fish and Dream Teams

February 28th, 2008

Monday morning main activity in the EC was our great hall renovation: Walls were vacuum-cleaned, holes carefully filled, surfaces gently caressed and finally covered in 2-3 layers of original paint. All done by Beate’s “Dream Team” of happy, dilligent women. After work, the good people of Immenstadt went to visit the good people of Schwarzenberg on extension of a generous sushi invitation from Michaela and Gabi. The evening offered plenty of raw fish, stories, laughing and dancing. In recent days, Bernhard from Garmish has continued work on the hall bathroom, the road construction trucks slowly move ever further up the road and Patricia, Alex and Thorulf’s rooms are closer to perfection thanks to our “apartment hero”, Marco. At the present moment, the hall is soon ready for removal of foil and felt and another great working weekend is coming up. Our beloved Klara and Roman have had to stay in Czech Republic for at little while longer, but to our great joy, their beautiful faces joined in on Skype last night.

So a lot is going on inside and outside and we will have the perfect frames for our activity here for a very long time into the future. But as Lama Ole says; “In this company we sell only one product and that is human development”. And as work goes along, there is a continuing flow of human exchange and discovery. People meet, talk, feel each other and realise new things. All with great openness and as family and this all the time expands our minds and brings us even closer. For example Rafal finding great inspiration from hearing stories from Verena about her and Jürgen’s meditations in most of our European retreat centres, Beate reading the draft of An Ja’s book of her life story and getting to know another human being better, and our soon-to-be-parents of two babies Philip and Mirjana sharing their story of how it all happened and the joys (and rearrangement of bed room to fit in the new residents) of bringing new life into the EC.

All our Kagyus are truly connecting, touching and impressing each other here. We get closer to each other, constantly discovering new human qualities and great richness. Everyone contributes with deep power, wisdom and experience, and in this way, our international mosaic starts to work. This deep level of wild and meaningful human exchange – also on the secret level – is what will really secure our future together.

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