How Diamond Way Buddhism arrived in the West. Part 1

The idea behind the international sangha weekends is to share the history of Diamond Way Buddhism’s development in the West. This weekend we warmly welcomed Buddhist friends from Sweden and Ukraine to meditate together, exchange and share new and old stories.

Riding the Tiger book

The idea of the international sangha weekends is inspired by Lama Ole’s Book „Riding the Tiger“. After their years of studying and practicing with H.H. 16th Karmapa, work in the West starts for Hannah and Ole Nydahl. A basement in Copenhagen became the first Diamond Way Buddhist center in Europe and rusted-through VW-Busses get them everywhere.

“Riding the Tiger” is the inside story of the establishment of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. In his refreshingly unsentimental style, Lama Ole shares all aspects of the work, highlighting both healthy and unhealthy tendencies. Shining through the whole story is the Buddha’s ultimate aim, and the goal of Lama Ole’s life: to fully develop beings, to bring them to a state of such complete joy, fearlessness, and love that their every action blesses the world.

Comments from Ukrainian Sangha:

We came with around 25 people for this weekend. In the Summer Course, we asked about the possibility to have an international project weekend at the Europe Center for meeting and making connections.

In Kiew, we have three interesting places to buy for a Diamond Way Buddhist center at the moment. We are still in the gathering phase to check these places. Our intention is to follow Lama Ole’s wishes about the place. He told us the center should be in the center of the city on a hill with a nice view. Our wish is to find a perfect place within the next three month.

We are very glad to spend this weekend here at the EC. We came with Families and kids to Immenstadt. We remember the first Spanish and Ukrainian weekend, where we made great connections which still stay alive even today. The EC is the best place to get our international sangha together and connect. To meet friends from Sweden here was amazing. Two weeks before we visited Tyresö with 9 people from Kiew. We experienced this project as a part of us because during this whole year we worked very closely with friends from Sweden and also Uruguay. Unfortunately, friends from Uruguay could not join us this weekend.

Comments from the Stockholm sangha:

From the Swedish perspective, it is so amazing to see how things work in the Europe Center. We always feel connected to the EC and it is nice to come here not only for the Summer Courses. We are only four people from Stockholm for this weekend, however, we represent 10 percent of our local sangha. We have the opportunity to show some pictures that haven’t been published and shared until now. It‘s also an incredible story about how the seeds of the 16th Karmapa’s blessing from the 70s are still ripening, even in Sweden. Now it’s here to stay.

The Retreat Project Tyresö, it is about to expand the area and buy another house with additional land. On the 29th of April, we plan to pay the last portion of the land debt. Then we will get access to the house and we can start with the activity and the renovations. Everyone is invited to join us at the Tyresö to enjoy this beautiful place and help us. Tyresö is the first Diamond Way property in Sweden after Karma Ling, which was lost in 1976. Karma Ling was one of the first retreat centers that Lama Ole and Hannah ever established.

We are so thankful to all the people supporting us.