Welcome home, families!

EC Blog Archive for the ‘EC family LIVE’ Category

Welcome home, families!

May 10th, 2016

The so-called 2nd House of the Europe Center might not be the biggest of the buildings, but most certainly it’s one with a lot of life inside. It’s our family house. Come check it out!

Both resident and visiting families are bringing the old servants’ home of Gut Hochreute to life. With four families living there and often enough up to three more families visiting on the weekends or during the Summer Course, it might well be called courageous of two other single residents to live there as well – but they love it and so do we! :)

Everyday Life – The EC Way

February 29th, 2016

Just because there are no big events in February doesn’t mean there is nothing going on at the Europe Center…

As a matter of fact, there is a whole lot going on in every corner of the house! With snow and rain outside, it gets even more of a warm cozy feeling inside. Lots of time to talk to friends and goof around with them, preparing blessing strings and planning the organization of the event with Lama Ole in March, getting to know visitors from overseas who decided to come at a more quiet time, cooking and eating together…  and of course lots of time to meditate, meditate and meditate!

And last but definitely not least, may we introduce our very youngest resident to you? Little Thore was born at home in the Europe Center on the auspicious day of Guru Rinpoche‘s enlightenment. :)

Like the years before, representatives from all countries with Diamond Way Buddhist centers and meditation groups were invited to join an international meeting of exchange at the Alpsee Haus in Bühl.

To name but a few of the countries present: Austria, Switzerland, Venezuela, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Belgium, Italy, Serbia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Denmark, Russia, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, Sweden, Vietnam and Germany.

Everybody present, many of them very experienced Diamond Way teachers appointed by Lama Ole to teach Diamond Way Buddhim, gave reports of what has been going on in their countries, giving the opportunity for other countries to learn and benefit from these experiences. And everybody also had the chance to ask Lama Ole for his advice concerning the countries’ individual challenges and for possible future tasks.

The International EC Family meeting and its atmosphere showed once again what the 640 Diamond Way Buddhist Centers around the globe and their activity are built on: friendship, idealism and trust!

Kid’s New Year’s Eve

January 1st, 2015

Our kids had a proper New Year’s Eve in their own right and surely made the most of it…

Supported by their parents and voluntary helpers, they prepared their own dinner: yummy pizza, of course! The children even baked some extra pizza for the adult’s dinner buffet later on. Powered by pizza, they went out to get some fire crackers going and afterwards went on an torch-procession adventure down the EC road to the lake.

One could think that was enough to get them ready for bed – far from that. Kid’s karaoke and a fun dance-and-freeze game rounded of our youngsters’ New Year’s Eve. Looking at the pictures, it was apparently not only a lot of fun for the kids but also for the grown-ups!

Only in Allgäu!

November 15th, 2014

Most of the cute Allgäu cows are already back in their stables in the valley for winter. However, some of them were still up for an adventure on the mountain apparently…

A few days ago, a herd of around 25 cows made their way from their meadow two kilometers away all the way to the Europe Center. This is actually quite a hike even for mountain-trained Allgäu cows. Maybe that’s why they seemed very happy to finally arrive at a house. After checking out the garden with the stupa behind the villa, the courtyard and the entrance of the new gompa as well as the construction site, we managed to convince them to wait for their farmer in between the construction storage in front of the EC.

Our dear neighbor Magnus was ready to help immediately as always – he quickly came up and installed a fence around the cows so they could enjoy some yummy grass until their relieved owner arrived – to take them home the same way they had come!

Once a week on our kids afternoon, many of the parents and kids living in Immenstadt come together at the EC. This time, beautiful paintings and aquariums made of card board boxes, toilet paper rolls and a lot of love and enthusiasm were created.

While the children are having a great time attended by some of the parents, the other moms and dads meditate upstairs in the gompa, help with dharma activities in the center or can simply relax and exchange a bit. This way, everyone benefits: the kids, the parents and the Europe Center – and of course everyone who might be lucky enough to get one of the pretty aquariums as a gift from the kids!

Next task for the EC kids afternoons? Lots of christmas preparations from handicraft to baking lots of yummy xmas cookies for moreEC, of course. ;) You are welcome to join the fun!

Happy 2014 to you!

January 2nd, 2014

On December 31st, the place to be for a Diamond Way Buddhist was of course the New Year’s Course in Vienna. For those who stayed at home because of the kids, their job, or other reasons, there was a very nice celebration anyway.

The kids started early in the evening, decorating the basement of the villa and then baking and eating pizza together. The youngsters’ highlight of the evening was for sure the torchlight procession across the grounds of the EC – shining bright eyes everywhere!

The adults kicked off the night by meditating together. However, something was not quite our usual evening meditation on the 16th Karmapa… many of the participants looked a little bit different and more like straight from an 80′s movie or music video – due to the theme of the night: the 1980′s!

The buffet afterwards was a festival in itself – everyone brought something tasty along and it took us the whole night to test-eat our way through all the delicacies. The sounds of very familiar 80′s hits invited us over to the Baucafe and got everyone up and dancing the calories away again in no time. Amongst the attending stars were the likes of punk star Siouxsie Sioux in double edition, tennis goddess Steffi Graf, Rubik’s Cube, Madonna, Top Gun pilot Maverick, Angus Young of AC/DC, and many disco queens and kings.

At midnight, we took a break to watch Lama Ole Nydahl via live streaming from Vienna. He read his New Year’s letter, and together we gave the promise of the Bodhisattvas: the promise to strive for enlightenment and work for the benefit of all beings, with unending diligence and strength.

Followed by fireworks and hours of dancing to the best songs of the 80′s, we welcomed 2014 in appropriate style, and would like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2014, may all your wishes come true for the benefit of all!

Decorating the christmas tree

December 23rd, 2013

Shortly before christmas, it was time to find a nice christmas tree for the Villa. Jürgen ventured out into our EC forest and cut a lovely one. Building its base in the villa hall, he disappeared almost completely underneath the tree, while the kids were eagerly standing around waiting for their turn to decorate it!

You might ask yourself why Buddhists, and even an international Buddhist center, have a christmas tree…

A defining characteristic of Buddhism is that it’s not a dogmatic religion or way of life. Part of its very essence is the wish for everyone to be happy. Most Buddhists in the West come from a Christian background, and Buddhism and Christianity share common humanistic values concerning the wish for freedom and happiness for all beings. A christmas tree is a cultural symbol. No matter if in India, Tibet or now in the West, the way Buddhism was practiced has always reflected the culture to a certain degree, but its essence is always the same.

So this is in short why we love our annual christmas tree decorating afternoon with the kids and enjoying the tree afterwards: it brings kids and adults together for some joyful activity, and inspires happiness and positive impressions in the minds of those who see the beautifully lit and decorated tree. It is a symbol of fertility and immortality and its green color signifies hope and peace. So happy holiday season to you!

After three wonderful days with lots of activity together, Lama Ole and his team left for his hometown of Copenhagen and the New Year’s Course in Vienna.

Everyone present gathered in the entrance and court yard of the EC to wave goodbye. Waiting for Lama Ole to leave is always a nice spontaneous sangha meeting with lots of lively chats amongst old and new friends braving the cold.

See you again soon and bon voyage, Lama Ole!

Maybe you already know that the EC sangha members living in and around Immenstadt collected money to buy a set of 16 statues of the Karmapa incarnations for the EC gompa? And maybe you also know that we managed to collect the money, thanks to the generosity of many.

But do you also know there was another Sangha collecting money to buy the set? This Sangha was from Bern in Switzerland. They would have had to wait for a year until a second set will be readily manufactured. But as we know as Buddhists, everything changes and plays around all the time. And it turned out that this very Bern Sangha is going to give a very, very generous gift to the Europe Center next spring: a stupa filled by Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche!

Deeply thankful for this present, the EC team decided that the first set of the 16 Karmapas should be the “Thank you!” to the Berners a few months ago. The EC gompa will then be graced with the set of 16 Karmapa statues which is currently being manufactured a bit later. During Lama Ole’s book retreat, 25 friends from Switzerland came to bring the Karmapas home to Bern. In a festive ceremony in the EC gompa, Lama Ole blessed each statue before Caty handed them over to their new owners, who were beaming with joy, as is easy to see on the pictures.

Again, we would like to thank the Berners for their generous present and friendship – and of course we are going to inaugurate the EC’s first stupa together with them next year!