Taking down trees

EC Blog Archive for October, 2010

Taking down trees

October 28th, 2010

Another sunshiny autumn day – ideal to pick up on our cutting-trees-with-the-Lama-tradition again. In accordance with the plans for the new building and the authorities, some of the old trees will be taken down during the next years and healthy young ones are going to be or have already been planted (one of them is still so tiny that it lives in a little red bucket and you can hardly spot it on the photo… ;-) )

Today Lama Ole and the boys had a good time taking down about 15 trees – and it was already exciting enough just watching the huge trees fall! Now we certainly have enough firewood to heat the EC this winter.

Lama Ole arrived for a few project days at the Europe Center this week. The main purpose of project days is to give our permanently traveling Lama the possibility to focus on “office” work like book writing and answering his students’ letters in a quiet environment. So of course he spends most of the time in the house, working with the team on these tasks.

Project days also give everyone who’s here the precious opportunity to meditate in the Lama’s powerfield… or  to go for a spontaneous walk across the wide and snowy EC grounds with him to have a look at the progress on the site – like we did yesterday!

The EC Team weekend

October 26th, 2010

We, the EC sangha (also know as the EC team) decided a few weeks ago that it was our turn to go away together. So off we went across the border to Austria, some by car and some of the more crazy by bike, with the plan to spend some quality time together. And that’s exactly what we did. All our agendas quickly flew out the of the window into the snow and what naturally appeared, was exactly what our Lama always asks us to work with – friendship & trust

PS: We would like to take the opportunity to thank those who stayed at home and held the fort ;0)

Spring and fall are known to be very short in Allgäu – we can confirm!

The first snow fell right on top of blooming roses and autumn-coloured (partially even still green) trees during the last days and it’s quite chilly already. Thanks to the sunny weather, the ten centimeters of snow are melting away again quickly, though. Good thing – because we still need to mark the road with long sticks to save us from driving down the hill “off-road” when there will be a lot more snow soon. ;-)

For now – here are some snowy autumn impressions for you to enjoy.

This weekend the Europe Center was conquered by the channel countries on all levels. We tried Belgian waffles, had English breakfast, tasted Irish drinks, learned about different Scottish dialects, enjoyed some Dutch cheese with French wine and dances… and Peter Malinowski from Liverpool gave an inspiring talk about the meaning of the sangha and several other buddhist topics. We were even taken on a virtual bus tour covering all the channel countries and afterwards danced the night away surrounded by “national heroes” of all kinds…

It was a very nice example of what the country weekends at our EC can be: getting to know more about each other and our different cultural backgrounds, deepening our friendship, meditating, working, and learning together, and definitely having a whole lot of fun. Thanks to everyone who put so much effort into making this weekend such a success – including the Czech sangha, who once again just came to help.

So come and join one of our country weekends – just check the EC events calendar for the upcoming Bavarian (oh yes, the Bavarians do consider themselves a country! ;-)) and the Hungarian Country Weekend!

The transmission weekends obviously have become part of our EC life, but this time we can truly admit that the last one was one of our most precious ones.

Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche, who was giving teachings, initiations, and building stupas in almost every corner of the world, became present in the stories by Maggie, Wojtek , Pedro, Caty and Jakob. Maggie spent almost twenty years with Rinpoche and her memories were not just touching, but also full of fun and incredible concept breaking stories.  Pedro as always managed to stay in a joyful mood during his talks, Wojtek, Caty and Jakob accompanied the event with their experiences from meetings with Rinpoche who had a power to open every person’s heart. Rinpoche, who meant so much for the Dharma both in the East and the West, was one of the closest teachers for Lama Ole and Hannah and one of the closest friends of the 16th Karmapa, who once said: “If I am a Buddha, he is Ananda.”

Allgäu autumn impressions

October 11th, 2010

Just send off a french lady in love for a walk in sunny autumnal Allgäu – you will get the most romantic pictures of the Europe Center grounds and the “Great Alpsee” lake that we have seen in a while. Merci beaucoup, Catherine!

Work at the EC surely never gets boring – today JC and Stefan went up into the air to get down five antique carriages and sleds from under the roof of the barn. Both of them being routined mountain climbers, they managed this rope-action elegantly, securely and with a lot of fun.

We are already getting quite excited about what our new meditation hall will look like. Now that the wooden walls and lots of other stuff have gone, one gets a feeling of the huge space under impressive old wooden bars and 2500 squaremeters of roof. However, emptying the barn is just the beginning of many months of work – we will constantly need a lot of help to make this happen. You are more than welcome to support our barn-becomes-beautiful-gompa-action whenever you can – as even Lama Ole just did this week!

Lama Ole at the EC

October 7th, 2010

This week Lama Ole spent some project days at the Europe Center – mainly to write articles, answer his students’ emails and letters and to support the ongoing construction work in the old barn that will be transformed into the new EC meditation hall. Before driving here, Lama Ole spontaneously spent a relaxed evening talking to friends at the nearby Schwarzenberg Retreat Center.

A lot of cleaning-up action together with the Lama took place in the barn – the work was so dynamic that we really had trouble taking focussed pictures… The newly built shoe shelves for busy weekend events were immediately tested by one of our youngest inhabitants – he obviously approved! ;-) The very active day was followed by a cosy movie-watching evening in the Baucafé.

We waved goodbye to the Lama even before the sun came up on Thursday – wishing him and everyone joining a great time in Hungary, Skandinavia, Russia, Ukraine, and Spain!

In sunny autumn weather there was a lot of tidying-up action at the EC this weekend. Besides removing all sorts of summer course leftovers, tons of wood have to be sorted and stored, woodsheds have to be built to keep the wood dry in the snow… basically, everything has to be ready for six to seven months of winter and snow very soon. The golden fall is usually very quickly followed by the first snow. Of course, in between we also found enough time to enjoy the sunshine while meditating, having breakfast, lunch, and meetings outside and playing with the kids.

And last but not least, more deligent helpers came on Sunday to also polish the Villa – preparing everything for someone very special to arrive tonight for the next days… we will keep you updated!