Austrian Weekend

EC Blog Archive for January, 2011

Austrian Weekend

January 26th, 2011

It was about time for our close neighbours, the Austrian Sangha, to take over the Europe Center for a weekend! The Austrian Country Weekend was all about transmission in every direction – between the Europe Center, its international sangha and Austria as well as in between the Austrian centers themselves. Also sharing a lot of fun  meant growing together more and getting to know each other better in unusual situations for many of the participants.

The meaning and vision of the EC became clear during a spontaneous questions & answers session with Caty. “Now we really identify with the EC and – apart from that – also with our own center, our roots and our culture. We realized that the challenges we experienced in our centers are the same as in other centers in the world. We shared so much fun and creativity – it was amazing to see how much surplus we had together to organize this big thing!”

Another friend put it this way: “Hey, this is great, we can be at the EC whenever we want. It is ours!!!”

Thank you for a very unique and inspiring weekend!

Celebrating a first big step!

January 25th, 2011

Here’s a reason to celebrate in the centers around the world! After months of intense planning work by the architects, several presentations of the building plans and talks with the local citizens and authorities – the first very important step on the way to the new building of our Europe Center has been completed.

Last  week’s official vote in Immenstadt changed the zoning for our plot, so that we will be able to build the new building according to our architects’ plans!

Now we are free to go into architectural  planning. A final preliminary design is going to be finished until February 1st. Afterwards, the planning will go into every necessary detail until autumn.

For example, the rooms facing the lake will most likely become guest rooms, in order to give our visiting friends the joy of the beautiful view. There will be space for around 40 residents and 60 guests, and the room sizes will vary between approximately 12 and 18 square meters – wider than the model of a guest room shown during the  International Summer Course 2010 here at the EC. Some more spacious rooms for e.g. teachers or handicapped guests will also be available. The model of the new building on the picture will be updated soon. It’s to give you an idea where the new building will be, but the plans have been altered a bit since it was made. Expect an updated model soon!

Stay tuned for more details as they come up – for now: time to celebrate and thank everyone involved – especially the architects’ team for the amazing work they already did – which is just the start of what’s to come during the next three years!

One might think that January is a quiet time with a lot of snow and little action…
Not at the EC! The first weeks of the new year were packed with spontaneous talks and presentations, looong breakfasts and evenings with friends from all across the globe – and almost no snow. ;)

Diamond Way Buddhism in the US was the focus of three nights. Joshua and Jeremiah dug deep in their piles of pictures and memories from the times when a few very inspired and active friends in the US drove for days and nights in order to listen to a public lecture by Lama Ole or meditate together. This was the start of eight centers with a lot of members in the Heartland, the Midwest of the United States, today. To round this up, a report on Lama Ole’s recent US tour gave us an insight on the recent happenings in North America.

Roman from Melbourne made clear that driving is not really an option “down under” – the distances between the meditation groups are way too big. So as an Australian buddhist, you sometimes have to hop on an airplane to meet your friends from the next town for a weekend or listen to a travel teacher’s lecture. Breathtakingly beautiful beaches and the characteristically Australian need for one’s personal wide space have not kept Buddhism in Australia from developing impressively over the last years. In Melbourne, there are eight friends living together in one center, other centers are also growing quickly, and a beautiful retreat house at the beach for meditation was just purchased for all members of the Australian sangha to meet at.

For Europe, Karolina, Ilona and Danas gave an inspiring insight on the dynamic development of Buddhism in a comparatively small country like Lithuania. They showed that with devotion a relatively small group of friends can bring Buddhism into a whole country. Today there are four centers, and the big retreat center is getting ready for the visit of H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje.

Our new weekly movie night premiered with the fascinating travel documentary “Searching for the old Tibet” by Maria from Gdańsk and Thomas from Berlin. You’re more than welcome to come and join our movie nights in the cosy lounge!