[ECTV] The barn is gone!

EC Blog Archive for June, 2013

[ECTV] The barn is gone!

June 26th, 2013

Here’s a time lapse video of the construction progress over the last weeks.

It shows the dismantling of the old barn, which is to become our new meditation hall, dining area and kitchen. It is going to be re-built according to the monument protection requirements. After this, the excavation for the new building started.

At the Europe Center, we try to take every occasion to connect with the area and make the beautiful Gut Hochreute buildings open for visitors. The popular „Cultural Weeks“ with the statue exhibition and the classical music concert are a great opportunity for that – many from Immenstadt and the Allgäu area take the chance and visit us every Sunday afternoon. This year people can learn not only about the meaning of Buddhist statues and their profound symbolism, but get as well an update on the Europe Center project and especially its  just started construction.

The heart of the annual statue exhibition is made of the collection of statues residing at the Europe Center. Many of them are used in the center’s daily life for Buddhist meditation practices. On top, there are always some „hidden treasures“ displayed, chosen specifically for the occasion. It might come as a surprise for people not familiar with Buddhism that Buddhist statues actually do not depict any gods—Buddha is not a god but rather reference to a perfect state of mind. The different forms, with precisely prescribed proportions, attributes and expressions, are thus symbolizing and reflecting various enlightened qualities of one’s own mind.

At the opening on June 2, around 30 visitors joined the first guided tour of the exhibition. Caty Hartung and Pit Weigelt gave explanations on the meaning of Buddhist statues. While the first-time guests from Immenstadt and surroundings were gaining insights into the topic, the inspiration was no smaller for the many Buddhist friends who joined the event.

Rare 16th Karmapa exhibit

This year we are excited to display for the first time a new statue of the 16th Karmapa, a rarely-made form of a teacher dear to all Diamond Way Buddhists. He was one of the greatest yogis of Tibet in the 20th century and the main teacher of Lama Ole and Hannah Nydahl who later brought Tibetan Buddhism to the West.  This particular statue is even more unique because it was made by a western statue maker. Learning the art of Buddhist statue-making is a long and demanding process, not easily accessible in the West. Given its excellent quality, it is suitable for use in meditation.

Musical finale

As every year, the exhibition will be traditionally rounded off by the Classical Music Summer Matinee. The open-air concert will take place on June 30th, 2013, at 11:00 and promises to bring us some less-known pieces of classical music. In case of bad weather the concert is held indoors.

We are now entering the last week of this year’s exhibition, so you still have a chance to see what the EC has to offer in Buddhist art. And after you’re done, come to digest and share your impressions to our Baucafé. It has become a lively meeting place on Sunday afternoons since the exhibition has started and as several of our fine ladies adopted a delicious habit of baking cakes for the occasion, your stay at the EC will surely be enjoyable.


Now that the construction has started, things are moving very quickly! What you see on the pictures below is what is left of our barn at the moment, not even three weeks after the first truck arrived.

The carpenters completely dismantled the roof, and another company demolished a good part of the barn. Taking down so much of the building is necessary for several reasons. This way it is possible to dig a basement underneath the ground floor for the sanitary areas saving both time and money. Rotten parts of the wood will be replaced to make sure that our new gompa building is really going to last for a hundred years. Visually, the new barn is very much going to resemble the old one according to the monument protection requirements.

Much of the demolished material is being recycled, e.g. the old roof tiles have already been used to create a street for the construction vehicles, and the wood not suitable for the construction anymore will be transformed into garden furniture and other things.

The next big thing is the earthworks for the new building, starting this week. Despite the main construction being in professional hands in order to manage the tight time frame in between the snowy periods, voluntary helpers are welcome, especially during the next weekends.

If you would like to come and help with supporting the construction work with whatever action is needed, please let us know at join@europe-center.org.

No way to deny it any longer – the EC team is now officially addicted to construction sites! As if we did not have enough building works going on at home, eleven of us happily followed the invitation to help with the renovation of the new London Diamond Way Buddhist Center.

Last Friday we flew over to England for a “power-weekend” full of joyful activity together with the London Sangha. Instructed by professional restorer Beate, who as an EC resident is also in charge of the Europe Center Villa’s restauration, some of us enthusiastically scraped, plastered, and painted in the new meditation room for many hours. Layers of old wall coverings this way transformed magically into a brandnew bright white wall as a background for the beautiful Buddha statues.

Others worked on the interiors of the smaller rooms, preparing them for the first residents to move in. In the evenings, we listened to Dharma lectures by Buddhist teachers from London and from the EC, and enjoyed the city at night.

The Diamond Way Buddhist Center in London has been in a small house in the Holborn area of London for more than a decade. Now a wonderful building called the Beaufoy Institute in the Lambeth area in south London has been purchased and is being transformed into the new center. To learn more about the history of the Beaufoy, its cultural and future functions as London’s biggest buddhist center, and ways to support the project, please click here.

We would like to thank our friends in London for inviting us for this very inspiring and joyful weekend, and for taking such good care of us. Many new connections evolved and many old friendships deepened. If you would also like to come to enjoy London and help with restoring the Beaufoy, on your own or with your home sangha, please send a message for more information.