Power Brick Weekend

EC Blog Archive for November, 2013

Power Brick Weekend

November 27th, 2013

A perfect weekend to spend outside, beating on stones with hammers: Temperatures below freezing point and something between snow and rain. I guess everybody had that thought crossing his mind, when they took the first look out of the window on Saturday morning.

Despite those conditions soon enough almost 20 enthusiastic friends were happily cleaning bricks. Our work-force was augmented by a team of Russians from Archangelsk. They are on a European trip and passed by the EC on the weekend. We were thankful for every hand that could hold a hammer and they were happy to be pulled into activity instantly.

Two days of tireless work and a lot of dust later and we managed to clean the last 1600 bricks in one weekend. This was also possible thanks to the great support that our cleaners had. They were kept happy by countless cakes, Glühwein and an American breakfast on Sunday.

While a lot of people were busy outside, Meiken and her sewing crew prepared fabric to manufacture 400 cushions for our new gompa. They managed to cut all the fabric in only two days and will get busy sewing the cushions over the next weeks. All that activity inside and outside was rounded off by a great lecture on student-teacher relationship by Yomi.

A lot of people took part in this project and we are looking forward to enjoying the fruits of our work in the future brasserie, having a coffee and a great time together.

Thank you!

Team Weekend at Schwarzenberg

November 17th, 2013

Approximately twice a year the Europe Center team takes a break from the daily tasks that keep the place running and gets a change of scenery. We disappear for an EC Team Weekend mainly with the goal of getting to know each other better, which is not always so easy to do in the everyday EC action.

This time, the EC residents and sangha members from nearby Immenstadt, Bühl and the surroundings were invited by the friends there to spend the weekend in Schwarzenberg. Nestled in the stunning mountains near Oy-Mittelberg, Haus Schwarzenberg is a beautiful retreat center with a rich history, which the center’s old-timers shared with us on Saturday’s cosy storytelling evening. For decades, Lama Ole Nydahl‘s international teaching activity and the founding of many centers around the world was supported and coordinated in Schwarzenberg – also finding and founding the Europe Center in 2007 happened partially thanks to the experienced friends in the center, which is just a 40 minute car ride away from the EC.

Other than that, we enjoyed meditation together, a lecture by one of the EC’s own lay teachers, a “scenic” walk in the unexpected fog, tasty meals prepared for us by Schwarzenberg’s residents and the Nürnberg sangha, and plenty of time to relax, chat, and get to know one another better.

Thank you Schwarzenberg and thank you EC team for a wonderful weekend!

The Return of the Barn

November 4th, 2013

Just like the villa, our lovely old barn is a piece of local history. Built in 1911, it was originally used for storage and to keep horses and cows out of the weather. Since we moved into the EC in 2008 we’ve used it for tool storage, as a meeting hall, an office and of course for meditation.

As part of the more.ec project, the barn was redesigned to be a spacious, beautiful gompa (meditation hall) with over 500 square meters of space, as well as a kitchen and dining hall. Since the barn is monument protected, we worked closely with local planning officials to preserve as much of it’s historical character as possible.

In February the barn was carefully dismantled, and all of the hundred year old wood was sorted, to separate the solid from the rotten, dried, and stored until now. Meanwhile some new pieces were constructed to match the old ones. Approximately 70% of the old wood has been preserved.

And this week, diligent carpenters have begun raising the barn again! They’re working hard to get the roof up before the first heavy snowfall, and promise that the gompa will be ready for Lama Ole to inaugurate next year as part of the Summer Course. We’re excited to see the daily progress! Be part of it and follow the regular Construction Illustrated posts on the more.ec website, and stay tuned!

Did you know you can explore the beautiful Alpsee lake by kayak when you come to the EC?

Thanks to a donation, we have two sporty boats including life jackets and paddles ready for adventure in our boat house right below the Europe Center. If you would like to borrow them to go for a boat trip, just ask one of the residents for the hut’s key and you can be out and about on the water just a few minutes later, and enjoy the sunset with friends on the terrace of the boat house afterwards!