A weekend of deep teachings we did not expect…

EC Blog Archive for the ‘About the EC’ Category

In Diamond Way Buddhism, we learn and develop not only by listening to lectures or reading books, but we apply what we have learned in everyday life. We learn from the examples given by our Lamas and our friends on the way – in life and also in death.

This week, two men showed deeply touching examples of how dying in Buddhism is a chance and not the end of everything that would have to be feared.

For the first time, someone died in the Europe Center. The 90-year old father of one of the co-founders of Diamond Way Buddhism in Russia had spontaneously cancelled the preparations for his birthday party with 100 people in Russia. Instead, he insisted on his daughter and granddaughter (and great-grandchildren) to take him to the EC for the first time. After a few relaxed days with us, he went back to bed after having breakfast and peacefully passed away. For decades he had accumulated great merit, giving his children the freedom and support (and his office with a telephone) to choose Buddhism and spread it in the world’s largest country. He took part in a Phowa course with Lama Ole Nydahl, who visited the family in their flat several times.

Only two days later, one of our beloved Summer course core team and EC sangha members passed away equally peacefully on Sunday morning. For the past months after having been diagnosed with terminal cancer, Peter showed us a deeply impressive example of how many years of meditation practice and the unshakable trust in one’s Lama and the Buddhist teachings of death and rebirth take the fear of dying away, showing confidence and humor until he apparently consciously passed into the Pure Lands applying the Phowa teachings. We will keep Peter dear in our hearts, and we trust that his next life will be even more powerful, joyful and shining, as Lama Ole said.

The atmosphere at the EC was very special this weekend – we lack the words to describe this appropriately. But we can share with you the auspicious rainbow around the sun that showed this weekend – leaving us assured that the minds of our friends went straight to the Pure Lands of the Buddhas!


Gompa cleaning, large scale!

December 30th, 2016

Not only did our friends who cleaned the 400 sqm meditation hall surely accumulate lots of merit, they also had an awesome time climbing under the massive roof in order to clean the ventilation pipes! :)

The meditation cushions obviously have been used a lot since the inauguration of our precious big gompa, so all of them got new spelt husk paddings in the cleaning frenzy as well. We are looking forward to welcoming you on one of these cushions soon and to enjoy our now even more shiny gompa together!

You think we’re done with building at the EC? Think again! :)

The first of four field barns on the Summer course premises built in the style of the Allgäu region was properly inaugurated by our carpenters and many friends who came to celebrate in (semi-)traditional style.

Edwin pulled out his Sunday best carpenter’s outfit to read a traditional poem thanking everyone involved in the construction and including good wishes for the benefit of the new building. And the inauguration would be neither complete nor auspicious without three toasts together as well! Homemade burgers for everyone on top – a wonderful little party celebrating the amazing work of our voluntary EC architects and carpenters.

The field barns will be used to store the Summer course stuff like kitchen equipment and building material for the tents. So on the long run, they will save us quite a bit of money that would otherwise be spent on renting lots of storage space.

Full moon is traditionally considered to be an excellent time for meditation, increasing the intensity and multiplying the good impressions. So with those who have completed a Phowa course with Lama Ole Nydahl, we practice this precious meditation on full moon nights.

Lama Ole has taught this transference of consciousness meditation to more than 80,000 people worldwide over many years. In the meditation practice one learns to transfer consciousness at the moment of death into a state of highest bliss.

Through the meditation on “conscious dying” you get the opportunity to work intensively with the process of your own death. Buddhist teachings contain very precise descriptions on the process of dying, death and the stages between death and rebirth. Many teachers and meditation masters have also had a lot of experience with the process of dying.

Those that have learnt the Phowa practice also learn how to actively help others at the moment of death. Lama Ole Nydahl received the transmission of the Phowa teachings from different Tibetan Lamas and is today the most significant teacher of this practice in the Western world. Those that wish to take part in the 5 day course can find the important information and necessary preparation meditation in every Diamond Way Buddhist center.

Europe Center Mandala Tour 2016

September 11th, 2016

Safe to say we’ve recovered from the Summer Course and its dismantling pretty much by now. More quiet times have come at the EC as every late summer – time to catch up with what’s been going around in and around Immenstadt!

It’s one of the local EC Sangha’s annual traditions to go on the so-called “Mandala tour” together: inviting the sangha friends for a drink and some snacks in one’s new (or not so new, also okay) home, or just joining the group moving from one flat in Immenstadt to the next, visiting often more than five places in one day. No matter how nice it is in one place (and they were all very nice!), after one hour the whole bunch moves on to the next stop.

It’s a great way to get settled in Immenstadt and to get know each other better, and it’s simply a whole lot of fun for everybody!

There must be quite some good karma involved when Lama Ole comes out from behind the curtain to surprise you on your birthday party – Tomek Lehnert most certainly has got that karma!

Lama Ole’s longterm student, travel companion and Diamond Way teacher turned 60 just a day after the Summer Course, and of course the Summer Course team joined forces with the EC team to throw him an appropriate birthday bash after Tomek guided the evening meditation.

Thousands of students had already signed his huge birthday card, filled a whole book with good wishes for Tomek and given generous donations during the course – we dare to say that Tomek was close to tears when he got his present and the card, along with a huge birthday cake, speeches by friends, acrobatic performances, a video presentation by Lama Ole’s wife Alexandra, and an invitation to be the DJ at his own party for the rest of the night.

As if that wasn’t enough already, Lama Ole made a surprise appearance to congratulate Tomek and joined the dancing afterwards.

Many happy returns, dearest Tomek – and thank you for being such an inspiration to thousands of people on their way to liberation and enlightenment!

Diamond Way Family Meeting

August 1st, 2016

As is tradition right before the Summer Course, around 60 friends from Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Israel, Colombia, Ukraine, USA, Australia, Austria, Russia, New Zealand, Spain, Venezuela and Serbia came together for two full days of intense exchange.

The Diamond Way Family meeting has been taking place for several years already, with many frequent participants as well as some fresh faces joining in. In a wonderful, really family-like atmosphere, the main point of discussion was one which has been dealt with in pretty much every center around the world over the past year: the right balance of democracy and meritocracy in the organization of our Diamond Way Buddhist Centers. Listening to the experiences made in other parts of the world, finding similarities or new ideas… all this made it a very fruitful get together which is to be continued next year!

Field Barn Construction

July 23rd, 2016

Thought construction activity has come to an end at the Europe Center? Think again!

The fieldbarn project is actually going to keep our carpenters, builders and helpers busy for the next four summers. This year, the first of four barns is being built up on the Summer Course plateau. The barns will provide storage place for all of the course equipment and more. This will save a lot of money on the long run because the rent for external dry storage space can be saved in the future.

The wooden barns are being built in the typical style of the Allgäu region, blending in perfectly with the typical landscape of woods and meadows with some field barns on them every now and then. And of course, they are being built by our wonderful voluntary builders and carpenters.

Feel like supporting the project? Helpers are always welcome (and might be rewarded with homemade field barn-cakes as well! :) )

Rainbow Magic

June 17th, 2016

There was definitely at least one bright side to the extremely rainy weeks of late spring in the Allgäu – one of the most stunning double rainbows we have ever seen over the EC!

Many of our friends surely remember how much hard work it was every year to build up the floor for the Summer Course kitchen tent. Great news – that’s history now!

Just to mention the most infamous of all kitchen floor tasks, tens of thousands of screws had to be put in and taken out again each year to provide a solid basis for the industry-size course kitchen on the rather swampy grounds of the kitchen plateau. The old system was simply taking lots of time and material and needed a great amount of helpers.

Therefore, based on the experience of 7 years, some friends developed a new system which is being put to practice for the first time this year.

A permanent basis in the ground is being installed. For this, 360 tubes with 360 huge screws of app. 1m length have to be put into drilled holes, app. 800 wooden beams have to be sawn to fitting length and connecting pieces have to be fixed on each beam. The beams will be dismantled and reinstalled every year, but the new system works without screws or metal angles.

Therefore, it will take a lot less time to build up the floor of the kitchen tent in the future.

We would very much like to thank the planners and the hard workers who braved pretty unpleasant weather conditions over the past weeks – and if you would like to still come and help, you are very welcome to do so!