Welcome, Fire Monkey!

EC Blog Archive for the ‘Resident reports’ Category

Welcome, Fire Monkey!

February 9th, 2016

Welcome to the new Tibetan year, the year of the male fire monkey! Chinese astrology promises for this year to be a rather challenging one for the world and, at the same time, full of opportunity to succeed by applying patience as well as creativity.

So why not celebrate the New Year with a traditional Nepali and Tibetan dinner: momos! For a whole afternoon, the EC team including the kids came together in the kitchen to prepare 800 (!!!) of these steamed dumplings with filling. Traditionally, momos are prepared with minced meat filling. Our creative chefs also offered delicious vegetarian versions for the festive dinner.

So – may you all enjoy a free, peaceful, healthy, happy and meaningful year of the Fire Monkey, wether you believe in astrology or not! ;)

White Easter at the EC

April 7th, 2015

In the Allgäu region it is said that winter lasts “from O to O” – from “October” to “Ostern (Easter)”. This weather proverb seemed to prove correct.

While the Europe Center was pretty much deserted due to the course in Kassel with Lama Ole Nydahl, our Easter eggs fell from the sky in fluffy, white crystal form this year, giving us just another opportunity for some beautiful photographic impressions. We hope you enjoy them!

In seven years of running the Europe Center, we have had the pleasure of facing a challenge of two concerning running bigger events. We learned to do our best to make it possible for everyone to come and enjoy, and we also developed confidence and trust that no matter how big the challenge, at the end of the event, pretty much everyone has had a magnificent time.

And of course, just like every other Buddhist center, we put extra effort in making everything even more shiny in time for the Lamas’ arrivals. Because of the capacities of the new building and Lama Ole’s physical absence for more than five months, hundreds of people from all over the world registered for the event, looking forward to seeing their Lama again.

So after weeks of organizational meetings preparing for the Transmission Weekend “Entering the Diamond Way” with Lama Ole and an unprecedented number of his students, we took to action with the help of many: refurnishing, cleaning, polishing, labeling, planning, preparing Lama Ole’s birthday cake and 200 more cakes (using 1500 eggs…), meditating – and having a very joful time together with our traditional pub quiz.

International Cuisine at the EC

January 31st, 2015

We haven’t for a while counted how many nationalities are living ia the moment in and around the Europe Center, but there are definitely a lot!

So we invited our friends to join forces nationally and cook for their friends – the specialties of their respective countries, of course! After the Poles and North Germans had lead by example last year, it turned out that Dutch people somehow manage to stay healthy despite preferably covering their breakfast bread with colorful sugar sprinkles and loooots of peanut butter or chocolate cream. And Bulgarians like to cook yummy things that fit with their hair color… ;) Thank you, friends, it was delicious – and we look forward to more country cuisine at the EC!

EC Team Weekend

November 2nd, 2014

Once or twice a year, the EC team members living in and around Immenstadt take some quality time together. Often enough in times busier than autumn, the running events keep us so busy and well-entertained that there is not much time left to talk to the people actually living next door to you.

That’s why we have the EC Team weekends. Time for taking time: to meditate together, to get each other updated about what’s going on in our lives, get to know friends who recently moved to Immenstadt from somewhere on this planet, to check out some friends’ houses and flats in Immenstadt on the Mandala tour, bake cookies, dance the nights away… and okay, let’s admit we also had great fun working outside together on Saturday afternoon – even the “bats” normally stuck behind their computers found their way out into the sun! ;-)

Another day, another special premiere in our new building. On this week’s beautiful and clear full moon night and Buddha Amitabha day, we came together to practice the meditation of Conscious Dying.

Through this meditation one gets the opportunity to work intensively with the process of one’s 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. In this meditation practice, which Lama Ole Nydahl has taught to more than 80,000 people, one learns to transfer consciousness at the moment of death into a state of highest bliss. Those that have learnt the Phowa practice also learn how to actively help others at the moment of death.

The full moon also illuminated the EC’s old and new buildings beautifully this night – we hope you enjoy the impressions!

Getting out of bed very early and standing in the pouring rain for hours was not a problem during the last building-up week at all:

asked by the event organizers if we could set up a refreshment station for the participants of the yearly AlpseeRun, we happily cheered them on and got a lot of smiles and thank-you’s in return. Congratulations to all participants, they showed great sportsmanship and impressed us a lot!

The Brasserie, our future dining hall and kitchen on the ground floor of the “old barn” underneath our soon-to-be gompa, is buzzing with activity. Finally, our worldwide sangha can take part in the building activity, together with the professional workers who seem quite impressed with the diligence, dedication and joy of their voluntary helpers.

The thousands of bricks from the old barn which were cleaned and polished by many diligent helpers a few months ago are now in place, already giving the barn a cozy, rustic atmosphere even though it is still a construction site of course. Now all the bricks and the gaps in between are being filled and afterwards scraped into shape again, one by one. Looking at the bright faces and shining eyes, the friends doing this could not be enjoying this more – literally brick by brick building our future living room together!

Things are definitely heating up in what we now really cannot call “the old barn” anymore – on August 10th, Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and Lama Ole Nydahl are going to inaugurate our new Europe Center meditation hall together with thousands of friends from around the world. Our future gompa is buzzing with activity!

Voluntary helpers from many countries are now sharing the hard but very joyful work with the professional companies’ workers, and the atmosphere and tension is intense. The walls are being covered with beautiful light-colored wood, many meters of cables have to be installed, the light-colored new roof beams will be adapted to the old ones, the ventilation system has been installed and needs to be covered, and then the wooden oak floor and the wooden steps for the staircases will be put it by our carpenters – just to name some of the ongoing activities.

Meanwhile in the villa, after finishing the 400 new meditation cushions, our handicraft-savvy ladies are preparing equipment for doing prostrations in the new gompa as well.

Feel free to come and join the work if you would like to have your share in finishing our future gompa together, you are very welcome! If you intend to come, please register via the Summer course registration at www.summercourse.ec

At the Europe Center, we try to take every occasion to connect with the area and make the beautiful Gut Hochreute buildings accessible to 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 on Sunday afternoons in June and July.

Visiting the statue exhibition, one can learn not only about the meaning of Buddhist statues and their profound symbolism. 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 especially 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.