New Year’s Retreat

Friends from Northern Germany, Denmark, Ireland, England, Amerika, Cuba and Venezuela we celebrated the ending of 2015 together with meditation and lectures. John Christoferson, Jeremiah Hendren and Yomiaria Urquia shared their deep wisdom and knowledge with great great humour. Celebrating our project – buying the farm across the road – we initiated the new place (which we rented for the retreat) with a wonderful evening where bonds were strengthened. We went for a swim in the ocean before our New Year’s dinner in finest Viking style to leave our old habits behind and get ready for an inspiring, joyful 2016. We followed streaming from Prague and jumped into the new year with the Boddhisattva vow in our hearts and a glass of champagne in our hands.

Happy New Year dear friends! May we meet more often at this special place.

What a Summer Course!

Lolland Friends are EC Friends!

To raise awareness of our jewel here in the north, and to give our jewel in the south – the remarkable Europe Center – some small support, the lovely ladies of Lolland joyfully slaved in the kitchen for days, baking delicious treats: biscotti, coconut macaroons and more.

If you were one of the lucky hundreds who discovered our bright red stand at the New Year’s Course in Hamburg, you hopefully took advantage of our offer and not only got a mouth-watering snack, but also supported the Europe Center, since all proceeds were directly passed on to them.

An additional bonus for our retreat center were the eight friends who agreed to become Lolland Friends and support us with a small monthly donation. Thanks friends! If you missed out, never fear, you can become a hero and sign up at any time, but you’ll have to visit us personally to get a taste of Lolland.

Inspiration with the Lolland Friends

If you’re keeping up with Lolland, you probably know there are some changes on the way! Two residents are moving out in December and three new ones will move in by February, so it’s the perfect time for some reflection and new ideas how best to run this amazing place.

Like most of our retreat centers, our local sangha is very small, and it can be a challenge to not only keep the center beautiful and running smoothly, but to also find the time for inspiring plans and future development.

Not to be deterred, we invited our “sangha at large” – the many friends from Denmark, Germany and elsewhere who regularly visit and care deeply about this place – to a weekend of friendship, ideas and inspiration.

The weekend kicked off after everyone arrived Friday night, with a wonderful lecture on “Sangha” by Michaela Fritzges. After breakfast together we continued on Saturday with brainstorming, with exciting new ideas coming thick and fast. Ideas are nothing without someone to execute them, and our extended sangha didn’t disappoint: almost everyone present committed to visit once every month or two and take responsibility for the many things that need doing here.

Thank you to all of our friends who brought their creativity and inspiration. We look forward to doing great things with you in 2015 and beyond! If you couldn’t make it, don’t worry. There are still jobs for you to do too! 😉

The 30th Annual Summer Course

It’s been a busy summer, with amazing meditation courses at The Europe Center, Karma Berchen Ling and Karma Guen, but now that quieter autumn has set in at Lolland, we can catch up with our blog again…

As all Diamond Way Buddhists know by now, Lama Ole had surgery on his upper spine early this summer, and was unable to travel for a few months. For us at Lolland, that meant making strong wishes for his speedy recovery, but also a quick reorganisation of the schedule for the upcoming 30th Annual Summer Course.

It was planned as a course on the practice of Guru Yoga, the powerful meditation methods emphasised by our Karma Kagyu teachers, and a few emails ensured that North German teachers Michaela Fritzges and Gerd Boll, adopted Dane Tomek Lehnert, and our resident Matt Balara, agreed to speak on the subject in Lama Ole’s absence.

After four successful building up weekends, everything was ready for around two hundred friends who came from Denmark and Germany, but also as far away as the USA and Argentina, a comfortably cozy course. On the first evening Matt spoke on the teacher/student relationship in Diamond Way Buddhism, the next night Michaela went into detail on the 16th Karmapa meditation, our primary practice, Gerd followed that with an in-depth history of the Karma Kagyu lineage and Tomek rounded it all off with the hair-raising story of smuggling the 17th Karmapa out of Chinese occupied Tibet.

Between lectures there was plenty of time for everyone to meditate in our beautiful gompa or outside around the stupa. On Wednesday we spent twelve hours focussing on the 16th Karmapa mediation, keeping it going constantly with at least one person practicing at all times between 8 am and 8 pm, when Lama Ole joined us over Skype to end the meditation with us and say a few words.

Reflecting the course’s very international nature, Thursday night’s teachings came from a panel of four: Bea and Julia from Germany and Denmark respectively, Lolland’s primary sanghas, as well as John from the USA and Macarena from Argentina, representing North and South America.

And surely anyone who was there will agree: the crowning moment of this year’s course was the completion of the stupa renovation, with Lama Ole participating through Skype. You can read more about it here.

Thank you to everyone who came and made it such a relaxed, joyful and friendly summer course! And whether you came or not, we look forward to seeing you here next year!

Pulling Together to Build Up!

Sounds of saws and hammers, the smell of wet paint, freshly turned earth, flowers and barbecues – all of this is to be expected this time of year, as friends join us at Lolland Retreat Center for the building up weekends to get everything ready for the annual Summer Course.

On the second building up weekend in late May not only our diligent Danish and German friends came, but we were also pleasantly surprised by eighteen Czechs with a great deal of surplus who took time off from working on the stupa in Tenovice to come and help us for the weekend!

Having talented Czech carpenter friends here made a couple of the more difficult jobs materialise as if by magic. They ripped up the old floors in two of the retreat rooms, then sealed, insulated and laid new floors, as well as disposing of one of the huge but unfortunately dead trees in the driveway. But there was also plenty to do for everyone else with window and pillar painting, garden work, cleaning and cooking.

Such joyful work flowed naturally into play – on Saturday afternoon a few friends organised some spontaneous games for after work relaxation: tug of war, running races with weights and obstacles, wood chopping races, log throwing and a struggle for the legendary hammer of heroes.

If the Summer Course will be half as enjoyable as this weekend, it’ll be one of the best ever!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Meditating with Families

Starting a family enriches life, but brings with it many new challenges for a practicing Buddhist. Finding the time and freedom to meditate can be quite difficult, so to support Buddhist parents (and kids!) Lolland offers at least one Family Retreat a year.

The first one this year started on the first Thursday evening of May, when seventeen families arrived and settled into their rooms. The crystal clear weather the next morning made it the perfect weekend for families. Some took advantage of the spacious garden and gorgeous weather to simply relax with their children, but many of the parents helped each other out, taking turns to entertain the kids with games in the garden, face painting and tasty sweets, while other parents took the chance to meditate. Other than that, two dads treated us all to a barbecue lunch, two other dads planted the “family strawberry patch” which will be harvested by the kids at the summer course, and Jesper and Charlotte Jorgensen, Diamond Way teachers and parents with plenty of experience helping run Buddhist centers, gave talks in the evening about combining a family with active Buddhist practice.

We really enjoyed hosting parents and their children and look forward to doing it again soon!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Joy of Building Up

You might have the idea in your head that building up a huge course, like the upcoming Lolland Summer Course, is just a bunch of hard work. If so, you’ve obviously never done it.

But just to make sure all the generous friends who come to help not only have the satisfaction of working for others, but can also share some joy with their friends, we’ve organised some enjoyable themes for each weekend…

BBQ Weekend! April 25 – 27

We’ll all be meditating hard, working hard, and enjoying a massive BBQ together in the evenings.

Weekend Cubano! May 24 – 25

Work hard & play hard, Cuban style. On “Cuban Night” you’ll enjoy traditional Cuban food, drink and dance, and be entertained with stories from the island.

Viking Weekend! June 14 – 15

If anyone knew how to work and enjoy themselves at the same time, it was the Vikings! After work we’ll hear a lecture by visiting teacher Joshua Johnson (his local football team back home is the Vikings!), eat & drink like Danes of old, and enjoy some professional live music.

Campfire Weekend! July 11 – 12

Your last chance to help make the Summer Course a success! This weekend we’ll be sharing stories of Diamond Way’s history around the fire with visiting teacher Alexander Press. Make sure and bring your best jokes too, as we’ll be competing to discover the Lolland Joke Master!

Prices & Registration

All weekends cost €15 per night (110kr) and include meals and accommodation.

Please register here if you are coming.

We look forward to working, meditating and partying with you!