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!
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!
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!
Lolland Buddhist Retreat Center
4920 Søllested, Denmark
Phone: +45 54 61 60 97