Mandala Tour 2020 – visiting the homes of the sangha


To start off 2020 in the Europe Center, the Sangha decided to see where the friends outside of the EC live in the small town of Immenstadt.

So came the idea of doing the Mandala Tour; a pub crawl of friends living spaces filled with snacks, stories, cozy furniture if you were the first to arrive, and non alcoholic drinks!

Entering the homes of the friends, to meet their families and their tastes of living was a great experience and gave the opportunity to get to know someone in a deeper way. To see their altars, their dreams for the future, and just how they include the dharma into their everyday life was a beautiful way to get to know the people in this town.

In total, seven homes were open to the whole EC Sangha. Each home seemed to have a different theme, from simple and ready for retirement to having a personal gaming room. But it was also great to see how the dharma resided in their homes. One home even had a full gompa! To compliment the openness, the hosts had coffee and cake and gave the friends the chance to feel at home.

The final destination on the tour was the “Villa”, which had prepared pizza for all those who came. Afterword’s, the friends made their way back up to the EC just in time for the evening meditation. So ended a journey through Immenstadt, only to appear again in 2021.



A Mindful Approach to New Year’s Resolutions


As we finish the extreme season of gift-giving, gift-returning, and merry-making, another vacation custom will stay: considering those pesky New Year’s Resolutions. It’s most likely fitting that after a season of extravagance (calorie and/or monetary), we deal with to alter our routines in the new year. Lose 10 pounds! Exercise 5 times a week! Save more cash! No more awful sweatshirts!

And then, come Valentine’s Day, we rest on the sofa with our chocolates, chuckling with our sweetie about how hardly ever we’ve utilized that new fitness center subscription (which is exercising to about $35 per exercise), and questioning why we have not lost those pounds or conserved any cash. Maybe it’s since we’re now using stylish and pricey sweatshirts?

If this seems like you, you’re not alone. Research suggests that just 8% of individuals in fact attain their New Year’s resolutions! Most physical fitness resolutions last, usually, 8 days.

Are we setting about this entire resolution thing the incorrect method?

What is a Resolution?

the act of … identifying upon an action, course of action, technique, treatment, and so on
a choice or decision: to make a firm resolution to do something.
the psychological state or quality of being fixed or undaunted; firmness of function

Perhaps resolutions are difficult since those words– decision, firmness— are difficult We are fixed to act in a particular method. We have company expectations of particular results.

But we’re still human, vulnerable to errors and faults. We still reside in a continuously altering environment, which can thwart even the most solid and strong-willed amongst us.

One of my mindfulness instructors discusses the stress in between persistence and decision in our mindfulness practice. She explains how the mindset with which we approach our meditation practice can be put along a continuum, from militaristic effort on one side and severe laziness on the other. As with many dichotomous systems, neither severe feels great– the concept is to discover our method to a comfy area in the middle.

I believe our issue with resolutions is that they put us strongly in militaristic effort mode, consumed with results and concepts of success and failure.

But the response is not to leave to the other severe, to desert the practice of self-improvement entirely. It is to discover that sweetspot in between effort and persistence: to determine locations for development, summon the guts to change our routines, and, most significantly, to do so with compassion and empathy for ourselves.

We must maybe believe in regards to intents rather of resolutions Intention originates from the Latin intendere, “to turn one’s attention,” and intentionem, “a stretching out.”

While resolutions are difficult and firm, intents are versatile. They’re about where we direct our attention They’re about being mindful

As we look for individual change in the year ahead, I provide you this mindful approach to New Year’s Resolutions and Intentions:

A Mindful Guide to New Year’s Resolutions

1. Consider Your Intentions

The most typical resolutions are to reduce weight, invest less cash, and get arranged Those are all healthy and important practices. But why are they your intents? Do you desire to feel much better about your body? Know that you will not require to stress over cash for retirement? Stop losing time trying to find all your things in the early morning? Honoring the individual significance behind an action assists us preserve our willpower.

2. Focus on Process, Not Results

Resolutions like “lose weight” and “get organized” are entirely concentrated on an outcome, without any recognition of a procedure for how to arrive.

Studies reveal that when workers– from sales executives to Formula One pit teams– concentrate on procedure and design rather of sales numbers and speed, they in fact carry out much better Intensely concentrating on outcomes paradoxically makes us less most likely to attain them.

Instead of concentrating on “losing 10 pounds,” attempt concentrating on opting for strolls or consuming healthy salads for lunch — you will most likely wind up losing some weight at the same time. And you’ll most likely delight in the journey a lot more.

The focus of our resolution must be the procedure— the boundless present minutes in which change will happen– instead of the single circumstances of its

3. Change Your Habit Loop

Self- change starts with self-awareness. First turn your attention to the routines that you would like to modification, and analyze what sustains those routines If you desire to invest less cash, for instance, spend some time observing how and when and why you invest cash. Is it your early morning routine to turn to your phone, examine your e-mail, and click all those ON SALE NOW– ACT QUICK! impulse messages? If that stays your early morning routine, you’re going to have a difficult time conserving your cash.

Charles Duhigg, in The Power of Habit, argues that the secret to altering our habits is comprehending the routine loop— the hints that set off a specific action, and the benefits that lead us to continue to do it.

For example, I composed this post a couple of years ago about my old early morning routine loop that I desired to modification: rather of examining my e-mail, coffee in hand, as quickly as I got up, which frequently left me bad-tempered, I made my coffee the “reward” for practicing meditation in the early morning rather. And after a while, practicing meditation in the early morning merely ended up being regular. I looked forward to it, and discovered the advantages of a more devoted practice. But I had to alter my routines (i.e., ditch the morning phone regimen), not simply deal with to “meditate more.”

So take a cautious take a look at your not-so-skillful routines that are presently supporting the habits you desire to modification in the approaching year. Duhigg composes, “Once you break a habit into its components, you can fiddle with the gears.” You can discover the little tweaks to your regimen that can support change.

And would not you understand? The word “resolution” is stemmed from the Latin resolvere, which suggests “to reduce into simpler forms.” That’s where we must begin.

4. Be Kind to Yourself

No matter what intents we set for ourselves, there will be weeks and days when we do not live up to our expectations. A basic lesson we discover through practicing mindfulness is that we are continuously starting once again— every day, each breath. We take a seat to practice meditation, and we experience a short minute of awareness. Then our mind begins chattering, preparing supper and stressing over the kids. And then with a deep breath, awareness rearises– and the mind is off once again, questioning what’s up next in our Netflix line.

When the mind wanders, we carefully bring our attention back to the breath, without evaluating or scolding ourselves. The minute we discover our mind has actually roamed is the minute of insight– seeing the action of the mind is the practice itself.

The exact same chooses resolutions. When we fail, we can carefully and non-judgmentally bring our awareness back to our objective. That’s truly the function of setting resolutions– bringing a kind awareness to our habits, acknowledging when we’ve roamed, and starting once again. And once again …

5. Consider Resolution Alternatives

If the pressure of New Year’s Resolutions is excessive, think about a couple of alternative methods to set your intents for the approaching year:

  • vision-boardMake a Vision Board: You can discover great deals of online directions for making a vision board (like these ones here, that include users’ uploaded images of their boards). A vision board puts together images that represent what you desire on your own in the approaching year. It’s a fantastic method to have a visual suggestion of your intents (I have my own awaiting my workplace). The pictures of heart-shaped fruits, dancing yogis, and radiant candle lights carefully advise me to consume healthy food, move my body, and make time for stillness.
  • Choose a Word of the Year: Many individuals have actually accepted the pattern of picking a word for the year– like breathe, trust, dance, fly— that encapsulates the mindsets, habits, and sensations they prefer in the year ahead. This word can direct your actions and options– rather of setting company expectations on your own, you can ask if a specific habits lines up with your word and your intents.

Ultimately, New Year’s Resolutions have to do with development and enhancement. They have to do with bringing health and happiness and reduce into our lives. With mindfulness we can bring awareness to our routines and hold ourselves with empathy and compassion as we look for significant change.

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EC team workshop day – Europe Center


A wish appeared and it is slowly coming true.

After a time with a lot of work but not so much clarity, the wish of the Sangha appeared to get to know more about their friends, who is involved where and what are they doing?!

First the group of people that help us in difficult times, so called trustees, introduced us to their idea of how to start a process of how to have more transparency and communication between the teams. In this very meeting they were sowing the seed for great development in our center.

Referring to this first meeting, two people got the mandate from the group to prepare the next “Team-process-meeting” – and that’s how it went.

It started with group work in the teams that are usually working together. Each team had to clarify their responsibilities; who is doing what, and especially with whom they have to communicate decisions or who else to ask and inform. Every group was creating a flipchart which was later shown in the Marketplace.

Speaking of, during the Marketplace (after the group-work) everyone had the chance to freely inform themselves about the other teams and clarify whatever was on their mind. Going on with the program, we were gathering in front of each flip chart while having such team talk about the news in their structure or changes between peoples position. This time was especially great for an exchange of the whole group. Even though everything took longer than expected, everyone wanted to stay and work together.

Interesting was also the so called “you-forgot-me corner” which was the space for everything that is somehow still missing or hasn’t been mentioned. However, the day was very productive and intense and will be continued in the next “Team-process-meeting”. See you there!



New Year and Dive in 2020


As every year, we came together to celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Europe Center.

It was a great pleasure not only for the adults but also for the kids. The children brought light into the darkness through a joyful torch walk around the EC up to the hill. Meanwhile, many friends enjoyed the last sessions of meditation of 2019. While waiting for the streaming with Lama Ole from the New Year’s Course in Hamburg, we shared time together over our favorite desserts, filling the pub with laughter and excitement. In the background, the fireworks lit up the courtyard with colors.

The most inspiring moment of the evening was listening to the Lama Ole’s talk from Hamburg. He highlighted the the most important Diamond Way events of the year. We then entered into the new year by taking the traditional Boddhisattva Promise—a commitment to accomplish enlightenment for the benefit of all beings and to work with diligence and strength until all beings have reached enlightenment.

We closed this inspiring event with great music and cheerful dancing.

To start the new year in a meaningful way, many friends joined our Dive In event at the beginning of January. During this five-day course, we had numerous meditation sessions and the chance to get explanations for personal practice. Every evening, we had a lecture with our local traveling teachers. These few days helped us to create the right mindset for the new year.

(Tiina and Szilvia)