Archive for the ‘3. September 2011’ Category

Today as the title suggest was spent in one very big, long traffic jam. We were on a mission

Standard bus riding activity.

to get to Frankfurt to attend the autumn course. We left at 1 anticipating it would take 5 hours to get there – this would have given us plenty of time to arrive, relax and then attend the 8pm lecture. However it appeared that all of north eastern Germany had the same idea (it is a long weekend this weekend) and as a result after about 4 hours in a traffic jam we had only gone the distance that should have taken us about 1 – 1.5 hours. So

Bad Homborg

we gave up on the idea of getting to Frankfurt in time and tried to enjoy driving really slowly. As a result what should have taken us 5 hours, took us about 10 hours…we got to Bad Hamburg (this is actually where the course is, very close to Frankfurt) at 11am, just enough time to catch the meditation. We then all crashed in the sleeping hall totally exhausted from our 10 hour car ride. It is amazing how exhausting doing nothing can be!.

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Crazy Clouds

Today was spent hanging out at the buddhist centre meditating, reading, eating and drinking

Second Hand Bakery....

tea. I greatly appreciated this time to rejuvenate and chillax. The evening however had different plans for us. Giza (a friend from the Sangha) received top marks for her PHD so it was time to have a kitchen party and celebrate. These celebrations left us in an extremely random club in Berlin trying to dance to the music produced by a DJ that appeared to not know a thing about mixing or rhythm. We tried our best to get into the spontaneous change of genre and beat with no cohesion, but all our efforts left us going home rather early (3am) laughing about our failed dance mission. A fun experience in itself.

 

Kitchen Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hipster in the Park

The Buddhist Centre

Today was one of those days spent relaxing at someone else’s house when they are not home pretending it to be my own…standard. I am staying at Agnes and Thomas’ house which is directly across the road from the very beautiful Buddhist centre. So today I used this time to catch up with Sammy C and Mum on skype, wash my clothes, hang out my clothes, drink tea, eat something that was not bread and cheese which rocked my world and meditate.

When Agnes came home from work we decided to go for a walk so I could see a little bit more of Berlin. In doing this I discovered Berlin is one cool city and Berliners and totally cool – hipsters I would say! Total hipsters! There is so much going on, people doing things everywhere, like playing games in the park,

A walk in the Park

playing music on the street, running and many other fun activities.

In the evening we went to meditation – about 40 people came! Amazing! They even had lentil soup for us all afterwards, which was very tasty and incredible healthy! All in all a necessary day recuperating so I am ready to do it all again!!!!

Sunset in the Park

Lunch in the courtyard

Today was a fantastic, relaxing and wholesome day followed by a fascinating night. I spent the day hanging out at the Hamburg centre doing the following: meditating, drinking coffee in my attempts to be bourgeois, eating amazing pumpkin soup with sausage in it, a surprisingly tasty addition that none of us had ever even thought of before, going on the internet for the first time in 5 days which for a person of my generation is ages (hehe), I did enjoy my time apart from the cyber world, but I am also happy we are together again and being random.

In the evening it was time to receive the Amithaba (Buddha of Limitless Light)

Sharmapa on his speed blessing mission

empowerment from Sharmapa. Sharmapa is a cool cat that’s for sure! He has a fantastic sense of humour, is very witty and straight to the point. There were a number of hilarious moments during the empowerment where everyone (about 1000 people0 all burst into laughter. Sharmapa is also the quickest empowerment

Generation Y

giver! He speed through everything at a rapid pace including the blessings and before I knew it it was all over and he was waving us goodbye and we were back in the red bus on our way back to Berlin! All in all it was an incredibly quick but powerful trip to Hamburg.

Sharmapa in the Hamburg Gompa

Today I woke up at the lovely hour of 10.30am, which gave me just enough time to

Duka Statue

meditate, buy food, drink a coffee, have a shower and pack before 1pm which was our departure time from Berlin! So 1pm came and in the magic red bus we hopped and headed for Hamburg! The reason I am on the road to Hamburg is because Sharmapa is giving an empowerment on Tuesday, this will be my first meeting with Sharmapa so I am very excited.

We arrived in Hamburg just in time to see him give the end of a welcome speech in the Hamburg centre! The centre is AMAZING! It is massive, 40 people live here full time, it has a beautiful courtyard, a huge Gompa and they even have their very own café that makes very delicious soya coffees. We are staying in the lounge room of one of Thomas’ friends, a 2 minute walk from the centre.

Hamburg Centre Courtyard

After hanging around the centre for a while it was time to head to Ole’s lecture. The lecture venue was incredible, a huge convention centre like hall and

More Blessing

about 800 people came! After the lecture we hung out at the centre for about an hour until it was time to crash in bed! Wow!

The morning view from Monk Hill

So for the last 4 days I have been at the Stupa inauguration course in Salzburg

Apples and Almonds

Austria. Due to lack of free time I haven’t been able to go on my computer or the internet for the past 4 days so I am just going to give a brief summary of the last 4 days. It goes a little something like this:

Amazing. The inauguration was beautiful. The stupa is stunning. The location on ‘monkhill’ is perfect. Lama Ole gave a lecture every evening, all of which were very interesting and inspiring, such an incredible man. Truly amazing. Caty gave a lecture (questions and answers) on Saturday which was so inspirational. She is such a joyful and powerful women and a true living example of the effect of years

The hidden Stupa

of meditation and dharma work, it was so joyful and inspiring to hear all her stories! Sherab

The Stupa Revealed!

Gyaltsen Rinpoche gave a Diamond Mind Empowerment on Sunday which was very powerful. We met Mozart at the party on Friday night – The Austrians are very proud of their music king. I ate so many Mozart chocolate balls as they gave you one with every coffee you bought! Salzburg appears to be a very pretty town. Sunrise. Meditation. Stupas = powerful. Yum yum yum, I ate so much bread with cheese, tomato and prosciutto. Actually this is all I have been eating for the last 4 days! However I do consume many apples with almonds, bananas and yoghurt. Tears welled in my eyes at the end of the empowerment when everyone was thanking everyone, a truly beautiful moment. Rinpoche threw chocolate bars at us at the end of the empowerment which was very funny, what a joyful man. Lama Ole also engaged in a similar activity the night before by sling

Lama Ole enjoying the sling shot!

Stupa

shotting our questions back at us – also highly amusing. We left Salzburg at 4 pm on Sunday to drive back to Berlin. We got back to Berlin at about 2am and I was fast asleep before I could say amazing. Ah, what a spring I have in my step. What wonderful life.

Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche

Bus back to Berlin

Laughing Lamas

This morning began at the fantastic time of 6.45am after only having about 2 hours sleep! We were all in an amazing daze as we packed

Necessary vacuuming of stupa insides!

our stuff and hopped into the bus. Naturally I slept the whole time waking only briefly to appreciate the beautiful scenery. We arrived in Salzburg at about 10am and it was beautiful and sunny. We were in the park where the Stupa has been built. We walked through the beautiful forest to the Stupa place to witness the putting in of the tree of life. A beautiful but slightly delayed moment. The tree was too long so they had to make some modifications before the final moment of putting the top on. We had lunch at a really expensive restaurant with a beautiful

Kate!!!!

view over Salzburg – as a result everyone only got a cheap soup!

We went to the travel teacher lecture at 3pm. Agnes and I had a hilarious bus ride to the lecture place…lots of hysterical laughter which the locals appreciated I am sure! I hung around the lecture hall until it was time for Lama Ole’s lecture at 8pm – amazing!

The final touches

After this we had a beer in the café/bar/entrance hall area! Very lovely. We then all caught a maxi taxi back to our hostel place in the park where the stupa is and sat around outside!

Lama Ole putting in the Life Tree

Agnes Volka and Ralf

We had breakfast at the centre this morning after meditating in the sports sleeping gym hall place. The centre in Passau is very beautiful with a wonderful courtyard and beautiful Gompa! After a breakfast of delicious German bakery goods which consisted of about 5 different sorts of bread it was again time to hit the road. It is a crazy life going from one town to the next not spending more than 24 hours in each place! This also makes it hard to remember the tiny details about each talk or town or centre as they all blur together into one blissful journey on the road. A crazy but wonderful experience.

Enjoying a traditional Austrian desert

So we were back on the road again, travelling in our magic red bus! I am sure you can guess what I did….sleep! I woke up to the calls of ‘we are here’ – not really. It was more like people speaking German. When I enquired what my fellow bus travellers were talking about they informed me that we were on a stealth mission from the police as in Munich if your car doesn’t have a green sticker (saying your

Sonya and Christian

car is environmentally friendly) you get a fine and loose license points.

Munich appears to be a very beautiful city with lots of old buildings that kind of look Italian. The centre here is gorgeous with a beautifully lit big Gompa! After meditating at the centre we all decided to walk to the lecture place. This gave us a chance to see a bit of Munich and get a walk, which was very lovely. We kind of got lost on the way which just added to the adventure.

The lecture was in a huge old beautiful building with high ceilings, statues and art works everywhere – lots of white, gold, yellow and cream colours everywhere.

After the lecture we had a beer at the centre. We tried to join in the Octoberfest celebrations by heading to the Lowenbrau brewery but unfortunately it was closed as all the Octoberfesterians were probably passed out somewhere. So we just went to bed – at 4 am. It is crazy we didn’t even do anything apart from go to

Being Bavarian 1

Standard behaviour!

the lecture, hang out, have one beer and then, boom its 4am and time for bed! AGAIN! Fun times!

Being Bavarian 2

Bus crew!

We started the day with breakfast at the centre – it was very packed! The centre

Some town!

isn’t so big and there were lots of people there all crammed into the space trying to eat breakfast. After I took my 10 layers of clothes off I was comfortable enough in the crowd! I saw Mark from Canberra, which was very exciting so I got to have a nice chat with him over my coffee and bread roll.

We hang out at the centre, meditated and drank coffee before leaving at about 2pm for Passau. Thomas left us last night and we were joied by Volka and Ralph. Ralph drove most of the way (I think) – he is a crazy driver J. I again slept the entire way! This made the journey very quick and before I knew it we were at Aldi buying food to eat for dinner – bread, salami, prosciutto, cheese, more cheese, tomatoes, yogurt, chocolate and a variety of fruits! It was a feast for the kings! We ate our dinner in the bus on the way to the lecture place!

MARK!

One of the amazing sunsets witnessed

Passau is a very cute town with cobbled stones and cute old buildings! There again was a public lecture and luckily for me there was English translation! It was very interesting. After the lecture everyone crashed as it was late and cold and rainy. A lovely adventure day!

I will post photos later when the internet is faster.

Blessings 🙂

This morning began in the usual way with meditation and breakfast! Followed closely by showering, packing, saying our farewells to Unna

The initial bus crew

and hitting the road again to Nurnberg! We hopped in the magic red bus and were on our way. Before I knew it we were 70km out of Nurnberg at a road stop, ah the joys of sleeping on a bus! Before arriving in Nurnberg we all engaged in a few sing a long numbers which included ‘I come from a Land Down Under’. We arrived in Nurnberg at about 5.30 so we quickly went to the centre there to say hello before going to the lecture place at 6pm for Ole’s public lecture.

Public Lecture in Nurnberg

There was no translation at the lecture but Agnes was kind enough to do it for us, so

The Magic Big Red Bus

a group of about 5 of us all huddled around listening to Agnes translate! After a talking, blessing and a bit of laughter we headed back to the centre to hang out. It was great that the lecture was so early because it meant it finished early and there was time to catch up with friends before going to bed!

Hanging at the Centre