As we work with our Diamond Way sanghas to bring in support for moreEC, it’s useful to keep a fresh view for how broad our work for this project truly is. “All the great monuments of history were built collectively,” Lama Ole reminded us at the campaign kickoff. “We are here with a living transmission, and we know that we change through the things that we work with. And here we have an opportunity to really be big.”
A brief overview of EC fundraising gives us a sense for what is possible together. For the initial purchase of the land at €4.4 million in 2007, donations came in from over 4,000 people from some 40 countries with no single donation exceeding €70,000. Currently, the “I Grow EC!” membership program has over 1,300 members who fund operating costs and day-to-day repairs and development. Though large contributions are always welcome, our strength clearly lies in affordable contributions from many, so that what we build is not a museum or a private mansion, but a true home for all who come.
In this same collective style, the first million Euros we raised on the kickoff night came in over just one hour from around 600 people. As we disperse from the Summer Course, this moreEC wave spreads strongly through the stops on Lama Ole’s travels. Our retreat center in Mangutovo, Slovakia involved many in a moreEC auction, and the moreEC stand at the Kaluga retreat center outside Moscow signed up at least 40 more friends to donate over the next two and a half years.
Involving the whole Diamond Way sangha is a central focus of moreEC. Beyond the Lama’s travels, the EC “keypeople” have already brought the campaign to their home countries. North and South America, for example, have launched a moreEC Raffle which will be coordinated throughout the entire continent, engaging as much of our sangha as possible.
In a recent interview about the EC, Lama Ole reminded us—“If you do something together with many then all the good motivation, all the good wishes, everything that you have will be increased.” Merely 3 weeks after the kickoff, we can already see the collective power of many idealists from many cultures—in this way, our deep roots at the EC will spread solidity in our work everywhere.
Hellooo world, hellooo Immenstadt, hellooo Europe Center…
Are you ready? OK, one more time – ARE YOU READYYYY?!?!
…and the full hall cheered in accord.
This is how the long-awaited moreEC fundraising was finally launched on Sunday, 7 August. The campaign aims to bring together all our friends and centers around the world and collect financial resources needed for completing the vision born 13 years ago with a wish for a central international place uniting the whole Diamond Way Buddhism worldwide. Today’s Europe Center fulfills this vision already on many levels by hosting high Lamas of the Kagyu lineage and bringing easily thousands of people from 40+ countries together on one course, like this summer but its function is still limited and often improvised.
This will all change when we inaugurate the new facilities in 2013. With a large 570m2 gompa and enough space for guests, residents & families, we can look forward to mediation courses with our teachers during the whole year. And as Lama Ole said on this evening – from that moment on, everything will flow back from here again, empowering all our 600+ centers around the globe.
The whole evening was very relaxed and joyful. Rather than presentations and bullet-points, we had a moderator, a piano player and many guests on the stage – friends who are in involved in the Europe Center project since the very beginning, friends who moved in once we bought it, and of course Lama Ole who gave the most inspiring speech which opened everyone’s hearts.
It is now very clear what task we have ahead of us. So what do you think, do we have the power to do it? The friends present this evening went in unison – YES!