New London Buddhist Centre road show in Switzerland

Buddhas in the Swiss Alps (yes, the background is real!)

Buddhas in the Swiss Alps (yes, the background is real!)

From 22-24 January 2010, 12 friends took the New London Buddhist Centre road show to Zürich and Amden in Switzerland. Each of our road shows is unique, and following the success of Graz last November, we wanted to continue to make good connections and create positive impressions for the success of the New London Buddhist Centre project. The theme for this road show was “James Bond”. The program also featured typical Swiss cuisine, cheese fondue with powerful pear schnaps, a fantastic party, full English breakfast and of course Buddhist teachings – given by travelling teacher Steve James in the Amden Diamond Way Buddhist Retreat Centre.


Zurich Buddhist Centre

Zurich Buddhist Centre

The Zürich Diamond Way Buddhist Centre was established in 1991 and is located in Seefeld, southeast of the city centre, a 15-minute walk from the “Zürichsee” lake. Arriving, we identified the building by the small Stupa just in front. We were impressed by the centre’s family feel, the meditation room containing statues of the 16th Karmapas, and the large Stupa in the back yard. Our hosts introduced us to the history of the centre, which comprises a whole block of flats, with public access to the Stupa at the back. The part of the building with the social area and meditation room, together with the four floors above, was a gift from the owner – a big step on the way to enlightenment as Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche had stated. Later, with many friends present and with fine drinks, dinner was served while Bonds and Bond girls enjoyed the evening.


View from Amden Retreat Centre

View from Amden Retreat Centre

In connection with the road show in Zürich, Steve James gave inspiring Buddhist teachings in the Amden Diamond Way Buddhist Retreat Centre located to the southeast of Zürich, in the breathtaking Swiss Alps. The centre building used to be a hotel, which makes it ideal for its constant flow of people. Many of the rooms have a first class view of the Stupa outside and the mountains. The centre is also equipped with a professional kitchen, a sauna and swimming pool.

In addition to Steve’s lectures each day, we also had the fantastic opportunity to have an evening “around the fire” with the founders of the centre, René, Anne, Markus and Gisela. The process of searching for a place, finding it and fundraising weren’t easy, but definitely a uniting experience for all Swiss Diamond Way Buddhists. While in negotiations for a possible building, Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche’s predictions indicated “a building in the mountains overlooking a lake with a Green Tara mountain on the opposite side”. As soon as they found the place, they knew it was “the one”. The Retreat Centre belongs collectively to all the sanghas in the country. Each weekend a different sangha hosts, together with travelling teachers and the guests in retreat.

Bonds and Bond Girls in Zürich

Bonds and Bond Girls in Zürich

On Sunday, the friends from the London Buddhist Centre closed the weekend in style with high-speed bobsleighing! The kindness, hospitality and generosity of our Swiss friends made this weekend a great success. We managed to fundraise a significant amount for the New London Buddhist Centre project through catering and merchandise. Amden was unforgettable, we highly recommend it for a complete change of scenery and a great place with exceptional conditions for our Buddhist practice. Future road shows will are planned for Vienna, Copenhagen and Braunschweig, which we will also report on.

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4 Responses to “New London Buddhist Centre road show in Switzerland”

  1. Mary Anne says:

    What exactly is a “road show”? What do you all do when you have one?

  2. dwbuk says:

    Hi Mary Anne, our roadshows are all about raising awareness, support and funds for our project to get a big new Buddhist centren in London. They are also a chance for us to meet and learn directly from friends in other Buddhist centres about what steps they went through in building their projects, and also to strengthen our international friendships.

  3. Kate says:

    Pear schnapps and meat? I thought that Buddhists took vows against such things.

  4. dwbuk says:

    Some Buddhists do choose not to eat meat or drink alcohol, but it is not compulsory. You might be interested to read this blog post where Lama Ole Nydahl talks about his own lifestyle:

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