German Festival 2008 ~ Blessing Ceremony of KMC Germany
This year, our national Festival began on Protector Day in August and lasted for five days, and for the first time, it was held at the site of our KMC Germany. Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab, our Deputy Spiritual Director, was invited to grant the Empowerment of Buddha Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, and gave a beautiful commentary to our Prayers for Meditation and the Guru Yoga of Buddha Shakyamuni. The Festival ended with a two days retreat led by Gen Kelsang Ananda, the National Spiritual Director of Germany.
A lot of preparation needed to be done in order to transform the grounds of Schloss Sommerswalde – where KMC Germany is situated – from a building site into a Festival venue. A lot of gardening had to be done, heaps of building rubble that had accumulated over the past 12 months needed removing and kilos of dust taken down from ceiling, walls and floors. Last but not least, our magnificent statue of Buddha Shakyamuni was put up in our newly arisen Temple! However because many people came on a working visit before the actual event, finally all preparations went smoothly and joyfully and in time when Gen-la arrived at the final destination of his trip through Germany.
It was a joy to see the first tents being erected and Kadampas from all over Germany arriving when the Festival was about to begin. KMC Germany is now functioning as our national Mother Centre! Everyone enjoyed so much being here at our new Kadampa home base. When Gen-la began his introductory Teaching on Friday night, it felt like a magic moment – it seemed that Venerable Geshe-la’s vision for Germany is becoming a reality and the hard work many over many, many years is beginning to bear fruit. Kelsang Kyobpa, Resident Teacher of Sumati-Zentrum in Dresden guided meditations in the mornings. Just before our retreat was about to start, the statue of the Great King Dorje Shugden – a gift from Venerable Geshe-la – arrived who from now on will make sure that we practice the Stages of the Path. In-between sessions people enjoyed the grounds, the Bavarian-run café or simply each other’s company ~ what a meaningful Kadampa family holiday. From the depths of our heart we would like to say Thank you, Geshe-la!