Some 2,000 people met in Těnovice near Plzeň in July this year to attend four-days of Buddhist meditation lectures led by the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa Thaye Dorje, the leader of the Karma Kagyu Diamondway Buddhism in Tibet.
A photo essay from the event is now on display at Prague Monitor’s Photo Gallery.
The Buddhist meditation center, which is located in a small village at the foot of the Brdy hills, saw its largest attendance this year with people coming from all parts of the world, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Iceland and New Zealand. About 20% of all participants were foreigners, said the organiser, the Diamond Way Buddhism Center in Prague.
“We’re so happy that Gyalwa Karmapa came to Těnovice to share his thoughts. It is always a great pleasure to meet someone whose words of happiness and compassion are based on true experience. Every such encounter is very inspirational and helps us discover and share these qualities with each other,” said one of the organisers Jan Matuška.
The Buddhist center holds lectures and meditation sessions in Těnovice since 2003. During these sessions, a large tent is put up on a local meadow to house the gatherings while the participants bring their own tents to sleep in.
The visit of Gyalwa Karmapa this year was accompanied by lama Ole Nydahl, one of the best known westerners qualified to teach about the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. For more than 30 years, Ole Nydahl has been spreading the Buddha’s teaching in western countries. He constantly travels to give lectures, write books and open new meditation centers. There are about 600 of his centers now across the world and 50 of them are in the Czech Republic.
Diamond Way Buddhism has been getting more attention especially in the West with its large population of independent and open minded individuals. One reason may be that unlike traditional Buddhism, this way brings no constraints to everyday and personal life.
The Diamond Way is the most popular of the Buddhist teaching methods in the Czech Republic. Two years ago, the Ministry of Culture registered the method as the country’s first and only Buddhist religious society.
See the organiser’s website for more information.