What Berlin Bodhicharya looks like today

The association Bodhicharya Deutschland was founded in 2001. The aims are to provide opportunity for study and practice of the teachings of the Buddha and cultivate peace and stability of mind, to offer intercultural exchange and, to provide activities in the areas of education, health and social work.

Overview of the center

Download the Architects Brochure here.

The coloured buildings to the right are already completed, the white and grey parts to the left show the buildings that await completion. In the central position is the temple, including accommodation for His Holiness Karmapa, to the left are planned several multi-purpose-rooms of different sizes. The completed rooms include the bigger shrine room (and at a later point probably a neighbourhood café and shop).

At the back boundary stands a building that has been converted into apartments and communal room for sangha members as well as one for Rinpoche and visiting teachers. To the right are the old stables, which now house the architects office, homes for the Out-reach Hospice Service and the community administrators as well as a shop. There is a small shrine room upstairs. Also planned is a Kadam-Stupa, which will be surrounded by a “garden for the senses”.

Click on the brochure image above to download the Architects Brochure.



This is a view from the entrance towards the house before renovation was completed. The former stables have been rebuilt to the legal preservation and planning specifications. It opens onto a paved walkway and gardens that were created in the summer of 2009. To the left you see the construction fence, which has now been removed, it once separated the remaining premises awaiting construction and development.

The bigger shrine room in the new building towards the road has been the main venue for events and meetings, and has hosted many teachings from eminent Buddhist teachers.

There is a smaller shrine room in the attic of the former stables. It offers an intimate, inspiring space for practise. We recently hosted an exhibition of hand painted Thangkas by R.D. Salga there. He is a brother of Ringu Tulku Rinpoche and a highly renowned artist in Nepal.

Projects and Activities

 


Building project – news

Bodhicharya Deutschland e.V. was chosen as a pilot project by the environmental organisation NABU and the Federal Agency for City Planning (BBSR). In a selection process of submitted projects from all over Germany, Bodhicharya was chosen along with four other schemes to be part of a research programme set up to look into strategies for dealing with climate change in an urban environment, with particular reference to adapting building methods and materials.


Bodhicharya Out-reach Hospice Service

It is our deepest wish that as far as possible, people can lead a self-determined life until the moment of death, free of fear and pain. Through a team of qualified coordinators and trained volunteer helpers we offer care facilities, company and advice for the dying, their relatives, friends.

Our service is free of charge and is offered to everybody, regardless of their religion. Our annual training for volunteer hospice helpers gives basic knowledge, and training in the support necessary for severely sick or dying people. The full training is delivered across 130 hours, and in addition to the traditional hospice approach, participants receive further education in the various traditions of Buddhism, including meditation and mind training.

Every first Wednesday of the month we celebrate a Light Meditation: It is our understanding that impermanence and change are the basis of existence and of course we encounter both when we meet serious illness and death. This meditation session is primarily for people who are facing serious illness themselves and for those who are caring for someone who is dying, but of course everyone who wishes to deepen their contemplation of impermanence is welcome.

Donations are gratefully received for the support and continuation of our work.


Inter-Religious dialogue

The centre regularly organises meetings with representatives of other religious traditions for discussion and exchange. Together with our spiritual director, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, they debate the questions and dilemmas of human existence and our common wishes for the future. In the frame of the inter-faith dialogue we look at the ethical basis of the great world religions Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Buddhism as well as other spiritual traditions. We see this as an important chance to increase our mutual understandings and concerns, as well as to observe the resonances of alturistic behaviour that are at the heart of each. We believe that working to protect the welfare and needs of every living being is central to the future of a successful global society.


Art and Culture

Upcoming event – May 2012 – The Maitreya Relics

Relics of great beings including those of Buddha Shakyamuni and will be exhibited at our center as part of the Maitreya Project.

We look forward to opening our premises to artists from all traditions for painting and sculpture exhibitions, film, music and dance, in fact all forms of artistic expression. When it is established, our planned ‘garden of senses’ will make a wonderful venue for some of those activities.

Our first international exhibition was in the spring of 2009, when we showed a selection of Thankas, hand painted in Nepal at the studio of R D Salga, brother of Ringu Tulku Rinpoche. This was followed by a photo portrait of the temple ‘Topping Out Ceremony’. Photographs by Swiss photographer Fritz Berger were exhibited in the unfinished building under the title of “Tibetans at Home and Abroad– photo portraits and life stories”.

During these ceremonies we held a benefit concert with a wide range of musical offerings from singers and musicians from all over the world.

The center participates every year in ‘An open day of cultural heritage’ an event that celebrates the cultural development of humanity. (in German: Denkmal).


Stupa

Stupas are traditional places of worship throughout Asia, they are often reliquaries and the most ancient form of mandala. The outer form of a stupa is a representation of wisdom and compassion, symbolising the awakened mind, perfect speech and pure body of Buddha, and it is believed a stupa will have a healing influence and spiritual benefit on the wider environment for many centuries.

The stupa on the Bodhicharya premises will be designed and built according to the stupa on the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India. In November 2008 Khenpo Lama Phuntsok, the abbot of Karma Lekshe Ling monastery in Kathmandu, visited the centre to give teachings about the content and preparations necessary for the building of a large stupa.



During his visit Lama Phuntsok led a ceremony of purification, the khorde ceremony with a smoke offering. When enough donations have been made, we will begin to form the 1000 tatsas (small containers for relics, made from clay), which will be be placed inside the stupa.

On July 5th, 2010, HH Sakya Trizin blessed the ground where the stupa will be built and also gave a teaching in the new temple bulding.

On August 6th, 2010, in a very moving ceremony led by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, with honoured guests and interfaith representatives, we celebrated the beginning of the building of the stupa.


Neighbourhood- Café

The planned neighbourhood café will be opened in what is currently the larger meditation room as soon as the interior of the new Temple is complete with heat and insulation.

The kitchen has already been installed and is used by the mostly volunteer workers of the project on a daily basis. Food is also prepared here for sangha meetings.

We look forward to being able to provide hospitality to friends in the new café.


Shop

In our shop you will find:

A broad range of dharma books, audio recordings and films on Buddhist topics, many by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, as well as other teachers. There are also practice manuals available as well as Buddhist magazines, books about dealing with dementia and dying, ritual objects, small statues and decorative objects. We also plan to sell thangkas.

At the moment we do not have regular opening hours, but during teachers visits and courses the shop is usually open. The shop is run by volunteers, but we do need more people to help us on a regular basis.


Library

It is planned to build a library and reading room on the upstairs gallery above the temple.

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