The last weekend of February 2014 marked the first Americas Course – a gathering of Buddhist practitioners from North, Central, and South America – in Cancun, Mexico. Five years after the idea was first conceived, over 150 people from a dozen countries came together to deepen their understanding of Buddhist teachings and methods. With beautiful weather and gorgeous surroundings, friends engaged in inspiring talks before meditation sessions, enjoyed presentations of Diamond Way Buddhist activities, listened to lectures given by panels of experienced lay teachers, and inspired visionary conversations about possibilities in the near and far future for our centers.
The Americas Course is an extension of the Americas Project – a project dedicated to strengthening the bond and exchange between North, Central, and South American Diamond Way Buddhist Centers. This noble endeavor was inspired through friends from the Americas who have been meeting annually at the heart of Diamond Way Buddhism’s activity – the Europe Center.
Since its inception, the Americas Project has been generating lively, warm, and popular events such as “Living Buddhism” courses, “Vaya con” tours (in which groups of practitioners travel together through other countries with a lay teacher), and the “Americas Adventure in Europe” (in which a bus tour of 80 practitioners from the Americas visited well-established Diamond Way Centers in Europe). These events have produced a deepening of friendship and uniting of activity that have dissolved obstacles of cultural boundaries.
As the Americas Project continues generating new events and connections, the common theme that underlies all of the activity is Producing Buddhism – bringing the teachings to life. And our common source of inspiration is our main teacher, Lama Ole Nydahl. His presence has been palpably felt during these gatherings, even when he’s on the other side of the world.
Together, we are discovering what happens when we dare to trust in possibility, as our lama has always encouraged. Through applying his advice, we gain more confidence in each other, in ourselves, and in what we are capable of when we function as a totality.
Working and meeting each other through the Americas Project has opened people’s minds to the vast potential that is our future. We look forward to our upcoming events and the ever-increasing participation and benefits that will follow.
We will continue to hold the Americas Course as an annual event, so if you didn’t make it this year, not to worry – you can join us next year, same time, same place, just go to diamondway.org/ac2015!