information in english

The Dharma Center Möhra and its Team

The Dharma Center Möhra is a place for Buddhist studies and meditation at which the teachings of the Buddha are presented according to the Karma Kagyü tradition, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Here individuals can obtain guidance on mind training through study, contemplation and meditation.

The spiritual head of the Dharma Center Möhra is the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Thaye Dorje. His representative in Europe is Lama Jigme Rinpoche. The center is guided by Dharma teachers of the Dhagpo-Kagyü Mandala who obtained their training in France under the direction of Lama Gendün Rinpoche. In the course of their training all of them have completed the traditional three-year retreat multiple times. In addition, highly qualified Tibetan rinpoches (masters) and khenpos (scholars) teach Buddhist meditation and philosophy at the Center.

Program of the Dharma Center

The program of the Dharma Center Möhra extends all the way from the traditional teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni, through commentaries of enlightened masters, to courses in which the skillful handling of thoughts and feelings in daily life is directly addressed and practiced. The content of all courses follows the tradition of the Karma Kagyü school. The many-sided course program gives insight into the base, path and fruit of spiritual practice.

On a daily basis, traditional Tibetan Buddhist meditations, also called pujas, are performed in which anyone can participate. Weekend seminars offer the opportunity to become familiar with the structure and content of these pujas and to deepen their application. Supplementing this, workshops are taught on how to set up a shrine, how to produce tormas and how to play musical instruments.

The daily practice of meditation serves to develop openness not only to all situations but also toward other sentient beings and one's own feelings. Through this practice we learn to fully accept what is. We learn to see everything we go through simply as an experience—without mental objection, without rejection, without withdrawal. By doing this an enormous amount of energy can be freed that previously was bound up in mental evasion or that exhausted itself in running away from the events of one's life.

In order to deepen the practice of meditation it is helpful to study the Buddhist view of reality. For this purpose, the Dharma Center offers seminars in Buddhist philosophy. These study units are taught by Tibetan rinpoches and  khenpos who have dedicated their lives to the study and application of the Buddhist teachings.

Important components of the course program are regular seminars for children and adolescents. Aside from imparting skill in the practice of meditation and mindfulness, in these seminars young people can learn how to handle conflict and emotions that lead to suffering. In open discussion the questions are dealt with of how the mind works, what exactly one's experiences are and why one meditates after all. Many children and adolescents have already participated in these seminars for many years, deepening their understanding of Dharma practice and experiencing stability in the cultivation of inner values, and in this way acquiring a wholesome orientation toward life.

Different kinds of meditation are offered for different age groups, i.e., for children up to the age of 9, for teenagers of the ages of 10 to 13, and for adolescents of 14 years and up. While for children the emphasis is on mantra singing and their first experiences with silent sitting, teenagers and adolescents are able to learn traditional methods such as prostrations and Chenrezig meditation. In all this the emphasis is always on personal exchange and discussion and the connection to one's own life.

In addition to the meditation program, adventure-pedagogic experiential games (archery, climbing trees and crates), theater and music workshops, working in the wood and painting workshop, together with an extensive tinkering and handicraft program, provide for much hustle and bustle and a lively mood. Especially popular for such activities are the sprawling natural surroundings of the Center and a yurt that is located on its grounds.

A central theme of these seminars for children and adolescents is the transmission of non-materialistic values such as loving kindness, compassion, non-violence, generosity, patience, joy, and their importance for our lives. Regarding this, the 17th Karmapa Thaye Dorje commented: “It is essential that non-material values are supported, to help us cultivate balanced and beneficial human beings, who also use their material wealth for the greatest benefit of our fellow human beings.”

Every three months mindfulness weekends take place in which methods are taught that support a meaningful conduct of life and help us come into contact with ourselves. These methods enable us to experience life to the full and perceive our own tendencies and deal with and transform them.

Continuous movement training such as Kum Nye and Qigong stimulates a conscious experience of the body and makes it possible to investigate and deepen the connection between body and mind.

The theme “Approaching death—Learning to live“ has become an important part of the seminar program. During this retreat the process of dying is illuminated from the Buddhist perspective. This seminar also serves as a forum for personal encounter and mutual exchange. It is intended for all who have been touched by the loss of friends, relatives or patients or by an awareness of their own transitory nature. Workers in the areas of hospice and palliative medicine have repeatedly participated in these seminars.

The regular lecture series and the days of open house are welcomed, particularly by people from the immediate vicinity, to gain some insight into the Buddhist way of life. In addition, on the days of open house, many artists set a joyful mood and delight us with their cultural presentations. At this point, we would like to thank all artists for their participation.

The Dharma Center Möhra offers practitioners a venue for an individual retreat under the guidance of an experienced teacher. A retreat provides the opportunity to consciously withdraw from ordinary daily life for a certain length of time in order to fully concentrate on spiritual practice and deepen the meditation. In a retreat deep inner processes may be triggered through which one learns to perceive fixed habitual patterns and recurrent emotions as mere processes. This newly gained perception then opens the possibility of transformation.

A retreat may be conducted in a single room in the house or in one of the retreat huts located at the forest edge. In these secluded bungalows the practitioner is able to dedicate himself or herself to their meditation practice without being disturbed.

The opportunity offered by the Dharma Center to combine meditation retreat and work is used by many guests who visit the house. In consultation with their individual retreat guide they arrange their daily schedule to allow for an alternation between meditation and work. In this way they significantly support the work that comes up daily and  participate in the spiritual life of the house.

Thus, in accord with the mandala principle, in these ways many people can contribute toward bringing the sense of community of the Dharma Center to life and cultivate the practice of giving and taking with a warm and awakened heart.

The sole objective of a Dharma Center is to spread the Dharma, so that the teachings of the Buddha may be heard by as many people as possible, and to create a place for practice in which many people can practice together. To hear the Dharma is of great value. In the mind of people who are hearing the Dharma a seed is planted that will bring them extraordinary benefit.“  Gendün Rinpoche


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