The history of our Amden retreat center

In October 2003, we purchased an inspiring place that fulfilled all the desires that we had defined for a retreat / course center. It seems Tsechu Rinpoche’s wish for a large meditation place manifested.

Karma Dechen Öser Ling - «Place of light beams of greatest bliss», this is the blessing name Lama Ole gave our Center. He himself booked a long retreat at the Bellevue and is thrilled about our place. Lama Ole supports our project. Jigme Rinpoche has visited the Bellevue and due to its location and construction, described it the perfect place for retreats.

We took over all furnishings and kitchen equipment that are in a good state. Since November 2003, we operate the Bellevue as a Buddhist retreat and course center. One engaged friend after another moved in and started to host the visiting friends and do the necessary jobs to help running the center. 

Activities like the assistance of group retreats, and courses or projects such as the upcoming renovation of the main building, are feasible due to the active support of the entire Swiss Sangha and our center friends in South Germany and the Austrian Vorarlberg region. 

Very popular in fine weather is Meditating at the Stupa of Enlightment. This stupa has a most inspiring history: In 2001, the Swiss Sangha built 7 stupas together with Lopön Tsetchu Rinpoche who initiated all of them in Zurich. Each center was to receive a stupa. The Stupa of Enlightment was aimed to make its way to Lucerne. When Rinpoche heard of it, he did not approve. “The Stupa of Enlightment is for your retreat place” he said. We were quite confused as we neither posessed a retreat place nor did we plan to have such. Beside our Lucerne friends had financed the Stupa of Enlightment. Rinpoche did not respond to our objections and insisted. Thus our Lucerne Sangha received the Stupa of the Buddhas Decendence from Tushita and the Stupa of Enlightment persevered her designation in the Stupa yard of the Zurich Center.

Only half a year later, on the occasion of the Swiss Mandala Meeting at the Schwarzenberg in Germany, the wish for an own retreat center evolved. We then thought of a holiday chalet with approx. 6 to 8 rooms, which we could rent. We asked Rinpoche for his blessing at a course during the Pentecost holiday season in 2002 at Karma Guen. He disagreed with our idea and insisted on buying a larger place. Rinpoche did not approve of our objections and precisely described features and how the retreat place must look like. 

Unfortunately Rinpoche never experienced that we found this beautiful place in Amden. Only a few weeks after his death at Pentecost 2003, we saw the Bellevue for the very first time. The place precisely looked the way he described it. We are convinced that, out of the pure lands, he showed us the way. When we called Ole directly upon our first visit and enthusiastically told him “this is it”, he announced the very same day in front of thousand Phowa practitioners in Kassel: “Our Swiss friends should be happy, you have found your retreat place.” That is “dynamic truth. We were deeply impressed and motivated. Despite the fact that by then we had only 5000 Swiss Francs on our account, we, three months later, moved into the Bellevue as happy new owners, hardly able to conceive what happened. There has simply been a lot of blessing behind our search, blessing from Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche, from Lama Ole and from the Stupa of Enlightment.

Upcoming Events

  • Swiss Course with Lama Ole Nydahl

    Swiss Course with Lama Ole Nydahl

    April 19-22, 2018, starting with lecture in German on Thursday 20.15 in Näfels, "Lintharena". More information will be available starting January 11th on: https://events.buddhismus.org/programm/ Please not, that the retreat center in Amden is already fully booked during this time, there is no possibility for accommodation anymore. There is plenty of possibility in the hall of the "Lintharena" in Näfels.


Buddhistisches Retreat- und Seminarzentrum Amden der Karma Kagyü Linie Bellevue  |  CH-8873 Amden  |  Tel. +41-55-611 21 31  |  Fax +41-55-611 24 36 | info@amden-retreat.ch   |  zur Anmeldung & Reservation         

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