On the 1st and 2nd of January of 1975 H.H. the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, started his activity in the Netherlands by teaching the Buddha Dharma and performing a Black Crown Ceremony in Amsterdam. Hannah and Ole Nydahl traveled with Karmapa at that time and since then, Lama Ole has given many lectures in the Netherlands. Nowadays there are 8 meditation centers in the Netherlands, varying from small home based meditation groups to a number of key centers and a live-in center in Rotterdam, where 5 Buddhists live. However, all these places are rented.
Since the ‘90s, when Diamond Way Buddhism started to grow in the Netherlands, many group retreats have been organized in rented venues all over the country. The wish to own some property with a plot of land gradually became stronger. In March of 2007 the 17th Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje was informed about that wish and when Lama Ole visited Amsterdam in October of that same year he was asked for his view on it. Lama Ole:
“It should be a place where the landscape was pushed up by the ice in the last glacial period, with a view on a hilly landscape.”
In January of 2011, during the Winter tour in Russia, he added the following:
“It should be a place that is a little bit higher, but not too far from the big towns, so people could come there. One of the strongest energies is in Groningen. But on the other hand: near Amsterdam, or near Amsterdam and Rotterdam, would probably be the most important. So you could get there within an hour, an hour and a half, something like that. Maybe you’ll have one up north for longer retreats and one near the main towns for relaxation or for daily practice.”
And two months later he gave his explicit support for this project of the Dutch sangha:
“Dearest Dutch friends,
Holland House is exactly what we need and please work together to make it a success. No country has a more varied Diamond Way Group then you, so what you do there will have exceedingly value and shines not only on your country.
Yours, Lama Ole”
Since then, the Dutch sangha has the collective wish for a national meet and retreat place, in addition to its meditation groups and centers around the country. Realizing the Holland House Project is a rich opportunity to meditate, work together and create a firm foundation for Diamond Way Buddhism in the Netherlands!