Tibet House (Tibet A house), based in Mexico City, is one of the most important Buddhist organizations in the country. Due to its location as one of the Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Cities) closest to the capital, Valle de Bravo has become a center of spirituality for the inhabitants of the megalopolis. Asian philosophies are well represented here through Buddhist and Hindu meditation retreats, along with the “limpias” (cleansing) and sauna-like temazcales that originated from the country’s indigenous peoples.
It is therefore not surprising that this association chose the outskirts of the city as the location for Mexico’s most important stupa. In Buddhism, stupas are relics that also function as meditation centers. The Gran Stupa Bön houses relics of the monks Gelupa, Kagyu, Nygma and Sakia and is dedicated to the ideal of world peace.
The stupa was inaugurated in 2010 and is a chörten, a kind of structure full of symbolism to represent the Buddha’s presence in the world. This made it one of the earliest in the Western Hemisphere to be fully consecrated. Monk Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche was the driving force behind the establishment of the stupa in Valle de Bravo.
The total height of the structure is 36 meters and features a traditional Tibetan design on five levels. Nearby living quarters are home to practicing Buddhist monks, and the site hosts regular prayer and meditation events for spiritual vallenses and visitors. Since most Mexicans are unfamiliar with Buddhism, plaques near the stupa provide information on practices such as kora walking, the stupa’s architecture, and “Om” singing.