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On Friday 17th January, the Toluca Buddhist Centre in Mexico was formally inaugurated. The Toluca Buddhist Centre arose from the friendship of three friends who wanted to share their practice with each other and with other people.
Fifteen years ago, Sanghadhara, Ruchiramati and Bodhikamala, then 16 years old, living in Toluca, met Buddhism through the Mexico City Buddhist Centre and began practicing together. Toluca is a city located in the middle of the country, 70 km away from Mexico City, so it was difficult for these three friends to attend the existing Sangha as regularly as they wanted. As a result, they started a small meditation group 13 years ago in Toluca, with the aim of creating a space to share their experience of the Dharma amongst themselves and with any others interested. This group continued to grow, and now it is a well-established sangha!
In July 2019 Ruchiramati and Bodhikamala sought a place to carry out Buddhist activities, so a space was rented, with two shrine rooms, a reception and a small study room. You can get a glimpse into this beautiful new Centre in this short video from Clear Vision.
Bodhikamala, now the Chair of the Centre, writes:
Toluca Buddhist Centre aims to introduce Buddhism and meditation in a way that is relevant to contemporary life. We want to create a context of community and spiritual friendship so that individuals can develop through Dharma. We would like to be a self-sustaining Buddhist Centre which can support practitioners and faithfully share the vision and the approach of Triratna and Bhante Sangharakshita.
We will try to have a positive impact at a local level and have an active social involvement, because we know that the Buddhist Centre has the potential to benefit many people. By creating a context of practice and peace we can help the current complicated socio-cultural and political situation in Mexico, and we hope to be a space that promotes friendship, harmony and mutual collaboration between Centres and Triratna groups in Mexico.
At the moment the Toluca Buddhist Centre has 6 mitras (with three more to come) and a regular sangha of about 25 people, with new people coming every week, and a lively young sangha as well! There are about 15 regulars who are in their 20s (the oldest is 32), but at least, so far, in every beginners class there are more than 8 people in the same range of age. The number of people attending activities varies but on average they are joined by 25 to 35 in every activity.
We would like to express our gratitude for all the amazing support we have received throughout the years, from Mexico City Buddhist Centre, the Cuernavaca Buddhist Centre, and more specifically, from Sanghadhara, Upekshamati, Nagapriya, Saddhajoti, and so many others who gave us their unconditional support, friendship and trust. We would also like to extend our gratitude to all of Triratna Buddhist Order and our beloved teacher, Bhante Sangharakshita, and we sincerely hope we can honour the Order legacy. - Bodhikamala