Triratna’s large Buddhist Centre in Mexico City - the Centro Budista de la Ciudad de México - recently celebrated its 18th anniversary in that vast city. Mario Peña writes with the details, saying “The FWBO (now Triratna) started its activities in Mexico City in Coyoacan in 1994; with the goal that people find there a selfless space to perform practice of Buddhism, in which their experience and understanding of the Buddhist path could be intensified.
Gradually, and with growing participation from people, a group of Buddhist practitioners found a better place to practice together. And after eight years of steady growth, we decided to seek a house with more capacity that would work in conjunction with our activities in the south of Mexico City.
And so we found the present Buddhist Centre - a Victorian-style house on the streets of Jalapa in the Colonia Roma Norte. Right at the centre of Mexico City, after renovations and improvements, it was opened to the public on January 12, 2002.
In 2012 we can therefore celebrate the 18th anniversary of activities of the Triratna Buddhist Order in Mexico and 10 years at its present headquarters. The Buddhist Center team are happy with the results of these years, we thank the members of the Order and all the people who have joined us to form a solid and growing Sangha, truly a growing Buddhist community in Mexico”.
Upeksamati (seen in one of the pictures opposite) has been Mexico’s chairman for all those 18 years, since first returning to Mexico after his ordination training in the UK at Windhorse:evolution. Now there are 13 Order Members there, 12 of whom have been ‘home-grown’ - plus a remarkable 250 Mitras including 35 preparing for ordination. The Centre welcomes some 650 visitors weekly, plus another 600 coming for its many yoga classes - making it one of Triratna’s largest and busiest. Over the years a small team of translators have made available in Spanish 27 books by Sangharakshita and other authors; much of their teaching is structured around Triratna’s ‘Dharma Training Course’ which has proved both popular and effective.
One feature of the Centre is its enormous shrine room, which at 200msq. can fit 275 people - proof maybe of Upeksamati’s theory that the size of a Sangha rises in proportion to the size of the shrine room! And in the centre of that is the beautiful ‘Mexican’ Buddha painting by Chintamani, featuring a variety of Mexican flowers, cactuses, and trees. Plans are afoot for a second Buddhist Centre in Mexico city - joining their retreat centre, three communities, a vibrant Spanish web presence at www.budismo.com and Karuna Mexico - all together, a flourishing Buddhist sangha in the heart of Mexico!