The Enlightenment Stupa of Benalmádena - The Beginning

"We all need a peaceful world. But world peace is not easy to achieve. First one has to practise the Dharma and our mind will become peaceful. As a result everybody will perceive that peace. Just to discuss peace in conferences is not enough. One has to educate and make comprehend that as a starting-point for world peace we need a peaceful mind."

- Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche, Lima 1993

It is perhaps perplexing that the largest Stupa in the western world, and one of the biggest in the world, has been built in Southern Spain in Benalmádena City on Costa del Sol, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, with breathtaking views of Gibraltar and the African continent.

Buddhism, a philosophy of peace and universal dimension, originated in Asia over 2550 years ago and made inroads into Spain only approximately three decades ago. Along with Buddha’s teachings came its profound symbolism in form of Stupas.

In 1994 a Buddhist master from the Kingdom of Bhutan, Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche, built the first Stupa in Spain at Karma Guen Meditation Center nearby Velez-Malaga, as a landmark of peace and prosperity for the country. That Stupa served as a model for the next 18 Stupas which were built throughout the world in the years to follow under his guidance.

The Enlightenment Stupa of Benalmádena became the last gift of Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche to the West.

It is evident that for the completion of the largest Stupa in this part of the world many causes and conditions had to come together: First of all the warm hospitality and vision of a thriving nation represented by the Local Government Authorities of Benalmádena; further the blessing of a true Meditator of the Himalayas, Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche, and the cooperation of some of his closest western disciples.

In the year 2000, those disciples founded the cultural association ‚Asociación Cultural Karma Kagyu de Benalmádena’ with the purpose of building a Buddhist monument - a Stupa - in Benalmádena Pueblo, and after its completion carrying the responsibility for its maintenance and the spiritual, cultural and educational development around it.

The construction of the Stupa started in the year 2002 and was deeply marked by the passing away of the Master Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche four months before its inauguration.

On October 5th, 2003 the Stupa was officially inaugurated and consecrated by the 14th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, the second highest in rank lama of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. Since then the Costa del Sol brightens even more.

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