Admittedly a Buddhist Stupa is not necessarily the first thing you would expect to find in Bulgaria, given that the dominant religion is Eastern Orthodox. This is definitely a well kept secret, not far from the capital on Vitosha Mountain surrounded by beautiful nature. It is a great place to come for some calm introversion, meditation or just walking around the base of the stupa in a clockwise direction (circumambulate), itself a meditative practice said to purify negative karma.
The 'Stupa Sofia' was built at the Retreat Center, Plana in the summer of 2015 by Diamond Way Buddhism practitioners www.diamondway.bg
A 2500 year old tradition, a stupa symbolises the perfect harmony of the universe, and represents the 5 elements; earth, water, fire, air and at the very top – consciousness. The goal of the stupa is to turn our mind inwards and show us our nature, as we cannot do anything but observe. Sort of fitting for the times we are living in.
Built in special locations the goal of the stupa is to actually show us our nature. The location of 'Stupa Sofia' was selected by the Lama Ole Nydahl and confirmed by Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche. There is an beautiful documentary film about the construction of the stupa called The Jewel.
Follow their facebook page: thejewelmovie
The village of Plana is approximately 20 km (40 mins drive) from Sofia, on Vitosha Mountain. When you take the road over the mountain in the direction of Samokov / Dupnitsa you will see the signs for Plana after the village of Zheleznitsa. On weekends you will encounter regular practitioners of Buddhist rituals at the Centre, and they will make you feel most welcome.
Just go to experience the magical beauty and energy of the place, no matter what your religious belief.