The Temple for World Peace, Baltimore's first Buddhist temple, will open Friday after more than a year of construction.

The nearly two-acre property, east of Belvedere Square on Northern Parkway, includes an orchard, playground, cafe and bookstore, as well as the central worship and meditation space.

The temple will celebrate the opening with a blessing ceremony Friday evening, an open house and talk on mindfulness Saturday and a workshop on compassion in the modern world on Sunday. Meditations, prayers and classes will be held throughout the week on a regular schedule, with sessions offered before work, at lunch time, and in the evening.

The temple is associated with the New Kadampa Tradition which was founded in England in 1991. It is an offshoot of Mahayana Buddhism, on of the three main branches of the religion, although adherents do not follow the Dalai Lama, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Baltimore's temple is one of 1,100 New Kadampa Tradition centers and groups in over 40 countries, said Kelsang Menla, a monk who is the temple's administrative director.

--Julie Scharper