Originally from Texas, Gyaltsen, born Shelbey Louis, moved to Baltimore about 40 years ago for a job. Brought up as a Christian, he used to live what he calls an "ordinary life" and didn't discover Buddhism until middle age. "I had the interest to learn more about how the mind functioned," he says as he drives toward the site of the new temple. "I wanted to learn about meditation and I was taking a Tai Chi class, and the Tai Chi instructor sort of overheard us talking about it and said: 'There is meditation class at the Friends Meeting House on Thursday evenings.' This was 12 or 14 years ago. So we went over, for a class, and just kept going."