The five gilded figures of Buddha sat cross-legged under sheets of plastic, lips curved in half-smiles of silent joy.
The room around them, however, was anything but silent. A nail gun rattled, a hydraulic lift groaned and a half-dozen Buddhist nuns and monks bustled through in paint-splattered jeans.
The Temple for World Peace, Baltimore's first Buddhist temple, opened with a Friday evening blessing ceremony after more than a year of construction and a week of flurried — and damp — preparations.
"It's been a real practice of keeping a peaceful mind," monk Kelsang Menla said this week, as he stepped across puddles behind the temple, a former Swedenborgian...