Once housed in a small white house that had been a church, the Buddha Mind Monastery, 5800 S Anderson Road, drew only a glance or two from passersby.
These days, with a new $4 million monastery built adjacent to the old one, the Taiwanese nuns who run Buddha Mind said their building attracts much more curiousity from motorists — and more and more people seeking to learn about Buddhism.
Abbess Jian Mao Shifu, 42, who leads the Zen Buddhist community, said she and other monastery leaders and supporters originally planned to expand the former church that once housed Buddha Mind, but the building’s cracked foundation ultimately caused them to scrap those plans.
Monastery supporters in the Oklahoma City metro and the Chung Tai Chan Monastery in Taiwan, of which Buddha Mind is an affiliate, decided to raise funds to build a new Buddhist temple and separate quarters for the monastery’s nuns. The abbess said the temple building and nun’s quarters were completed in November.
She said since then, the nuns have seen numerous motorists drive into the parking lot of the new monastery and slow to a crawl as they peer at the unique structure on the eastern Oklahoma City prairie.
The abbess said more important than the curious folks are the growing numbers of people flocking to the monastery for classes and other activities. She said more than 200 people showed up for the first Saturday meditation held in the temple building.
Growth sparked project
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Buddha Mind Monastery
•What: Zen Buddhism classes, meditation classes, yoga class, vegetarian cooking classes, dharma lectures, Zen retreats.
•Where: 5800 S Anderson Road.
•Information: 610-2707 or ctbuddhamind.org.