Buddhist Temple Finds a Home in Downtown Clayton

By Doug Miner, Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch, April 23, 2013

The group used a Richmond Heights yoga studio for the past year.

Richmond Heights, MO (USA) -- A Buddhist temple that a year ago had three members, has grown to 50 and moved from a storefront in Richmond Heights to a downtown Clayton location.

Blue Lotus Dharma Center Senior Priest Sha’ul Hirschmann maintained the temple for six years with his own money. He said as long as he has one follower he’d hold services.

Get all the local news with the Patch newsletter!

“We used yoga studios or whatever. We had just had little tiny groups,” Hirschmann said. He said there was a core of maybe five people.

“We ended up at a place behind the Hi-Pointe Theatre. So we built up a temple in there, with only three or four of us,” he said. “Then in no time, as soon as we opened the doors–we didn’t have any grand opening, just a website and some flyers–we built it up to 50-some people.”

He said when they invited a teacher to come in it was standing room only. “ It was time to move,” he said.

In the beginning of April he signed a lease for a 2,500 square foot space at 7921 Forsyth Boulevard for services and classes.

They’re currently using a space across the hall while they renovate their own space, but when they’re fully moved in there will be a full temple and ceremony, Hirschmann said.

“It will be purification and consecration ceremony,” Hirschmann said. “It is a weekend-long event that starts Friday night and goes through Sunday.”

He said the temple will be able to bring in lamas and monks for services and classes now.

Hirschmann said they signed only an 18-month lease because as soon as possible they’d like to have their own building.