Buddhists Hope to Remain in Rural House

August 17, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Daily Press/The Buddhist Channel


Buddhist monks in Virginia Beach are hoping to continue to seek tranquility and worship with others in a nearly $1 million brick ranch home.

While the monks urged patience, for several Virginia Beach Planning Commissioners the clock had run out. In a 6-4 vote last week, the commission recommended that the monks shut down their temple in rural Virginia Beach. Now the City Council will be asked to decide in the next month whether they can continue to live there.

The Buddhist Education Center of America Inc. had requested a two-year extension to a permit issued last August that allowed the organization to hold worship services in the house. The master Buddhist monk lives in the house, along with some younger monks, and worshippers come there on Sundays and for three celebrations during the year.

The monks have unsuccessfully tried to find a new location for the master's house and temple. And selling the home in the current real estate market is almost impossible, said Morris Fine, an attorney representing the monks.

"What the Buddhists want to do is keep the status quo," Fine said.