Please have patience while we update and expand aspects of our website. Thank you.


Welcome to the homepage of Karuṇā Tendai Dharma Center / Jiunzan Tendaiji and the Tendai Buddhist Institute, (est. 1997). Karuṇā Tendai Dharma Center is a branch temple of Enryakuji, Mt. Hiei, Japan (the administrative center of the Tendai School and the birthplace of Japanese Buddhism), and an official North American representative of the Tendai School of Japanese Buddhism. We are also the first fully authorized Tendai Buddhist training center for the education of priests and the establishment new Tendai Buddhist Temples and Dharma Centers in North America and beyond.

As Compassion (karuṇā) is a central virtue of the Mahayana Buddhist path, the name for our village temple in East Chatham, NY is “Karuṇā Tendai Dharma Center.” As an branch temple of the Tendai Buddhist lineage, we also have an official Japanese name, registered with Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei, which was given to us by Rev. Shōshin Ichishima: “Jiunzan Tendaiji.” This name means “Compassionate Cloud Tendai Temple,” and reflects the natural surroundings of the Berkshires. The name Tendai Buddhist Institute refers to the educational wing of our organization, which oversees the training and education of priests and the establishment of new Sanghas.


Weekly Meditation

Buddhist meditation services are held on Wednesday evenings, and are free and open to the public. You do not have to be a “Buddhist” to join our service. All are welcome. There is no fee and reservations are not required.

06:00PM, we gather in the main house for a Dharma talk and discussion.
       Schedule of topics may be found in our newsletter, The Shingi: Newsletter of the Tendai Buddhist Institute.
07:00PM, meditation service in the Hondo (Main Hall).
08:00PM, potluck dinner in the main house.

Other Regularly Scheduled Events

Sutra Study classes are held on the first Saturday of every month.

Dharma School and Family Service is held once a month.

Special services such as weddings, memorial services, baby blessing ceremonies, refuge taking ceremony, retreats, and annual events and holidays are held throughout the year.

Please contact us if you would like more information.

June Wednesday Meditations and Discussions 
6                Tendai-shu New York Betsuin Gyo – The meaning of gyo to Jiunzan Tendai-ji –  It is that time of year again, when Tendai Buddhist Institute becomes a monastic training institute for Tendai soryo (monk/priests). This yearly event is vital to the mission and function of our village temple. This evening we will start the discussion as usual at 6:00 PM and the meditation at 6:30 PM; we will have a potluck dinner.
13                The Lotus Sutra: It’s Role in Buddhist Culture and Practices –  This sutra is arguably the most important and influential in East Asia. We will discuss its place alongside other Buddhist canon, as well as its contribution to the cultures in which it was taught and practiced. Please note: there is no potluck dinner this evening. 
20                Amida Buddha –  The Summer Solstice is a good time to examine Amida. The Sanskrit origin of Amida is Amitābhaamita is ‘without bound’ and ābhā translates as light, splendor. Thus, the name may be interpreted as ‘infinite light’ or ‘splendor without bounds’.
27                Morita Treatment as Buddhist Practice   Morita, wrote, “Trying to control the emotional self willfully by manipulative attempts is like trying to choose a number on a thrown die or to push back the water of the Kamo River upstream. Certainly, they end up aggravating their agony and feeling unbearable pain because of their failure in manipulating the emotions.” This is the basis for the system referred to as Morita Therapy in the West. We will examine its origins in Buddhism..

Other Events in June:

2                        Sutra Class and Morning Service, 8:30 – 10:30 AM – The Maha Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra (Heart Sutra) is  the most often chanted, cited and best known sutra in the Mahayana canon. We will read and discuss two different translations and commentaries (Mu Soeng’s and Red Pine’s) as a set throughout the classes.
3                       Dharma School and Family Service – 10:30 AM – Once a month, Jiunzan Tendai-ji holds Dharma School and Families Service. This is a great opportunity to share the Dharma together as families and contribute to the growing culture of Buddhism in America. Parents, grandparents, and young children (under 12) who wish to participate in Dharma School will head over to the classroom, while parents and children (12 and up) who wish to participate in the meditation service will proceed to the Hondo (main hall). Dharma School and morning meditation conclude together in the Hondo with a brief family service followed by a potluck lunch in the main house. All are welcome.  Future Dharma School Dates: July 29th, August 26th 
6 – 17                 Betsuin Gyo – The Gyo (Doshu/Soryo training) started in 1998 and has been held continuously since. This is a preparation for people who wish to take vows to be a soryo. We will be discussing this further on the 6th during the discussion period..                 
7- 16               Morning Meditation; 7-8 AM – Each morning during the gyo there will be an open mediation. There will be no service at this time only the meditation. Join us each day to inspire your practice and join the gyo participants for this daily meditation, usually led by Monshin.


10                   Goma (Fire to Burn Away Defilements) Ceremony –  Rev. Ito Kenei, a 100-day Kaihogyo monk will be performing this powerful ritual which alleviates defilements for all who attend. The Goma will begin at 2 PM, people should arrive around 1:30 PM. This ceremony is appropriate for all family members.
17                   Mahasangha Sunday 10:30AM – 1PM  – This is the final day of the gyo. Join us for a meditation service, a Tokudo ceremony for Jiko, and Pot Luck lunch with the gyoja(gyo participants). .
IMPORTANT NOTICE – After 24 years we have cancelled PO Box 323, Canaan, NY 12029, as our mailing address. The PO Box was an extra step in receiving mail, however it was necessary when we established in 1994. If you wish to send mail or packages to Tendai-shu New York Betsuin, Karuna Tendai Dharma Center, Tendai Buddhist Institute, or Jiunzan Tendai-ji, please use 1525 State Route 295, East Chatham 12060, USA as the mailing address. Our apologies if this causes you an inconvenience. 
June 2                 Sangha member Toni Buckley is the contact person for ‘Berkshire Immigrant Stories’ in Pittsfield MA, an exhibition and series of events about the immigrant experience in our community, combining art work, spoken word, music and film thru June. Their site is or contact her at
Food Pantry at Jiunzan Tendai-ji – Gratitude is best shown by extending to others the thoughtfulness we have received. Please bring non-perishable food items to the Tendai Buddhist Institute on Wednesday’s.  We contribute these items to the Chatham Silent Food Pantry. 


Website Guide

For more information about our temple, lineage, and recommended reading list, please see our About Us page.

For more information about Shakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and the other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the Mahayana Buddhist Tradition, see our Buddha Page.

For more information about the teachings and practices of Buddhism, see our Dharma Page.

For more information on temple life, and to see if there is a temple near you, see our Sangha Page.

To learn more about the priests and trainees affiliated with the Tendai Buddhist Institute, please see our Tendai Buddhist Institute Page.