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.

July Wednesday Meditations and Discussions 
4                NO SERVICE THIS EVENING. –  Enjoy family and friends on this Independence Day evening.
11                Interpenetration in  Buddhism –  This very important teaching originated with Shakyamuni Buddha and became a dynamic aspect of our knowledge of the dharma and the world around us.It is the very nature of reality.

18                Back to Basics: The Breath as Integral toMeditation –  Recently a sangha member provided me with an article about one of Zyihi’s seminal works. It seems it has been a long time since I discussed the role of breath in meditation – so here it is. You may find the article, ‘From Effort to Effortlessness: Six Gates of Breath Meditation’ by Jiryu Rutchman- Byler in Buddhadharma – Summer 2018, if you would like to read it before the discussion.

25                Obon (honor the spirits of one’s ancestors)  – is observed in East Asia, including Japan, in July or August depending on the region. It is derived from the Ullambana Sutra, which is a discussion between the Shakyamuni Buddha and his disciple Moggallāna. While this seems far removed from our Post-Modern world the observance has aspects worthy of emulation. We will discuss what it has to say to us today.

Other Events in July:

8                  Morning after Grace – Shakespeare & Company 7:30 PM.  Written by Carey Crim, Directed by Regge Life (sangha member), featuring Steven Barkhimer, Corinna May, Kevin Vavasseur.New England Premiere! Hilarious and heart-warming, this unconventional new comedy tackles love, loss, and second chances. “Morning After Grace is rich with dialog that is both clever and honest. It makes us laugh from the diaphragm…It is a delightful farce without being shallow; it is thought-provoking without being pretentious. -ENCORE” At the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA 01240. Ticket prices are $18.75 – $50 depending on seating.  We would like to gather together before the production for a light dinner. Tickets are available at: Sign up and let us know if you plan to attend. 
14                     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.
28                 Tri-city Valley Cats Baseball Night – 7 PM The Valley Cats (a Single A affiliate of the Houston Astros) plays the Staten Island Yankees. We will have premier tickets, close to behind home plate for only $10 a ticket. There is also fireworks after the game. Join us for a sangha road trip. 
29                       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: August 26th
Upcoming Events in August:
4                  People of Faith Picnic – 2 – 6 PM – at Tendai Buddhist Institute. See Jushoku’s Meanderings for a description of the events leading up to and resulting in this event. The date and time are tentative, with rain dates proposed. Kanyu and Toni will be leading the coordination committee. 

10-12                  Summer Kokoro Retreat: – 7:30 PM Friday the 10th through 1 PM Sunday the 12th. In Japanese, there are three words for “heart”: shinzou, which refers to the anatomical organ, ha-to, which is the Anglicized word for a love heart, and Kokoro (心), for which there is no equivalent term in English. The closest I have come up with is (heart=mind=spirit – the three qualities in one entity). In Sanskrit this is hṛdaya, as in heart from the Heart Sutra. We will investigate this Buddhist concept (often translated as heart/mind) as an underpinning of much of Buddhist philosophy and practice. Please make reservations no later than July 31st. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE – Repeat – 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. 
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.