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.

August Wednesday Meditations and Discussions
1                Ichinen Sanzen.   (Three Thousand Realms in One Moment) –  An important Tientai doctrine established by Zhiyi in the 6th century. It is philosophically important, and no less, instructive as to how we live our daily lives.
8               Ritual in a Positive Light –  A sangha member provided an article for discussion; In Defense of Ritual, by Richard Payne, in Buddhadharma: The Practitioners Quarterly; Summer 2018. Copies of the article will be made available in weeks before the discussion.

15             Rohingya and their Buddhist Oppression –  This weekend we will be hosting Rohingya from Myanmar (Burma).  We will discuss their plight and the role of Buddhists in Myanmar in their persecution. This discussion should provide a background to our People of Faith Picnic..

22               The Daoist – Buddhist Connection  – the Buddhadharma is more than the Buddhist canon. Wherever Buddhism traveled it contributed to indigenous religions thoughts, practices and philosophies; and likewise, it absorbed the same.  We will explore this important connection. 
29                 How to Talk to A Racist – Part of an ongoing series of discussion examining race in America. Tonight, we will use a short NYT article by Margaret Renkl that provides an interesting perspective on this issue. Copies of the article will be made available in weeks before the discussion.

Other Events in August :

4                     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.
18                 People of Faith Picnic – 2 – 6 PM  at Tendai Buddhist Institute.This event is a gathering of Burmese Rohingya Muslim brothers and sisters with sangha members of Tendai Buddhist Institute. Children are especially welcome. Kanyu and Monshin will be leading the coordination committee. We will be asking people to contribute their time and effort to make this a true sharing.  The 19th will be the rain date.  This will also be the designated Family Day in order to be part of this important event. 
Upcoming Events in September:

21-23                  O-Higan Kokoro Retreat: – 7:30 PM Friday the 21st through 1 PM Sunday the 23rd. 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 Sept 14th. 

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.