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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.

Find here a copy of the Daily Service.

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.

April Wednesday Meditations and Discussions
3                Lotus Sutra Ch. 3: Parable – This chapter continues from chapter two and is the first of seven parables found in the Lotus Sutra. One of the most memorable tales, it is an example of upaya (Skillful Means) while conveying wisdom and a profound message on an essential of Tientai teachings. The primary translations used will be from the Kosei and BDK editions.
10               Buddhist Sangha: A Reflection for Buddha’s Birthday – We observe Shakyamuni Buddha’s birthday (April 8) on April 7th. We will discuss the most neglected of the Three Gems. This is an opportunity to examine the process by which Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings are still practiced today, 2,500 years later.
17                A Purified Religion   First of a series of four Terry Lectures at Yale University by Donald Lopez, Jr. in October 2008. Chapter one from Lopez, Jr., S. J. (2012) The Scientific Buddha: His Short and Happy Life. Yale University Press will be the subject of the talk. You can obtain the book and read the chapter before the evening, go to https://terrylecture.yale.edu/previous-lectureships to see the original lecture by Lopez, or just join us for the discussion.
24                Buddhism and Ecology: Earth Day in a Buddhist Context–   Amid global warming we are confronted daily by both natural and human changes to our environment. The human caused changes are a result of negligence and willful ignorance influenced by greed and politics. We must also look at basic ethical and philosophic perspectives that give our societies license to foul our nest. What are the Buddhist teachings on this existential crisis?

Other Events in April:

6                     Sutra Class and Morning Service, 8:30 – 10:30 AM – From Ch. 1: Interpreting the Lotus Sutra., by Stephen Teiser and Jacqueline Stone.  In Teiser, SF and Stone, J (eds.) (2009) Readings of the Lotus Sutra. Columbia University Press. We will be starting on page 5 and go until we run out of time for discussion.  
7                     Shakyamuni Buddha’s Birthday- Hanamatsuri (Flower Festival) and Family Day – 10:30 AM – This is a fun holiday for the whole family where we tell the story of the Buddha’s birth, a special service in which we pour ama-cha (sweet tea) over a statue of the baby Buddha. This is a great opportunity to observe a special observance with your sangha and share the story of the Buddha with our children, families, and friends. There will be a special program for younger ones and a pot-luck lunch following the service.
13           Clean up Day – Tendai Buddhist Institute: 9 AM – 2 PM. Join us for a spring cleaning outdoors; leaves raking, sweeping, mulching, etc. Bring gloves and gardening tools. Lunch will be provided. Rain Day will be the next day, the 14th.
19           Lotus and Cross: A Buddhist at the Foot of the Cross: Noon at The Church of St. Francis of Assisi, 391 Delaware Avenue. Albany, NY. An Interfaith Celebration of Good Friday, Capital Area Council of Churches. Rev. Monshin Paul Naamon will be the Buddhist in question. This is an opportunity to join with Christians in the Capital Area for their most important yearly period of observation.

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.