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.

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.

February Wednesday Meditations and Discussions
6                Confronting Racial Discord in America – As an ongoing process we are trying to better understand racism and how we can dissolve its corrosive effect in our society. We will use the article White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It’s not. by Robin diAngelo published on, 1/16/19 as a discussion piece. A copy will be made available before the discussion 
13               Paranirvana Day – February 15th is the day of the historic Buddha’s death observed by most Mahayana Buddhists. How Shakyamuni Buddha’s death is presented is a philosophic issue as well as an observance.
20                Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sutra (Lotus Sutra) Ch. 1: Introductory –  Once a month a chapter from the LS will be presented in numerical order of the table of contents. The primary translations used will be from the Kosei and BDK editions, other translations may be used as a cross reference. If you would like further information about the translations – just ask.
27                What is Buddhism II?–   We are examining contemporary conceptions and misconceptions about the Buddha-dharma. Using the format in Faure’s Unmasking Buddhism we examine various perceptions of Buddhism that abound in our postmodern milieu.

Other Events in February:

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.  With this class we conclude our three-year in-depth exploration of the Heart Sutra..  
Flowers for the Hondo. You may have noticed that we have not posted a sign-up sheet for monthly flower donations. We have decided to use silk flowers, which has been increasingly common in Japanese temples. People may not realize that the flowers purchased by sangha members often do not last for a whole week and they require consistent touch-up. The temple is not open just on Wednesdays. Additionally, florist flowers while nice, are not as environmentally friendly as people might imagine. We will still use some fresh flowers to augment the silk flowers during special occasions. We invite people to make a donation for the purchase of the silk flowers, which will be changed seasonally. Thank you for your understanding. 
Starting in March the sutra class will embark on a contemporary investigation of the Lotus Sutra. The book we’ll be using is: Teiser, SF and Stone, J (eds.) (2009) Readings of the Lotus Sutra. Columbia University Press. Several factors led to our selection of this volume. The first criteria was that we wanted to employ a work with an explicit female voice. Jackie Stone, (Princeton University) is an exemplary scholar of Lotus Sutra, Tendai and Nichiren, Medieval and Modern Buddhism, one of the editors and half the authors of the articles are by women.  Another factor was that we wanted to examine the Lotus Sutra more fully. We will be progressing with the time it takes to do the work justice. Join us on a meaningful journey into the Lotus Sutra is, arguably, the most influential sutra in East Asia, and gaining greater attention in Europe and the Americas.

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.