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.

January Wednesday Meditations and Discussions
31/1                O-Shōgatsu (New Year’s) Service – Gather from about 10:30 PM, the Meditation Service in the Hondo begins at about 11:15 PM. Following the service, we assemble for a New Year’s celebration in the Kuri. Please bring finger foods, appetizers, and drinks that you would like to share. We will have sake and non-alcoholic sparkling beverage, as well as soft drinks. The emphasis on the evening is bringing in the New Year with equanimity and celebrating with sangha, friends and family.  All are welcome. 
2               No Discussion, Meditation Service, and Pot Luck Dinner this Evening – Join us Monday evening for the O- Shōgatsu Service.  
9                What is Buddhism –   We will examine contemporary conceptions and misconceptions about the Buddha- dharma. This should be a good primer, a way to dust off our prejudices, and an invitation to revise our ideas about Buddhist history, culture and society. I will use Faure’s Unmasking Buddhism as a starting point.
16                A Survey of the Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sutra, (Lotus Sutra) –     Why is this sutra important in the development to Mahayana Buddhism? We will examine a chapter of influential Buddhist work once a month for the foreseeable future.

23                Tendai-shu Anniversary Observance – What makes Tendai distinct?  –  Perhaps distinct is not the correct term because Tendai is seminal to many other forms of East Asian Buddhism. We will examine essential elements of Tendai Buddhism near its anniversary on the 26th of January.
30               Awakening is Not a Miracle – What is awakening, is it possible for anyone, when will it occur, what’s the difference between awakening and Enlightenment? These and other issues revolving around a basic Buddhist concept will be addressed. 

Other Events in January:

5                     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.  
5                     11 AM, please join the Dharma School of the Tendai Buddhist Institute for a family day celebration.  The first temple visit of the year is understood to be an auspicious occasion. Family service and meditation will be followed by a potluck lunch. Feel free to bring friends, family, and little ones. Happy New Year!” . 
20                   Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance: 2:00 PM (Sunday) at St. James Church, Chatham, NY.  The celebration will include music and readings from Dr. King’s speeches and writings.The keynote speaker will be Rabbi Israel “Si” Dresner, who personally knew and marched with Dr. King, visited with him when Dr. King and others were jailed, and himself was jailed during the protests against segregation.  There is no charge for admission and all are welcome to join the celebration of Dr. King’s life and contribution to our country.
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.