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.


May Wednesday Meditations and Discussions 
2                Stump the Sensei –  Yup, this is a time you can ask any question regarding Buddhism and Monshin will do his best to answer it.Are there questions that did not receive an adequate answer during our discussions, or maybe there was a question that came from readings or daydreams. Now is the time to ask. 
9                What is the Role of Joy in Buddhist Practice –  there is a common misperception that that Buddhism is nihilistic, negative, only about suffering, etc.; there is joy. We will discuss the Joy that is found in Buddhism, it may shine a different light on your practice. 
16                The Lotus Sutra: It’s Role in Buddhist Culture and Practices –  This sutra is arguably the most important and influential in East Asia. We will discuss its place alongside other Buddhist canon, as well as it’s contribution to the cultures in which it was taught and practiced.
23                Monkey Bridge, by Lan Cao –  a discussion of this essay (1997) about a young girl’s journey from Viet Nam to America during the Viet Nam war, and how her Buddhist beliefs culturally and historically grounded her. This is an exploration of ethnic Buddhism so that we can better understand our co-religionists whose ideas and practices seem to separate rather than unite us as Buddhists.

30                Rupa – as Form and Beauty – (Nama-rupa -Pali and Sanskrit- name and form.) Rupa is usually understood in our usage as ‘form’, and though ’empty’, can also be translated as ‘beauty’. Chorin Peter Donahoe will offer a look at some images and texts on form and beauty. 


Other Events in May:

6           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: June 3rd, July 29th, August 26th 
12                 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.
Please sign up to donate flowers for a month –  at Tendai Buddhist Institute / Jiunzan Tendai-ji. You can either bring them yourself or pay to have them purchased for you.  There is a sign-up sheet on the notice board in the kitchen. If you have any questions please ask Shoshin (Sandy), Chorin (Peter), or Shumon (Tamami). Providing flowers for the hondo is a service to the temple and a smŗti practice. By providing flowers one makes an important contribution to Jiunzan Tendai-ji. Several people can choose to contribute together. We still have several months available later in the year.. 
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.