Tendai Buddhist Institute - Jiunzan Tendaiji


Founded in 1995, the Tendai Buddhist Institute (Jiunzan Tendaiji) is a village temple in New York state, and authorized by the head temple of the Japanese Tendai Buddhist tradition, Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei, to transmit Tendai Buddhism in North America and train priests in the orthodox Tendai Buddhist lineage.

Founded in China

Blending Indian and Chinese philosophies, Tendai Buddhism was first developed by the monk Zhiyi (538–597) on Mt. Tiantai in China, promoting a comprehensive and balanced view of the study and practice of Buddhism.

Spread to Japan

The Japanese monk Saichō (767-822) transmitted the Tendai teachings to Japan after studying on Mt. Tiantai. Saichō’s Tendai Buddhist lineage went on to influence Japanese culture, literature, art, philosophy and religion. The founders of Japanese Zen, Pure Land, and Nichiren Buddhist traditions were all Tendai monks.

Putting Sangha in Practice

Join us for weekly meditation services (Wednesdays from 6pm), as well as annual and seasonal events, holidays, and retreats.

The “Three Jewels” of Buddhism are the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. Sangha is community. Sometimes American Buddhists do great with Buddha and Dharma, the teacher and the teachings, but sometimes need guidance in putting Sangha into practice. Contact us or stop by to learn more.

All are welcome!

Statement on the Violent Assault on US Capitol

Tendai Buddhist Institute condemns the attempted insurrection and seditious attack on the US Capitol yesterday in Washington, DC. We are disappointed and alarmed by this vicious assault on our nation’s democratic institutions and the values to which it aspires.

As a Buddhist organization we support diversity, human and civil rights. The violence perpetrated against our nation on January 6th is an abrogation of the rights to all granted by our constitution. We condemn any and all acts of violence, any and all incitement to hate, and any and all attempts to overturn democratic processes.

Faith leaders in the United States have historically been the voice of social progress and have served to be the moral conscience of our nation. We can be no less now. It is incumbent upon all members of the meta-Buddhist sangha to stand in solidarity against unlawful attempts to overthrow the democratic process, against the obvious racism and xenophobia, and demand peace and reconciliation for and from all peoples.

Members of our sanghas are in common cause to take the necessary actions to manifest lovingkindness, compassion, and equanimity, through prayer and Right Action as we seek to heal our nations strife’s. Let our nation be once more a nation united, a nation that is a model of democracy and morality. Our  sanghas and all the members must be at the forefront of this vital task.

As is written in the Metta Sutta:

As a mother, in peril of her own life, watches and protects her only child. 

Thus with a limitless spirit must one cherish all living beings. 

Love the world in its entirety – above, below, and all around. 

Without limitation. 

Welcome to the Tendai Buddhist Institute

Welcome to the homepage of Tendai Buddhist Institute / Jiunzan Tendaiji, founded by Ven. Abbot Paul Monshin Naamon and Rev. Tamami Shumon Naamon in 1995. Tendai Buddhist Institute is a branch temple of Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei, the administrative center of the Tendai School and the birthplace of Japanese Buddhism. As an officially recognized branch temple, Tendai Buddhist Institute is also the first fully authorized Tendai Buddhist training center for the education of priests and the establishment new Tendai Buddhist temples, dharma centers, and sanghas in North America and beyond.

Tendai Buddhist Institute is also known as “Jiunzan Tendaiji,” which is our official Japanese name, registered with Enryakuji Temple. This name was given to our temple by Rev. Shōshin Ichishima, who trained Ven. Abbot Paul Monshin Naamon and Rev. Tamami Shumon Naamon in Japan. Jiunzan Tendaiji means “Tendai Temple of Compassionate Cloud Mountain,” and meant to reflect the natural surroundings of the Berkshires. For more information, please check out our About Us page.


Weekly Meditation Service


Meditation services are held on Wednesday evenings from 6pm.  A Dharma talk and discussion are held in the main house.  Meditation service is held in the Main Hall, followed by a potluck dinner.



Recent Meanderings

The abbot (jushoku) of the Tendai Buddhist Institute is Monshin Paul Naamon.  This section is devoted to his writings.  You can find an entire list here.


Jushoku’s Meanderings – 6-1-21 – June 2021

Part One: Sometime in the mid 1990’s Dr. Victor Hori, a professor (now retired) at McGill University and a Zen Buddhist priest, paid a visit to Karuna Tendai Dharma Center (now Tendai Buddhist Institute). I was pleasantly surprised to meet him. He had heard about our...

read more

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 5-1-21 – May 2021

Freedom and its relationship to saṃsāra, nirvāṇa, and duḥkha In an undergraduate course, maybe an anthropology, sociology, or political science class, I remember reading a journal article on a cross cultural study of what the word freedom meant to different cultures...

read more

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 4-1-21 – Apr 2021

From The Black Death and the Trans-formation of the West, David Herlihy, writes of the, “death” as a liberating force, pushing European society forward, destroying it, but at the same time transforming it, spurring new growth and possibilities. There is a reason...

read more

Starting Your Practice


As a comprehensive and holistic Mahayana Buddhist tradition, there are many forms that an individual’s personal practice may take. Different temples and teachers may emphasize particular teachings or practice, but ultimately Tendai Buddhist practice is customizable depending on your needs and inclinations. Therefore, it is important for practice to be guided by an authentically trained teacher.


Contact us with any questions or inquiries.

8 + 3 =

Tendai Buddhist Institute

1525 Rte. 295

East Chatham, NY