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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.

May Wednesday Meditations and Discussions
1                Teaching the Lotus Sutra – The academic study of Buddhism differs from and yet compliments traditional forms of Buddhist study and practice in both challenging and rewarding ways. In this talk I will discuss some of my experiences teaching a seminar on the Lotus Sutra in the university environment. Professor Koshi Aaron Proffitt, PhD is Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies in the East Asian Studies Department at the University at Albany-SUNY, and Director of Buddhist Education at Tendai Buddhist Institute.
8                  Lineage –  specifically Tendai, and the importance of direct transmission. Sansho Tamarac Garlow, a Doshu at Tendai Buddhist Institute will be providing the discussion and leading the service.
15                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.

22                Shinto –   During the month of a new Japanese Emperor, Naruhito, let us revisit the source of his legitimacy by examining Shinto. The new era is called Reiwa. Placed in a literary context, the kanji can be read to mean “fortunate” or “auspicious”, and “peace” or “harmony”. This discussion will also place the syncretism between Japanese Buddhism and Shinto into a more reasonable context. 
29                Lotus Sutra Ch. 4: Faith Discernment: The second of the seven parables is found in this chapter, as well as an  underlying theme of the Lotus Sutra. The primary translations used will be from the Kosei and BDK editions.   

Other Events in May:

18                     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. If you have yet to join this ongoing process of discovery, ‘c’mon down’. 
Shumon and Monshin will be in Portugal for the first two weeks of May. There will be discussions presented by two sangha members, Dr. Koshi Aaron Proffitt and Sansho Tamarac Garlow. The services will be conducted by Mushin Sam Press and Sansho Tamarac Garlow. Our old friend Rod Bull will be ‘house sitting’ and taking care of the critters. Most of the activities of Tendai Buddhist Institute will be function as normal, though sutra class and tutorials have been postponed.

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.