Jiunzan Tendai-ji is translated as ‘Compassionate Mountain Cloud Tendai Temple.' The name designates both the resident sangha of the Karuna Tendai Dharma Center and
the temple of the Tendai Buddhist Institute. It was given to us by the Ven. Shoshin Ichishima in 1997 and reflected his view of the local environment. The Karuna Tendai Dharma Center is located in an elevated notch of the Berkshire Mountains, where clouds often descend to the ridgeline of the surrounding hills. As such, the name chosen by Ichishima-sensei is as descriptive as it is evocative.
During the first nine years of our existence, we conducted services in our main house and in a walled off section of one of the barns. During the
Juhachido performed by Seigaku, Seishin and Ryushin in the old Horse Barn Hondo
summer of 2004, we dismantled this barn, renovated it, incorporating the major components into our new hondo (main building). The new temple was dedicated June 25, 2005. A dormitory, meeting, training, and dining facility is in the planning stages for future construction.
Weekly Events: Every Wednesday, we conduct shikan (Shamata / Vipashyana) meditation. We meet at 6:00 p.m. for a short discussion, with meditation from 7:00 – 8:00 pm, followed by a potluck supper. Approximately 15-25 people attend these services.
Monthly Events: The first Saurday of each month we conduct a Tendai Buddhist daily service at 8:30 AM. This is followed by a sutra or study class from 9:00 – 10:30 AM. About 10-15 people attend these classes. One Sunday each month is Mahasangha Sunday (see the current Shingi or Upcoming Events for which Sunday), and the service is followed by a pot-luck lunch. Every other month we host a spiritual retreat for sangha members and the public. Retreats are designed to accommodate 8-12 people.
Seasonal and Special Events: During the year there are special ceremonies and programs that are conducted as part of the Buddhist calendar. These include; O-Higan ceremonies during the fall and spring equinox, Segaki Service, New Years Services (from December 31st – January 3rd), Refuge ceremonies and ordinations. See Upcoming Events for specific dates. Additionally we conduct a number of wedding and memorial services.