How can I be sure what you're teaching is authentic?
Concern for authenticity is well warranted as the risks of training with those who are neither qualified nor authorized to teach can have ruinous effects. The New York Betsuin and the Tendai Buddhist Institute has the full support and backing of Tendai-shu in Japan. Additionally, we are designated as the North American representatives of the Tendai head temple (Enryaku-ji) on Mt. Hiei (Tendai Headquarters). Their support and our continued relationship with them is indicative of the amount of effort, trust, and faith we have in the approach Tendai Buddhism offers.
Are you authorized to teach? Does that mean you can take students?
Our authorization to teach and take students was granted by the Zasu, the principal head of Tendai-shu. In 2002 the 256th Zasu of Tendai Buddhism designated the New York temple a Betsuin, or "annex" of the head temple on Mt. Hiei. This designation permits the NY Betsuin to train and ordain practitioners who have demonstrated a serious commitment, understanding, and an advanced level of practice (as well as successfully completing "Gyo").
Why don't you teach esoteric practices like the Goma (fire) ritual?
These rituals are taught but only to ordained practitioners.
Who was your teacher?
Monshin and Shumon are students of Ichishima-Sensei, who still lives in Japan.