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!

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 Journal 4-7-20 – April 2020

Right now, as I write this the sun is shining, the goldfinches are changing to bright yellow with their summer plumage, green buds are appearing on the lilac bush, red and white sprouts from the peonies, the peepers are in full symphony, a chipmunk showed up on a rock under the bird feeder, and I am waiting for the swallows to make an appearance for the season. It seems so incongruent because we are in ‘stay-at-home’ mode, I’m not traveling, except once a week to the grocery store, I don’t see people, except Tamami, that are not on my computer screen. Social life has been altered considerably for the next few months, yet the immediate environment is what one would expect this time of year.

read more

Jushoku’s Journal 4-1-20 – April 2020

Twenty-five years ago this month (April 27, 1995) we held our first meditation service and discussion at what is now Tendai Buddhist Institute. It saddens me that we will not be able to be together to celebrate this important milestone. There are so many significant events that we had had to cancel or postpone as a result of the pandemic. We will appreciate getting together for an appropriate celebration later this year, and next year when the Jigyodan will be joining us for a belated observance. I will be discussing this in the last discussion this month.

read more

Jushoku’s Journal 3-18-20 – March 2020

Staying Connected While in Isolation. It’s Wednesday. Typically, I would be thinking, researching, writing, and otherwise preparing for our Wednesday evening discussion and meditation service. There is no service this evening as a result of isolation due to COVID-19 . As notified last weekend we will not be meeting for the remainder of March. While we were thinking of having a modified service for the next month or so, we must rethink that in light of more recent information. We, other sangha members and I, are working on a virtual substitute for gathering together. This would use teleconferencing media. More about that later.

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.

3 + 9 =

Tendai Buddhist Institute

1525 Rte. 295

East Chatham, NY