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!

Tendai North America stands in solidarity and support with protesters demanding Black racial justice and an end to police brutality. The police as an institution is a reflection of society at large. All of our institutions must restructure to be equitable and free from oppressive policies.  Black lives matter. We must be committed to anti-racism and social justice until our society and institutions reflect this reality. Skin color does not determine a person’s worth, and no one should be above the law. As Buddhists, we acknowledge that when one person suffers, we all suffer. Everyone has a stake in this movement. Rev. William Barber II has stated that “this is the second reconstruction”. We have the opportunity to make it work this time. Our actions and inactions create the future. May we act with Karuna (Compassion), Prajñā (Wisdom) and Upaya (Skillful Means) in this moment to build a future based on social fairness and integrity.

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 – 5-1-20 – May 2020

In the last Jushoku’s Journal I wrote about how things may be different as we resume a ‘new abnormal’. There are a number of interesting articles that I can cite that discusses such things as paying closer attention to the environment, changes to colleges and universities, and the airline industry. There is no doubt that there will be some major changes, and many of us conceived that we have an opportunity to ‘reboot’ many social, political, economic. environmental institutions and perspectives.

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Jushoku’s Journal – 4-24-20 – April 2020

Being isolated has one advantage. That is, we have an increased opportunity for introspection, reflection, practices, and meditation. This may not seem as obvious if there are several people in isolation together. Additionally, now is the time we might best make use of such activities. A problem can be that in isolation our perspective on time changes and we tend to plan to do our practice later and then . . .

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Jushoku’s Journal 4-14-20 – April 2020

I’ve lost track of how long we have participated in the New York State executive order to stay at home. It feels like a month. Many of us do not go out, except to occasionally grocery shop, one day runs into the other with little distinction. Once we started staying at home our expectations of simple things like going to a restaurant, visiting a friend, or attending a religious service ceased to be a demarcation in our lives. This latter feature is probably most relevant to me, since I retired from teaching, I spend most my time in my study at the temple.

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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.

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Tendai Buddhist Institute

1525 Rte. 295

East Chatham, NY