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!

The Columbarium Association is asking for your HELP!

We are asking for your generosity to help fund the completion of this project. We have a project target of raising a minimum of $15,000 by June 1, 2022. This will cover the remaining expense for the columbarium itself and fund the garden landscaping. We hope to extend the grassed area into a portion of the graveled parking area, plant three midsized shade trees with benches, and re-establish a pathway to the columbarium itself.

In April 2019 Tendai Buddhist Institute started an ambitious improvement: the columbarium and reflection garden. For those unfamiliar with the term, a columbarium is a sort of sealed stone cabinet with several small niches that hold urns with cremated remains. It’s a place for family members and friends of the deceased to come and visit and for priests to conduct memorial ceremonies.  (You can learn more about it here.)

There are two ways you can help to support this project: reserve your columbarium niche in advance or make a general donation to fund the vision.

Thank you for your consideration and generosity.

The Tendai-shu New York Betsuin, Tendai Buddhist Institute, and all our affiliated sangha stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine who now find themselves defending their country and culture from a large-scale European war.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law and of basic human decency. Many thousands, both Ukrainians and Russians will die, and this blatant aggression will displace millions of Ukrainians.

We condemn the physical violence, the cyberattacks, disinformation and all other weapons employed by the aggressor against the free and democratic Ukrainians. We call on the international community to provide any possible assistance to the democratic people of the Ukraine.

Gassho . . . Monshin

Welcome to the Tendai Buddhist Institute

The Tendai Buddhist Institute / Jiunzan Tendaiji, founded by Ven. Abbot Monshin Paul Naamon and Rev. Shumon Tamami 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,” – Mountain Cloud Tendai Temple, which is our village temple’s official Japanese name, and meant to reflect the natural surroundings of the Berkshires. 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. For more information, please check out our About Us page. 


All events are open to the public.

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, all events are offered online via Zoom.  For security purposes, we do not publish the links for the events online.  However, to receive those links and our monthly newsletter to stay up to date with upcoming events, you can add yourself to our mailing list here.

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 – February 2022

We will start this Jushoku’s Meanderings with a remembrance of Thích Nhất Hạnh, who died on January 22nd. He was a Vietnamese monk, prolific author, poet, translator and influential contributor to Buddhism outside Asia. He said of his own imminent death, “I am a...

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Jushoku’s Meanderings – January 2022

End of Year Thoughts - Tora Doshi - Year of the Tiger – is upon us. In short, the tiger represents energy, strength, protection, altruism, leadership, purposefulness, respect, revolutionary ideas, but also vulnerability, sensitivity, selfishness, overestimation, and...

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Jushoku’s Meanderings – December 2021

The Background: Over the last 20+ months Tendai Buddhist Institute has adapted to the pandemic identified as COVID-19. Never in the history of human infectious disease has a virus been studied more intensely within such a short period of time. The mobilization was a...

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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.



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.

8 + 3 =

Tendai Buddhist Institute

1525 Rte. 295

East Chatham, NY