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.
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.
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.
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
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.
We also offer services 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 For security purposes, we do not publish the links for the events online.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.
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.
On the 22nd of this month there will be an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at Saint James Roman Catholic Church in Chatham, NY. The local sangha is encouraged to attend. As an interfaith service this is very important because it brings together faith communities from...
A person recently asked me exactly what merit means in a Buddhist context. I had to stop and think about how to answer. From an Asian perspective it is more or less obvious and doesn’t need much explanation. So, it has been with not a little misgiving that we have...
Walking into the hondo (the main building) is a sensory and serene experience. Taking off one’s shoes in the genkan (entryway) and walking up the few steps, stepping over the sill into the sanctuary, one travels from the realm of the mundane to the realm of the sacred...
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.
- For the daily practice manual click here.
- For more information about basic Buddhist practices.
- If you have any questions about starting your practice, please feel free to contact us.
Contact us with any questions or inquiries.
Tendai Buddhist Institute
1525 Rte. 295
East Chatham, NY