Jiunzan Tendaiji Columbarium

Paragate Columbarium Association – Tendai Buddhist Institute


During early 2021, the Tendai Buddhist Institute / Jiunzan Tendaiji completed construction of a columbarium located next to the hondō (temple).

For those who are not familiar with this tradition, a columbarium is a place for the storage of urns holding cremated remains… the Chinese term is naguta (“bone-receiving pagoda”) and in Japanese it is nokotsudo (“bone-receiving hall”).

Buddhists were the first ones to build columbaria in Ancient Asia. Typically, they were very elaborate structures patterned after traditional Buddhist temples. Today, a columbarium is either attached to or a part of a Buddhist temple or cemetery. This practice allows for the family of the deceased to visit the temple for the conduct of traditional memorials.


We are asking for your help

Before construction of the columbarium began, several sangha members had already reserved spaces in the columbarium to financially advance the project. The columbarium itself has been erected, and the final step in this project is to complete the reflection garden around the niches. We are hoping to create a place that will tie the columbarium together with the hondo and the hills around it. It will provide a garden setting for people to come and sit while visiting their loved ones. This will be a place for all of us to recall the presence of sangha members who have left us physically and yet remain as part of our consciousness. With the passing of time, this spot will inspire future generations with a reminder of our lineage. 

At this time, we ask for your help to fund the completion of this project. 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.

There are two ways you can support this project: reserve your columbarium niche by filling out the form below, or by making a general donation to fund the vision.

Inurnment in the columbarium is available to the sangha members of the Tendai Buddhist Institute / Jiunzan Tendaijii. Inurnment is also available to the neighboring community (defined as those towns in New York and Massachusetts that adjoin the Town of Canaan).

The columbarium consists of 36 niches arranged in three rows (12 niches per row). Each niche is 12” X 12” X 12”, which may fit several urns (depending on the size of the urn). See the photograph below of a columbarium very similar to the one being constructed.

We are currently taking applications to lease a niche and are allocated on a “first-come” basis (a red number indicates those already reserved).

The cost for a niche is $2000 for sangha members and $2500 for non-members, which includes the costs of maintaining the columbarium. Additional costs for the urn(s) and engraving the granite cover plate are NOT included.


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We look forward to hearing from you.


The Paragate Columbarium Association of the Tendai Buddhist Institute

Have Questions? Want to reserve a niche?

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The columbarium is administered by the Paragate Association. Its Board of Directors consists of seven sangha members. Its officers are: President Chorin Donahoe, Vice-President Monshin Naamon, Treasurer Monko Spang, and Secretary Koshin Bower. Other Board Members are: Shumon Naamon, Shingaku Henderson, and Kaishun Frank.