Welcome! We are a traditional and official lineage of the Tendai Shu in the UK. Anyone is welcome to join us for meetings, meditation, chanting, and teaching. As well as the importance of study and practice, the main principles we uphold are Ekayana and Upaya, thus we recognise and appreciate the myriad forms of practices and philosophies that are better suited to different people. We don’t claim to hold the only true way, we simply present Tendai Buddhism to the western audience with respect to our time-honoured tradition.
The Tendai Shu (天台宗) is a school of Japanese Buddhism that is over 1200 years old. It was founded by Saicho (Dengyo Daishi 伝教大師) after he had travelled to China to bring back the Lotus Sutra teachings of the T’ien-t’ai School in 805CE. Based on the Ekayana principle found in the Lotus Sutra, the Tendai School utilises a wide range of practices, such as prostrations, meditation, chanting, shomyo, esoteric and pureland practices, in order to bring people to enlightenment. Although Tendai has its roots in the past, its teachings and principles are still applicable today, and by entering this tradition you become part of that stream of knowledge. Although traditional, we recognise that the UK is not Japan, and so some of the more cultural aspects may not be applicable, however instead of disregarding all these aspects, we try to adapt in order to bring these practices to people in an accessible way, so that we all may benefit from the Tendai teachings.
Our Sangha continues to maintain its link to the founders of Tendai, but also finds its place in today’s world. This, along with the focus on Upaya helps Tendai UK provide a method of personal liberation in the modern western world. In this way, we aim to uphold 一隅を照らす Ichigu wo Terasu: Light Up One Corner – meaning we try to illuminate our corner of the world.
May all beings be happy!