About the Temple
The Henjyoji Shingon Buddhist Temple has served the Shingon Buddhist community in the Portland Metro area and on the West Coast since 1940. The temple was first established by Bishop Daiyu Henjyoji and his wife Wako Henjyoji. The temple was dedicated at its current Portland, Oregon location in 1951. The temple continues to serve the community as a religious non-profit focused on spiritual practice.
Our Mission is to provide support to all congregants in achieving their desired personal and spiritual potential through Shingon Buddhism. Additionally, the Japanese Cultural Academy fosters the study and practice of traditional and evolving Japanese arts.
Important announcements are posted below, but not all of our news is on this page. Please follow our newsletter feed for regular updates..
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please email email@example.com.
A Renewed Outlook with Rev. Kosho Finch
Jan. 1, 2021
We enter 2021 with hopes for a respite from the challenges of 2020. More challenges and obstacles await, and 2020 gave us a lifetime of lessons we can draw from and use for spiritual and personal growth. The challenges of 2020 also provided us with more opportunities to reach out to people beyond the walls of the temple. Thanks to everyone who has supported our mission by watching our videos, asking questions and making recommendations. Whether it's our group struggle with COVID-19 or minor glitches such as camera focus and framing, 2020's challenges are not over. No matter what your obstacle, what is important is how you approach it and that you continue to work on it. My gratitude and prayers go to everyone in 2020. Looking forward to interacting with everyone in 2021.
Rev. Kosho Finch
Unexpected Joys in 2020 and Upcoming Changes for 2021
A message from the Board President
Dec. 31, 2020
Dear Temple Community,
This has been an extraordinary year to say the least. Our local, national and international communities continue to navigate life and loss during the pandemic. As a community, we’ve been diligent, resilient and innovative. The temple building has remained closed since March 2020 as an effort to practice safety and save lives. We’ve connected more often via the internet and have grown in our membership, which are unexpected joys that have come from this global tragedy.
In an effort to continue offering opportunities for spiritual practice to our members and community, the temple has made significant progress in spite of not being able to hold services or host public activities in person. Online classes and activities have been developed, our website and social media channels have grown, we’ve engaged with community partners on racial justice and environmental issues, and significant infrastructure projects are underway, all of which has been made possible by membership involvement and donations. Thank you for your ongoing support.
As Board President, I’m grateful for the local, national and international collaboration and support for the temple. I look forward to opening the temple’s physical doors when it is safe for the whole community. In the meantime, please let me share with you what we’ve accomplished as a sangha in 2020.
Classes & Events
Dharma Talks have gone virtual and class offerings have expanded. We’ve added three classes to our calendar this year: Buddhism in Film, Qigong Meditation and Introduction to Buddhism. Other pop-up activities have included mindfulness photography and poetry sharing. Rev. Kosho Finch continues to bring us novel ways to integrate Buddhist sutras into our lives and practice.
Black Lives Matter strengthened as a movement this year, and the temple took a clear stand in supporting its call for racial justice. We connected with the Japanese American Citizens League in Portland who invited Rev. Finch to speak on a panel addressing anti-blackness, and the work toward social change doesn’t stop there. We will continue our efforts in addressing discrimination and supporting equity, antiracism and Black Lives Matter in the temple and our communities.
The Art Award Committee worked diligently on this year's award. As a result, we now have an online application for high school graduating seniors.
The Saga Goryu Ikebana group has also adapted to COVID protocols. Some activities were cancelled, but the group shared arrangements online, held classes outdoors and in open garages this winter. They look forward to resuming outdoor classes this spring and the eventual return to the temple facilities when we are able to open.
All of us at the Henjyoji temple would like to recognize the stress the pandemic has wrought on the global community. Shingon temples around the world have offered daily prayers for an end to the pandemic. This is a tradition stretching back to Kobo Daishi's time. A special prayer service was conducted earlier this year on Koyasan and broadcasted live. A special transmission was offered to Shingon Buddhist senseis in Hawaii, North America, and those living in other parts of the world, so they too could pray for the end to the pandemic. Rev. Finch was part of this effort and continues to offer prayers for members of our temple and a swift end to the pandemic.
This fall, we experienced stormwater seepage inside the building under the stairs in the basement. We temporarily mediated the problem with an external flex pipe and have partnered with Portland’s Environmental Services in an effort to qualify for a stormwater management grant program that would pay for the installment of underground piping, direct it to a dry well and an adjoining rain garden to be planted in the southeast corner of the front of the temple. This is an exciting project that will potentially absorb all of the stormwater from our very large roof and keep our foundation dry, improve the health of our local watersheds and thus public health, as well as soften and beautify the street corner with a rain garden.
The projector room and “coat room,” as defined in an old blueprint, has been cleared and taken down to the studs, soon to become our temple office. We were fortunate to have a connection with a local contractor who remembers attending the Henjyoji temple as a child and offered us discounted electrical services to get the walls wired and to identify the circuitry. Volunteers helped with pre-COVID group clean-ups, demolition and dump run efforts that opened up the space. A subfloor, modern lighting and electrical outlets as well as telecommunications cabling have been installed. Forthcoming final construction includes adding insulation, a ceiling, walls, flooring, doors and paint.
Additionally, new energy-efficient outdoor lighting has improved visibility at the corner of SE 12th Avenue and SE Clinton Street. The north side stairs were re-stained, non-slip treads were applied to the steps and new lighting illuminates the stairway. Our next efforts will require purchasing scaffolding as we tackle the main hondo and its towering ceiling, walls and windows. We will replace several doors and the large windows, as our budget allows.
In spite of being hamstrung by COVID this year, much progress has been made. However, we have lost the ability to congregate in-person, both for worship as well as for working together. Having said that, the Board has decided to amend the bylaws to reflect the situation by moving the Board election to March of 2021. We will send out more information when we approach the spring.
Our membership now branches outside of our local area, thanks to the expansion of our online offerings. We’ll be sharing a membership tier system to reflect this growth that depends on geographical residence. Membership details will be sent with the bylaws update.
Happy New Year!
Thank you all for your service that breathes life into the temple via your tireless labor, generous donations and engaging participation. We’ve made strides this year with our online presence, community collaboration, building restoration and membership growth. I’m eager to see what 2021 has in store for us all. Please stay safe and reach out to the temple if you are in need. Happy New Year!
HSBT Board President
Hatsumode Virtual Prayers
Dec. 1, 2020
We may be physically distanced, but the temple continues to find creative ways to be socially engaged. Including with Hatsumode for Mochitsuki 2021. This year, we invite you to practice gratitude for 2020 and pray for wishes to come in 2021, virtually. For more info, visit the Motchisuki page.
An Important Message from Rev. Kosho Finch
Nov. 20, 2020
Earlier this year, the temple made the difficult decision not to reopen for in-person events given the rapid spread of COVID-19.
Given current projections and rising cases, we urge everyone to continue to exercise vigilance and safety precautions to limit the spread of this virus.
It is a struggle to keep our doors closed, but we want to be able to welcome you all back after a vaccine is available.
Stay healthy, and do you part to practice compassionate health and safety measures to not spread this virus!
Rev. Kosho Finch
Multnomah County: https://multco.us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19
Oregon Health Authority: oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/emerging-respiratory-infections.aspx
Washington State Department of Health: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19
Shingon Rituals Unveiled in 'Carving the Divine'
Nov. 8, 2020
Shingon Buddhism and its practices are discussed in this episode of Carving the Divine that features our head minister, Rev. Kosho Finch.
New Class: Introduction to Buddhism
Oct. 3 2020
Thank you to everyone who attended our first Introduction to Buddhism class. This class is biweekly and the next one is Monday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. Please register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/intro-to-buddhism-shingon-concepts-tickets-123943330839
Black Lives Matter Event
And Why We Need to be Involved: A Nikkei Community Conversation
Sept. 24, 2020
UPDATE: View the archived video of the panel discusson on the Portland Japanese American Citizen League's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PDXJACL/videos/607961949900099
Sept. 11, 2020
The head minister of our temple, Rev. Kosho Finch, will be speaking on a panel about Black Lives Matter in collaboration with the Japanese American community, Sept. 19. The event is hosted by Portland Japanese American Citizens League.
From the Portland JACL:
Today, communities are coming together to rise up against injustices. What is the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement? Where do Japanese Americans fit in? Join the Portland JACL for this virtual event to hear from community members about why the BLM movement is necessary and how it affects the Nikkei community. We will have time for Q&A after the panel.
When: Saturday, Sept. 19 at 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where/How: Zoom – Registration is required to receive the link for the Zoom event. You can submit questions for the panel in advance during registration. RSVP by Friday, Sept. 18 at https://tinyurl.com/Nikkei4BLM
New Class: Qigong
Sept. 8, 2020
Thank you to everyone who offered feedback to help us determine next steps for adding a Qigong Meditation cohort. Class starts this Sunday the 13th. Please register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/qigong-meditation-tickets-120140570681
Video: Obon Prayers
Aug. 9, 2020
During Obon, we remember and honor those who came before us and express our gratitude for their lives and efforts by offering prayers, recitations of Buddhist texts, and sharing merit from spiritual practice.
Racial Justice Event
July 14, 2020
The Henjyoji temple community, led by its founders, Bishop Daiju and Rev. Wako Henjyoji endured the indignities of the internment camps during WWII.
This resilient group faced extreme racial and religious discrimination upon re-entry into the American society at the close of the war. Against all odds, the Henjyoji Temple made amazing inroads to integrate with their local predominantly Judeo-Christian and non-Asian societies through sharing Japanese arts such as Ikebana, Bonsai, Tea Ceremony and dance. This offering fostered peace and healing over time and brought people together in a unique way.
We invite you to reflect on the Japanese American history related to the temple and our community via a free virtual event hosted by the Center for Japanese Studies at Portland State University on July 15 at 6 p.m. PST.
For more information and to RSVP, go to: Barriers to Re-entry: the Racial Exclusion of Japanese Americans in Postwar Portland
How You Can Support Black Lives Matter and Affect Social Change
June 6, 2020
Many members of our diverse community have asked how they can support Black Lives Matter and fight against anti-Blackness and racism. Not everyone is capable of demonstrating in protests on the frontline, but you can support in other ways: educate yourself on Anti-blackness and racism and don't rely on Communities of Color to tell you how to do so, commit to an ongoing practice of equity and inclusion, donate to organizations that support Black Lives Matter and anti-racism, support Black-owned businesses, contact your elected officials, and vote. These are just some ways you can participate in social change and social justice right now. The Portland Japanese American Citizens League recently shared a list (scroll down) of places to donate to and petitions to sign demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and we strongly encourage supporting them. There are also lists of articles, books, podcasts, films and other multimedia that can help you educate yourself. We encourage you to look into those and find something that resonates with you.
Resources for our community
These resources are only a few examples of many that are widely available.
For the white members of our congregation: https://www.dosomething.org/us/articles/how-white-people-can-talk-to-each-other-about-disrupting-racism
For our members who identify as non-Black People of Color: https://www.dosomething.org/us/articles/our-role-as-non-black-people-of-color-in-disrupting-racism
Self-care Tips for African American and Black People in our community: https://www.dosomething.org/us/articles/coping-with-discrimination-guide
Resources shared from the Portland Japanese American Citizens League
Donate to a local Black-led fund or organizations.
Black Resilience Fund
Provides direct support to Black Portlanders so they have an opportunity for some healing in the wake of a painful month.
Don’t Shoot PDX
Advocates for marginalized communities through social justice art and free legal resources.
Portland African American Leadership Forum
Helps the Black community imagine the alternatives the community deserves and build the civic participation and leadership to achieve those alternatives.
Urban League of Portland
One of Oregon’s oldest civil rights and social service organizations, empowering African-Americans and others to achieve equality in education, employment, health, economic security and quality of life.
Demand Justice for:
George Floyd - Text FLOYD to 55156 to sign the petition
Breonna Taylor - Sign the petition: https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/justiceforbre-breonna-taylor-officers-fired
Ahmaud Arbery - Text JUSTICE to 55156 to sign the petition
View the full JACL statement: http://www.pdxjacl.org/portland-jacl-in-solidarity-with-black-lives/
Thank you for supporting this vital movement. We can and will stand together. Black Lives Matter.
We Offer Online Events
May 22, 2020
As a participant in the Stay Home, Save Lives order in Oregon, the Henjyoji Shingon Buddhist Temple closed its physical doors, but we have opened up new avenues for connection.
The Thursday evening Dharma Talk classes with Kosho Finch Sensei have moved to an online format. We're also offering a class on Buddhism in Film. If you are interested in attending these events, please follow us on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org for updates.
Important Messages From HSBT
Friday, March 13, 2020
Dear HSBT Community,
Our communities - locally, nationally and abroad - are all navigating a public health crisis.
The temple board prioritizes the health and safety of our community, and with this in mind, we've carefully considered options for upcoming events. We met last night and decided to cancel all temple events scheduled in March. We will notify our members of any changes to April events as we learn more from state and local authorities. Please check your email, our website or Facebook page for updates.
Our decision is consistent with local and state recommendations to postpone or cancel events and in-person meetings to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
Please take precautions to stay healthy. Here is a list of resources for guidance.
CDC info on COVID-19: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 webpage: oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/emerging-respiratory-infections.aspx
Multnomah County FAQs: multco.us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-faq
The HSBT Board
Thursday, March 12, 2020
In light of the local messaging around novel coronavirus COVID-19 and social gatherings, we're informing you that dharma talk will resume tonight. Although the temple is open to everyone, we ask that you stay home if you have novel coronavirus COVID-19 or cold/flu symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath. We appreciate your understanding during this difficult time. The temple board will meet tonight to discuss options for future temple events. The health and safety of the sangha/community is our top priority. We will send updates about events periodically on FB, our website and via our newsletter. Again, thank you for your patience and support.
Please visit the Multnomah County FAQs for more information on the novel coronavirus COVID-19: https://multco.us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-faq
Also be sure to stay informed of the CDC guidelines:
HSBT Communications Director and Board Secretary