Henjyoji Shingon

Buddhist Temple

遍照寺

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.

Temple volunteers contribute their time and skills to keep the temple running both as a physical structure and online. All board directors are also volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering for the temple, please contact events@shingonpdx.org. If you are interested in making a donation, please use the PayPal button below.

Announcements

Important announcements are posted below, but not all of our news is on this page. Please follow our newsletter feed for regular updates.

For the latest temple updates, please sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook. You can also visit our classes page and our calendar page on this website.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please email secretary@shingonpdx.org.

Join Us for a Fundraiser Sale at the Temple on Saturday, July 23, 2022

8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

July 17, 2022

Please join us for a fundraising sale at the temple on Saturday, July 23, 2022.

The sale will include many eclectic items from antiques, ephemera, oddities, collectibles, useful household items, to a vintage Japanese electric organ, vintage automobile parts and much, much more.

Local members are welcome to donate items and to spend time helping out during the sale. If interested in donating items or volunteering, please contact our Board president, Brian Hochhalter at president@shingonpdx.org.

This will be a fun, family-friendly outdoor event. All proceeds will go to the temple.

Temple Board Vote Extends Officer Terms to Two Years

Next Board Election will be the summer of 2023.

July 17, 2022

The temple Board of Directors met in the spring and voted to extend officer terms to two years. That means there will be no Board elections in 2022. The next Board election is scheduled for the summer of 2023. We will send more information closer to that time. If you are interested in running for the Board, please go to the temple's Board of Directors webpage, which will be periodically updated with more information. You can also email secretary@shingonpdx.org for more information.

2022's Meditation: Obstacles Lead to Hidden Gems

A new year message from Rev. Kosho Finch

Jan. 26,2022

Happy New Year to everyone. The last two years have brought us a number of challenges, not the least of which has been the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it’s important to remember that every obstacle contains a hidden opportunity for growth.

For instance, the pandemic pushed us to take our dharma teaching online. As a result, our small temple in Portland now reaches people all over the world. We are very grateful for this unforeseen expansion. Even though we recently returned to in-person services and classes, we will continue to broadcast events live so as to stay connected and accessible to our community abroad. In 2022, our goal is to find new ways to engage with our communities locally and online. Please email events@shingonpdx.org with suggestions for temple events and activities this year.

At the beginning of 2021, we began our study of the Lotus Sutra. With the resurgence of new Covid variants, we pivoted our study to focus on the Medicine Buddha Sutra. As a group effort, we’ve recited the mantra of the Medicine Buddha (Yakushi Nyorai) in advance of enshrining a new image of the Medicine Buddha at the temple. So far, we have collectively chanted the Medicine Buddha’s mantra 1,890,337 times since Sept. 9, 2021. My hope is that our efforts here will support the worldwide effort to overcome the pandemic.

Notably, we have returned our dharma talk study focus to the Lotus Sutra. The Lotus Sutra includes the famous parable of the jewel in the robe. In this parable, the Buddha’s students recognized the teachings they were given were like a priceless jewel secretly sewn into their robes. For various reasons, they did not notice this wonderful gift they carried with them at first. Instead of looking within, they searched outside of themselves for the path. Only later did they realize they carried the key to their awakening within all along. This parable has many applications to our lives. We often think that which will make us happy is found outside of ourselves. We often think that the key to changing our lives is something out of reach. The dharma is a lesson for looking within. The dharma is a roadmap for navigating the route to the gem that already resides within us all. The start of the new year is a good opportunity to rededicate ourselves to uncovering this truth.

Likewise, we have a jewel within the Henjyoji temple, filled with potential. Admittedly, the building is old and requires a great deal of work to reveal the gem. I want to thank you all for your continued attendance at our virtual and in-person gatherings that support the mission of the temple. Little by little, we are revealing the gem inside the temple building that has stood on its location since the 1890s.

As 2022 reveals its gems, replete with inevitable pitfalls, I ask that we all keep in mind the Lotus Sutra’s parable of the jewel in the robe and recall that hidden in every obstacle is an opportunity. Because in the past year, we’ve seen numerous positive changes around the temple despite the setbacks caused by the pandemic. Many of them are not so obvious. The temple’s board of directors has made important improvements to the building and organizational structure that will begin the process of revealing the temple's gem in earnest.

With Gassho.

Sincerely,

Rev. Kosho Finch

Henjyoji Shingon Buddhist Temple

www.shingonpdx.org

2634 SE 12th St., Portland, OR 97202

(971) 336-3780

Join Us for Hoshimatsuri Star Festival, Feb. 20

Jan. 26, 2022

This year’s Hosimatsuri, Star Festival, will be celebrated in collaboration with the Seattle Koyasan Buddhist Temple. The service will be held February 20, 2022, at Seattle Koyasan.

Given the resurgence of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus, we will wait to see whether it is safe to gather and coordinate transportation to Seattle. Please check our Facebook page and newsletter for updates.

You can sign up to live-stream the event and order your Hoshimatsuri Omamori (talismans) for 2022, the year of the Tiger, by going to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hoshi-matsuri-sunday-february-20th-2022-tickets-248818822797.

Additionally, some of you did not receive omamori in 2021. If you ordered Omamori in 2021 and did not receive one, your 2022 Omamori will be provided for free. We have last year's applications, so you don't need to resubmit your information. We apologize for the error.

All are invited to attend and celebrate the start of the year with positive energies and renewed outlook for all of our endeavors.

Medicine Buddha Dharma Talk Archive Is Now Online, Art Award Update

Dec. 18, 2021

It's been a busy year at the Henjyoji Shingon Buddhist Temple, and this update is long overdue. Please note that we've been using social media for the most pressing news, such as class schedule changes, and direct email messaging to our registered members when we have voulunteer opportunites.

If you've been unable to attend Dharma Talks online, some of the Medicine Buddha Sutra talks have been added to the Foundation for Shingon Buddhism page. We ask for your ongoing patience and understanding about video uploads. We always make them available when we are able.

For more information about the classes we offer, please visit our classes webpage. Also, if you ever have doubts about our class schedule, we always update the temple calendar with the most recent information. Please note that if classes are canceled, they will be omitted from the calendar.

In case you didn't get the news from the Portland Japanese American Citizens League, who is our partner for the Henjyoji Art Award offered every school year to graduating seniors: Matthew Aizawa was the 2021-22 scholarship recipient for the Henjyoji award of $1500.

Mathew practices Shorinji Kempo, which is a Japanese martial art considered to be a modified version of Shaolin Kung Fu. The name Shorinji Kempo is the Japanese reading of Shàolín Quánfa. It was established in 1947 by Doshin So, a Japanese martial artist and former military intelligence agent who lived in China for many years before and during World War II. Mathew began practicing Shorinji Kempo when he was in kindergarten and attained a black belt in 2015.

Congratulations Matthew!

We hope that everyone has a wonderful and healthy winter holiday. Gassho.

Ikebana at Home with Kado Koyasan

Nov. 11, 2021

Please view the lovely KADO KOYASAN: A Virtual Ikebana Exhibition. Absorb the creativity, balance, structure and beauty found in this practice of flower arrangement and offering.

Ikebana at Home, a virtual exhibit at jaccc.org, features Kado Koyasan and will run until January 16, 2022.

Admire the online exhibit at https://www.jaccc.org/kado-koyasan

Save the Date: Memorial Day at Rose City Cemetery

April 25, 2021

Please join us at Rose City Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 31 in collaboration with the Portland Japanese American Citizens League and the Japanese Ancestral Society of Portland in honoring the Japanese Americans who died in the service of their country during World War II. Check back for event start time. In the meantime, please consider helping the Rose City Cemetery cleanup every Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. and Sundays at noon to 2 p.m. (except Mother's Day weekend) leading up to Memorial Day. Check back for the Memorial Day event details.

The photo collage in this message is borrowed from the Portland JACL Facebook post about the cemetery cleanup.

#MayWeGather

April 25, 2021

We invite you to join us for May We Gather, a national memorial ceremony to pay respect and offer merit to Asian American Buddhist ancestors, including those who lost their lives to violence in the past year. The ceremony will be broadcast live on YouTube at 4 p.m. (PDT) / 7 p.m. (EDT) on May 4, 2021, with the participation of Asian American Buddhists from various traditions, languages, and cultures, including Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Lao, Sri Lankan, Taiwanese, Thai, Tibetan, and Vietnamese, among others. For more information and to endorse the ceremony as an individual or as a temple, click this link: www.maywegather.org. Please share with your friends, families, and communities.

ナショナル・メモリアル・セレモニーへの参加ご案内を申し上げます。これは昨年(ヘイトクライムによって)亡くなった方々を含むアジア系アメリカ人祖先への追悼のための法要です。この法要には日本、韓国、中国、台湾、ベトナム、ビルマ、カンボジア、ラオス、スリランカ、タイ、チベットをはじめ多くの国々の様々な伝統、言語、文化のアジア系仏教徒が参加し、その模様を2021年5月4日4時(太平洋夏時間)/7時(東部夏時間)よりYouTubeを通してライブ配信いたします。この法要を支持していただける方(個人または寺院)、また詳細を知りたい方はこちらのリンク www.maywegather.org をクリックしてください。ご家族、ご友人そしてコミュニティーにこの情報をシェアしていただき、多くの方にご参加いただけますよう願い申し上げます。

Renew Your Membership or Join, Today!

April 22, 2021

We're doing a membership drive to help restore the temple. We've been doing a lot of construction during the pandemic, which gets costly very quickly. We're asking our current members to renew their annual membership and for new members to consider joining our temple. For details, go to our membership page.

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.

With Gassho,

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.

Facilities

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.

Changes

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!

With gratitude,

Brian Hochhalter

HSBT Board President


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!

With gassho,

Rev. Kosho Finch

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