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.

New Year's Ceremonies at Henjyoji Temple and live online via Zoom

Dec. 27, 2023

The Henjyoji temple will be hosting two events to celebrate the New Year. We hope you can join us for one or both. We invite you to live in-person services at the temple building or view it live online via Zoom.


In-person New Year's Ceremonies.

Both events will be held at the temple building.


New Year’s Closing Service 

Dec. 31, 2023

3:00 p.m. Pacific Time


New Year’s Day Service 

Jan. 1, 2024

Noon Pacific Time



Stream this year's festivities live via Zoom.


New Year's Closing Service

Time: Dec 31, 2023 03:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81211315063?pwd=N1U3SjJ1VFU2UkI1ZXdSSUkrdU5uZz09

Meeting ID: 812 1131 5063

Passcode: 684415


New Year's Day Service

Time: Jan 1, 2024 12:01 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83869946742?pwd=V3NUR3lRbHcrNUFoVkswT2FhcUtmdz09

Meeting ID: 838 6994 6742

Passcode: 107722

Congratulations to the Temple's New Board of Directors for 2023-25

Sept. 23, 2023

Congratulations to the Henjyoji Shingon Buddhist Temple's new board of directors for 2023-25.

Officer positions will be announced soon.

Board Elections Update

Sept. 10, 2023

The temple's secretary sent out board elections applications to all members who are eligible to run and that application closed yesterday, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. Today, the board secretary sent out the board elections ballot to all members who meet voting eligibility. 

Ballot forms must be submitted by Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. 

Once the ballots are processed, the temple will notify the directors who were voted in. Those directors will meet and decide who takes which officer positions. Then the temple will make an official announcement to the temple community about who will serve in what positions.  If you have questions, please email secretary@shingonpdx.org.

For more information about membership, voting eligibility, and the board elections process, please read our Membership pages.

An Update on Temple Building Renovations

Photo 1: Volunteers cleanup the butsudan / main altar. Photos 2 & 3: Volunteers have worked with a local group to remove and relocate the organ from the main altar, leaving a dip in the floor. The stage floor was raised two feet to accommodate ducting for the new fangled oil furnace back in the 1930s. Photo 4: During cleanup, volunteers found an old cast iron rice cooker that’s about three feet in diameter!

June 26, 2023

Many interior and exterior projects are underway at the temple thanks to generous donations and the labor of volunteers. The building where the temple resides was constructed in 1896, so there is a lot of work to be done. We are grateful for the support of the community to help us restore our historic building.

Last fall, as reported in the December newsletter, we finished a major project. We repaired the sill and waterproofed the east facing foundation wall. The community gathered to dig and install a new drainage system to prevent future damage. Since then, more progress has been made on temple renovations. 

Read the full story in the temple newsletter.



The Temple's Many Changes in 2022 Bring Hope and Resilience for 2023

Dec. 23, 2022

As many of you know, the temple is in the process of many changes. Inward, outward, spiritually, and physically.

This message will share updates on the temple, Shingon related events, and what 2023 brings.

2022 in Review

The COVID-19 pandemic meant that we could no longer gather physically. In response, we took the dharma virtual. As a result, we made new friends and expanded our community. I am grateful for all of you who participate in our classes and services online.

We also took the opportunity when the temple was closed to address pressing maintenance issues. Small projects uncovered even bigger projects. Through the dedication of skilled members volunteering their services, and all those who have shown a willingness to help with cleaning and maintenance, we have made progress on ensuring the temple offers a space where we can gather and practice.

Much like our individual spiritual paths, this has been and will be a long journey. As we wait patiently as a community for the temple to be fully operational, let’s reflect on the progress we have made, become inspired by the promise that holds for the future, and cultivate hope and appreciation for what we have accomplished together so far. 

Henjyoji is a great experiment. The temple is learning to adapt to the needs of people of current times. We are heirs, not only to a Buddhist tradition spanning more than 1200 years in Japan, but to traditions going back even further in China. More recently, we are indebted to the immigrants who came from Japan to the United States, bringing with them their faith and establishing temples here in the U.S. Our challenge is to honor that history and discover new ways to make the teaching and the temple relevant and central to the lives of people today.

This year, 2023, marks the 1250th anniversary of the birth of Kobo Daishi. This is a good opportunity for us to reflect on the life and teachings of the founder of Shingon Buddhism. There will be celebrations on Koyasan to commemorate this special event. When I think of the obstacles that Kobo Daishi overcame, I am sure we can overcome our comparatively small, yet valid, challenges here in Portland with our historic building that is home to the Henjyoji temple. 

Events Updates

Upcoming New Year's Services at Henjyoji Temple

There will be two in-person services at the temple to close 2022 and open 2023. We hope to see your there!

Please visit the temple calendar for updates on temple events.

New Class: Buddhism Book Study

The temple will offer a new class in 2023: Buddhism Book Study. In this class, participants will be assigned readings and optional assignments to share for discussion in person and via Zoom meetings. The first book we will be studying is Buddhism: Introducing the Buddhist Experience by Donald W. Mitchell and Sarah H. Jacoby. Assigned readings will be flexible for all editions. 

For more information, go to: https://sites.google.com/view/shingon-pdx/classes/buddhism-book-study

Irecho Event, Japanese American National Museum

Earlier this year, the temple was invited to represent the Portland Assembly Center at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles for the opening of the Ireicho memorial, exhibiting for the first time the names of all persons of Japanese ancestry unjustly imprisoned in camps during WWII.

While many are familiar with the internment camps in rural areas, fewer are familiar with the camp in Portland where Japanese Americans were imprisoned in the city. That location is the current location of the Portland Expo Center in North Portland. While some may view this event as cultural, ethnic, or political, it has a direct connection with the history of the Henjyoji temple and Buddhism in America. The founders of our temple —Bishop Daiyu Henjyoji and his wife Wako Henjyoji — their family, and the founding members were all imprisoned in Portland, then later in Idaho. Their faith was one reason our government considered them a threat to the nation.

As part of this imprisonment, the original temple properties were lost. Our current location at 2634 SE 12th Avenue is the property the congregation purchased after the war, and which was officially opened in 1951.

I was honored to be invited to the Irecho event in Los Angeles and represent the memory of those original Henjyoji members and their families and friends who made our temple possible.

Learn more about the Portland Assembly Center: https://sos.oregon.gov/archives/exhibits/ww2/Pages/threats-assembly.aspx 

The Japanese American National Museum has photos and video of the opening of the exhibit and dedication of the memorial available on their website: https://www.janm.org/exhibits/ireicho

Fall 2022: Kickoff Celebration for the 110th Anniversary of the Shingon North American Mission

The Los Angeles Koyasan Betsuin will celebrate their 110th anniversary of the establishment of the Koyasan Shingon Mission in North America, in 2023. As part of the festivities, all of the sensei’s from the North American temples gathered this fall 2022, along with special guests from Japan.

The North American delegation was led by Bishop Shunga Kiryu, Director of the International Bureau, accompanied by Rev. Yuei Goto, Deputy Director of the International Bureau; Rev. Ryutai Takahashi, International Bureau Counselor (Shoko-in Temple, Tokyo); Rev. Ken-ei Iwata, Director of Kongo-ryu Goeika (Asahi-ji Temple, Shimane); and Rev. Jijun Inaba, International Bureau staff. 

On Sunday, October 23, 2022, a prelude service took place in L.A. As part of the service the Jukai, or giving of the Bodhisattva Precepts, was held. Many people took part in this special service, committing themselves to upholding the practice. In addition, the ministers from North America and Japan joined in performing the Rishu Zanmai service, which is rarely seen outside of Japan. 

An additional service and special events will be held in the fall of 2023 at Los Angeles Koyasan. If you are interested in attending, please keep in touch for your opportunity to take part in this special event. 

Photos from the event can be found in the Los Angeles Koyasan newsletter: http://www.koyasanbetsuin.org/uploads/6/7/8/3/67838961/2022_december_jiho.pdf

Temple Construction Updates

Sill plate repair: During the fall of 2022, the temple completed two major construction projects. During renovations of our bathrooms, it was discovered that the sill plate along the back of the building was rotted and needed to be replaced. Members contributed their manual labor to excavate the back of the temple to uncover the affected area and ensure water will drain away from the building. A new sill plate was installed, and members again contributed their strength to haul stone to fill the area around the back of the building to ensure water is properly diverted away from the building. Soon after the constriction was completed, Portland experienced an “atmospheric river” bringing tremendous rain to the metro area. We are pleased to report the construction was successful and the building is dry.

Front siding and roof repair: During improvements to the front of the building and the temple’s new office, we discovered a leak stemming from repairs done in 1962, following the Columbus Day storm that caused damage to the building. Evidence of that damage can still be seen today. To fix the water leaking into the building, we had to install new siding on the upper front of the building. That construction was also successfully completed. The temple now has a fresh coat of paint on the front of the building facing 12th Avenue, to welcome you all back. 

Removal of a willow tree: This summer, we removed the willow tree that was located on the southwest corner of the building. While a lovely tree, it was severely rotted, and its roots were finding their way into drain pipes around the building. Though we had to say goodbye to a horticultural friend, this opens the side of the building to the possibility of new landscaping in that area.

* * *

I am often asked when the temple will be completed. In truth the answer is: never. Just like our spiritual practice, we must practice each day. The temple needs ongoing maintenance. When we work on the building, we are working on ourselves. When we are trimming the shrubs and pulling weeds, we are removing those negative thoughts that took root in our mind. When we patch holes in this building that has stood for more than 130 years, we are making improvements to our character. As we work together on the temple, we are fostering resiliency as a sangha.

Please join me in supporting the Henjyoji temple and its mission, in maintaining the Shingon teachings, and being a place of spiritual practice for all.

Namu Daishi Henjo Kongo,

And Happy New Year in 2023: Year of the Water Rabbit,

Rev. Kosho Finch, Head Minister,

on behalf of the Henjyoji Shingon Buddhist Temple Board:

Membership Renewal is Now Open

Aug. 21, 2022

The Henjyoji temple humbly invites you to renew your membership until Aug. 31, 2023. Please read the information in the temple newsletter for details. We also have announcements about volunteering and classes, so please also look for those updates.

Our newsletters are always added to our News page, for your convenience. 

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.