Winding Path History

Winding Path Tendai Buddhist Sangha started in March of 2011 as Nagado Buddhist Sangha.

Shingaku initially chose the name "Nagado" for the sangha based on a dream about a naga. Naga is the Sanskrit term for a Buddhist deity commonly represented as a dragon or serpent and often associated with water. As we began to consider "Naga" as the sangha name, we also examined any Japanese versions of the word since we are a Japanese school of Buddhism. "Naga" is part of the Japanese word 流れ、 pronounced nagare and meaning stream, flow, or current. This is significant because starting off on the Buddhist path is often called “entering the stream.” And, the idea of the current or stream suggests a flowing or washing away that resembles the gradual washing away of ego that happens in Buddhist practice. The “do” in our original name literally translates into “way” or “path.”

In addition to the symbolic implications, the word "nagado" also suited our sangha's physical location. Springfield is located on the banks of the Connecticut River, and the city has several smaller rivers and ponds scattered throughout. These waterways (especially the CT River) played an important role in the city’s early growth and have helped shape Springfield into the city it is today. Both the Japanese translation of naga in nagare and the Sanskrit naga are linked with water literally and thus capture the physical geography of Springfield.

Along the Connecticut River in Springfield Massachussetts

Over time we noticed that many people missed the symbolism and inspiration in our original name because it was in Japanese. Therefore, when we filed paperwork to officially incorporate in the state of Massachusetts, we decided to use an English version of our name. In English, our name can serve as a reminder that we are traveling the "path with no goal." A winding path is a reminder to have patience in this journey and to be fully aware in the present moment.