The point of religion is to realize things for yourself, not to be taught. When you don't know how, the sangha will show you the way. Use each experience you encounter to awaken, and enlighten yourself. This is the key.”

Master Shinjo



Shinnyo-en History


Shinnyo Buddhism continues to spread as new temples are opened and the teachings reach the hearts of many around the world. Currently, Oyasono, the head temple of Shinnyo Buddhism, is undergoing restoration and renovation for the sake of future Shinnyo Buddhists.




After several years of renovations of the temple complex, the Maraparinirvana Buddha statue, sculpted by the Shinnyo-en Founder, Shinjo Ito, was re-inspirited at the Oyasono headquarters temple in Tachikawa, Japan.




Commemorating the centennial of Shinjo's birth, the new training center of Ogen'in opens to facilitate greater access to Shinnyo Buddhism.




The Shinnyo Samaya Hall is dedicated at Daigoji in recognition of Shinjo's founding of a new school of Buddhism. Shinso becomes the first woman to officiate at a service in the 1,100-year history of Daigoji.




Shinso becomes the head of Shinnyo-en after Shinjo's passing.




The first Asian sanctuary outside Japan is dedicated in Taipei, Taiwan, and the first sanctuary in Europe is dedicated in Paris.




Shinso Ito completes her Buddhist training and becomes a successor in the Shinnyo lineage.

The first sanctuary in the continental U.S. is dedicated in San Francisco.




The first sanctuary outside Japan is dedicated in Hawaii.




Shinjo and his daughter and future successor, Shinso, embark on their first trip to the United States to cultivate Shinnyo-en's budding overseas presence.




Shinjo and Tomoji visit Europe and the Middle East as representatives of Japanese Buddhism for a religious and cultural exchange of goodwill.

Shortly after their return, Tomoji Ito passes away.




Shinjo and his wife Tomoji attend a world conference of Buddhists in Thailand. During this trip they go on to visit India, the birthplace of Buddhism.




Tomoji Ito completes her Buddhist training.




Shinjo completes Buddhist training and is recognized as an acharya, which authorizes him to take on students and establish his own dharma lineage.




Shinnyo-en celebrates the consecration of its first temple, Shinchoji.




Shinjo begins his training at Daigoji and starts a fellowship of Buddhist practitioners that grew to become Shinnyo-en.



Master Shobo (a student of Kobo Daishi's Buddhism), founds Daigoji monastery, where Shinjo Ito would study over a thousand years later.




Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai) returns to Japan from China as a master of Esoteric Buddhism.



c. 483 BCE

Shakyamuni Buddha passes away in Kushinagara at the age of 80 after teaching for 45 years.

For the next several centuries, Buddhism spreads and adapts to different beliefs and cultures. One such branch is Esoteric Buddhism (focusing on experiential spirituality), which was developed in India by masters such as Nagarjuna in the first centuries of the common era.



c. 563 BCE

Siddhartha Gautama, the man who is to become a buddha (awakened one), is born at Lumbini in present-day Nepal.

At age 35 Siddhartha attains enlightenment (a state of spiritual awakening motivated by the desire to alleviate people's suffering) at Bodhgaya and becomes known as the Buddha Shakyamuni.

Shortly after his enlightenment, Shakyamuni delivers his first teaching at Sarnath and passes on his realizations to others.


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