About Shinnyo-en USA

About Shinnyo-en USA

Shinnyo-en is an international Buddhist community dedicated to helping people realize greater self-awareness, happiness, and harmony for the good of humanity and for a world of peace.

The name Shinnyo-en means “a garden without borders”, where all people can bring forth their innate, true nature. All are welcome here, and with sincere effort, anyone can reach enlightenment and find true happiness.


OUR TRADITION: Shinnyo Buddhism is rooted in the 1,100 year old Dharma lineage known as Shingon Buddhism, on the main forms of esoteric* Buddhism in Japan.

Shinjo Ito, the founder of Shinnyo-en, received training at the Daigo School of Shingon Buddhism. Shinjo completed the highest levels of monastic achievement possible at Daigoji monastery and ultimately was permitted to open his own lineage of Buddhism, which was accessible not only to monastics, but to lay persons alike. This new lineage, founded in 1936, was the start of Shinnyo-en. It evolved into an independent denomination in the 1940s and was later carried to many countries around the world, including the United States. Through the years, Master Shinjo continued to forge an innovative path for practice that allows for anyone to use their daily lives as a training ground for spiritual development and growth.

Shinnyo-en derives its main inspiration from the Nirvana Sutra, the final teachings of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, which expounds that all beings have the ability to attain enlightenment.

Shinnyo Buddhism is also further classified by its qualities as a Dharma lineage: Esoteric and Mahayana**.

*Esoteric (Vajrayana) Buddhism, which grew out of Mahayana Buddhism, is a spiritual path of wisdom and heightened awareness gained through practices in our everyday lives. Esoteric Buddhism goes beyond an intellectual understanding of verbal explanations and is conveyed through the experience of training with a highly enlightened master. This training utilizes imagery, mantras and ritual to achieve a greater experience of spirituality. It is possible to reach deep awakening and spiritual liberation – and change the one’s destiny for the better – within this lifetime.

**Mahayana: meaning ‘Great Vehicle’, it refers to the practice of seeking enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings. Central to Mahayana Buddhism is the Bodhisattva – one who forgoes attaining buddhahood in order to help others on their path of enlightenment. Shinnyo-en’s founder Master Shinjo taught: “If you wish to uphold the teachings of the buddhas, you must first resolve to truly liberate others as well.