Shinnyo-en is a lay Buddhist order that is based on the Nirvana (Mahaparinirvana) Sutra.
Considered the “final teaching” of the Buddha, this set of teachings emphasizes that all people have the “seed” of enlightenment within them and by acting with compassion and concern for others, everyone can cultivate that seed and find their true self.
The name “Shinnyo-en” can be defined by looking at the two words, (Sanskrit: Tathata) can mean “unchanging truth” or “the true form or real state of things”. Another way of thinking about shinnyo is to say that it is one’s essential nature, what lies at the core of one’s existence. En(Japanese) means “a garden without borders.” Combined, one translation of Shinnyo-en could be “a garden open to all, where everyone can discover and bring out their true nature”.
The founder of Shinnyo-en, Shinjo Ito once described it as a “garden without fences or hedges in which anyone is welcome just as they are.” Shinnyo-en is an independent Buddhist order which came out of the Shingon tradition of esoteric Buddhism, one of Japan’s oldest denominations. As you can see on these pages, it is no longer just a Japanese Buddhist Order, but a global order, serving societies around the earth.