All are Welcome
We are pleased to announce that we are now open for regular in-person services. The safety of all our temple members and guests continues to be our utmost concern; so while we will relax some protocols, we have also chosen to maintain others, taking into consideration the needs of our congregation.
Services at TBC
Regular ServiceOur services run every Sunday and whether you are new or returning after a period of time, we look forward to you joining us. Find out more
Special Observances & ServicesLearn more about the special observances and holidays we acknowledge that honour the important life events of the Buddha. Find out more
Programs at TBC
Kids SanghaWe welcome all families! See how your children can become involved and learn and experience the Buddha Dharma. Find out more
Silent, sitting meditation is not required to attain enlightenment in Shin Buddhism. However, we recognise the calming effects it can have, and often have a brief moment of silent focus before a service begins, to settle our hearts and minds so that we may engage fully with the Buddha Dharma.
Anyone is welcome to visit our temple. We have public weekly services every Sunday, starting at 11:00 am. There is no dress code, and there is nothing you have to bring – just an open mind and an open heart, and if it’s your first time, please visit with a sense of curiosity.
If you would like to have someone meet you before service and show you around, please fill-in the form “To Be Greeted” or call our office at (416) 534-4302.
There is no cost to visit TBC. However, your donations are welcome.
Our weekly Sunday services are conducted entirely in English, except the traditional sutra chanting. Sometimes, services might be bilingual (Japanese and English) and other services are conducted only in Japanese. These are indicated in the schedule of services on our website and in the newsletter.
TBC Sunday services include some readings, chanting, and a Dharma Talk by a minister. They usually last around 1 hour. People often arrive early to find a seat and do a little socializing. There is also an opportunity to socialize after the service as well.
Members of clergy in Shin Buddhism are called “Sensei” which is Japanese for “teacher,” “expert” or “professional.” When Shin Buddhism first came to North America at the beginning of the 20th century, the organization also adopted the term “Reverend” as an English form of address.
Shin Buddhism is a non-monastic Buddhist tradition, which means our teachers are not monks or nuns, but are Buddhist priests/ministers. Shin ministers engage with the Buddhist teachings in the same social context and circumstances as the lay, and so are not required to live according to monastic rules such as shaving the head or vegetarian diets.
In Shin Buddhism, the ordained are no “closer” to enlightenment, nor do they have special access to esoteric teachings and practice. People become ordained as an act of commitment to be students of the Shin Buddhist teachings, and to share with others the joy of being on the Shin Buddhist path.
Sensei conduct services and officiate ceremonies, but they are also available for private meetings at temple or over the phone/Zoom. Please email or phone the temple office for contact details.
Shin Buddhism was first brought to Canada by Japanese immigrants to the West Coast. The community established themselves in Vancouver in 1905, just two years before the 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in that city and others along the West Coast of Canada and the United States. In that racist climate, the Shin Buddhist community adopted terms used by the dominant faith traditions in wider Canadian society to lessen discrimination and alienation. Terms such as “church” “Reverend” and “Sunday Service” all stem from this history.
All are welcome to come to TBC, whether they identify as Buddhist or otherwise. Membership is also open to anyone, regardless of their religious or spiritual identity. Membership is largely a way to help TBC financially; a sign that the member values the work TBC does in being a place to encounter the BuddhaDharma.
“Becoming a Buddhist” is not always as clear-cut as acts of faith such as Christian baptism. In Buddhist traditions, the declaration of Taking Refuge in the Three Treasures, adherence to the Buddha (the teacher), Dharma (the teachings), and Sangha (the community), signifies entrance to life as an ordained Buddhist (priests, monks, and nuns).
Lay members are at the centre of Shin Buddhism, so Taking Refuge in the Three Treasures is recited by everyone at our weekly services as an expression of their own appreciation of the Three Treasures in their lives. There is also a ceremony called kie-shiki (Ceremony for taking Refuges) officiated by the sōchō (overseas regional superintendent, commonly referred to as “bishop”) during which one publicly recites the Three Treasures, and receives a hōmyō, a Buddhist name.
How the Three Treasures are meaningful can only be known in an individual’s heart. Whether someone identifies as Buddhist is a very personal decision.
Yes! In Shin Buddhism, a wedding ceremony officiated by a priest in front of an altar holding Amida Buddha signifies the couple’s commitment to live their life together with the Three Treasures, the Buddha (the teacher), Dharma (the teachings), and Sangha (the community).
Please contact the TBC office to speak to a sensei for more details.
O-nenju (beads), and montoshikisho (an embroidered cloth draped around the neck that signifies membership in a [Shin Buddhist] sangha), are personal Buddhist items that are available for purchase at TBC.
Also available are new butsudan (home Buddha altar) and all the items that go in it. Scrolls of Amida Buddha, incense and incense holders, candles and candle holders, vessels for buppan (rice offering) and bukka (flower offering), all from Japan, are available for purchase at TBC.
TBC also has restored butsudan for sale. These are previously owned and one-of-a-kind butsudan that have been carefully restored by hand.
Please see the display case in the TBC lobby, or contact a sensei for information about butsudan.