The Eugene Buddhist Priory has its origin as a small temple founded in 1973 by monks from Shasta Abbey Buddhist Monastery in the name of their teacher, Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett. The temple was located in several locations around the Eugene area for a time and then purchased property in 1989 in southeast Eugene to establish a permanent home for the Priory.
Led by the priest at that time, with help from many directions and the dedicated commitment of a small group of lay practitioners, the congregation over the next ten years built our first meditation hall, meeting room and library, kitchen, office, and facilities for a resident monk. This building was dedicated in 1989. Situated amidst an oak, fir, and pine forest, it has proven to be an excellent setting for Buddhist teaching and group meditation and activities. A second building was constructed in 2007 to provide more space for additional monks and occasional overnight guests.
Offerings of the Priory
As primarily a congregational temple, the Priory offers Buddhist teachings (Dharma) and support for individuals who wish to study and train in this meditation practice. Teachings are offered both in a group setting and as private advice and counsel.
The core group activity is a Sunday morning gathering consisting of seated meditation, usually a Buddhist service or ceremony, and a Dharma talk by Rev. Hugh or occasional visiting teachers. Other activities include early morning meditation and service through the week; workdays through which members help with the maintenance and cleaning of the temple and grounds; monthly silent days of meditation in which people can concentrate their practice in a quiet, formal setting; and a weekly reading group. Monthly calendar. We also celebrate some of the traditional Buddhist festivals honoring events in the life of the Buddha, memorials for eminent teachers in our lineage and various aspects of Buddha Nature, such as Great Compassion (Avalokiteshvara, Kanzeon, or Kwan Yin), Great Wisdom (Manjusri), and the Healing Buddha (Bhaisajyaguru).
As a support to individuals’ practice, the temple offers private ceremonies marking the important events—naming ceremonies for children, weddings, funerals, memorials, and house blessings. We demonstrate our compassion for animals as fellow beings in training through ordinations and funerals for them; we also have an animal cemetery.
People who have established a relationship with the Priory are welcome to come to the temple at other times and participate in the ongoing schedule, which consists of meditation, services, working meditation (every-minute zen), meals, spiritual reading, and informal time together with the resident monk. The introduction to Zen meditation gives you the basic tools to participate in any of our activities.