Skip to main contentThe eight-spoked wheel of Dharma, with a graphic representation of a lotus at its center.

We may simply understand our practice as a meditation in daily life, where we take everyday events as opportunities to help others.

Her Holiness Shinso Ito

About Shinnyo-en

A tradition in which anyone can become aware of the infinite possibility hidden within themselves.

A candid photograph of Shinjo smiling in his study, shaven headed, mustachioed, in casual kimono, with elbow resting on table and reading glasses in hand.

Our Story

Forging a path for others, step by step, over a lifetime

“Even if the lamp is extinguished, in every moment there is light that dispels darkness.” With great resolve, Masters Shinjo and Tomoji Ito dedicated their entire adult lives to embodying this line of the Buddha’s teaching in action. Through many joys and hardships, through great successes and setbacks, they tirelessly worked to establish a living spiritual community in which modern lay people could pursue the peaceful fruits of Buddhist practices. Explore a brief historical timeline of their lives and works, and of the community of Shinnyo‑en.

Experience the timeline
Three pairs of hands of varying ages and skin tones, two wearing colorful bracelets, reach out and embrace each other.

Our Practices

Cultivating shared humanity and interconnectedness

The spiritual practices at Shinnyo‑en are rooted in understanding that all living beings are interconnected. The tradition focuses on simple practices in our daily lives that nurture and bring out our natural goodness and foster harmony in the relationships we share with others. Read an overview of Shinnyo‑en practices.

Learn about the practices
A photograph of Her Holiness, gray-haired, wearing a lace scarf, and offering a warm smile with hands in gassho.

Her Holiness

Teaching to promote harmony amid diversity

Her Holiness Shinso Ito is one of the few women in the world to lead a Buddhist denomination. Since assuming responsibilities as the head of Shinnyo‑en in 1989, she has carried forward and expanded on the work of the founders for the twenty-first century. Read about her life, education, Buddhist training, and the work she has undertaken as leader of Shinnyo‑en.

Meet Her Holiness
Her Holiness, wearing an orange safety vest and SEVA ballcap, passes a bag of relief supplies to people wearing caps and masks.

Community Outreach

Taking meaningful action to benefit others in the world

The founders of Shinnyo‑en placed generosity, service, and care at the heart of their spiritual practice. Shinnyo‑en has cultivated strong philanthropic roots in many local communities, initiating and supporting a wide variety of efforts to promote health, happiness, and the wellbeing of all. Learn how the Shinnyo‑en community is working to build a future of hope, one concrete step at a time.

Read about the community work