Tendai Buddhism USA
Rev. Eisyo Morrow
Born of an American father and Japanese mother, I grew up in California and was exposed to Buddhism at a young age. Deeply seeking the truth I knew existed beyond appearances, I devoted myself to the study of psychology and various world religious and spiritual traditions. During my 20’s and 30’s, I became a licensed psychotherapist and a wilderness rites-of-passage guide. To deepen my work with people, for over 30 years I delved into the study and practice of indigenous wisdom traditions and Buddhism, including Theravadan, Zen, Tibetan Tantra, and Dzogchen.
In 2008, I had the great fortune of meeting Rev. Keisho Leary at the California Tendai Monastery on Cobb Mtn. I took refuge with him and received precepts and Boddhisattva vows. In the years following, I came to the mountain for training in Tendai-Shugendo, practicing mountain circumambulation (kaihogyo), chanting (in Japanese and English), and assisting Keisho sensei with the fire offering (goma). As a half-Japanese woman with a love of wilderness and a life’s work of helping people find liberation from suffering, these teachings came as a spiritual home.
In 2015 after Keisho sensei’s passing, I once again had great fortune in meeting Rev. Dr. Ryoei Tyler, and became her deshi. Because of her tremendous wisdom and compassion, I had the opportunity to receive Tokudo ordination with her at the Hawaii Betsuin in December 2016, with Dai Sojo Ryokan Ara overseeing the ceremony.
As a novice Tendai priest working and living in the world, I have many opportunities to practice taming my greed, anger, and ignorance; praying and working for the liberation from suffering for all beings everywhere; and recognizing the already awakened nature at the deepest heart of every living being.