Midwest Buddhist Temple

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About Our Temple

The Midwest Buddhist Temple is a temple of Buddha Dharma and the way of Nembutsu, which is a realization of Oneness of Life in the Infinite Compassion and Wisdom of the Amida Buddha. The temple is affiliated with the Buddhist Churches of America, headquartered in San Francisco, rooted in the Nishi Hongwanji, Kyoto, Japan, practicing the Jodo Shinshu, the Pure Land School. Jodo Shinshu was founded in Japan by Shinran Shonin (1173-1262). It was Shinran Shonin who brought the Buddhist teachings down from the monastery level to the ordinary man who could practice it with his family. The first meeting of young Jodo Shinshu immigrants in America was initiated in San Francisco on July 14, 1898.

Founded on July 10, 1944, the first service at the Midwest Buddhist Temple began with a simple but inspirational service at the South Parkway Community Hall on Chicago’s South Side. The late Reverend Gyodo Kono presided over this event along with devoted participation of the Issei (1st generation) and Nisei (2nd generation) Japanese Americans, who recently moved to Chicago after their release from the U.S. internment camps of World War II.

Weekly Services


Each week we hold services which are open to the public (please check the calendar on our website, MBTChicago.org, for the latest information).

Sundays
  • 8:30 am Zen Shin Meditation

  • 10:30 am Family Service in English

Wednesdays
  • 6:00 pm Zen Shin Meditation


Periodically, we host seminars, workshops, retreats and public lectures on the Buddha Dharma. On cultural programs, we offer Minyo (folk dance), and Taiko (Japanese drum).

The Obon Dance Festival in July and the Ginza Holiday Festival in August (the second weekend in August) are highlights of our participation in the rich ethnic diversity of Chicago’s summer festivals.

For more information about the Midwest Buddhist Temple please visit our website, MBTChicago.org.

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