January 1 ATLANTA DOJO                                     New Year's Gathering:                                                                                                                      Prayers at 11 a.m.,

                                                                              Open House through the afternoon 


March 3 thru 8  PEACE PILGRIMAGE           Selma to Montgomery

                                                                                            Peace Pilgrimage

                                                                                            53rd Anniversary

Sat., April 7, 11 a.m. @ ATLANTA DOJO              Flower Festival                                     

Sat., April 21, 11 a.m. @ PEACE PAGODA           Flower Festival                                    

May 5 through 27 @ PEACE PAGODA                 Spring Work Party                                  

Sat., July 7, 11 a.m. @ ATLANTA DOJO               Ancestors Ceremony

Sat., July 28, 11 a.m. @ PEACE PAGODA           Ancestors Ceremony                                         

October 13 thru November 6 @ PEACE PAGODA    Fall Work Party                                      

2018 Schedule 

Nipponzan Myohoji-Atlanta Dojo &

Ancestors Ceremony at the Peace Pagoda

July 28, 2018

We celebrated the lives of Rev. William J. Bichsel, SJ (better known to all as Bix) and Daniel Gallagher of Hot Springs, NC, at the Ancestors Ceremony on July 28. Both were dear friends who love and spirit enriched the lives of all who knew them.

Past Event Photos

Click on the link above to view photos albums of past ceremonies at the Atlanta Dojo and the Great Smoky Mountains Peace Pagoda

A Brief History of the Atlanta Dojo

            The building that was to become Atlanta Dojo of Nipponzan Myohoji was purchased at the end of 1993 for $12,000. That is the correct number of zeros, and no, the price was not reduced by way of a gift. The place was a wreck. It had been owned for decades by a woman who at one time had run it as a brothel and later as a boarding house. When she became ill, it devolved into a space for squatters and drug dealers. When we purchased it, there was no plumbing nor electricity, and every window was broken. With great energy and innocence, we believed we would have it fixed within a year. It took more than four.
            During the renovation time, Brother Utsumi and Sister Denise lived at First Iconium Baptist Church, and that was pure gift offered by Rev. Timothy McDonald and the congregation. The church’s incredible support along with the help of friends and volunteers made it possible to transform 1127 Glenwood into a temple using mostly salvaged material and Utsumi-shonin’s incredible gift for creating beauty from other’s discarded things.
            Since the dedication of this temple in April 1998, it has offered hospitality to peace walkers and activists of all kinds. Many have gathered here throughout the years for ceremonies and peace-oriented events.  Primarily it is a temple, and visitors have frequently commented on the deep quiet that pervades this space. We have no explanation for that quiet, given the location next to very busy streets. But we are grateful for the respite it offers everyone from the noise and chaos of daily life.
            Since we spend so much time now building the Peace Pagoda in East Tennessee, it is natural that people ask if we intend to sell the Atlanta Dojo. No, the loss would be too great. We’d lose memories, the multitude of offerings that built this temple, the enjoyment of its beauty, neighbors, the confidence it gave us in subsequent work. Any money from its sale would soon be gone, leaving us so much poorer if not materially then spiritually.
            Our teacher, Guruji, said dōjōs are built to emulate the Pure Land. In the sutra we recite during the ceremony, Buddha says, “This Pure Land of mine is never destroyed.” Nor is it bought or sold.

Happy Anniversary, Atlanta Dojo!

A couple of years ago, we received a shipment of stone carvings from India that were to be installed on the Peace Pagoda one day. That day has finally come and it will be during the upcoming work party this fall. The stone is being removed from the crates now and a ramp to move them to the 2nd level of the Peace Pagoda has been built. It's going to be interesting and exciting to see these magnificent carvings going into place. All told, there are 8 panels, each depicting a scene from the life of Lord Buddha or early Buddhist history. Not only is there nothing like it in East Tennessee, there's really nothing like it in all of North America. Come and help make history!  

Great Smoky Mountains Peace Pagoda &

Celebrating 20 years at the Atlanta Dojo

April 7, 2018 

Ancestors Ceremony at the Atlanta Dojo

July 7, 2018

Upcoming Event: Work Party at the Peace Pagoda

October 13 through November 4, 2018

      We were invited to participate in the Memorial Service for Muhammad Ali on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, KY.

    Muhammad Ali wanted a multi-faith service for his memorial; his lawyer and friend who was on the committee for the service knew another lawyer who is a friend of our order; and of all of Nipponzan Myohoji members, we were geographically the closest.

    Life can surprise you.What an honor and special day it was.