Thanks for the kind words. I happen to agree...
Interestingly, some of the very first Americans involved in Buddhism at all were involved in Tendai-shu. These guys:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Fenollosahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Sturgis_Bigelow
I think the best way to make this Dharma available in the English-speaking world is to participate in the institutions that are available (the Tendai Buddhist Institute, Ganshin Rock's group in the UK, the California Tendai Monastery), support them materially, and of course practice your guts out. Attend a retreat. If you can't yourself, perhaps you can send a friend (help cover their travel expenses). These communities grow organically, and as the communities grow, they must deepen in practice. As they deepen in practice, they become more stable and therefore of more benefit to all involved.
Most of the constraints are material. For instance, in DC, our sangha is growing but we are limited by the space available to us and our finances; we can't just buy a building, though we wish we could.
Thanks for the reply, Jikan. It's amazing that such brilliant and honorable men as Fenellosa and Bigelow remain somewhat anonymous in the discussion of Japanese religion/culture in the West ( I say anonymous only because I'm not familiar with them...how's that for a self centered view?).
On a personal note, I've struggled to find a path in the US that feels a good fit to me. I was fortunate to have ordained in Thailand for a brief time, and study the suttas and remain close to Theravada. Yet, within the US I've tried Zen sanghas, with some nice pluses and some disappointments, in part relating to my own sense of discomfort with some of Zen theory and practice. Some weeks ago, I researched further Tendai, and it seems to me a possible good fit...it's traditional, it seems to embrace a wider and more thoughtful spectrum of study and practice, and seems to have as its representatives in the West some very strong scholars and teachers...albeit just a few compared to the sheer numbers of Zen teachers in the US. I researched the gyo training, and it resonated with me strongly.
Already I've written too much about myself. I'd be very interested to hear your story, Jikan, and hear more about your practice in DC.