The Heart of Dogen's Shobogenzo
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The Heart of Dogen's Shobogenzo provides exhaustively annotated translations of the difficult core essays of Shobogenzo, the masterwork of Japanese Zen master Dogen Kigen, the founder of Soto Zen. This book is centered around those essays that generations have regarded as containing the essence of Dogen's teaching. These translations, revised from those that first appeared in the 1970s, clarify and enrich the understanding of Dogen's religious thought and his basic ideas about Zen practice and doctrine. Dogen's uncommon intellectual gifts, combined with a profound religious attainment and an extraordinary ability to articulate it, make Shoubougenzou unique even in the vast literature the Zen school has produced over the centuries, securing it a special place in the history of world religious literature."
SBGZ Ikka Myôju, note 11.) 5. What is this that thus comes? Words spoken by the Sixth Patriarch Hui-neng to Nan-yüeh Huai-jang. When Nan-yüeh went to visit Hui-neng, he was asked, “Where have you come from?” “From Sung-shan,” he replied. “What is this that thus comes?” asked Hui-neng. Nan-yüeh answered, “The moment I said it was ‘this,’ I’d miss the mark completely.” Hui-neng said, “Then should one engage in practice and realization, or not?” “It is not that there is no practice and realization,”
were not time, there would be no mountains and seas” (SBGZ Uji, p. 56.) 31. The Buddha-nature is not apart from the actual, everyday things around us. 68 THE HEART OF DÔGEN’S SHÔBÔGENZÔ you do not understand, that totally dependent is “whole dependence,” is a depending whole.”32 Samadhi and the six supernatural powers33 are being revealed by means of the Buddha-nature. You should know that both the manifestation and nonmanifestation of samadhi are totally dependent on the Buddha-nature. All
into emptiness, nor is it making form out of emptiness. It has to be the emptiness of “emptiness is emptiness.” The emptiness of “emptiness is emptiness”60 is a piece of rock in emptiness.61 This being so, the Fourth and Fifth Patriarchs are asking and articulating Buddha-nature-mu, Buddha-nature-emptiness, and Buddha-naturebeing. When the Sixth Chinese Patriarch Ch’an master Ta-chien62 of Mount Ts’aohsi went to practice under the Fifth Patriarch of Mount Huang-mei for the first time, the Fifth
sitting in zazen. The Dharma is amply present in every person, but without practice, it is not manifested; without realization, it is not attained. It is not a question of one or many; let loose of it and it fills your hands. It is not bounded vertically or horizontally; speak it and it fills your mouth. Within this Dharma, Buddhas dwell everlastingly, leaving no perceptions in any sphere or direction; all living beings use it unceasingly, with no sphere or direction appearing in their
have followed in this way of practice as well. It is a matter of rightly transmitting the wonderful means in personal encounter from master to disciple, and on the disciple’s sustaining the true essence thus received. According to the authentic tradition of Buddhism, this personally and directly transmitted Buddha Dharma is the supreme of the supreme. From the first time you go before your master and receive his teaching, you no longer have need for incense-offerings, homage-paying, nembutsu,