A tour-de-force guide to Zen Master Dogen’s most subtle and sophisticated philosophical premises: that being and time are inseparable.
“Impermanence is time itself, being itself—yet time and being are not at all as we imagine them to be. To really understand and fully embrace this point is to live in a radically different world—a world of awakening, inclusion, and love. Zen Master Dogen frames the teaching on impermanence explicitly as a teaching about time—and all of Dogen’s profoundly poetic teachings flow from his seminal understanding of time, as expressed in Uji (Being-Time), the famous—and famously difficult—essay in his masterwork, Shobogenzo. In Uji, Dogen teaches that time itself, being itself, is luminous awakening. It is all-inclusive, all-elusive, ultimately healing, and eternal.
In this book, Shinshu Roberts does full justice, as does no other book I know of, to Dogen’s words. She offers interpretation of Uji only after careful consideration and marshaling of many sources—and offers simple everyday examples to illustrate points that seem at first abstruse. If this text causes you to doubt your most cherished concepts about your life, it will have done its work.” —from the Foreword by Norman Fischer
Being-Time thoroughly explores Dogen’s teaching on how we practice as Buddhas by understanding the relationship between being and time as it is—and as we perceive it to be. Using Dogen’s Shobogenzo Uji (The True Dharma Eye, Being-Time), Shinshu Roberts offers a twofold analysis of this teaching: the meaning of the text and practice with the text, giving examples how we apply Dogen’s complex teaching to our daily lives.
“This book is a great achievement. Articulate, nuanced, and wonderful.”
– Jan Chozen Bays, author of Mindfulness on the Go
"In Being-Time, Shinshu Roberts gives us a wise, kind and wonderfully patient guide to one of Dogen’s most important and enigmatic texts. Now, more than ever, these profound old teachings are relevant to our lives in the here and now. This is a book I will treasure and return to time and time again."
– Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being
“A powerful and compelling reflection on one of the great Zen texts by Eihei Dogen, founder of Japanese Soto Zen, and one of the signal Mahayana Zen figures. Shinshu Roberts brings intelligence, grace, and a fully lived life to this book. Both scholarly and intimate, I recommend this book to anyone hoping to delve more deeply into the Zen Way.”
– James Ishmael Ford, author of Introduction to Zen Koans
“This book is one of the excellent fruits of American Zen. I deeply appreciate Shinshu’s work.”