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Dogen's Shobogenzo Zuimonki

The Definitive Translation—Also Including Dogen's Waka Poetry with Commentary

Translated by Shohaku Okumura

Eihei Dogen is renowned as one of the world’s most remarkable and influential names in Zen Buddhism.

Dogen instructed: If you must heed someone, you should heed those with clear eyes.
—from Shobogenzo Zuimonki

Dogen’s Shobogenzo Zuimonki offers straightforward and accessible teachings on some of the fundamental aspects of Buddhist practice in the Soto Zen school in Master Dogen’s own words as recorded by his Dharma successor, Koun Ejo. Distinct from Dogen’s magnum opus (Shobogenzo), Shobogenzo Zuimonki can be translated as “True Dharma Eye Treasury: Record of Things Heard” and contains both clear instructions with limited use of the allusion, word-play, and metaphor that characterize the essays that comprise Shobogenzo. The present volume isa highly practical manual of Buddhist practice, essentially a primer of Soto Zen.

Dogen’s words express fundamental aspects of Buddhist practice in terms that are both concrete and straightforward in Japanese society in the thirteenth century. Among the many topics covered, Dogen especially emphasizes the following points: seeing impermanence, departing from the ego-centered self, being free from greed, giving up self-attachment, following the guidance of a true teacher, and the practice of zazen, specifically shikantaza, or “just sitting.”

This edition of Shobogenzo Zuimonki contains a bilingual version of Record of Things Heard with extensive notes which help to provide the reader with a new way of approaching the text. As bonus material, this edition also includes translations and commentary of Dogen’s luminously evocative waka poetry, formerly published under the title White Snow on Bright Leaves.