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The Mountains and Waters Sutra

A Practitioner's Guide to Dogen's "Sansuikyo"

Contributions by Gary Snyder and Carl Bielefeldt / Edited by Shodo Spring / Foreword by Issho Fujita

An indispensable map of a classic Zen text.

“Mountains and waters are the expression of old buddhas.”

So begins “Sansuikyo,” or “Mountains and Waters Sutra,” a masterpiece of poetry and insight from Eihei Dogen, the thirteenth-century founder of the Soto school of Zen.

Shohaku Okumura—renowned for his translations of and magisterial teachings on Dogen—guides the reader through the rich layers of metaphor and meaning in “Sansuikyo,” which is often thought to be the most beautiful essay in Dogen’s monumental Shobogenzo. His wise and friendly voice shows us the questions Dogen poses and helps us realize what the answers could be. What does it mean for  mountains to walk? How are mountains an expression of Buddha’s truth, and how can we learn to hear the deep teachings of river waters? Throughout this luminous volume, we learn how we can live in harmony with nature in respect and gratitude—and awaken to our true nature.

Shohaku Okumura is abbot of Sanshin Zen Community in Bloomington, Indiana. He is the author of many books on Zen Buddhism and continues to lead intensive meditation retreats at Sanshin-ji and other centers in the United States and around the world.

"Shohaku-san is a kind of very rare and precious spiritual resource for English-speaking people who are interested in Dogen’s Zen."

– from the foreword by Issho Fujita, director, Soto Zen Buddhism International Center

More books from this author: Shohaku Okumura