"This work analyzes Dōgen's formative doubt concerning the notion of original awakening as the basis for his unique approach to nonduality in the doctrines of the oneness of practice and attainment, the unity of beings and Buddha-nature, the simultaneity of time and eternity, and the identity of life and death"--Back cover.
Eihei Dogen, the founder of the Japanese branch of the Soto Zen Buddhist school, is considered one of the world's most remarkable religious philosophers. Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist is a comprehensive introduction to the genius of this brilliant thinker. This thirteenth-century figure has much to teach us all and the questions that drove him have always been at the heart of Buddhist practice. At the age of seven, in 1207, Dogen lost his mother, who at her death earnestly asked him to become a monastic to seek the truth of Buddhism. We are told that in the midst of profound grief, Dogen experienced the impermanence of all things as he watched the incense smoke ascending at his mother's funeral service. This left an indelible impression upon the young Dogen; later, he would emphasize time and again the intimate relationship between the desire for enlightenment and the awareness of impermanence. His way of life would not be a sentimental flight from, but a compassionate understanding of, the intolerable reality of existence. At age 13, Dogen received ordination at Mt. Hiei. And yet, a question arose: "As I study both the exoteric and the esoteric schools of Buddhism, they maintain that human beings are endowed with Dharma-nature by birth. If this is the case, why did the buddhas of all ages - undoubtedly in possession of enlightenment - find it necessary to seek enlightenment and engage in spiritual practice?" When it became clear that no one on Mt. Hiei could give a satisfactory answer to this spiritual problem, he sought elsewhere, eventually making the treacherous journey to China. This was the true beginning of a life of relentless questioning, practice, and teaching - an immensely inspiring contribution to the Buddhadharma. As you might imagine, a book as ambitious as Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist has to be both academically rigorous and eminently readable to succeed. Professor Hee-Jim Kim's work is indeed both.
Giun's Verse Comments on Dogen's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye
Author: Steven Heine
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
"This volume containing a translation, annotations, and historical studies of Giun's (1200-1253) Verse Comments on Dōgen's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Shōbōgenzō hinmokuju) represents the initial book-length contribution to a crucial though previously unnoticed sub-field in Japanese Buddhist studies involving text-historical and literary-philological examinations of a key example of the copious premodern collections of annotations and interpretations of the masterwork of Zen master Dōgen. It is the first study of the life and thought of Giun and of the 60-fascicle version of Dōgen's masterwork, which are crucial for understanding the history of the Sōtō Zen Buddhist sect's intellectual development. The main translation of this texts consists of four-line verses and capping phrases composed by Giun, which is accompanied by additional capping phrases that were contributed by an eighteenth-century commentator, Katsusdō Honkō. The book also provides an examination of the background and influences exerted on and by Giun's Verse Comments in relation to various aspects of Dōgen's writings and Zen thought in China and Japan"--
The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Shōbōgenzō) is the masterwork of Dōgen (1200–1253), founder of the Sōtō Zen Buddhist sect in Kamakura-era Japan. It is one of the most important Zen Buddhist collections, composed during a period of remarkable religious diversity and experimentation. The text is complex and compelling, famed for its eloquent yet perplexing manner of expressing the core precepts of Zen teachings and practice. This book is a comprehensive introduction to this essential Zen text, offering a textual, historical, literary, and philosophical examination of Dōgen’s treatise. Steven Heine explores the religious and cultural context in which the Treasury was composed and provides a detailed study of the various versions of the medieval text that have been compiled over the centuries. He includes nuanced readings of Dōgen’s use of inventive rhetorical flourishes and the range of East Asian Buddhist textual and cultural influences that shaped the work. Heine explicates the philosophical implications of Dōgen’s views on contemplative experience and attaining and sustaining enlightenment, showing the depth of his distinctive understanding of spiritual awakening. Readings of Dōgen’s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye will give students and other readers a full understanding of this fundamental work of world religious literature.
“Purifying Zen: Watsuji Tetsuro’s Shamon Dogen makes available in a clear and fluid translation an early classic in modern Japanese philosophy. Steve Bein’s annotations, footnotes, introduction, and commentary bridge the gap separating not only the languages but also the cultures of its original readers and its new Western audience.” —from the Foreword by Thomas P. Kasulis In 1223 the monk Dogen Kigen (1200–1253) came to the audacious conclusion that Japanese Buddhism had become hopelessly corrupt. He undertook a dangerous pilgrimage to China to bring back a purer form of Buddhism and went on to become one of the founders of Soto Zen, still the largest Zen sect in Japan. Seven hundred years later, the philosopher Watsuji Tetsuro (1889–1960) also saw corruption in the Buddhism of his day. Watsuji’s efforts to purify the religion sent him not across the seas but searching Japan’s intellectual past, where he discovered writings by Dogen that had been hidden away by the monk’s own sect. Watsuji later penned Shamon Dogen (Dogen the monk), which single-handedly rescued Dogen from the brink of obscurity, reintroducing Japan to its first great philosophical mind. Purifying Zen is the first English translation of Watsuji’s landmark book. A text intended to reacquaint Japan with one of its finest philosophers, the work delves into the complexities of individuals in social relationships, lamenting the stark egoism and loneliness of life in an increasingly Westernized Japan. In addition to an introduction that provides biographical details on Watsuji and Dogen, the translation is supplemented with a brief guide to the themes and ideas of Shamon Dogen, beginning with a consideration of the nature of faith and the role of responsibility in Watsuji’s vision of Dogen’s Zen. It goes on to examine the technical terms of Dogen’s philosophy and the role of written language in Dogen’s thought.
Explores how Soto monks between the 13th and 16th centuries developed new forms of monastic organization and Zen instructions and new applications for Zen rituals within lay life; how these innovations helped shape rural society; and how remnants of them remain in the modern Soto school, now the lar
In Mystics, William Harmless, S.J., introduces readers to the scholarly study of mysticism. He expolores both mystics' extraordinary lives and their no-less-extraordinary writings using a unique case-study method centered on detailed examinations of six major Christian mystics: Thomas Merton, Bernard of Clairvaux, Hildegard of Bingen, Bonaventure, Meister Eckhart, and Evagrius Ponticus. Rather than presenting mysticism as a subtle web of psychological or theological abstractions, Harless's case-study approach brings things down to earth, restoring mystics to their historical context.