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Heart of Dogen's Shobogenzo, The

Norman Waddell, Masao Abe

Publication Year: 2002

The Heart of Doµgen’s Shoµboµgenzoµ provides exhaustively annotated translations of the difficult core essays of Shoµboµgenzoµ, the masterwork of Japanese Zen master Doµgen Kigen, the founder of Soµtoµ Zen. This book is centered around those essays that generations have regarded as containing the essence of Doµgen’s teaching. These translations, revised from those that first appeared in the 1970s, clarify and enrich the understanding of Doµgen’s religious thought and his basic ideas about Zen practice and doctrine. Doµgen’s uncommon intellectual gifts, combined with a profound religious attainment and an extraordinary ability to articulate it, make Shoµboµgenzoµ 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.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii

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pp. ix-xiii

This book offers annotated translations of eight key fascicles from Shōbōgenzō, the major work of Dōgen Kigen, 1200–1253, founder of Japanese Sōtō Zen. Among the fascicles translated are four—Bendōwa, Genjōkōan, Busshō, and Uji—that the Sōtō school has regarded as representing the heart of the entire collection. ...

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1. Fukanzazengi (Universal Promotion of the Principles of Zazen)

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pp. 1-6

Fukanzazengi is Dōgen’s first work. It was written in 1227, the year he returned from China. It is influenced by and in many ways resembles a number of similar tracts on zazen that existed in China, such as the one by tenth-century priest Chang-lu Tsung-tse. All are composed in a highly rhetorical, easily memorized ...

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2. Bendōwa (Negotiating the Way)

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pp. 7-30

Bendōwa, the second work Dōgen wrote after his return from China, is a treatise on zazen practice as the “right entrance” to the Dharma. A colophon states that it was “written mid-autumn [the fifteen day of the eighth month], the third year of Kangi [1231], by Shamon Dōgen, a Dharma-transmitter who has travelled to China.” ...

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3. Ikka Myōju (One Bright Pearl)

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pp. 31-38

The colophon attached to the fascicle states that it was “delivered at Kannondōri Kōshō-hōrin-ji, Uji, Yōshū , the eighteenth day of the fourth month, fourth year of Katei [1238].” Yōshū is an old name for the Yamashiro region where the capital Kyoto was located, so called after the Yung-chou district of ancient China. ...

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4. Genjōkōan (Manifesting Suchness)

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pp. 39-46

Genjōkōan was the second fascicle of Shōbōgenzō to be written. According to its colophon, it was written in mid-autumn [the eighth month], the first year of Tempuku [1233], for a lay disciple named Yōkōshū of Chinzei (an alternate name for Kyushu), about whom nothing else is known. It has been conjectured ...

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5. Uji (Being-Time)

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pp. 47-58

Uji was written at the beginning of winter, the first year of Ninji [1240], while Dōgen was teaching at the Kōshō-ji, south of Kyoto. It is one of the central fascicles of Shōbōgenzō, and one of the most difficult. In it, Dōgen investigates the normally highly abstract concept of time. Although the subject ...

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6. Busshō (Buddha-Nature)

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pp. 59-98

Busshō was delivered at the Kōshō-ji in the tenth month of 1241. Busshō is the longest of the fascicles and came to be regarded in the Sōtō school, along with Genjōkōan and Bendōwa, as one of the three central fascicles of Shōbōgenzō. In it, Dōgen takes the central Mahayana Buddhism position that sentient ...

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7. Sammai-Ō-Zammai (The King of Samadhis Samadhi)

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pp. 99-104

According to a colophon attached to Sammai-Ō-Zammai, it was delivered on the fifteenth day, the second month, the second year of Kangen [1244] at Kippōshōja [Yoshimine-dera] in the province of Echizen. The words Sammai-Ō-Zammaii appear in Nagarjuna’s Ta chih tu lun: “It is called the King of Samadhis Samadhi ...

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8. Shōji (Birth and Death)

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pp. 105-108

Shōji, the shortest fascicle included in Shōbōgenzō, is undated and lacks a colophon. Although not included in Dōgen’s own recension of Shōbōgenzō, Shōji is found in the Sōtō school’s official “Honzan” edition. Shōbōgenzō Shōji is, with Shōbōgenzō Zenki, one of two fascicles that deal specifically with the question of ...

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9. Zazengi (The Principles of Zazen)

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pp. 109-110

For zazen, a quiet place is suitable. Lay a cushion of thick matting. Keep the precincts protected, not allowing drafts of air, mist, rain, or dew to enter. In the past, Shakyamuni sat upon a Diamond Seat.1 Others sat atop large, stable rocks. They all used matting of thick grasses. The place where you sit should ...


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pp. 111-112


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pp. 113-118

E-ISBN-13: 9780791489338
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791452417
Print-ISBN-10: 0791452417

Page Count: 118
Publication Year: 2002