Dogen’s Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki

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“This translation is not only Dōgen’s instructions, handwritten by his successor Ejo and transmitted to us. It’s as if the reader were there over and over again with the myriad examples and instructions straight from Dōgen. With the combination of Dōgen’s poetry, this gives a light and creative quality. I was struck by the simplicity of Okumura-roshi’s presentation, which is the profundity of Zen. This book will stand and speak as a classic—openly shared and digested for the true Zen student.”—Jakusho Kwong-roshi, author of No Beginning, No End; Breath Sweeps Mind; and Mind Sky

“Shōhaku Okamura’s ongoing work of translation and commentary has for many years shaped my understanding of Dōgen’s teaching. A deeply devoted Zen priest, his careful scholarship is matched by the modesty, straightforwardness, and thoroughness of his interpretations. Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki is two important volumes in one: part 1 is the Zuimonki itself, Dōgen’s informal instructions to his close disciples, freshly translated with lucid comments and notes; and part 2 is the first full translation of Dōgen’s waka poems to include extensive Buddhist commentary, referencing a range of Dōgen’s other writings. I am thrilled and grateful to have both these important new additions to Dōgen in English; they will give readers a much fuller appreciation of the range of this great master’s expression.”—Norman Fischer, poet and Zen priest, author of When You Greet Me I Bow; The Museum of Capitalism; and Selected Poems

“This book is a long overdue new translation of Dōgen’s Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki, his informal Dharma talks, and perhaps his most accessible teachings, as recorded by his disciple Ejō. Shōhaku Okumura brings extensive Zen practice and scholarship to this translation offering footnotes, biographies, and commentary. An added bonus to this book is the addition of Okumura’s evocative translations and commentaries on Dōgen’s waka poems. If you are a Dōgen fan, this book is a must for your library.” —Shinshu Roberts, author of Being-Time: A Practitioner’s Guide to Dōgen’s Shōbōgenzō Uji


The New Annotated Translation—Also Including Dōgen's Waka Poetry with Commentary

Eihei Dōgen Shohaku Okumura

Discover the teachings of the preeminent Zen Master Dōgen in his own words, written down by his Dharma successor, Koun Ejō. This edition includes both the Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki and translations of and commentary on Dōgen’s luminously evocative waka poetry. 

Distinct from Dōgen’s similarly titled magnum opus (simply called the Shōbōgenzō), the Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki can be read as a highly practical manual of Buddhist practice. Consisting of straightforward and accessible teachings and making more limited use of the allusion, wordplay, and metaphor that characterize the essays in the Shōbōgenzō, this work is an essential read for any student of Zen Buddhism. Among the many topics covered, Dōgen 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.” Additionally, this translation of the Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki has extensive notes, which help to provide you with a new way of approaching the text. 

The collection of waka poems included in this volume are a beautiful artistic expression of the Dharma. Rarely seen in this large of a collection or with commentary, this poetry offers unique insight into an important expression of Dōgen’s teachings. 

By the spring wind
my words are blown and scattered
people may see them
the song of flowers

These teachings, which have informed teachers and practitioners alike throughout the centuries, will deepen your knowledge, understanding, and experience of the Sōtō Zen tradition.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 512 pages, 6 x 9 inches
  • $49.95
  • ISBN 9781614295730
  • ebook
  • 512 pages
  • $33.99
  • ISBN 9781614295976
about the author
Dogen’s Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki

Eihei Dōgen founded the Japanese Sōtō School of Zen, and is renowned as one of the world’s most remarkable religious thinkers. As Shakespeare does with English, Dōgen utterly transforms the language of Zen, using it in novel and extraordinarily beautiful ways in his voluminous writings. Born in 1200 to an aristocratic background, he was ordained a monk in the Japanese Tendai School in his early teens, but became dissatisfied with Japanese Buddhism. After traveling in China from 1223 to 1227, he returned to introduce to Japan the Sōtō lineage and the large body of Chan teaching stories, or koans, which he had thoroughly mastered. From 1233 to 1243 he taught near the cultural capital of Kyoto, then in 1243 moved to the remote northern mountains and founded the temple Eiheiji, still one of the headquarter temples of Sōtō Zen. There, until his illness and death in 1253, he trained a core group of monks who spread Sōtō Zen throughout the Japanese countryside. Dōgen’s writings are noted for their poetic and philosophic depth, though aimed at spiritual practitioners. His two major, massive works are Shōbōgenzō (True Dharma Eye Treasury) and Eihei Kōroku (Dōgen’s Extensive Record). Although not studied for many centuries aside from Sōtō scholars, in modern times Dōgen’s writings, through translation, have become an important part of the spread of Buddhism in the West.

Other books by Eihei Dōgen:
Dōgen’s Extensive Record
How to Raise an Ox

Dogen’s Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki

Shohaku Okumura is a Soto Zen priest and Dharma successor of Kosho Uchiyama Roshi. He is a graduate of Komazawa University and has practiced in Japan at Antaiji, Zuioji, and the Kyoto Soto Zen Center, and in Massachusetts at the Pioneer Valley Zendo. He is the former director of the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center in San Francisco. His previously published books of translation include Shobogenzo ZuimonkiDogen ZenZen Teachings of Homeless Kodo, and Opening the Hand of Thought. Okumura is also editor of Dogen Zen and Its Relevance for Our Time; and SotoZen. He is the founding teacher of the Sanshin Zen Community, based in Bloomington, Indiana, where he lives with his family.

Other books by Shohaku Okumura:
Mind Sky
Squabbling Squashes
Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom
The Mountains and Waters Sutra
Dōgen’s Extensive Record
The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo
Realizing Genjōkōan
Living by Vow
Opening the Hand of Thought

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