The Mountains and Waters Sutra

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A Practitioner’s Guide to Dogen’s “Sansuikyo”

Shohaku Okumura

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

So begins “Sansuikyō,” or “Mountains and Waters Sūtra,” a masterpiece of poetry and insight from Eihei Dōgen, the thirteenth-century founder of the Sōtō school of Zen.

Shohaku Okumura—renowned for his translations of and magisterial teachings on Dōgen—guides the reader through the rich layers of metaphor and meaning in “Sansuikyō,” which is often thought to be the most beautiful essay in Dōgen’s monumental Shōbōgenzō. His wise and friendly voice shows us the questions Dōgen 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.

book information
  • Paperback
  • 328 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 inches
  • $20.95
  • ISBN 9781614292937
  • Paperback
  • 328 pages
  • $17.99
  • ISBN 9781614292937
about the author
The Mountains and Waters Sutra

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:
Dogen’s Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki
Mind Sky
Squabbling Squashes
Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom
Dōgen’s Extensive Record
The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo
Realizing Genjōkōan
Living by Vow
Opening the Hand of Thought

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