[ KINDLE ] ⚆ Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen ☩ MOBI eBook or Kindle ePUB free

I picked up a copy of this book because I am still a little intimidated by the prospect of reading the complete Shobogenzo I know it s going to happen, and I know it s not going to happen in the near future This collection of Dogen Zenji s writings is still pretty big, but it s much portable, and it s a much less daunting way to begin exploring his work.For the non Zen nerds reading this, Dogen Zenji was the founder of the Soto Zen school of Buddhism, and lived in Japan in the 13th century After his parents died when he was quite young, he became a monk, and eventually travelled to China and learned from many illustrious Teachers before coming back to Japan He is famous for the enormous amount of writings he left behind including the aforementioned Shobogenzo and his philosophy, which put special emphasis on the practice of zazen meditation.I have always had a soft spot for Dogen because he was one of the few Buddhist teachers who vocally condemned the sexism of the institution by saying that women were just as capable of practising and attaining enlightenment as the male monks were not a popular opinion at the time see Zen Women But gender politics aside, there is a lot of very interesting things about Dogen s writing The only problem is that while some of his essays are crystal clear, others are extremely convoluted sometimes to the point of impenetrable That s OK, it usually just means they are worth revisiting from time to time, to see if perhaps we ve gained some insight since the last reading And speaking of insight, this book s note section doesn t include any commentary or interpretation, so if you aren t familiar with the texts already, it can get a little confusing I was already familiar with some of the essays in this book, from reading a lot of books on Soto Zen, where Dogen is frequently quoted or referred to, but it s nice to have all the material in one place Here are a few quotes that I especially stuck with me You should know that kind speech arises from kind mind, and kind mind from the seed of compassionate mind You should ponder the fact that kind speech is not just praising the merit of others it has the power to turn the destiny of the nation To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening There is a simple way to become a buddha When you refrain from unwholesome actions, are not attached to birth and death, and are compassionate towards all sentient beings, respectful to seniors and kind to juniors, not excluding or desiring anything, with no designing thoughts or worries, you will be called a buddha Do not seek anything else If you are interested in Zen, you are going to have to read Dogen eventually though probably not very early in the process When you feel ready for it, this is an excellent place to start Also consider Brad Warner s books on the Shobogenzo , namely Sit Down and Shut Up , Don t Be a Jerk and It Came From Beyond Zen He knows what he s talking about. A book kept at hand by my bed. Viewing Peach Blossoms and Realizing the WayIn spring windpeach blossomsbegin to come apart.Doubts do not growbranches and leaves pg 214The amount of wisdom in this collection of writings by 13th Century Zen Master Dogen is devastating I had to read the book very slowly, sometimes only a single page per day The book is broken into five main parts after a brief but interesting introduction and biography of the man Part 1, Practical Instructions Part 2, Philosophical Works Part 3, Poetic Imagery Part 4, Transmission of the teaching and Part 5, PoemsThe material here is rich Particularly in the Philosophical Works section, I didn t feel any amount of intellectual foundation work could prepare me for Dogen Zenji s writings Rather, steady and focused Zen practice seemed the only helpful context That said, it seems a lifetime of practice could be spent contemplating his work This stuff goes deep No wonder we are still reading his work over 800 years later and still finding it shockingly relevant.The translations in this book are outstanding They make what are already pretty universal topics present tense living even relevant One would never figure the age of these texts from the clear and concise language used in the translations.All in all, I am very hesitant to recommend this book to anyone who hasn t had much exposure to Zen writing and thought This would certainly be a challenging read for anyone with scant experience practicing Zen meditation That said, the work here is so often beyond gorgeous that I would love to share it with anyone interested Shunryu Suzuki may be a better place to start but students shouldn t wait too long to dive into Dogen There is a lifetime of contemplation here one should get started right away. Beautiful meditations on life, death, language, liberation I didn t feel like I could read this book from cover to cover, because after a while it feels like you ve stepped into Wonderland and the same linguistic terms just keep repeating over and over But reading it bit by bit, it helps you step out of the habits of daily living and see the world with new eyes.What I appreciated most about this publication was the glossary in the back that explained unfamiliar terms and allusions I felt like it was a great introduction to Zen thought, even if it wasn t very well organized. [ KINDLE ] ♡ Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen ♌ Eihei Dogen , Among The First To Transmit Zen Buddhism From China To Japan And Founder Of The Important Soto School, Was Not Only A Profoundly Influential And Provocative Zen Philosopher But Also One Of The Most Stimulating Figures In Japanese LettersKazuaki Tanahashi, Collaborating With Several Other Zen Authorities, Has Produced Sensitive And Accurate Translations Of Dogen S Most Important Texts Moon In A Dewdrop Contains The Key Essays Of The Great Master, As Well As Extensive Background Materials That Will Help Western Readers To Approach This Significant Work There Is Also A Selection Of Dogen S Poetry, Most Of Which Has Not Appeared In English Translation BeforeDogen S Thought Runs Counter To Conventional Logic, Employing Paradoxical Language And Startling Imagery It Illuminates Such Fundamental Concerns As The Nature Of Time, Existence, Life, Death, The Self, And What Is Beyond Self Dogen s writing can run from straightforward practical instruction to completely confusing discussions along the lines of A is B, but not B is not not A A is not B, but B is A A is A B is B Consider this deeply A little bit of the latter goes a really long way for me, but the approachable selections outweigh the genuinely obscure ones in this collection Don t expect much help from Tanahashi s notes, they could be better organized and don t clarify much anyway. This is a book I will be reading for the rest of my life, and am almost certain I will never understand, but will always appreciate. Under the burdenof solitude,under the burdenof dissatisfactionthe weight,the weight we carryis love Allen Ginsberg 3 June 1926 5 April 1997 Newark, New Jersey The village I finally reachEihei Dogen 1200 1253 is one of the great teachers of Zen Buddhism and an inspiring poet and writer.Dogen ordained as a monk at the age of fourteen and started studying Zen at eighteen He went to China at the age of twenty four to complete his study He established his first training centre Kosho Monastery when he was thirty four and started building a full scale monastery in a remote province of Echizen at the age of forty four He died at the age of fifty four So far the statistics of his life.Next to his formal writings alto the difference is not too big Dogen also wrote poetry in a Chinese style of thirty one syllables, five, seven, five, seven and seven sentences Following his sincere aspiration to realise wholeness Dogen studied in China at Tiantong Monastery there the abbot immediately acknowledged him The dharma gate of face to face transmission from buddha to buddha, ancestor to ancestor, is actualized now Alto it took Dogen two years to drop away body and mind and come to the great realisation of wholeness Then he understood fully in body and mind that from the very beginning wholeness is the fundamental reality for all beings That in fact every form of life is an all inclusive manifestation of original wholeness it s only our dualistic thinking that prevents us from knowing our complete and original self.As a result Dogen spent the rest of his lifetime teaching and writing so that others might also clarify the great matter of birth and death In this volume the translators allow us to walk with Dogen as one of lives great teachers and allow us to discover Dogen as a true companion.the village I finally reachdeeper than the deep mountainsindeedthe capitalwhere I used to live Eihei Dogen 1200 1253 We shall not cease from explorationAnd the end of all our exploringWill be to arrive where we startedAnd know the place for the first time The Little Gidding is the last of T S Eliot s Four Quartets The writings of a zen master can sometimes be difficult to understand But the writings of Dogen are so clear they can be confusing This book is a selection of his enormous corpus of literature and some of the ideas surrounding the self, being and not being rival the ideas of Sartre, Heidegger, Camus, and Marleau Ponty for existential importance It is amazing to think that his ideas recently were rediscovered.As for Buddhist thought it is beautifully written and often peaceful to read Trying to think beyond yourself, placing yourself as part of the whole of the universe is expounded over and over again His idea of zazen, or sitting zen is a beautiful thought that just by sitting one can obtain enlightenment I look forward to obtaining complete works of Dogen but until then this condensed collection of his sayings will have to do. As a sample collection of Dogen s material, it comes as no surprise that there will be highs and lows in the collection Parts are confounding and beautiful Parts are simple, yet overwhelming And parts are informational about different formal approaches to Buddhism As always, many portions of this text should be reread because the effect of the teaching is a lifetime of practice.