Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist (3rd Edition) by Hee-Jin Kim

By Hee-Jin Kim

Contributor Note: ahead through Taigen Dan Leighton

Eihei Dogen, the founding father of the japanese department of the Soto Zen Buddhist university, is taken into account one of many world's so much amazing spiritual philosophers. Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist is a accomplished creation to the genius of this tremendous philosopher. This thirteenth-century determine has a lot to educate us all and the questions that drove him have continuously been on the center of Buddhist practice.

At the age of 7, in 1207, Dogen misplaced his mom, who at her dying earnestly requested him to develop into a monastic to hunt the reality of Buddhism. we're advised that during the midst of profound grief, Dogen skilled the impermanence of all issues as he watched the incense smoke ascending at his mother's funeral provider. This left an indelible effect upon the younger Dogen; later, he could emphasize again and again the intimate courting among the will for enlightenment and the notice of impermanence. His lifestyle wouldn't be a sentimental flight from, yet a compassionate realizing of, the insupportable fact of existence.

At age thirteen, Dogen bought ordination at Mt. Hiei. And but, a query arose: "As I examine either the exoteric and the esoteric colleges of Buddhism, they preserve that people are endowed with Dharma-nature through beginning. if so, why did the buddhas of every age - unquestionably in ownership of enlightenment - locate it essential to search enlightenment and have interaction in non secular practice?" while it grew to become transparent that nobody on Mt. Hiei may provide a passable solution to this non secular challenge, he sought somewhere else, finally making the treacherous trip to China. This was once the genuine starting of a lifetime of relentless wondering, perform, and instructing - an immensely inspiring contribution to the Buddhadharma.

As you may think, a e-book as bold as Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist needs to be either academically rigorous and eminently readable to prevail. Professor Hee-Jim Kim's paintings is certainly either.

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Example text

His fellow disciple and brother in the Dharma,Yang-shan, criticized the first stanza for being too dependent on the master’s style and not directly expressive of personal experience. So Hsiang-yen composed these lines: My poverty of last year was not real poverty. This year it is want indeed. In last year’s poverty there was room for a piercing gimlet. In this year’s poverty even the gimlet is no more. Perhaps Hsiang-yen was thinking of the philosophical notion of “emptiness” from the Wisdom sutras.

The most prominent of Kuei-shan’s disciples were Yang-shan Huichi (807–883) and Hsiang-yen Chih-hsien (d. 898), both of whom were deeply bound to their master and were as brothers to each other. Indeed, the chronicles praise the familial atmosphere in the House of Kuei-yang. This particular trait is evident in the story of Hsiang-yen’s enlightenment, which for a number of reasons ranks among the most famous Zen stories. Master Kuei-shan questioned Hsiang-yen about his original being before his birth.

Five cases were taken from sutras, but the greater part of the collection is made up of cases from the masters of the T’ang period and from the Five Houses. The same names and sometimes the same episodes and words found in other koan collections appear in Wan-song’s collection. Often the Keitoku dentoroku serves him as a source. Wansong’s rather formidable volume first appeared in 1224, nearly a century after the Hekiganroku. The cases of the Shoyoroku have become part of Zen’s koan tradition. The Mumonkan, a collection of “forty-eight cases of enlightenment of the Buddhas and patriarchs,” appeared at the end of the Song period (1229) and represents the most mature of the koan collections.

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