This is a collection of Zen Master Dogen’s essays, Fukan-zazengi, A Universal Recommendation for Zazen; Shobogenzo Genjo-koan, The realized Universe; Shobogenzo Sanjusiti-bon-Bodai-bunpo Shinenju, Thirty-seven Elements of Bodhi The Four Abodes of Mindfulness.
Master Dogen is the founder of the Soto school of Zen in Japan. He is the 52nd generation as Zen patriarch. He was transmitted the Buddha-Dharma from his teacher Rujing in China.
In order to transmit the Dharma-Seal to his disciples, he wrote 95 volumes Zen essays, Shobogenzo, The Right-Dharma-Eye Treasury. Shobogenzo is written from the state of enlightenment which he had experienced. He preaches us what is satori; Zen enlightenment, what kind of prospect spreads after getting realized, and how to practice to attain satori. Being so, it might be difficult to advocate the true meaning of Shobogenzo, if it is not a roshi who is enlightened same as Master Dogen.
Gien Inoue roshi(1894-1981) got enlightened and spent his life as a Shike; teaching master of Soto school and he advocated Shobogenzo throughout his life. His son, Kando Inoue roshi(1944-) who was transmitted Buddha-Dharma from Gien roshi has also advocated Shobogenzo throughout his life all over Japan. From their preaching, we can get what Dogen Zenji intended to show us; the truth of our existence.
Gien Inoue roshi says that the enlightenment in Buddhism is to go through to the root of our origination that we are born without knowing. Although we are now able to live in the awakened state, toward it a doubt arises with thoughts and discrimination, which becomes a problem. To realize truly the fundamental mistake bottomless is the enlightenment of the Dharma, he indicates.
And everybody can be through like Zen adepts by the practice being free from thoughts and discrimination. The deportment of the practice is not to fall into thoughts and discrimination, to be free from your views, and to be just as the functioning of the six organs as tools. When keeping suchlike practice, you can come to attain the state as the Buddha-Dharma in the real world, you are able to live on the activity free and limitless, he preaches.
I am now studying under Kando Inoue roshi. For four years, having transcribed Kando roshi’s sermons of Shobogenzo, I learned that transcription should be expressed as it is without interpretation. Like Zen practice, being free from thoughts, views, and discrimination, we can accomplish our work exceedingly, which I have found. On translation I take the same method. I have been careful not to use conceptional words and the words expressing thoughts and ideas. I am faithful to the original text of Dogen Zenji. I have received advice from Kando roshi on the meaning of difficult words and the context behind the words in original Japanese text. Without his help, I could not have understood the true meaning of Dogen’s expressions and selected English expressions corresponding to the original.
I am truly grateful to Kando Inoue roshi for his generosity and kind guidance.
I am very thankful that I could run across many English translations of Dogen’s works by experienced people.