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.
In 2015, I came across the teachings of Master Inoue Gien and realized that Dogen's teachings are about inheriting this enlightenment. All of his writings can be read from the perspective of enlightenment. Master Inoue Gien and his fifth son, Inoue Kando Roshi, have rightly inherited the Dharma of Zen Master Dogen, and have passed on the true Dharma through the advocacy of the Shobogenzo throughout their lives.
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. Though 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 talks 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 believe that this is still in its early stages. If I really know the content of words, I may come not to care about what words I use.
In his book "Genni-bi", Master Inoue Kando says, "There is no Buddha Dharma without enlightenment. There should not be such a thing.”
The Master Dogen’s ‘Genjho Koan’ explains what we need to practice in order to clarify our own state of enlightenment, the original face. To be aware that all things are unfolding before our perception, we need to do non-thinking zazen at any cost.
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.