D?gen Zenji was a Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher born in Ky?to, and the founder of the S?t? school of Zen in Japan after travelling to China and training under the Chinese Caodong lineage there. D?gen is known for his extensive writing including the Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma or Sh?b?genz?, a collection of ninety-five fascicles concerning Buddhist practice and enlightenment.
The primary concept underlying D?gen’s Zen practice is oneness of practice-enlightenment. In fact, this concept is considered so fundamental to D?gen’s variety of Zen-and, consequently, to the S?t? school as a whole-that it formed the basis for the work Shush?-gi, which was compiled in 1890 by Takiya Takush? of Eihei-ji and Azegami Baisen of S?ji-ji as an introductory and prescriptive abstract of D?gen’s massive work, the Sh?b?genz? (Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma).
Dogen is a profoundly original and difficult 13th century Buddhist thinker whose works have begun attracting increasing attention in the West. Admittedly difficult for even the most advanced and sophisticated scholar of Eastern thought, he is bound, initially, to present an almost insurmountable barrier to the Western mind. Yet the task of penetrating that barrier must be undertaken and, in fact, is being carried out by many gifted scholars toiling in the Dogen vineyard.
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