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June 11, 2017


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Dogen is mostly rubbish. Modern day japanese soto (and it's western derivatives) have nothing to do with Zen.

Mike: My main source of information for this blog is from Morten Schlutter's dissertation (1998) titled: Chan Buddhism in Song Dynasty China. Dogen is another can of worms as is his shikantaza.

You should really try to make this point without having to totally denigrate the Caodong tradition. It's nowhere near as simple as you suggest. I'd argue that Dogen (who never once uses the term "silent illumination" - and think about that...) is actually describing sitting as a process of "kensho-ing". Take the many admonitions of Soto teachers who taught that one should "sit and become buddha". That's a koan. It's not an assertion that sitting on your ass turns you into a buddha.

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