Dogen wrote a number of different kinds of text. He wrote the Shobogenzo in which he uses no-holds-barred prose to express his understanding of Buddhism. He wrote poetry. He established organisation templates and behavioural rules for monks. Disciples gathered together informal records of his teachings.
You can use the drop down box on the right to see more information about Dogen’s writings and collections of his sayings.
Receiving the Teaching of the Precepts
In this document Dogen details ceremonies including the Dharma Transmission Ceremony (Shiho). This document is not traditionally made available in the public arena.
EIHEI GEN-ZENJI GOROKU
Record of Dogen Zenji’s Sayings
Sayings collected from ther Koshoji and Eiheiji periods, together with the Fukan Zazengi and Zazenshin form this collection. The texts were taken from the Dogen Osho Koroku by Wu-wai I-yuan of China at the request of Giin in 1264. It was first published in 1358.
Record of Master Dogen’s Sayings
This compendium spans 10 volumes, collecting Dogen’s sermons lectures, sayings, et cetera.
Religious Poems of Umbrella-Like Pine Tree
I have found one reference to this work, but no other information.
Rules for Junior Priests
This is not a separate work, but a number of other works collected into a single volume: Tenzo-kyokun,Tai-daikogogejari-ho, Fushukuhan-po, Bendo-ho, Shuryo-shingi and Chiji-shingi.
Memoirs of the Hokyo Period (1225-1227)
Memoirs of questions and answers on various matters exchanged between Dogen and Ju-ching. Named for the Hokyo period of the Sung dynasty, during which Dogen studied with Ju-ching at T’ien-t’ung.
FUKAN ZAZENGI 普勸坐禪儀
Recommendations for Doing Zazen (1227-1253)
In this short text, Dogen describes the practicalities of sitting and doing Zazen.
There is a version of the Fukan-zazengi in Dogen’s own hand, called the josho-bon (fair-copy edition) dated July 15, 1233. The popular edition is known as the rufu-bon. It can be found in the Eihei Gen-zenji goroku (1358) and Dogen osho koroku (1672). It is believed that Dogen wrote the first version of this immediately after his return from China in 1227, revising it continuously during the remainder of his life. For more detail, see the discussion by Bielefeldt (1988, chapters 1 and 2).
It is worth comparing the Fukan zazengi with Zazenyojinki of Keizan Jokin. The later work goes into more detail on the recommendations of the Fukan zazengi.
Discourse on the Practice of the Way (1231)
This is treated as part of some editions of the Shobogenzo.
- English translation Masunaga Reiho translator
The Treasury of the True Dharma-Eye (1231-1253)
This work brings together a number of talks and writings by Dogen. It has appeared in different structures at different times.
It is thought that Dogen undertook to compose 100 chapters, by reorganising and revising existing talks and texts and adding some new ones. The existing texts formed the 75 chapters of the first edition of the Shobogenzo. When he died, Dogen had completed only twelve new chapters, which forming a second group of chapters. Other short works were added to make up the larger chapter counts we see in later editions.
The thematics ordering of the 75 chapter edition is thought to be that chosen by Dogen. In contrast, Kozen (1648-1693) produced a 95-chapter edition in 1690 which arranged texts chronologically in order of first presentation or composition.
Access to some of the Shobogenzo is available through links on our Shobogenzo page.
EIHEI SHOSO GAKUDO-YOJINSHU
Advice on Studying the Way (1234)
This work has ten sections, each dealing with an individual topic.
MANA SHOBOGENZO OR SHINJI SHOBOGENZO
Shinji Shobogenzo (1235)
Mana here means Chinese or Kanji writing, as opposed to the Japanese kana. The Mana Shobogenzo is Dogen’s collection of 300 koans. This is currently unavailable in electronic form in the original Chinese, modern Japanese or in English.
- Windbell Publications have published Mike Luetchford’s translation and commentary.
Instructions for the Tenzo (1237)
The Tenzo is the chief cook in a Zen temple. Dogen provides instructions in the attention to be devoted to the preparation of food.
Shobogenzo Zuimunki (1238)
This was first published in 1651 (Keian-bon). A so-called popular edition (rufu-bon) was produced in 1770, and is the most widely used thereafter.
This work records Dogen’s discussions with his student Ejo. Ejo recorded these discussions and compiled them into this book.
TAIDAIKO GOGE JARIHO
Instructions on Revering Monastic Superiors (1244)
In this text, Dogen presents the appropriate etiquette for young monks dealing with their seniors.
- Japanese original
Detailed Instructions on Zazen (1245)
This text presents instructions for Zazen primarily aimed at the monastic community, in contrast to the Fukan Zazengi which targeted a more universal audience.
NIHONKOKU ECHIZEN EIHEIJI CHIJI SHINGI
Instructions for Administrators (1246)
Six administrators chiji of the Eiheiji temple are advised on how to treat the monastics and underlings. This complements the Tai-daiko goge-jariho.
This text gives detailed instruction in table etiquette and related matters.
KICHIJOZAN EIHEIJI SHURYO SHINGI
（キッショウサン エイヘイジ シュリョウ シンギ）
Rules for the Monastic Library (1249)