C3/82 Ji-kuin-mon



Sentences To Be Shown in the Kitchen Hall

Ji means “to show,” kuin means the Kitchen Hall of a temple, and mon means “sentences.” So Ji-kuin-mon means “Sentences To Be Shown in the Kitchen Hall.” This chapter was not originally included in Shobogenzo, but when Master Hangyo Kozen edited the 95-chapter edition in 1690, he included this chapter along with Bendowa and Ju-un-do-shiki. Master Dogen esteemed the value of cooking very highly in Buddhist temple life. He wrote a book called Tenzo-kyokun or “Instructions for the Cook.” The reason Master Dogen wrote this book, and the reason he revered the work of cooking in a Buddhist temple, is his experience in China. Just after arriving in China, he met an old monk who was proud to be the cook of his temple, and who explained the value of cooking in a temple as Buddhist practice itself. Later, Master Dogen saw another old monk who was working very diligently to dry seaweed for monks’ meals, and he realized how important it was for Buddhist monks to cook meals for the other practitioners in a temple. So Master Dogen expressed the same idea in this chapter.


C2/5 Ju-undo-shiki



Rules for the Hall of Heavy Cloud

Ju-undo or “the Hall of Heavy Cloud” was the name of the Zazen Hall of Kannon-dori-kosho-horin-ji temple. Shiki means rules. So Ju-undo-shiki means “Rules for the Hall of Heavy Cloud.” Kannon-dori-kosho-horin-ji temple was the first temple established by Master Dogen. He built it in Kyoto prefecture in 1233, several years after coming back from China. Ju-undo was the first Zazen Hall to be built in Japan. Master Dogen made these rules for the Hall, and titled them. The chapter was not included in Shobogenzo when the 75-chapter edition was compiled, but was added when the 95-chapter edition was compiled at the end of the 17th century. The inclusion of this chapter is very useful in understanding Shobogenzo, because what is written here represents in a concrete way Master Dogen’s sincere attitude in pursuing the truth.


C1/19 Shin-fukatoku



Mind Cannot Be Grasped [The latter]

The 95-chapter edition of Shobogenzo has two chapters with the same title Shin-fukatoku or Mind Cannot Be Grasped. We usually discriminate between the two chapters with the words “the former,” and “the latter.” The contents of the two chapters are different, but the meaning of the two chapters is almost the same. Furthermore, the end of each chapter records the same date – the summer retreat in 1241. However, while the former chapter says “preached to the assembly” this chapter says “written.” So it may be that the former chapter was a short-hand record of Master Dogen’s preaching, and the latter was Master Dogen’s draft of his lecture. This is only a supposition, and scholars in future may be able to find a more exact conclusion.


B5/93 Doshin



The Will to the Truth

Do, which means “way” or “truth,” is a translation of the Sanskrit word bodhi, and shin means “mind” or “will.” So doshin represents the Sanskrit bodhicitta. In this chapter, Master Dogen preached the will to the truth, devotion to the Three Treasures, the making of buddha-images, and practicing Zazen. The teachings of this chapter are rather concrete and direct, and so some Buddhist scholars have supposed that this chapter might have been preached for laymen and laywomen.


B4/92 Shoji




Sho means “life” and ji means “death,” so shoji means “life and death.” We have the words “life” and “death,” but Master Dogen did not recommend us to understand intellectually what our life and death are. He found value in our real day-to-day life itself. So in this chapter Master Dogen explained life-and-death as the real momentary state of our daily life in which life and death are combined.


B3/91 Yui-butsu-yo-butsu



Buddhas Alone, Together With Buddhas

Yui means “only” or “solely,” butsu means “buddha” or “buddhas” and yo means “and” or “together with.” Therefore Yui-butsu-yo-butsu means “buddhas alone, together with buddhas.” Yui-butsu-yo-butsu are very famous words in the Lotus Sutra. The sentence of the Lotus Sutra which includes the words yui-butsu-yo-butsu is “buddhas alone, together with buddhas are directly able to perfectly realize that all dharmas are real form.” In this chapter, Master Dogen explained what buddhas are.


B2/17 Hokke-ten-hokke



The Flower of Dharma Turns the Flower of Dharma

Ho means “Dharma,” “the law of the Universe,” or the Universe itself. Ke means “flowers.” So hokke means “the Universe which is like flowers.” The full title of the Lotus Sutra, Myoho-renge-kyo, “The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma,” is usually abbreviated to Hokke-kyo. So hokke also suggests the wonderful Universe as manifested in the Lotus Sutra. Ten means “to turn,” or “to move.” So hokke-ten-hokke means “the wonderful Universe which is like flowers is moving the wonderful Universe which is like flowers itself.” This is the Buddhist view of the Universe, and Master Dogen’s view. In this chapter, Master Dogen explains this view of the Universe, quoting many words from the Lotus Sutra. The message of the Lotus Sutra is “How wonderful is the Universe in which we are now living!” So here Master Dogen unfolds his view of the Universe, following the theory of the Lotus Sutra.


B1/45 Bodaisatta-shishobo



Four Elements of a Bodhisattva’s Social Relations

Bodaisatta means “bodhisattva,” a person who is pursuing the Buddhist truth; shi means “four”; and shobo means “elements of social relations” or “methods for social relations.” The four are dana, free giving; priya-akhyana, kind speech; artha-carya, helpful conduct; and samana-arthata, identity of purpose, or cooperation. Buddhism puts great value on our actual conduct. For this reason, our conduct in relating to each other is a very important part of Buddhist life. In this chapter Master Dogen preaches that these four ways of behaving are the essence of Buddhist life. He explains the real meaning of Buddhism in terms of social relations.


A12/95 Hachi-dainingaku



The Eight Truths of a Great Human Being

Ippyaku-hachi means one hundred and eight. Ho means Dharma, that is, the Buddha’s teachings or the Universe. Myo means clarity, brightness, or illumination. Mon means gate, that is, a means to something, or a partial aspect of something. So ippyakuhachi-homyo-mon means “one hundred and eight gates of Dharma-illumination.” In compiling this chapter Master Dogen quoted two long paragraphs from the sutra Butsu-hongyo-jikkyo, which is a biography of Gautama Buddha. The chapter is the 11th chapter of the 12-chapter edition of Shobogenzo, but it cannot be found in either the 95-chapter edition or the 75-chapter edition.


A11 Ippyakuhachi-hōmyōmon



One Hundred and Eight Gates of Dharma Illumination

Ippyakuhachi means “one hundred and eight.” Hō means Dharma; that is, the Buddha’s teachings or the universe. Myō means “clarity,” “brightness,” or “illumination.” Mon means “gate”; that is, a means to something, or a partial aspect of something. So ippyakuhachi-hōmyōmon means “one hundred and eight gates of Dharma illumination.” In compiling this chapter, Master Dōgen quoted two long paragraphs from the Butsuhongyōjikkyō, a biographical sutra about Gautama Buddha. This chapter forms the eleventh chapter in the twelve-chapter edition of the Shōbōgenzō, but it is not included in either the ninety-five–chapter edition or the seventy-five–chapter edition.