Master Dōgen is our sect’s founder. While he lived in Japan in the 13th century, he left us an enormous treasury of teaching. From his Shobogenzo to his Extensive Record and from his collection of Three Hundred Koans to his Standards for Monastic Practice, and on to his poetry and his Instructions to the Zen Cook, Dōgen Zenji’s offerings were his life made manifest. We owe contemporary Zen practice to Master Dōgen. Dogen Zenji , as a young monk in the Tendai tradition questioned his teachers. When he could not get satisfactory answers he did what all true masters do, he left home. Travelling to China he studied for a number of years and became intimate with what was called Serene Reflection Meditation, or Silent Illumination. Returning to Japan after receiving transmission from his Master, Dōgen Zenji began offering “True Buddhism” to his countrymen. He went on to found what has come to be known as Eiheiji, the chief Zen Training Temple of the Soto Zen sect even to this present day. Our founder, Matsuoka-roshi was the lamp holder who brought Dōgen’s teaching from Japan to the United States and from him through my Teacher to us.
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