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Moon In a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen
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Moon In a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  790 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Eihei Dogen (1200-1253), among the first to transmit Zen Buddhism from China to Japan and founder of the important Soto School, was not only a profoundly influential and provocative Zen philosopher but also one of the most stimulating figures in Japanese letters.

Kazuaki Tanahashi, collaborating with several other Zen authorities, has produced sensitive and accurate transla
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 31st 1995 by North Point Press (first published 1985)
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Adrian Astur Alvarez
May 04, 2012 Adrian Astur Alvarez rated it it was amazing
Viewing Peach Blossoms and Realizing the Way

In spring wind
peach blossoms
begin to come apart.
Doubts do not grow
branches and leaves.

-pg 214

The amount of wisdom in this collection of writings by 13th Century Zen Master Dogen is devastating. I had to read the book very slowly, sometimes only a single page per day. The book is broken into five main parts after a brief but interesting introduction and biography of the man:

Part 1, Practical Instructions; Part 2, Philosophical Works; Part 3, Poetic Imag
This is one of those shimmering books that changes every time I read it. Just when I think that I understand what it is saying to me, it pulls the rug out from underneath my feet. And I start over with it again. I will continue to read this book until I go to the grave, and I hope its indelible mark has left a trace on my mind.
Jul 06, 2012 Joseph rated it it was amazing
A book kept at hand by my bed.
Mar 31, 2011 Kenzie rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
Beautiful meditations on life, death, language, liberation. I didn't feel like I could read this book from cover to cover, because after a while it feels like you've stepped into Wonderland and the same linguistic terms just keep repeating over and over. But reading it bit by bit, it helps you step out of the habits of daily living and see the world with new eyes.
What I appreciated most about this publication was the glossary in the back that explained unfamiliar terms and allusions. I felt like
Jul 05, 2015 Scott rated it liked it
Dogen’s writing can run from straightforward practical instruction to completely confusing discussions along the lines of “A is B, but not-B is not not-A. A is not B, but B is A. A is A. B is B. Consider this deeply.” A little bit of the latter goes a really long way for me, but the more approachable selections outweigh the genuinely obscure ones in this collection.

Don’t expect much help from Tanahashi’s notes, they could be better organized and don’t clarify much anyway.
Aug 19, 2010 Bob rated it really liked it
As a sample collection of Dogen's material, it comes as no surprise that there will be highs and lows in the collection. Parts are confounding and beautiful. Parts are simple, yet overwhelming. And parts are more informational about different formal approaches to Buddhism. As always, many portions of this text should be reread because the effect of the teaching is a lifetime of practice.
Mar 09, 2009 Ali rated it it was amazing
This is a book I will be reading for the rest of my life, and am almost certain I will never understand, but will always appreciate.
Aug 28, 2015 dj rated it it was ok
ikkyu would have found this book to be invaluable kindling and/or toilet paper
Andrew Olsen
Aug 04, 2014 Andrew Olsen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books-1
The writings of a zen master can sometimes be difficult to understand. But the writings of Dogen are so clear they can be confusing. This book is a selection of his enormous corpus of literature and some of the ideas surrounding the self, being and not-being rival the ideas of Sartre, Heidegger, Camus, and Marleau-Ponty for existential importance. It is amazing to think that his ideas recently were rediscovered.

As for Buddhist thought it is beautifully written and often peaceful to read. Trying
Jun 03, 2009 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book years ago and have reread it many times. This is an excellent book on Zen Buddhism. It was written by Dogen Zenji, the founder of Soto Zen Buddhism in Japan.

He was born in 1200 in Japan and went to China to study Zen. He returned and founded Soto Zen Buddhism. His writings are clear and convey the wisdom of Zen.

One of my favorite chapters is Tenzo Kyoku or Instructions for the Cooks. He gives instructions for the cooks in the monastery, who because of their duties were not able
Dec 17, 2011 Luaba rated it it was amazing
Shelves: enlightening
This particular book is a translation of portions derived from Dogen's masterwork, Shobogenzo. I would suggest purchasing with this "Enlightenment Unfolds: The essential teachings of Zen Master Dogen" by the same author, it's somewhat like a follow-up. Also beneficial readings come from many of the works out there from the late modern master Taizan Maezumi. This book offers clear translations of some of the most central aspects of Dogen's fascinating style of Zen.
Abimelech Abimelech
I am not surprised Dogen came my way the way of Living Sober, and though a different sort of book, nonetheless another not so much to read through but read passages from anytime. I've already found the missing link for a work in progress through the words of Dogen. To the nightstand!
Enrique Valdivia
Feb 19, 2010 Enrique Valdivia rated it really liked it
Much of the later chapters were a bit esoteric. Seeing plum blossoms as eyes awakening was a nice way to welcome Spring this year.
Jure Godler
Dec 14, 2012 Jure Godler rated it it was amazing
My kind of book.
Joseph Crowe
Jan 13, 2016 Joseph Crowe rated it it was amazing
Mu =)
Joseph Michael Reynolds
Jul 28, 2012 Joseph Michael Reynolds rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-and-re-read
Essential, if you are serious about the question..
Jun 15, 2015 Brendan rated it it was ok
Recommended to Brendan by: NYPL
I wrote pretty much what I wanted in my review on "Beyond Thinking" - I'll take reading these two volumes and be done with it and know for damn sure I would never read his completed works.
Nov 13, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it
Just started this one - it's dense, but seems to be a good collection of various writings from this 13th century Japanese Zen Master.
Bill Gusky
Sep 17, 2011 Bill Gusky rated it really liked it
Great variety of writings. Pick it up, put it down, pick it up again and start someplace completely new. Hard not to find something worth chewing on.
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Justyn Shultz
Justyn Shultz rated it really liked it
Oct 29, 2013
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Sep 05, 2012
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Mar 24, 2012
Enmark Dalanon
Enmark Dalanon rated it it was amazing
May 22, 2013
Comarth Bockswanly
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Nov 08, 2012
Alice rated it it was amazing
Oct 18, 2011
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Dōgen Zenji (道元禅師; also Dōgen Kigen 道元希玄, or Eihei Dōgen 永平道元, or Koso Joyo Daishi) was a Zen Buddhist teacher and the founder of the Sōtō Zen school of Buddhism in Japan.
More about Dōgen...

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“There is a simple way to become buddha: When you refrain from unwholesome actions, are not attached to birth and death, and are compassionate toward all sentient beings, respectful to seniors and kind to juniors, not excluding or desiring anything, with no designing thoughts or worries, you will be called a buddha. Do not seek anything else.” 22 likes
“Emptiness is bound to bloom, like hundreds of grasses blossoming.” 4 likes
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