Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Dōgen, aka Dōgen Kigen, Eihei Dōgen, titled as Dōgen Zenji NULL

Japanese Zen Monk, Zen Buddhist Teacher and Founder of the Soto School of Zen in Japan. "Zenji" is a title meaning zen master, and the name Dogen means roughly "Source of the Way"

"Life and death are nothing but the mind. Years, months, days, and hours are nothing but the mind. Dreams, illusions, and mirages are nothing but the mind. The bubbles of water and the flames of fire are nothing but the mind. The flowers of the spring and the moon of the autumn are nothing but the mind. Confusions and dangers are nothing but the mind."

"To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things."

"To study Buddhism is to study ourselves. To study ourselves is to forget ourselves."

"But do not ask me where I am going, as I travel in this limitless world,where every step I take is my home."

"Coming, going, the waterbirds don't leave a trace, don't follow a path."

"Just practice good, do good for others, without thinking of making yourself known so that you may gain reward. Really bring benefit to others, gaining nothing for yourself. This is the primary requisite for breaking free of attachments to the Self."

"Yet you must not cling to the words of the old sages either; they, too, may not be right. Even if you believe them, you should be alert so that , in the event that something superior comes along, you may follow that."

"In the great way of going beyond, no endeavor is complete without being one with myriad things. This is ocean mudra samadhi."

"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life."

"If he cannot stop the mind that seeks after fame and profit, he will spend his life without finding peace."

"Students today should begrudge every moment of time. This dewlike life fades away; time speeds swiftly. In this short life of ours, avoid involvement in superfluous things and just study the Way."

"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?"

"Enlightenment is intimacy with all things."

"Set aside all involvements and let the myriad things rest. Zazen is not thinking of good, not thinking of bad. It is not conscious endeavour. It is not introspection. Do not desire to become a buddha; let sitting or lying down drop away. Be moderate in eating and drinking. Be mindful of the passing of time, and engage yourself in zazen as though you are saving your head from fire."

"Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water. Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky."

"You should study not only that you become a mother when your child is born, but also that you become a child."

"What is Reality? An icicle forming in fire."

"A zen master's life is one continuous mistake."

"Studying the Buddha way is studying oneself. Studying oneself is forgetting oneself. Forgetting oneself is being enlightened by all things. Being enlightened by all things is to shed the body-mind of oneself, and those of others. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this traceless enlightenment continues endlessly. "

"That you carry yourself forward and experience the myriad things is delusion. That the myriad things come forward and experience themselves is awakening"

"Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to Dharma see no Dharma in everyday actions; they have not discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of Dharma."

"Handle even a single leaf of green in such a way that it manifests the body of the Buddha. This in turn allows the Buddha to manifest through the leaf."

"Refraining from all evil, not clinging to birth and death, working in deep compassion for all sentient beings, respecting those over you and pitying those below you, without any detesting or desiring, worrying or lamentation - this is what is called Buddha. Do not search beyond it."

"It is present everywhere. There is nothing it does not contain. However only those who have previously planted wisdom - seeds will be able to continuously see it."

"All that's visible springs from causes intimate to you. While walking, sitting, lying down, the body itself is complete truth. If someone asks the inner meaning of this: "Inside the treasury of dharma eye a single grain of dust."

"Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment."

"Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself. Your body and mind will become clear and you will realize the unity of all things."

"A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it."

"Understand clearly that when a great need appears a great use appears also; when there is a small need there is small use; it is obvious, then, that full use is made of all things at all times according to the necessity thereof."

"Do not be concerned with the faults of other persons. Do not see others' faults with a hateful mind. There is an old saying that if you stop seeing others' faults, then naturally seniors and venerated and juniors are revered. Do not imitate others' faults; just cultivate virtue. Buddha prohibited unwholesome actions, but did not tell us to hate those who practice unwholesome actions."

"When we discover that the truth is already in us, we are all at once our original selves."

"Forgetting oneself is opening oneself."

"Each moment of zazen is equally wholeness of practice, equally wholeness of realization. This is not only practice while sitting, it is like a hammer striking emptiness: before and after, its exquisite peal permeates everywhere. How can it be limited to this moment?"

"Clarify and harmonize your life without losing the Single Eye which sees the context or the two eyes which recognize the details."

"Take continuous care."

"Work... wasting a moment. If you do this and everything that you do whole-heartedly, this nourishes the seeds of Awakening."

"The longness and shortness of the present moment can be recognized by utilizing a big image of the moon, which is reflecting on the surface of the ocean, and a small image of the moon on the surface of a cup of water, or in another example the very wide scale of the whole sky itself, and the very narrow space of the moon, which is shining in the sky."

"Nothing in the entire universe is hidden."

"Use your own hands, your own eyes, your own sincerity."

"Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself."

"Do not fragment your attention but see what each moment calls for."

"Do not miss the opportunity of offering even a single drop into the ocean of merit or a grain atop the mountain of the roots of beneficial activity. "

"It is wrong to cling to what you should not believe in, or to fail to ask about a truth you should seek."

"You should not lend support to the misconduct of others."

"Innate enlightenment... inseparable from [correct, attuned] practice. "

"Diligently apply yourself, and whatever arises as 'just for a while'. "

"Swim as they may, fish find no end to the sea; fly as they may, birds find no end to the sky."

"When the wicked group together, they obscure the wise. "

"To listen to the praise of the worldly is to take the unwise as the wise, to take the unintelligent as the intelligent, to take the disloyal as the loyal, to take the unfaithful as the faithful."

"What the worldly praise is not always wise, is not always holy; what the worldly disparage is not always wise, is not always holy. "