ZEN Master Dogen Zenji

Dogen(道元)was a prominent Zen master during Kamakura period(1192-1133) in Japan.  He introduced Zen to Japan in the form of the Soto school of Zen (曹洞宗) and elaborated the meditation practice of shikan taza (只管打坐)or “just sitting.”

Dogen is world-widely known for his collection of Dharma essays, Shobogenzo (正法眼蔵).

In 1223, at age23, Dogen went to China and dedicated himself to Zen practice. In 1227, he studied with Soto lineage teacher Rujing (如浄)at Tiantong Monastery, where he was verified his enlightenment.

Upon returning to Japan in 1228, Dogen began to expound his understanding of Zen Buddhism through his writing. In 1246, he opened Daibutsu Monastery in Echizen Province northwest of Kyoto and renamed it as Eihei-ji Monastery, which remains one of the two head temples of Soto Zen in Japan.