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As an author and translator, Taigen has written nine books on key topic of Zen and bodhisattva Buddhism.

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Shambhala, 2015

This book discusses the teaching stories of Dongshan, the 9th century Chinese founder of the Soto tradition, later brought to Japan by Dogen. The joy of suchness–the ultimate true nature inherent in all appearance–shines throughout the teachings attributed to Dongshan. The teaching stories from the koans in which he is featured reveal the subtlety and depth of his teaching on the nature of reality. His subtle teachings about engagement with suchness, and how it is conveyed, remain vital today. These colorful stories concern the practice of engaging the tender freshness of Reality amid our busy lives. The book also has chapters on the rich Jewel Mirror Samadhi teaching poem attributed to Dongshan and his Five Degrees (or ranks) teaching, the profound core dialectical philosophy of Soto Zen. Taigen’s playful comments and those of modern figures such as Rimbaud, Donovan, Krishnamurti, Grace Slick, and Bob Dylan illuminate aspects of self and non-self, the immediacy of the path, and the practice nourishment offered by Dongshan.

Wisdom Publications, 2011

Zen continuously questions—this does not necessarily involve finding answers, but rather remaining present and upright in the middle of sustained questioning. The book has sections on Zazen as Inquiry, two sections with commentary on Dogen's teachings, and a section on spiritual poets Rumi, Bob Dylan, Mary Oliver, and Gary Snyder. the concluding section on American Zen social engagement.

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Oxford University Press, 2007

This book explicates the Zen Buddhist worldview through the writings of the Zen master Eihei Dogen (1200-1253), considered the founder of the Japanese Soto Zen tradition, which currently enjoys increasing popularity in the West. The book traces commentaries on the Lotus Sutra from a range of key East Asian Buddhist thinkers, including Daosheng, Zhiyi, Zhanran, Saigyo, Myoe, Nichiren, Hakuin, and Ryokan. But the main focus is Eihei Dogen, the 13th century Japanese Soto Zen founder who imported Zen from China, and whose profuse, provocative, and poetic writings are important to the modern expansion of Buddhism to the West. Dogen’s use of this sutra expresses the critical role of Mahayana vision and imagination as the context of Zen teaching, and his interpretations of this story furthermore reveal his dynamic worldview of the earth, space, and time themselves as vital agents of spiritual awakening in the bodhisattva project. Broader awareness of Dogen’s worldview and its implications can illuminate the possibilities for contemporary approaches to primary Mahayana concepts and practices.

Wisdom Publications, 2004

Eihei Dogen, the thirteenth-century founder of the Japanese Soto School of Zen, is known for two major works. The first work, the massive Shobogenzo (‘Treasury of the True Dharma Eye’), represents his earlier teachings and exists in numerous English translations. The second work, the Eihei Koroku, is a monumental collection including teachings from before he left Kyoto in 1243, but also almost all of what remains from Dogen’s mature teaching in his last decade at Eiheiji. Here are 531 short formal discourses to the monks training at his temple; longer informal talks; his choice of ninety koans with Dogen’s own verse comments; and his Chinese poetry from his student years in China to his last years. The Shobogenzo has received enormous attention in Western Zen and Western Zen literature, and with the publication of this watershed volume, the Eihei Koroku will surely rise to commensurate stature.

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Wisdom Publications, 2012

This book provides a practical introduction to the psychology of Bodhisattva practice, imagery, and imagination through the seven major archetypal bodhisattvas celebrated in East Asian Buddhism. Surveys of the iconography, basic Schools and teachings, colorful folklore, cultic history, and their primary liberative practices are presented for figures such as Manjushri, the sword-wielding prince of wisdom; Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion; Jizo, the monk/earth mother guardian of the afterlife and of hell beings; Maitreya, the next future Buddha; and Vimalakirti, trickster and vastly awakened lay-disciple of the historical Buddha. In addition, modern culture figures who exemplify aspects of the archetypal qualities and spiritual values and strategies of the different bodhisattvas are suggested, including persons ranging from Einstein, Dr. King, Bob Dylan, Elie Weisel, Toni Morrison, and Helen Keller.

Charles E. Tuttle Co., 2000

Hongzhi, twelfth century Chinese Zen master who was predecessor of the famed Japanese spiritual writer Dogen, is celebrated in Zen literature as one of its most artistically graceful stylists. In these inspirational writings Hongzhi uses nature metaphors and poetical prose to articulate the experience and awareness of serene illumination, the nondual objectless meditation commonly known to modern Zen students as “just sitting.” The introduction places his writings in the Zen tradition, including a discussion of the five ranks and the dialectics of Zen philosophy.

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Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1997

Zen Master Dogen (1200-1253) is widely considered one of the most profound, poetic, and insightful writers of the Buddhist tradition. This book includes an annotated translation of Dogen’s primary essay about the essential meaning and spirit of Zen meditation, along with an extensive, down-to-earth, and entertaining commentary by a prominent modern Japanese Zen Master, Uchiyama Roshi.

State University of New York Press, 1996

This book is a complete translation of “Eihei Shingi,” the major writing by the great thirteenth century Japanese Zen master Eihei Dogen about monastic practice and the role of community life in Buddhism. In addition to detailing procedural guidelines and instructions for monastic forms, in this work Dogen, noted for his profound and poetic insight, focuses on the appropriate attitudes and psychology for practitioners in community, and provides a collection of koans, or teaching stories, about spiritual community life. Along with the translation, the book includes a substantial introduction, informative annotation, and glossaries of persons mentioned in the stories and of traditional technical terms.

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Shambhala, 2015

The short verses in this book are responses to the 95 essays included in the modern compilations of Zen Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo [True Dharma Eye Treasury]. The intention in all the verses was to respond to the essence of what Dogen was saying. Sometimes this meant trying to distill the main point, sometimes responding to what seemed most provocative or impactful in each essay, always with the aspiration to somehow join in conversation with the ancestral master.

Routledge, 2006

The medieval period of Japanese religious history is commonly known as one in which there was a radical transformation of the religious culture. This book suggests an alternate approach to understanding the dynamics of that transformation. One main topic of analysis focuses on what Buddhism - its practices and doctrines, its traditions and institutions - meant for medieval Japanese peoples themselves. This is achieved by using the notions of discourse and ideology and juxtaposing various topics on shared linguistic practices and discursive worlds of medieval Japanese Buddhism.


Collating contributions from outstanding scholars in the field of Buddhist Studies, the editors have created an important work that builds on preliminary work on rethinking the importance and meaning of Kamakura Buddhism published recently in English, and adds greatly to the debate.

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