How to shobogenzo

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  • Neo
    Member
    • Nov 2012
    • 76

    How to shobogenzo

    Hello guys, so I decided that I'm about to study the Shobogenzo. I don't have any goals about getting anywhere with this, or to get any great understandings or things like that. I just want to start reading it....

    So I noticed there are a couple of free versions out there, are they recommended? I don't have a lot of money..

    Any other tips or suggestions how to approach this master piece?

    thanks!
    .. because he constantly forgets him self,
    he is never forgotten ..
  • Kokuu
    Treeleaf Priest
    • Nov 2012
    • 6785

    #2
    Hi Neo

    Personally, I have just started at the beginning and am working my way through fascicle by fasicle, letting the words wash over me. I have no goal to get everything on the first read through as I imagine that is pretty much impossible. So, some bits speak to me, others are more impenetrable. Sometimes I read fascicles out of sequence if they are referred to somewhere (like Taigu's Koku poem or the Ango chapter).

    Anyway, Jundo posted a helpful thread on how to read Dogen: http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...-to-Read-Dogen. He also has a thread comparing the different translations too but I can't find that at the moment.

    Although Shobogenzo is a large work with many layers I have been surprised at how engaging and accessible it is. Also very moving in parts and prescriptive in others. There is much depth still to penetrate.

    Enjoy!

    Andy

    Comment

    • Neo
      Member
      • Nov 2012
      • 76

      #3
      Hi karasu, thx for all info about the subject. I saw to the post of how to approach dogen, what I missed about that post was if there was any good free translation out there, like in .pdf or something.

      Which translation are you reading?
      .. because he constantly forgets him self,
      he is never forgotten ..

      Comment

      • Ryumon
        Member
        • Apr 2007
        • 1706

        #4
        Instead of tackling the entire Shobogenzo, I've been reading some if the many collections of excerpts. Right now, I'm reading How to Raise an Ox, and I have several others by different translators. (Search for Dogen on Amazon and you'll find more than a dozen.)

        These books are interesting because they select the most useful fascicles, and also have introductions that I find helpful.

        Gassho,

        Kirk


        (Posted from my iPhone; please excuse any typos or brevity.)
        ---
        Ryūmon (Kirk)
        流文

        SAT/LAH

        I know nothing.

        Comment

        • Taigu
          Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
          • Aug 2008
          • 2710

          #5
          Understand that shobogenzo, wether you get it or not, is not the point.
          Jundo has written deeply about this and how to read Dogen.

          My teacher's translation, Mike Cross , and Kaz's are the best rendering of this whirling flow.

          if you cannot read the whole thing, if you only have one chapter, go for Genjokoan.

          The whole shobogenzo is in your mudra when you sit. It is open in kids 's eyes. In cities of glass and steel. In deep mountains and in your very kitchen.

          go empty handed and trust.


          gassho


          T.

          Comment

          • Shohei
            Member
            • Oct 2007
            • 2854

            #6
            *Edit: (oh was very slow in typing this up and Taigu covered it all perfectly!)

            I would agree, rather than tackling the whole show, take in some by picking it up, reading a section and setting it down.
            Genjokoan is a wonderful one and the for translations there is the Nishijima/Cross translation which is wonderful, very detailed footnotes, very carefully translated (you can purchase or the pdf files of the 4 books are available for download) and the Tanahashi translation of it which is equally well done in a bit of a flowing/poetic way. A third option is the Shasta Abbey version (also available for download as a pdf) which is again a different flavour.

            Gassho
            Shohei

            Comment

            • Jundo
              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
              • Apr 2006
              • 39454

              #7
              Let me also drop this in the fire ...

              SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Dogen - A Love Supreme
              Really gettin' DOGEN'S WILD SOUND is a lot like gettin' THIS WILD SOUND ... (Please give a listen, and keep it playing while you read the rest of this post) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEAYIJfTJ3U I've described Dogen as a JHANA JAZZ MAN-POET, riffing and free expressing-reexpressing-bending-straightening-unbinding


              Some comments on the various versions out there are here, also in the "How to Read Dogen" thread. I second what everyone has expressed above too.

              SOME AVAILABLE ONLINE TRANSLATIONS OF SHOBOGENZO:
              LONG POST A few excerpts for some tips and hints I've posted from time to time for those who want to dip into a bit of Shobogenzo ... ---- In my own "in a nutshell" description of how to approach Shobogenzo ... I often describe Dogen as a Jazzman, bending and re-livening the "standard tunes" of Zen


              Gassho, J
              Last edited by Jundo; 12-19-2013, 01:54 AM.
              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

              Comment

              • Edward E
                Member
                • Nov 2013
                • 17

                #8
                Thank you for the insight comparing Coltrane and Dogen. I was into Coltrane (especially A Love Supreme) way before I knew anything about Zen. I can see how Dogen may be riffing on known themes, like JC did on "My Favorite Things." JC's brilliant improvs were the result of hours of practice - often >10 hours per day. We could say the same of Dogen.

                Eddie

                Comment

                • Kokuu
                  Treeleaf Priest
                  • Nov 2012
                  • 6785

                  #9
                  Neo, I have the Tanahashi translation and like it a lot. Is expensive, though, especially when compared to the freely downloadable Nishijima/Cross version.

                  I am a beginner when it comes to Dogen and what Taigu and others say is true that it is good to concentrate on certain fascicles that are the cornerstone of Dogen's thinking - Bendowa, Genjokoan, Being Time (Uji) and (not in Shobogenzo) Fukanzazengi. However, I am so glad I am working through Shobogenzo methodically as there are many parts not considered so important that I have got a great deal from.

                  Do take it slow, though. I have had my copy for nearly a year and have only read about 20 fascicles as find one needs to sink in before starting another. To rush would seem like having a whole cake and eating it all at once.

                  One last thing - reading Okamura's 'Realizing Genjokoan' was very helpful in introducing me to how Dogen thinks.

                  Gassho
                  Andy

                  Comment

                  • Jishin
                    Member
                    • Oct 2012
                    • 4820

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Taigu

                    My teacher's translation, Mike Cross , and Kaz's are the best rendering

                    T.
                    I have heard this many times but ignored until now. I downloaded a free copy and indeed found it the most approachable version for a knuckle head like me thus far. :-)

                    Gassho, John

                    Comment

                    • Hans
                      Member
                      • Mar 2007
                      • 1853

                      #11
                      Hello,

                      just my two cents. Studying the Shobogenzo cannot be done in any meaningful way without a regular practise of Zazen.
                      If you don't rub the two wooden sticks of sitting practise and dharma study together, the one will not "enlighten" or even inflame the other.
                      One refers to the other, the other to the one. In the end both are perfect expressions of each other, without ever having be seperate.

                      Gassho,

                      Hans Chudo Mongen

                      Comment

                      • Ryumon
                        Member
                        • Apr 2007
                        • 1706

                        #12
                        I'm just reading part of a book called Beyond Thinking, which is a selection of texts about meditation from the Shobogenzo. It made me realize that it would be very useful if someone made a list of all the chapters of the Shobogenzo and graded them, similar to the way Jundo has graded books on the Treeleaf book list.

                        There are some chapters that are not very difficult to understand, and others that are quite dense and confusing. It could make it easier to approach the Shobogenzo if people knew where to begin.

                        Perhaps there's some way that we can do this as a group?




                        (Posted from my iPhone; please excuse any typos or brevity.)
                        ---
                        Ryūmon (Kirk)
                        流文

                        SAT/LAH

                        I know nothing.

                        Comment

                        • Myoshin

                          #13
                          Neo,

                          Taigu recommended the Genjokoan, if you like I can send you a copy of my book, the translation by Okumura on PDF,

                          Kirkmk,

                          Taigu made a kind of list on one thread of the most important chapters, I can try to find if interested the link, or the list I copy.

                          Comment

                          • Neo
                            Member
                            • Nov 2012
                            • 76

                            #14
                            Hey Myoshin, I would like that very much! How to send it?

                            I've started to study the Mike Cross version now, still @ the first chapter.
                            .. because he constantly forgets him self,
                            he is never forgotten ..

                            Comment

                            • Tiwala
                              Member
                              • Oct 2013
                              • 201

                              #15
                              I recently borrowed Kim's Mystical Realist from our uni library. Awesome book. Things are finally making sense.

                              Gassho, Ben
                              Gassho
                              Ben

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