The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Shobogenzo)
The Shobogenzo is a collection of Dogen Zenji’s teachings that were given between August 1231 and January 1253. As the title indicates, this book thoroughly covers the main point (eye) of the True Dharma that was inherited by the successive ancestors following Shakyamuni Buddha.
Much of the book’s contents are sophisticated teachings that express in Dogen Zenji’s unique language his deeply enlightened mind. Even in modern times, this book is described as the greatest book on religious thought that has been produced in Japan.
The most common version of the Shobogenzo has 95 chapters. However, this edition was produced in 1690 by Dogen’s Dharma descendants based on the idea that Dogen Zenji had originally intended the Shobogenzo to have 100 chapters.
There are two editions of the Shobogenzo that Dogen Zenji edited himself: one with 75 chapters and a later version with twelve chapters. It seems that his intention was to systematically organize these editions, and include other chapters. However, he died before he was able to complete this project. For that reason, there are various editions of the Shobogenzo that have survived to the present day, including 60 chapter and 28 chapter versions.
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