Eihei Dōgen: Mystical Realist - Praise

Revised, Third Edition


368 pages, 6 x 9 inches


ISBN 9780861713769

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eBook Bundle (PDF, epub, mobi)


ISBN 9780861718399

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“An excellent single-volume overview of Eihei Dogen (1200-53), founder of the Soto school of Zen Buddhism.”—Japan Times

“This book is an excellent comprehensive introduction to Dogen’s massive corpus of intricate writings as well as to his elegantly simple yet profound practice. It stands as the best overall general introduction to Dōgen’s teaching.”—From the new foreword by Taigen Dan Leighton, editor and co-translator of Dōgen's Extensive Record: A Translation of the Eihei Koroku

“This book’s re-issue represents an important moment in the history of Dōgen studies. While there have been many developments in the historical and philosophical understanding of Dōgen’s contribution to Zen Buddhism, Kim’s work still stands out for the depth and clarity of its elucidation of Dōgen as a religious thinker and practitioner.”—Mark Unno, Editorial Board, Journal of Religious Ethics, and author of Shingon Refractions

“Down through the years and through its earlier editions, it was always to Dr. Kim’s book that I turned first in any matter relating to Dōgen. Now from his retirement from a fine academic career, we have the fruit of his lifetime of research and meditation. I am very grateful.”—Robert Aitken, author of Taking the Path of Zen and The Morning Star: New and Selected Zen Writings

“Dōgen is no easy read—fortunately Kim’s book, itself a polished gem, expertly guides a reader into what is simultaneously rich and playful in Dōgen’s Buddhist vision.”—William R. LaFleur, author of Awesome Nightfall: The Life, Times, and Poetry of Saigyo

“An essential volume in any Dōgen library.”—Zoketsu Norman Fischer, former abbot, San Francisco Zen Center, and author of Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up

“Kim’s work remains a beacon of scholarship into the mind of one of the most remarkable spiritual giants in the history of Zen.”—John Daido Loori, abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery

“Even beyond the realm of Dōgen studies, Eihei Dōgen: Mystical Realist remains a valuable contribution to all of modern Zen commentary, with Kim’s accessible presentation of thorough scholarship that does not reduce itself to dry intellectual analysis of doctrines or historical argumentation. Kim provides a subtle and clear discussion of Dōgen’s work as a practical religious thinker and guide. Kim zeroes in on key principles in Dōgen’s teaching. [ . . . ] The organization of this book is extraordinarily astute. After first providing background on Dōgen’s biography and historical context, Kim discusses with subtlety Dōgen’s zazen (seated meditation) as a mode of activity and expression. Kim then focuses on the centrality of the teaching of Buddha-nature to Dōgen’s teaching and practice. Finally, Kim elaborates the importance of monastic life to Dōgen’s teaching and training of his disciples. [ . . . ] Kim’s work provides us with the background to enjoy and play along with Dōgen’s teachings for ourselves, in the light of the universal liberation of Buddha-nature. [. . . ] Hee-Jin Kim’s landmark book (formerly titled Dōgen Kigen: Mystical Realist) is a valuable, highly insightful commentary on [Dōgen’s] work. This third edition has undergone a considerable amount of minor changes and corrections, largely in the translations of Dōgen’s works. The volume stands as the best overall general introduction to Dōgen’s teaching. Kim clarifies that Dōgen’s philosophy was at the service of his spiritual guidance of his students, and reveals the way Dōgen incorporated study and philosophy into his religious practice. Kim has given us not only an excellent and reliable reference for Dōgen’s writings, but also an entry into how to play with Dōgen in going beyond Buddha. Students of Dōgen’s teaching and thought must now be grateful to have this fine guidebook to Dogen’s world again available in print.”—SirReadALot.org