Dōgen (dōˈgĕn) [key], 1200–1253, Zen master (see Zen Buddhism) and founder of the Sōtō Zen school in Japan. After studying in China, he received the seal of enlightenment and succession to the Ts'ao-tung (Sōtō) school. In 1236 he established the first independent Zen temple in Japan. Sōtō Zen stresses zazen, sitting meditation, based on the Buddha's own practice. Whereas for Rinzai Zen koans are a means to enlightenment, Sōtō stresses the identity of practice and attainment. Dōgen, unlike many Zen masters, stressed practice without rejecting scripture.
See H.-J. Kim, Dōgen Kigen, Mystical Realist (1975); Y. Yokei, Zen Master Dōgen (1976); F. Cook, How to Raise an Ox (1978); C. Bielefeldt, Dōgen's Manuals of Zen Meditation (1988); G. Snyder, The Teachings of Zen Master Dogen (1992).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Buddhism: Biographies