Steven Heine, Professor and Director of Asian Studies at Florida International University, announces a new publication with the series, The Columbia Readings of Buddhist Literature edited by Stephen F. Teiser.
Readings of Dōgen's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye
(Columbia University Press, 2020; ISBN: 9780231182294, 312 pages, $35.00 paperback).
The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Shōbōgenzō) is the masterwork of Dōgen (1200–1253), founder of the Sōtō Zen Buddhist sect in Kamakura-era Japan. It is one of the most important Zen Buddhist collections, composed during a period of remarkable religious diversity and experimentation. The text is complex and compelling, famed for its eloquent yet perplexing manner of expressing the core precepts of Zen teachings and practice. This book is a comprehensive introduction to this essential Zen text, offering a textual, historical, literary, and philosophical examination of Dōgen’s treatise. Steven Heine explores the religious and cultural context in which the Treasury was composed and provides a detailed study of the various versions of the medieval text that have been compiled over the centuries. He includes nuanced readings of Dōgen’s use of inventive rhetorical flourishes and the range of East Asian Buddhist textual and cultural influences that shaped the work. Heine explicates the philosophical implications of Dōgen’s views on contemplative experience and attaining and sustaining enlightenment, showing the depth of his distinctive understanding of spiritual awakening. Readings of Dōgen’s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye will give students and other readers a full understanding of this fundamental work of world religious literature.
Table of Contents:
Part I. Textual Sources and Resources
1: Creativity and Originality: Orientations, Reorientations, and Disorientations
2. Receptivity and Reliability: Numerous Levels of Significance
3. Multiplicity and Variability: Differing Versions and Interpretations
Part II. Religious Teachings and Practices
4. Reality and Mentality: On Perceiving the World of Sentient and Insentient Beings
5. Temporality and Ephemerality: On Negotiating Living and Dying
6. Expressivity and Deceptivity: To Speak or Not to Speak
7. Reflexivity and Adaptability: The Functions and Dysfunctions of Meditation
8. Rituality and Causality: On Monastic Discipline and Motivation
With clarifying beams of insight, Heine deftly evinces how Dōgen’s teachings are a creative response to a range of Buddhist sutras, kōans, and Chinese and Japanese teachers. Illuminating with philosophical virtuosity the dynamic nature of Dōgen’s written teachings and erudite explication of entangled versions of Dōgen’s writings, Heine animates Dōgen’s teachings and practices as he offers nuggets of sagacity throughout. Paula Arai, author of Painting Enlightenment: Healing Visions of the Heart Sutra
Vigorous and insightful, Readings of Dōgen's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye provides a deep inspection of central themes in Dōgen's vast literal legacy. In a clear and inspiring manner, Heine’s analysis sheds crucial light that clarifies both the beauty and complexity of this giant Zen Master. Eitan Bolokan, Tel Aviv University
Heine has written a comprehensive, detailed, and accessible analysis of the textual, religious, and philosophical intricacies of Dōgen’s master work, Shōbōgenzō. This careful work of synthesis builds on his own original scholarship on Zen and the Shōbōgenzō itself, and is one of the most thorough overviews of Dōgen’s thought to date. Richard Jaffe, author of Seeking Sakyamuni: South Asia in the Formation of Japanese Buddhism
A foremost Dōgen expert's long-awaited, thorough, and comprehensive examination of the sublime thinker whose monumental elucidation of dharma is beginning to inspire meditators and beyond worldwide. Kazuaki Tanahashi, author of Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dōgen
Shōbōgenzō, Dōgen's brilliant guidebook for the practice of Zen, is now widely recognized as one of Buddhism's greatest masterworks. The importance of the text and its complex difficulties cannot be overemphasized. Steven Heine's Readings provides excellent guidance through the text's crucial issues. Truly, a monumental achievement—now the best book on Dōgen. Dale S. Wright, author of Buddhism: What Everyone Needs to Know