Soto Zen – The largest Japanese Zen school
Sōtō Zen or the Sōtō school is the largest of the three traditional sects of Zen in Japanese Buddhism. It is the Japanese line of the Chinese Cáodòng school, which was founded during the Tang dynasty by Dòngshān Liánjiè.
It emphasizes Shikantaza, meditation with no objects, anchors, or content. The meditator strives to be aware of the stream of thoughts, allowing them to arise and pass away without interference.
Table of Contents
- 1 - Origin of Soto Zen
- 2 - Concepts, people & places
- 2.1 - San Francisco Zen Center
- 2.2 - Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery
- 2.3 - Sanbo Kyodan
- 2.4 - Sandai sōron
- 2.5 - Sansui kyō
- 2.6 - Shin fukatoku
- 2.7 - Shinji Shōbōgenzō
- 2.8 - Shinjin gakudō
- 2.9 - Shōbōgenzō
- 2.10 - Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki
- 2.11 - Sōkō-ji
- 2.12 - Aichi Gakuin University
- 2.13 - Sokushin zebutsu
- 2.14 - Sōtō
- 2.15 - Soto Zen Buddhist Association
- 2.16 - Tenzo Kyōkun
- 2.17 - Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey
- 2.18 - Tohoku Fukushi University
- 2.19 - Tsurumi University
- 2.20 - Uji (Being-Time)
- 2.21 - Zazen gi
- 2.22 - Śāṇavāsa
- 2.23 - Rakan-ji
- 2.24 - Bendōwa
- 2.25 - Genjōkōan
- 2.26 - Busshō (Shōbōgenzō)
- 2.27 - Daigo (Shōbōgenzō)
- 2.28 - Dharma combat
- 2.29 - Dhṛṭaka
- 2.30 - Eihei Kōroku
- 2.31 - Five Ranks
- 2.32 - Fukan zazengi
- 2.33 - Gyōbutsu igi
- 2.34 - Norwich Zen Buddhist Priory
- 2.35 - Gyokusen-ji (Tsuruoka)
- 2.36 - Honkō-ji
- 2.37 - Ikka myōju
- 2.38 - Keisei sanshoku (Shōbōgenzō)
- 2.39 - Kirigami (Soto Zen)
- 2.40 - Kobutsushin
- 2.41 - Komazawa University
- 2.42 - Maka hannya haramitsu
- 2.43 - Zazen shin
Origin of Soto Zen
The Japanese brand of the sect was imported in the 13th century by Dōgen Zenji, who studied Cáodòng Buddhism in China. Dōgen is remembered today as the co-patriarch of Sōtō Zen in Japan along with Keizan Jōkin.
With about 15,000 temples, Sōtō is one of the largest Japanese Buddhist organizations. Sōtō Zen is now also popular in the West, and in 1996 priests of the Sōtō Zen tradition formed the Soto Zen Buddhist Association based in North America.
Concepts, people & places
The Sōtō-shū organisation has an elaborate organisation with 30 training centers (circa), where Sōtō monks can train to become an oshō or priest and run their own temple.
This is a list of concepts, people and places related to the practice of Soto Zen.
San Francisco Zen Center
San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC), is a network of affiliated Sōtō Zen practice and retreat centers in the San Francisco Bay area, comprising City Center or Beginner’s Mind Temple, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, and Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. The sangha was incorporated by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and a group of his American students in 1962. Today SFZC is the largest Sōtō organization in the West.
Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery
Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery is a small Sōtō Zen Buddhist monastery near Kingston in Madison County, Arkansas in the United States. It is located in the Boston Mountains of the Ozarks. The temple focuses primarily on the practice of zazen in the tradition of Kosho Uchiyama and Shohaku Okumura, the latter being the teacher of the founder, Shōryū Bradley. Study of the writings of Eihei Dōgen and the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha are also emphasized. The monastery holds a five-day sesshin every month except in January and August.
Sanbo Kyodan is a lay Zen sect derived from both the Soto (Caodong) and the Rinzai (Linji) traditions. It was renamed Sanbo-Zen International in 2014. The term Sanbo Kyodan has often been used to refer to the Harada-Yasutani zen lineage. However, a number of Yasutani’s students have started their own teaching lines that are independent from Sanbo Kyodan. Strictly speaking, Sanbo Kyodan refers only to the organization that is now known as Sanbo-Zen International.
The sandai sōron (三代相論), or third-generation differentiation, was a putative dispute over the orthodoxy and succession of Sōtō Zen Buddhism. The major figures involved were Jakuen, Gikai, Gien, and Giin, all of whom claimed the right to serve as abbot of Eihei-ji. The story of the sandai sōron does not appear until 150 years after it supposedly occurred, suggesting its authenticity is dubious. It seems to have been used as a just-so story to explain how Jakuen’s line eventually wound up in control of Eihei-ji. The obscure term sōron may have been a euphemism for a third-generation schism.
Sansui kyō, rendered in English as Mountains and Waters Sutra, is a book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. It is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful of all of the 95 books of the Shōbōgenzō according to Stanford University professor Carl Bielefeldt. The text was written in the fall of 1240 at Dōgen’s monastery Kōshōhōrin-ji in Kyoto, and the manuscript from that time in Dōgen’s own hand survives. This year saw a marked increase in the output of his essays for the Shōbōgenzō, including the closely related work Keisei sanshoku written a few months before and covering essentially the same theme, namely the mountains and rivers as equivalent to the body and speech of the Buddha. The book appears as the 29th in the 75 fascicle versions of the Shōbōgenzō, and it is ordered 14th in the later chronological 95 fascicle Honzan edition. It was also included as the 14th book of the 28 fascicle “Eiheiji manuscript” Shōbōgenzō. Gudō Nishijima, a modern Zen priest, sums up the essay as follows: “Buddhism is basically a religion of belief in the universe, and nature is the universe showing its real form. So to look at nature is to look at the Buddhist truth itself. For this reason, Master Dōgen believed that nature is just Buddhist sutras.”
Shin fukatoku, also known in English translation as The Mind Cannot Be Grasped, is a book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. It was presented to his students in 1241 during the summer ango at his first monastery, Kōshōhōrin-ji, in Kyoto. The book appears eighth in the 75 fascicle version of the Shōbōgenzō, and it is ordered eighteenth in the later chronological 95 fascicle “Honzan edition”. It was also included as the third book of the 28 fascicle “Eiheiji manuscript” Shōbōgenzō, and a variant of it was fourth in that version as well. The title is an excerpt from the line from the Diamond Sutra “Past mind cannot be grasped, present mind cannot be grasped, and future mind cannot be grasped”. Gudō Nishijima, a modern Zen priest, contrasts the subject of this book with the line of René Descartes “I think, therefore I am”, which suggests the intellect can grasp the mind. Nishijima states that Buddhism is instead only a “philosophy of the here and now” and that Dōgen is telling us the opposite of Descartes: the mind fundamentally lacks substance, cannot exist independently of the outside world, and therefore cannot be grasped. In order to illustrate this point, Dōgen examines a kōan story about Deshan Xuanjian, a Buddhist scholar of the Diamond Sutra, who attempts to purchase rice cakes from an old woman to “refresh his mind”. The woman asks him what mind he intends to refresh if the mind cannot be grasped, leaving him speechless. Dōgen provides suggestions for how Deshan should have responded, and also for what the woman should have said after Deshan failed to say anything.
The Shinji Shōbōgenzō (真字正法眼蔵) or True Dharma Eye 300 Cases, or Treasury of the True Dharma Eye, compiled by Eihei Dōgen in 1223–1227, was first published in Japanese in 1766. The literary sources of the Shinji Shōbōgenzō are believed to have been the Keitoku Dentōroku and the Shūmon Tōyōshū. It is written in Chinese, the language of the original texts from which the kōans were taken.
Shinjin gakudō, translated into English as Learning the Truth with Body and Mind, is a book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. It was written in the fall of 1242 at Dōgen’s first monastery Kōshōhōrin-ji in Kyoto. Shinjin gakudō appears in both the 75 and 60 fascicle versions of the Shōbōgenzō as the fourth book, and it is ordered 37th in the later chronological 95 fascicle Honzan editions. The book explains how truth can be obtained not with the mind alone, but rather with the body and mind together working through action. He further explains that action necessarily requires both the body and mind and that there is thus a oneness in action.
Shōbōgenzō is the title most commonly used to refer to the collection of works written in Japan by the 13th century Buddhist monk and founder of the Sōtō Zen school, Eihei Dōgen. Several other works exist with the same title, and it is sometimes called the Kana Shōbōgenzō in order to differentiate it from those. The term shōbōgenzō can also be used more generally as a synonym for the Buddha Dharma as viewed from the perspective of Mahayana Buddhism.
Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki, sometimes known by its English translation The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: Record of Things Heard, is a collection of informal Dharma talks given by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen and recorded by his primary disciple Koun Ejō from 1236 to 1239. The text was likely further edited by other disciples after Ejō’s death.
Sōkō-ji (總光寺), is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Sōtō school of Japanese Zen located in the city of Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. Its main image is a statue of Sho-Kannon bosatsu. The Japanese garden at this temple was designated a National Place of Scenic Beauty in 1996.
Aichi Gakuin University
Aichi Gakuin University is a private university in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. It has campuses at the city of Nisshin, Aichi, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya and Meijō Park in Nagoya. The predecessor of the university, a Soto Zen college, was founded in 1876, and it was chartered as a university in 1953.
Sokushin zebutsu, rendered in English as Mind is Itself Buddha, is a book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. It was written in the spring of 1239 at Dōgen’s monastery Kōshōhōrin-ji in Kyoto. The book appears as the fifth book in both the 75 and 60 fascicle versions of the Shōbōgenzō, and it is ordered sixth in the later chronological 95 fascicle Honzan editions. The title Sokushin zebutsu is an utterance attributed to the 8th century Song Dynasty Zen monk Mazu Daoyi in a well known kōan that appears most notably as Case 30 in The Gateless Barrier, although Dōgen would have known it from the earlier Transmission of the Lamp. In addition to this book of the Shōbōgenzō, Dōgen also discusses the phrase Sokushin zebutsu in several of his formal Dharma Hall Discourses, namely numbers 8, 75, 319, and 370, all of which are recorded in the Eihei Kōroku.
Sōtō Zen or the Sōtō school is the largest of the three traditional sects of Zen in Japanese Buddhism. It is the Japanese line of the Chinese Cáodòng school, which was founded during the Tang dynasty by Dòngshān Liánjiè. It emphasizes Shikantaza, meditation with no objects, anchors, or content. The meditator strives to be aware of the stream of thoughts, allowing them to arise and pass away without interference.
Soto Zen Buddhist Association
The Soto Zen Buddhist Association was formed in 1996 by American and Japanese Zen teachers in response to a perceived need to draw the various autonomous lineages of the North American Sōtō stream of Zen together for mutual support as well as the development of common training and ethical standards. With about one hundred fully transmitted priests, the SZBA now includes members from most of the Japanese-derived Sōtō Zen lineages in North America. The founding president was Tetsugen Bernard Glassman, followed by Sojun Mel Weitsman, Myogen Steve Stucky, Jishō Warner, and Eido Frances Carney.
Tenzo Kyōkun (典座教訓), usually rendered in English as Instructions for the Cook, is an important essay written by Dōgen, the founder of Zen Buddhism’s Sōtō school in Japan.
Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey
Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey is a Buddhist monastery and retreat centre located in Northumberland, in northern England. The monastic order is equally for men and women. It follows the Serene Reflection Meditation Tradition, similar to the Sōtō Zen sect in Japan. It is part of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives. Throssel Hole was established in 1972. It offers retreats, festivals and other events for anyone who wishes to learn about or deepen their practice of meditation.
Tohoku Fukushi University
Tohoku Fukushi University is a Japanese private university in Sendai.
Tsurumi University is a private university in Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.
The Japanese Buddhist word uji (有時), usually translated into English as Being-Time, is a key metaphysical idea of the Sōtō Zen founder Dōgen (1200-1253). His 1240 essay titled Uji, which is included as a fascicle in the Shōbōgenzō collection, gives several explanations of uji, beginning with, “The so-called “sometimes” (uji) means: time (ji) itself already is none other than being(s) (u) are all none other than time (ji).”. Scholars have interpreted uji “being-time” for over seven centuries. Early interpretations traditionally employed Buddhist terms and concepts, such as impermanence. Modern interpretations of uji are more diverse, for example, authors like Steven Heine and Joan Stambaugh compare Dōgen’s concepts of temporality with the existentialist Martin Heidegger’s 1927 Being and Time.
Zazen gi, also known in various English translations such as The Standard Method of Zazen or Principles of Zazen, is a book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. The book appears tenth in the 75 fascicle version of the Shōbōgenzō, and it is ordered 58th in the later chronological 95 fascicle “Honzan edition”. It was presented to his students in the eleventh month of 1243 at Yoshimine shōja (吉峰精舍), a small temple where Dōgen and his sangha practiced briefly following their sudden move to Echizen Province from their previous temple Kōshōhōrin-ji earlier in the same year and before the establishment of Eihei-ji. Unlike other books of the Shōbōgenzō, it is not as much a commentary on classical Chinese Chan literature as it is a guide for the practice of zazen. The title comes from earlier Chinese texts of the same name and purpose, with a well known example found in the Chanyuan qinggui, from which Dōgen quotes extensively. His more famous Fukan zazengi, as well as Eihei shingi’s Bendoho, also owe much to this Chinese text and are thus closely related to the Shōbōgenzō’s Zazen gi.
Śāṇavāsa was a disciple of Ananda, and is considered the third Indian Patriarch in Zen Buddhism.
Rakan-ji (羅漢寺) is a Sōtō temple in Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture, Japan. The temple stands on the mountainside of Mt. Rakan, the rocky cliff of which has countless mouths of caves. The main gate and the main hall stand directly in the rocky cliff. In the caves, over 3,700 stone Buddhas are enshrined.
Bendōwa (辨道話), meaning Discourse on the Practice of the Way or Dialogue on the Way of Commitment, sometimes also translated as Negotiating the Way, On the Endeavor of the Way, or A Talk about Pursuing the Truth, is an influential essay written by Dōgen, the founder of Zen Buddhism’s Sōtō school in Japan.
Genjōkōan (現成公按), translated by Tanahashi as Actualizing the Fundamental Point, is an influential essay written by Dōgen, the founder of Zen Buddhism’s Sōtō school in Japan. It is considered one of the most popular essays in Shōbōgenzō.
Busshō, or Buddha Nature, is the third book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. It was written in the fall of 1241 at Dōgen’s monastery Kōshōhōrin-ji in Kyoto. As the title implies, the work is a discussion of the concept of buddha nature, laying out Dōgen’s unique viewpoint on what the term means. While more typical interpretations see Buddha-nature as the inherent prospect of becoming a buddha, or alternatively a sort of life force within us, in Busshō Dōgen interprets Buddha-nature simply as concrete reality itself. He presents this thesis in his characteristically difficult style using frequent allusions to and comments on classical Zen literature, as well as complex word play hinging on creative interpretations of Classical Chinese sentence structure.
Daigo, also known in English translation as Great Realization, is a book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. The book appears tenth in the 75 fascicle version of the Shōbōgenzō, and it is ordered 26th in the later chronological 95 fascicle “Honzan edition”. It was presented to his students in the first month of 1242 at Kōshōhōrin-ji, the first monastery established by Dōgen, located in Kyoto. According to Gudō Nishijima, a modern Zen priest, the “great realization” to which Dōgen refers is not an intellectual idea, but rather a “concrete realization of facts in reality” or “realization in real life”. Shohaku Okumura, another modern-day Zen teacher, writes that Dōgen equates the term daigo with the network of interdependence in which all beings in the universe exist rather than something that we lack and need to obtain. Given this, Okumura writes that Dōgen is encouraging us to, “to realize great realization within this great realization, moment by moment; or perhaps it is better to say that great realization realizes great realization through our practice.”
Dharma combat, called issatsu or shosan in Japanese, is a term in some schools of Buddhism referring to an intense exchange between student and teacher, and sometimes between teachers, as an occasion for one or both to demonstrate his or her understanding of the Dharma and Buddhist tenets. It is used by both students and teachers to test and sharpen their understanding. Practice is primarily seen in Zen traditions, particularly Rinzai Zen and the Kwan Um School of Zen. In both, it is a key component in the Dharma transmission process.
Dhṛṭaka or Dhītika (提多迦) was a Buddhist monk from Magadha. He is recognized as the fifth Indian patriarch in Chan Buddhism as recorded in the Record of the Dharma-Jewel throughout Successive Generations (歴代法寶記). His teacher was Upagupta.
Eihei Kōroku, also known by its English translation Dōgen’s Extensive Record, is a ten volume collection of works by the Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. The bulk of the text, accounting for volumes one through seven, are “Dharma hall discourses”, which are highly formalized Dharma talks, given from 1236 to 1252. Volume eight consists of “informal meetings” that would have taken place in Dōgen’s quarters with select groups of monks, as well as “Dharma words”, which were letters containing practice instructions to specific students. Volume nine includes a collection of 90 traditional kōans with verse commentary by Dōgen, while volume 10 collects his Chinese poetry.
The Five Ranks is a poem consisting of five stanzas describing the stages of realization in the practice of Zen Buddhism. It expresses the interplay of absolute and relative truth and the fundamental non-dualism of Buddhist teaching.
Fukan zazengi, also known by its English translation Universal Recommendation for Zazen, is an essay describing and promoting the practice of zazen written by the 13th century Japanese Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. The date of its composition is unclear, and the text evolved significantly over the author’s lifetime. It is written in Classical Chinese rather than the Classical Japanese Dōgen used to compose his famous Shōbōgenzō.
Gyōbutsu igi, known in English as Dignified Behavior of the Practice Buddha, is a book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. It was written in the winter of 1241 at Dōgen’s monastery Kōshōhōrin-ji in Kyoto. The book appears as the sixth book in both the 75 and 60 fascicle versions of the Shōbōgenzō, and it is ordered 23rd in the later chronological 95 fascicle Honzan editions. Dōgen discusses similar concepts in two of his formal Dharma Hall Discourses, namely number 119, which was written shortly after Gyōbutsu igi, and number 228, both of which are recorded in the Eihei Kōroku. The title is a quotation from the final chapter of Buddhabhadra’s translation of the Avataṃsaka Sūtra where the phrase was used to simply describe the Buddha, “bearing himself as a Buddha.” Dōgen substantially reimagines the meaning of the phrase in this fascicle.
Norwich Zen Buddhist Priory
Norwich Zen Buddhist Priory is a place of meditation and practice for the Sōtō Zen tradition of Buddhism. It is located in west Norwich, England. A senior monk in the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, Reverend Leoma Hague, is resident there.
Gyokusen-ji (玉川寺), is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Sōtō school of Japanese Zen located in the city of Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. Its main image is a statue of Sho-Kannon bosatsu. The Japanese garden at this temple was designated a National Place of Scenic Beauty in 1987.
Honkō-ji (本光寺) is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Sōtō sect of Japanese Zen located in the town of Kōta, Nukata District, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The temple is noted for its hydrangea flowers in spring. Its main image is a statue of Shaka Nyōrai.
Ikka myōju, known in English as One Bright Jewel or One Bright Pearl, is a book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. It was written in the summer of 1238 at Dōgen’s monastery Kōshōhōrin-ji in Kyoto. The essay marked the beginning of a period of high output of Shōbōgenzō books that lasted until 1246. The book appears as the seventh book in both the 75 and 60 fascicle versions of the Shōbōgenzō, and it is ordered fourth in the later chronological 95 fascicle Honzan editions. The essay is an extended commentary on the famous saying of the Tang Dynasty monk Xuansha Shibei that “the ten-direction world is one bright jewel”, which in turn references the Mani Jewel metaphors of earlier Buddhist scriptures. Dōgen also discusses the “one bright jewel” and related concepts from the Shōbōgenzō essay in two of his formal Dharma Hall Discourses, namely numbers 107 and 445, as well as his Kōan commentaries 23 and 41, all of which are recorded in the Eihei Kōroku.
Keisei sanshoku (Shōbōgenzō)
Keisei sanshoku, rendered in English as The Sounds of Valley Streams, the Forms of Mountains, is the 25th book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. It was written in the spring of 1240 at Dōgen’s monastery Kōshōhōrin-ji in Kyoto. The book appears in both the 75 and 60 fascicle versions of the Shōbōgenzō, and it is ordered ninth in the later chronological 95 fascicle editions. The name keisei sanshoku is a quotation from the Song Dynasty Chinese poet Su Shi, wherein he experiences the sound of the valley stream as the preaching of the dharma and the mountain as the body of the Buddha. Dogen also discusses this verse of Su Shi in the later Shōbōgenzō books of Sansui Kyō and Mujō Seppō. About halfway through the essay, Dōgen switches from focusing on the title theme to a discussion of Buddhist ethics before ultimately concluding that one must practice ethical behavior in order to see the dharma in the natural world as Su Shi does.
Kirigami (Soto Zen)
The kirigami were esoteric documents of the Sōtō school in medieval Japan which…reflect a creative use of traditional kōan records integrated with popular religious themes such as devotion to local gods and the exorcism of demonic spirits.”
Kobutsushin or Kobusshin, also known in various English translations such as The Mind of Eternal Buddhas or Old Buddha Mind, is a book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. The book appears ninth in the 75 fascicle version of the Shōbōgenzō, and it is ordered 44th in the later chronological 95 fascicle “Honzan edition”. It was presented to his students in the fourth month of 1243 at Rokuharamitsu-ji, a temple in a neighborhood of eastern Kyoto populated primarily by military officials of the new Kamakura shogunate. This was the same location where he presented another book of the same collection called Zenki. Both were short works compared to others in the collection, and in both cases he was likely invited to present them at the behest of his main patron, Hatano Yoshishige, who lived nearby. Later in the same year, Dōgen suddenly abandoned his temple Kōshōhōrin-ji in Kyoto and began to establish Eihei-ji.
Komazawa University , abbreviated as 駒大 Komadai, is one of the oldest universities in Japan. Its history starts in 1592, when a seminary was established to be a center of learning for the young monks of the Sōtō sect, one of the two main Zen Buddhist traditions in Japan.
Maka hannya haramitsu
Maka hannya haramitsu, the Japanese transliteration of Mahāprajñāpāramitā meaning The Perfection of Great Wisdom, is the second book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. It is the second book in not only the original 60 and 75 fascicle versions of the text, but also the later 95 fascicle compilations. It was written in Kyoto in the summer of 1233, the first year that Dōgen began occupying the temple that what would soon become Kōshōhōrin-ji. As the title suggests, this chapter lays out Dōgen’s interpretation of the Mahaprajñāpāramitāhṛdaya Sūtra, or Heart Sutra, so called because it is supposed to represent the heart of the 600 volumes of the Mahāprajñāpāramitā Sūtra. The Heart Sutra focuses on the Buddhist concept of prajñā, or wisdom, which indicates not conventional wisdom, but rather wisdom regarding the emptiness of all phenomena. As Dōgen argues in this chapter, prajñā is identical to the practice of zazen, not a way of thinking.
Zazen shin, rendered in English as the Acupuncture Needle of Zazen, Lancet of Zazen, or Needle for Zazen, is a book of the Shōbōgenzō by the 13th century Sōtō Zen monk Eihei Dōgen. It was written on the 19th of April in 1242 at Dōgen’s monastery Kōshōhōrin-ji in Kyoto. The book appears as the 12th book in the 75 fascicle version of the Shōbōgenzō, and it is ordered 27th in the later chronological 95 fascicle Honzan editions. The title Zazen shin refers to a poem of the same title written by Hongzhi Zhengjue. Hongzhi’s poem is quoted verbatim in Dōgen’s Zazen shin and also presented again in modified form later in the text.