Dogen

Portrait
Born: Jan 19, 1200 AD
Died: 1253 AD, at 53 years of age.

Nationality: Japanese
Categories: Monks, Philosophers, Teacher


1200 – He was born on the 19th day of January this year into a noble family.

 

1213 – He was affected by this early glimpse of impermanence and faced with the possibility of a career as part of the aristocratic Fujiwara family, he decided to become a monk.

 

1221 – His teacher Myozen conferred Dharma transmission upon him, acknowledging that he had learned the teachings. Two years later, he decided to make the dangerous passage across the East China Sea to China to try to find an answer.

 

1225 - In China, he decided to visit a master named Rújìng, the thirteenth patriarch of the Cáodòng a lineage of Zen Buddhism, at Mount Tiantóng. He was reputed to have a style of Chan that was different to the other masters whom he had thus far encountered.

 

1227 – He received Dharma transmission and inka from Rujing, and remarked on how he had finally settled his "life's quest of the great matter".

 

1228 – He returned to Japan, going back to stay at Kennin-ji, where he had once trained under Eisai. Among his first actions upon returning was to write down the Fukan Zazengi.

 

1233 – He founded the Kannon-dori-in in Uji as a small center of practice; he later expanded this temple into the Kosho-horinji Temple.

 

1247 – He spent the remainder of his life teaching and writing at Eiheiji.He was invited by newly installed shogun’s regent, Hojo Tokiyori to come to Kamakura to teach him.

 

1252 – He fell ill, and soon showed no signs of recovering. He presented his robes to his main apprentice, Koun Ejo, making him the abbot of Eiheiji. Then, at Hatano Yoshishige's invitation, he left for Kyoto in search of a remedy for his illness.

 

1253 – Soon after arriving in Kyoto, he died. Shortly before his death, he had written a death poem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page last updated: 1:37pm, 20th Apr '07
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