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(dō`gĕn), 1200–1253, Zen master (see Zen BuddhismZen Buddhism,
Buddhist sect of China and Japan. The name of the sect (Chin. Ch'an, Jap. Zen) derives from the Sanskrit dhyana [meditation]. In China the school early became known for making its central tenet the practice of meditation, rather than adherence
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) 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 koanskoan
[Jap.,=public question; Chin. kung-an], a subject for meditation in Ch'an or Zen Buddhism, usually one of the sayings of a great Zen master of the past. In the formative period of Ch'an in China, masters tested the enlightenment of their students and of each other
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 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).