KeithA wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:30 am
hehe...I wonder if James has been lurking 'round these parts:
The Meaning of Practice and Verification
James' piece does not go into the history of the Soto-shu's "Shushogi." It is not "a summation of Eihei Dogen’s teachings," and was never meant to be.
The Shushogi was written at a time when Soto-shu decided that lay people needed to just undertake the Precepts to express their faith, and that lay folks had neither the time nor inclination for Zazen, so never mentions Zazen. It is also an amazing cut and paste job, sometimes joining or editing Dogen mid sentence to create a whole new Dogen quote, and the entire flavor is meant to compete with Christianity.
Rev. Jiryu Byler, Soto Priest, historian and wit, has a good summary here on his blog (James does link to Jiryu's essay):
https://nozeninthewest.wordpress.com/20 ... mushrooms/
The text had rather been explicitly designed to establish the doctrinal foundations for a kind of “zazenless Zen” (to use Ian Readers’ term) for laypeople; it was drafted by a lay Soto leader who wanted to find a doctrinal work-around for the basic problem that laypeople had neither the time nor inclination to observe the more profound Soto practices like zazen. This prominent and prolific layman, Ōuchi Seiran, was driven by the fear that if Soto Zen was too hard for laypeople, they’d go join the Pure Land sects or turn Christian instead. ... The Shushogi authors and editors ended up resolving these debates through a Dogen text cut-and-paste job that would have made William Burroughs proud.
A more scholarly treatment is available online from Steve Heine, and the title sums it up: "Abbreviation or Aberration: The Role of Shushogi in Modern Soto Zen Buddhism."
https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=ajU ... gi&f=false
See also Ian Reader, Zazenless Zen
http://buddhism.lib.ntu.edu.tw/DLMBS/en ... seq=280138
John S. LoBreglio: Orthodox, Heterodox, Heretical: Defining Doctrinal Boundaries in Meiji-period Sōtō Zen