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Publisher's Summary

Eihei Dogen (1200 - 1253), founder of the Soto School of Zen Buddhism, is one of the greatest religious, philosophical, and literary geniuses of Japan. His writings have been studied by Zen students for centuries, particularly his masterwork, Shobo Genzo or Treasury of the True Dharma Eye. This is the first book to offer the great master's incisive wisdom in short selections taken from the whole range of his voluminous works. The pithy and powerful readings, arranged according to theme, provide a perfect introduction to Dogen - and inspire spiritual practice in people of all traditions.

©2013 The San Francisco Zen Center (P)2014 Audible Inc.

Featured Article: The Best Zen Audiobooks to Guide You to Enlightenment


Perhaps you’re a meditation master looking for some in-depth topics, or maybe you’re new to your zen practice and seeking guidance. Either way, these ten titles offer a comprehensive selection to begin or continue your spiritual practice. Our selection includes poems, short stories, letters, and full-length texts all brought to life in audio. They cover various schools of philosophy and religion from traditionalists to modern practitioners.

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What listeners say about The Essential Dogen

Average Customer Ratings
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A Great Pearl of Little Price

For $1.95 (the price I paid for this Audible Audiobook) this may be, penny for penny, the greatest value I have ever received on a book of Religion / Philosophy.

Many hours of The Great Dogen for less than 2 bucks is…Unsurpassable.

I especially appreciate the performance of Brian Nishii, who did not clobber the Chinese, but rendered, in almost every case, accurate pronunciations of the Mandarin readings of the names of the Chinese Zen Masters, and the place names associated with them.

To sum up:

BUY THIS AUDIBLE AUDIOBOOK !

16 people found this helpful

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Dogen is difficult to comprehend

Dogen is a difficult read, which should not be seen as a critique of the author or the narrator. Both have done a good job handling the material. That being so, the material is difficult to comprehend.

4 people found this helpful

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Perfect for blind donkeys

Hold your breath and cover your ears. Then you will be ready to listen. Seeking entertainment instead of cleaning the red dust out of your eyes, you have already received thirty blows.

18 people found this helpful

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One of Buddhism's most influential teachers.

Dogen is mind-blowing. The narrator was passable, but put a little too much into it.

10 people found this helpful

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Dogen

Would you listen to The Essential Dogen again? Why?

I will listen to The Essential Dogen again and I have already!

What other book might you compare The Essential Dogen to and why?

Living Buddha Living Christ, New Seeds of Contemplation.

What about Brian Nishii’s performance did you like?

It was relaxed and peacefully done.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No.

Any additional comments?

Great for the novice to the master meditator. If there is such a thing.

6 people found this helpful

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Great work on Dogen

Great narrator. Well structured even for a beginner. I would highly recommend this listen for those on the way. master Dogen paints a verbal work of art to help you to focus your mind. Not 1, not 2.

6 people found this helpful

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Basically just a commentary

Basically just a commentary, Not what i expected, and is not really the writings i wanted to hear.

1 person found this helpful

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Body and mind will drop away...!!!

Then, what do you do? After body and mind drop away? It's a really tough question. Excellent. :)

1 person found this helpful

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Great book.

I really enjoyed the book. Will be listening to it often. Love Dogen. He is my favorite Zen hero.

1 person found this helpful

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Yes This Now.

third time listening full through. Will do many times again and again. IT IS ALL INSIDE OF YOU EVERYTHING IS YOU. ONENESS RESPECT.🙏

1 person found this helpful

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  • D.Fish
  • 01-08-19

Says what it is on the Tin...

Interested in Dogen? This couldn't be more essential. The price is in no ways a demonstration of the value.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Paidí Delaney
  • 07-05-20

narrator

The narration by Brian Nishii is suberb. It is surprisingly effective to hear Dogen's words rather than to read them. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Huskyaddict
  • 05-09-21

Dogen for all

Dogen is at once brilliant and also so so difficult to get your head around. This book is a starting place for folk like me who want to understand more about the life and work of this monk who is still providing insight and guidance hundreds of years after his death.

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  • Adrian Chan-Wyles Ph.D
  • 10-27-20

Piercing the Void

Dogen pierces the void with a napkin. After-all, this is the only way that which does not exist, can be penetrated by that which does. The Cao Dong in China has flowed to the Soto in Japan - taking the robe and bowl with it. A portrait and a few Certificates - this is how the Dharma is transmitted.

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  • Storm
  • 07-24-20

Excellent and thought provoking

A wonderful journey through Great Master Dogen's teachings and the history of Zen Buddhism

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  • Luis
  • 04-30-15

Hard book to understand

The book is hard to follow. Sometimes was hard to understand the meaning of the narration.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jem
  • 08-24-16

Highly recommended

A really enlightening book and a pleasure to listen to. One to which you can keep returning.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mark Workman
  • 04-24-16

A great intro to Dogen

A treatment of Dogen's Zen that's straight forward, well researched and readily accessible to Westerners.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Flip B
  • 04-17-18

Why do they use this narrator?

What disappointed you about The Essential Dogen?

I wish I could have listened to this book. Unfortunately the narrator is so poor I just couldn't even get through the first chapter. I will be returning this book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I wasn't able to listen, but I'm sure it would have been Dogen. I love his work and the way he's able to express Zen in such a clear manner. I plan to buy the book and read it instead.

What didn’t you like about Brian Nishii’s performance?

This is the second audio book that I've purchased with Nishii narrating and I returned that book too because I just couldn't listen to him. Unfortunately I hadn't realised it was the same narrator until after I'd made the purchase. I'm sure he's probably a nice guy, but narration just isn't his gig. Firstly, he doesn't seem to connect with the discourse, which makes it difficult for the reader to become absorbed. Secondly, his intonation is all over the place. He doesn't seem to know when to rise and when to fall, which makes it difficult to follow anything he's saying because you end up paying attention to his voice rather than the content. I'm guessing Nishii is from Japanese descent as he does pronounce Japanese words perfectly, however I don't think this is a reason to always use him to narrate books about Japanese culture and religion. I want to listen to a lot of the books that Nishii narrates, but I can't. There are so many brilliant narrators out there. I think listeners need another option.

Any additional comments?

A note to the publishers. Please redo this audio book with a better narrator (preferably an Englishman as they always seem to be more talented) and then I will purchase again.

1 person found this helpful