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The Wholehearted Way: A Translation of Eihei Dagen's Bendowa, With Commentary by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi [Kindle Edition]

Eihei Dogen , Taigen Dan Leighton , Shohaku Okumura
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Wholehearted Way is a translation of Eihei Dogen's Bendowa, one of the primary texts on Zen practice. Transcending any particular school of Buddhism or religious belief, Dogen's profound and poetic writings are respected as a pinnacle of world spiritual literature. Bendowa, or A Talk on the Wholehearted Practice of the Way, was written in 1231 A.D. and expresses Dogen's teaching of the essential meaning of zazen (seated meditation) and its practice. This edition also contains commentary on Bendowa by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, a foreword by Taigen Daniel Leighton, and an Introduction by Shohaku Okumura, both of whom prepared this English translation.


Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Japanese

Product Details

  • File Size: 6868 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 080483105X
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing (December 20, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006TKP1XQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,040 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Books by Kosho Uchiyama February 21, 2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Wholehearted Way", "Opening the Hand of Thought" and From "Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment" I have re-read these books so many times that I think of them as different components of the same work, since the subjects interweave to produce a wonderful fabric of integrated Zen practice viewed from different perspectives. At first glance all of these books might seem "lightweight". I thought so at first because of their covers. Especially "Opening the Hand of Thought- Approach to Zen". It suggests a new-age type of quick fix book about Zen. Nothing could be further from the truth. This was just the book I needed, though I didn't yet know it. Having come to Zen meditation 2 years before reading this book, I was still unclear about meditation (zazen). Many of us reach the point where we realize that we need and want to practice meditation. Then we get to the same point of the monk in Master Dogen's (1200-1250) quote in Fukan Zazen-gi:
"When Yakusan was sitting [in meditation], a monk asked him 'What do you think when you sit?' The master said, 'I think of not thinking.' The monk inquired further, 'How do you think of not thinking?' Yakusan replied, '[by sitting] beyond thinking'".
What is beyond thinking? This is where Uchiyama makes his point of departure, walking us through just this juncture. He describes the movement of the mind and what need be done or not done about it. He even includes a diagram of the action of the mind getting caught up in thoughts and alternatively falling asleep. He speaks of zazen as neither developing thoughts, nor hating them, but releasing them (hence the title Opening the Hand of Thought).
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Symphonious silence July 1, 2005
Format:Paperback
This is a book on Dogen's Bendowa. Commentary by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi. Translated by Shohaku Okamura and Taigen Daniel Leighton. These guys are all masters in thier own right.

The Whole Hearted Way is Dogen's view on the importance of zazen. He gives a short talk followed by answers to questions - probably to his main disciple Ejo. Dogen's dharma talks are often confusing and hard to understand. The biggest reason lies in the fact he was a genius. And partly Due to the fact he lived 800 years ago and dedicated his life to the Bhudda-dharma. Good thing for people like me there is a Zen master like Uchiyama out there.

The commentary by Uchiyama to me is the best part of this book. This isnt a knock on Dogen at all. This book is based on Dogen's Bendowa talk, but it is quite short. After the initial talk by Dogen, Uchiyama makes this book his own. He is down to earth, very funny and highly realized/profound. What more could you ask of a modern day Zen master translating an almost millenia old masterpiece?

Uchiyama doesnt stray from his commentary on the Bendowa. Yet he weaves his own life and zazen experiences into it (its rich in down to earth wisdom from two highly gifted zen masters, cant beat that). He teaches what to aim for in zazen and how to maintain compassion for oneself and the difficulties one may encounter. Uchiyama takes Dogens Bendowa line for line and explains it. He blends his own teachings with it in a way that not only talks of the virtue of zazen, but gives one motivation to continually engage it. Yet Uchiyama doesnt give you a fish and feed you for a day (its not typical motivation). Rather he says heres the ocean, heres your life and heres your zazen. There is no seperation between them. Everything sustains everything.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Translation October 24, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is just about the best, and simplest translation of Dojen's Bendowa I have seen. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in the basic writings of Dogen, and the practice of zazen...
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative and illuminating September 2, 1998
Format:Paperback
The organization of the book was exceptional. The commentary did not interfere with the translation, as occurs with many books of this type. One could simply choose to read Bendowa with or without the commentary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No other way. April 28, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In times of crisis or personal trauma, there is no other way to face it than this wholehearted way. A good book.
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