Authorised Version

Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo – Translated by Gudo Nishijima and Chodo Cross
Published in 4 volumes by Windbell Publications (1994-1999)

Meaning of 正法眼蔵 (SHOBOGENZO), “The Right-Dharma-Eye Treasury”

正 (SHO) means “right” or “true.”
法 (HO), “Law,” represents the Sanskrit “Dharma.”
All of us belong to something which, prior to our naming it or thinking about it, is already there. And it already belongs to us. “Dharma” is one name for what is already there.

法眼 (HOGEN), “the Dharma-eye,” represents the direct experience of what is already there. Because the Dharma is prior to thinking, it must be directly experienced by a faculty which is other than thinking. 眼 (GEN) “eye,” represents this direct experience which is other than thinking.
正法眼 (SHOBOGEN), “the right-Dharma-eye,” therefore describes the right experience of what is already there.

蔵 (ZO), “storehouse” or “treasury,” suggests something that contains and preserves the right experience of what is already there. Thus, Nishijima Roshi has interpreted 正法眼蔵 (SHOBOGENZO), “the right-Dharma-eye treasury,” as an expression of Zazen itself.

The eBooks available here contain the 4 volumes of the authorised version of the Shobogenzo published between 1994 and 1999 by Windbell Publications Ltd., the publishing company that I set up in the UK in 1990 to publish our translations of the works of Dogen Zenji. In 2007, the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, the US arm of Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (BDK, Society for the Promotion of Buddhism), requested permission to republish our 4-volume translation of the Shobogenzo in electronic form. The BDK version differs from the authorised Windbell version in that the footnotes are presented at the end of every chapter and do not contain the Japanese/Chinese kanji characters. In addition, some editing changes were made to the text and the kanji characters were removed from the Lotus Sutra References and the Glossary of Sanskrit Terms in the appendices. For these reasons, the original authorised versions of the 4 volumes of the Shobogenzo have been made available here as eBooks with the kind permission of Mike Chodo Cross.

(These PDF files are print replica versions which retain the page format of the books. They can be opened on desktop computers, most smartphones and tablets and can be transferred to and read on kindle readers without conversion.)

Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo – Book 1

Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo – Book 2

Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo – Book 3

Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo – Book 4