Image of Japanese Buddhist monk Dōgen.


(1200 - 1253)

Born into a noble family in Kyoto in 1200, Dōgen was orphaned at the age of seven, ordained as a Buddhist monk at the age of thirteen, studied Zen meditation in China in his twenties, and then returned to disseminate Zen practices in Japan. In one story Dōgen tells of a monk who asked the ninth-century Chinese Zen master Yaoshan Weiyan what he was doing. “The master answered, ‘I’m thinking of not thinking.’ The monk asked, ‘How do you think of not thinking?’ The master answered, ‘Nonthinking.’”  

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