Zen Study Group

The Zen Study Group will resume in January with a revised format. The group will now meet each of the last three Wednesdays of the month from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. In January this will be on the 15th, 22nd, and 29th. Each month will cover a specific topic or text. The topics/texts for the first three months of 2020 are as follows:

Led by Curt Gendo Thornberry:  “Understanding Uji – Being Time”

In Shōbōgenzō, The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye, Dōgen writes about Uji, or Being-Time. Dōgen placed emphasis on understanding and defining time. He suggested that rather than viewing time as linear and separate from ourselves, we should understand and experience time as being. Each thing in the universe is interconnected and inseparable from time. We will read and discuss this text with the goal of understanding how time is essential to understanding practice, duality/non-duality, and impermanence. We will also read from two commentaries on Dōgen’s work, including one by the late Dainin Katagiri and the other by Shinshu Roberts. Because we will only have three Wednesdays in January to discuss the topic, we will read one translation of the primary text, five chapters from Katagiri’s book and an article adapted from a book by Shinshu Roberts.

We will use the translation of Uji from Moon in a Dewdrop; Writings of Zen Master Dōgen, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi. Uji text translated by Dan Welch and Kazuaki Tanahashi.

Participants can read “The Time-Being, Uji” from Moon in a Dewdrop; Writings of Zen Master Dōgen, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi, pages 76-83.

For those without access to the book, there is a version of the text available online at https://villagezendo.org/wp-content/pdfs/uji_text.pdf

Additional Translations
While not an exhaustive list, there are other translations of Uji that participants may want to explore to have additional understanding of Dōgen’s text.

Nishigima, Gudo Wafu and Chodo Cross
2007 Shobogenzo The True Dharma-Eye Treasury, Volume 1. Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research. Uji is presented in chapter 11: Uji: Existence-time, pages 143-155.

There is a version available online at:

Nearman, Rev. Hubert
2007 Shobogenzo: The Treasure House of the Eye of the True Teaching, A Trainee’s Translation of Great Master Dōgen’s Spiritual Masterpiece. Shasta Abbey Press, Mount Shasta, California. Uji is presented in chapter 11: Uji, pages 106-118.

There is a version available online at:

Katagiri, Dainin
2007 Each Moment is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time. Shambala Publications

We will read/discuss the Introduction along with chapters 1-3 and 12-13.

For participants who don’t have access to the book, they can read “The Naked Nature of Time” by Dainin Katagiri, an article adapted from Each Moment is the Universe, which is available free online from Lion’s Roar – https://www.lionsroar.com/the-naked-nature-of-time/.

Shinshu Roberts
2019 Being Time, Insight Journal, 45: 21–34.

This article is available online and is adapted from Being-Time: A Practitioner’s Guide to Dōgen’s Shobogenzo Uji by Shinshu Roberts from Wisdom Publications.

Online Edition: https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Being-Time.pdf

Led by Bob Tremmel: “Forming an Intentional Lay Zen Practice”

Led by Christopher Genyu Spinler: Awakening, Realization, and Enlightenment: Historical Perspectives on a Challenging Notion”