A Village Zendo Online Workshop
To Write Or Not To Write: That Is The Zen Question
The Poetic Writing of Dogen and Related Figures
With Special Guest
For a special transmission outside the scriptures, Zen is very well known for its voluminous writings, especially involving poetry composed during the 11th-14th centuries in China and Japan. According to a Zen maxim, “The unenlightened seek meaning, not words; but the enlightened seek words, not meaning.”
This workshop discusses the poetic writings of Dogen (1200-1253) and related figures, who navigate the need for Zen masters to choose words skillfully in order to teach meaning to their disciples while also avoiding any attachment to letters and phrases.
In one segment, we will also discuss some resonances with modern authors, including the lyricism of James Joyce and examples of the lyrics of Bob Dylan. A short file with some readings will be provided in advance.
Steven Heine, professor and director of Asian Studies at Florida International University, has published more than thirty monographs and edited books covering the life and thought of Dogen, the relation between Chinese Chan and Japanese Zen, and connections between Zen and contemporary culture.
Suggested Donation $40 (Go to Donations and enter “Heine Workshop” in the “Other Reasons” Box).
Your participation is important! We understand that this has been a difficult time for some sangha members and we encourage you to join the workshop and donate what you can.