HOME
The Info List - Sōtō



--- Advertisement ---


(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

ZEN IN JAPAN

* Dōgen
Dōgen
* Hakuin Ekaku
Hakuin Ekaku

SEON IN KOREA

* Taego Bou
Taego Bou
* Jinul
Jinul
* Daewon * Seongcheol
Seongcheol

ZEN IN THE USA

* D. T. Suzuki
D. T. Suzuki
* Hakuun Yasutani * Taizan Maezumi
Taizan Maezumi
* Shunryū Suzuki
Shunryū Suzuki
* Seungsahn

Category: Zen
Zen
Buddhists

Doctrines

* Zen
Zen
and Sutras * Doctrinal background of Zen
Zen
* Buddha-nature * Yogacara * Śūnyatā
Śūnyatā
* Bodhisattva

Traditions

* Dharma transmission
Dharma transmission
* Zen
Zen
lineage charts * Zen
Zen
ranks and hierarchy * Zen
Zen
organisation and institutions * Zen
Zen
Narratives

Awakening

* Kenshō
Kenshō
* Satori
Satori
* Sudden Enlightenment * Shikantaza

Teachings

* Ten Ox-Herding Pictures * Five ranks of Tozan * Three mysterious Gates * Four Ways of Knowing

Practice

* Zazen
Zazen
/ Shikantaza * Kōan practice

Schools

* East Mountain Teaching
East Mountain Teaching
* Hongzhou school
Hongzhou school
* Five Houses of Chán
Five Houses of Chán
* Rinzai school
Rinzai school
* Sōtō
Sōtō
school * Sanbo Kyodan
Sanbo Kyodan
* White Plum Asanga
White Plum Asanga

Related schools

* Huayan * Tiantai * Pure Land Buddhism

* v * t * e

Part of a series on

BUDDHISM IN JAPAN

Schools

* Jōjitsu * Hosso
Hosso
* Sanron
Sanron
* Kegon
Kegon
* Ritsu * Kusha * Tendai * Shingon * Pure Land * Zen
Zen
* Nichiren

Founders

* Saichō * Kūkai * Hōnen * Shinran * Dōgen
Dōgen
* Eisai
Eisai
* Ingen
Ingen
* Nichiren

Sacred texts

* Avataṃsaka Sūtra * Lotus Sūtra * Prajñāpāramitā * Heart Sūtra * Infinite Life Sūtra * Mahāvairocana Sūtra * Vajraśekhara Sūtra

* Glossary of Japanese Buddhism

* v * t * e

SōTō ZEN or the SōTō SCHOOL (曹洞宗, Sōtō-shū) is the largest of the three traditional sects of Zen
Zen
in Japanese Buddhism (the others being Rinzai and Ōbaku
Ōbaku
). It is the Japanese line of the Chinese Cáodòng school , which was founded during the Tang Dynasty by Dòngshān Liánjiè . It emphasizes Shikantaza , meditation with no objects, anchors, or content. The meditator strives to be aware of the stream of thoughts, allowing them to arise and pass away without interference.

The Japanese brand of the sect was imported in the 13th century by Dōgen
Dōgen
Zenji , who studied Cáodòng Buddhism (Chinese : 曹洞宗; pinyin : Cáodòng Zōng) abroad in China. Dōgen
Dōgen
is remembered today as the co-patriarch of Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen
Zen
in Japan
Japan
along with Keizan Jōkin .

With about 14,000 temples, Sōtō
Sōtō
is one of the largest Japanese Buddhist organizations. Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen
Zen
is now also popular in the West, and in 1996 priests of the Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen
Zen
tradition formed the Soto Zen Buddhist Association based in North America.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Chinese origins

* 1.2 Kamakura (1185-1333)

* 1.2.1 Dogen * 1.2.2 Ejo * 1.2.3 Gikai * 1.2.4 Keizan * 1.2.5 Soto-centers

* 1.3 Muromachi (or Ashikaga) (1336-1573)

* 1.3.1 Gasan and Sotetsu

* 1.4 Azuchi-Momoyama (1573-1600) and Edo (or Tokugawa) (1600-1868)

* 1.5 Meiji Restoration (1868-1912) and Imperial expansionism * 1.6 Lay interests * 1.7 Monastic training

* 2 Spread in the western world

* 2.1 Shunryu Suzuki
Shunryu Suzuki
* 2.2 Sanbo Kyodan
Sanbo Kyodan
* 2.3 Antai-ji * 2.4 Soto Zen
Zen
Buddhist Association

* 3 Practice

* 3.1 Shikantaza * 3.2 Soto versus Rinzai

* 4 Texts

* 4.1 Sutras

* 4.2 Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen
Zen
texts

* 4.2.1 Dogen

* 5 Organisation

* 5.1 Head and parliament * 5.2 Temples * 5.3 Legal status

* 6 See also * 7 Notes

* 8 References

* 8.1 Book references * 8.2 Web-references

* 9 Sources * 10 External links

HISTORY

CHINESE ORIGINS

Main article: Caodong Shitou Xiqian
Shitou Xiqian

The original Chinese version of Soto-shu, i.e. the Caodong-school (曹洞宗) was established by the Tang dynasty monk Dongshan Liangjie (洞山良价 Ja: Tōzan Ryōkai) in the 9th century.

One prevalent view is that the sect's name was originally formed by taking one character each from the names of Dongshan and his disciple Caoshan Benji (曹山本寂, Tōzan Ryōkai), and was originally called Dongcao sect (with the characters in transposed order). However, to paraphrase the Dongshan Yulu (《洞山語録》, "Record of the Dialogues of Dongshan"), the sect's name denotes 'colleagues (曹) of the teachings above the caves (洞)' who together follow the "black wind (teachings of Taoism?)" and admire the masters of various sects.

Perhaps more significantly for the Japanese brand of this sect, Dōgen
Dōgen
among others advocated the reinterpretation that the "Cao" represents not Caoshan, but rather " Huineng
Huineng
of Caoxi temple" 曹渓慧能 (Sōkei Enō); zh:曹溪慧能). The branch that was founded by Caoshan died off, and Dōgen
Dōgen
was a student of the other branch that survived in China.

A precursor to the sect is Shítóu Xīqiān (Ch. 石頭希遷, ca.700 – ca.790), the attributed author of the poem Sandokai , which formed the basis of Song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi of Dongshan Liangjie
Dongshan Liangjie
(Jp. Tōzan Ryōkai) and the teaching of the Five Ranks .

KAMAKURA (1185-1333)

Dōgen
Dōgen
Zenji , credited as a founder of the Sōtō
Sōtō
sect in Japan

Dogen

The Caodong-teachings were brought to Japan
Japan
in 1227, when Dōgen returned to Japan
Japan
after studying Ch\'an in China
China
and settled at Kennin-ji
Kennin-ji
in Kyoto
Kyoto
. Dōgen
Dōgen
had received Dharma transmission
Dharma transmission
from Tiantong Rujing at Qìngdé Temple, where Hongzhi Zhengjue
Hongzhi Zhengjue
once was abbot. Hongzhi's writings on "silent illumination" had greatly influenced Dōgen's own conception of shikantaza .

Dogen did return from China
China
with various koan anthologies and other texts, contributing to the transmission of the koan tradition to Japan. In the first works he wrote he emphasised the practice of zazen, which brought him into trouble at Kennin-ji:

This assertion of the primacy of Zen
Zen
aroused the anger of the Enryaku-ji monks, who succeeded in driving Dōgen
Dōgen
from the Kennin-ji where he had settled after his return to the capital.

In 1243 Dogen founded Eihei-ji
Eihei-ji
, one of the two head temples of Sōtō-shū today, choosing...

... to create new monastic institutions based on the Chinese model and risk incurring the open hostility and opposition of the established schools.

Daily routine was copied from Chinese practices, which went back to the Indian tradition:

The elements of Soto practice that contributed most to the success of the school in medieval Japan
Japan
were precisely the generic Buddhist monastic practices inherited from Sung China, and ultimately from India. The Soto Zen
Zen
style of group meditation on long platforms in a sangha hall, where the monks also took meals and slept at night, was the same as that prescribed in Indian Vinaya texts. The etiquette followed in Soto monasteries can also be traced back to the Indian Vinaya.

Ejo

Koun Ejō

Dōgen
Dōgen
was succeeded around 1236 by his disciple Koun Ejō (1198–1280), who originally was a member of the Daruma school of Nōnin, but joined Dogen in 1229. Ejo started his Buddhist studies at Mount Hiei, the center of Tendai studies. following his stay there he studied Pure Land Buddhism under Shōkū , whereafter he joined the Daruma school of Nōnin by then led by Kakuan.

Ejo, like Dōgen, believed in the primacy of Zen
Zen
Buddhism . He resisted efforts from outside to water down the tradition with other beliefs.

Gikai

Tettsū Gikai

A large group from the Daruma-school under the leadership of Ekan joined the Dogen-school in 1241, after severe conflicts with the Tendai and Rinzai schools. Among this group were Gikai , Gien and Giin , who were to become influential members of Dogen's school.

After the death of Ejō, a controversy called the sandai sōron occurred. In 1267 Ejo retired as Abbot of Eihei-ji, giving way to Gikai, who was already favored by Dogen. Gikai too originally was a member of the Daruma school, but joined Dogen's school in 1241, together with a group from the Nōnin school led by Ekan. Gikai introduced esoteric elements into the practice:

ith the premature death of Dōgen
Dōgen
the group lost its focus and internal conflicts led to a split. Dōgen's followers soon introduced such esoteric elements as prayers and incantations into the teaching.

Opposition arose, and in 1272 Ejo resumed the position of abbot. After his death in 1280, Gikai became abbot again, strengthened by the support of the military for magical practices. Opposition arose again, and Gikai was forced to leave Eihei-ji, and exiled to Kaga province , Dajō-ji (in Ishikawa prefecture ). He was succeeded by Gien, who was first trained in the Daruma-school of Nōnin . His supporters designated him as the third abbot, rejecting the legitimacy of Gikai.

Keizan

Keizan

The second most important figure in Sōtō, Keizan , belonged to this dissident branch. Keizan received ordination from Ejo when he was, twelve years old, shortly before Ejo's death When he was seventeen he went on a pilgrimage for three years throughout Japan. During this period, he studied Rinzai , Shingon and Tendai . After returning to Daijō-ji, Keizan received dharma transmission from Gikai in 1294, and established Joman-ji. In 1303 Gikai appointed Keizan as abbot of Daijō-ji, a position he maintained until 1311.

Keizan enlarged the Shingon-temple Yōkō-ji in Ishikawa prefecture, turning it into a Zen
Zen
monastery in 1312. There-after he inherited the Shingon temple Shogaku-ji in 1322, renaming it Sōji-ji
Sōji-ji
, which was recognized as an official monastery. In 1324 he put Gasan Jōseki in charge of Sojo-ji, and returned to Yōkō-ji. Yōko-ji was Keizan's main temple, but Sōji-ji
Sōji-ji
thrived better, thanks to Gasan Jōseki

Though today Dogen is referred as the founder of Sōtō, for a long period Soto history recognized several important ancestors, next to Dogen. In 1877 the heads of the Sōtō
Sōtō
community acknowledged Keizan for a brief period as the overall founder of the Sōtō
Sōtō
sect.

Dogen is known as the "koso", where Keizan is known as the "taiso";

Both terms mean the original patriarch, that is, the founder of Japanese Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen
Zen
tradition.

Soto-centers

At the end of the Kamakura period, Dogen's school centered around four centers, namely Eihei-ji, Daijo-ji monastery, and the temples Yoko-ji and Soji-ji. Soji-ji became the most influential center of the Dogen-school.

MUROMACHI (OR ASHIKAGA) (1336-1573)

During the Muromachi period the Rinzai school
Rinzai school
was the most successful of the schools, since it was favoured by the Shogun . But Soto too spread out over Japan.

Gasan And Sotetsu

Gasan Jōseki (1275–1365) and Meiho Sotetsu were Keizan's most prominent students.

Gasan too started his Buddhist studies at mount Hiei. He became head of Soji-ji in 1324. Gasan adopted the Five Ranks of Tung-shan as a fit vehicle to explain the Mahayana teachings.

Sotetsu became head of Yoko-ji in 1325. Initially his influence soon grew. In 1337 Sotetsu was appointed as abbot of Daijo-ji.

AZUCHI-MOMOYAMA (1573-1600) AND EDO (OR TOKUGAWA) (1600-1868)

After a period of war Japan
Japan
was re-united in the Azuchi–Momoyama period . Neo-Confucianism gained influence at the expense of Buddhism, which came under strict state control. The power of Buddhism decreased during the Tokugawa-period. Buddhism had become a strong political and military force in Japan
Japan
and was seen as a threat by the ruling clan. Measures were taken to control the Buddhist organisations, and to limit their power and influence. The temple hierarchy system was centralized and unified.

Japan
Japan
closed the gates to the rest of the world. New doctrines and methods were not to be introduced, nor were new temples and schools. The only exception was the Ōbaku
Ōbaku
lineage , which was introduced in the 17th century during the Edo period by Ingen
Ingen
, a Chinese monk. The presence of these Chinese monks also influenced the existing Zen-schools, spreading new ideas about monastic discipline and the rules for dharma transmission.

The Soto-school started to place a growing emphasis on textual authority. In 1615 the bakufu declared that "Eheiji's standards (kakun) must be the rule for all Soto monks". In time this came to mean all the writings of Dogen, which thereby became the normative source for the doctrines and organisation of the Soto-school.

A key factor in this growing emphasis on Dogen was Manzan's appeal to change the rules for dharma transmission , based on arguments derived from the Shōbōgenzō. From its beginnings, Sōtō-shu has laid a strong emphasis on the right lineage and dharma transmission. In time, dharma transmission became synonymous with the transmission of temple ownership. When an abbot changed position, becoming abbot of another temple, he also had to discard his lineage and adopt the lineage of his new temple. This was changed by Manzan Dokahu (1636–1714), a Soto reformer, who...

ropagated the view that Dharma transmission
Dharma transmission
was dependent on personal initiation between a Master and disciple rather than on the disciple's enlightenment. He maintained this view in the face of strong opposition, citing as authority the towering figure of Japanese Zen, Dogen This became and continues to this day to be the official Soto Zen
Zen
view.

Dogen scholarship came to a central position in the Soto sect with the writings of Menzan Zuihō (1683-1769), who wrote over a hundred works, including many commentaries on Dogen's major texts and analysis of his doctrines. Menzan promoted reforms of monastic regulations and practice, based on his reading of Dogen.

Another reformation was implemented by Gento Sokuchu (1729–1807), the 11th abbot of Eihei-ji
Eihei-ji
, who tried to purify the Soto-school, de-emphasizing the use of koans . In the Middle Ages koan study was widely practiced in the Soto-school. Gento Sokuchu started the elevation of Dogen to the status he has nowadays, when he implemented new regulations, based on Dogen's regulations.

This growing status of Dogen as textual authority also posed a problem for the Soto-school:

The Soto hierarchy, no doubt afraid of what other radical reformers might find in Dogen's Shobo Genzo, a work open to a variety of interpretations, immediately took steps to restrict access to this traditional symbol of sectarian authority. Acting at the request of the Soto prelates, in 1722 the government prohibited the copying or publication of any part of Shobo Genzo.

MEIJI RESTORATION (1868-1912) AND IMPERIAL EXPANSIONISM

Sōji-ji
Sōji-ji
Temple, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama

During the Meiji period (1868–1912) Japan
Japan
abandoned its feudal system and opened up to Western modernism. Shinto became the state religion, and Buddhism was coerced to adapt to the new regime. Rinzai and Soto Zen
Zen
chose to adapt, with embarrassing consequences when Japanese nationalism was endorsed by the Zen
Zen
institutions. War endeavours against Russia, China
China
and finally during the Pacific War were supported by the Zen
Zen
establishment.

Within the Buddhist establishment the Western world was seen as a threat, but also as a challenge to stand up to. Parties within the Zen
Zen
establishment sought to modernize Zen
Zen
in accord with Western insights, while simultaneously maintaining a Japanese identity.

During this period a reappraisal of Dōgen
Dōgen
started. The memory of Dōgen
Dōgen
was used to ensure Eihei-ji's central place in the Soto-organisation, and "to cement closer ties with lay people". In 1899 the first lay ordination ceremony was organized in Eihei-ji. Eihei-ji
Eihei-ji
also promoted the study of Dōgen's works, especially the Shōbōgenzō, which changed the view of Dōgen
Dōgen
in Soto's history. An image of Dōgen
Dōgen
was created that suited the specific interests of Eihei-ji:

Dōgen's memory has helped keep Eihei-ji
Eihei-ji
financially secure, in good repair, and filled with monks and lay pilgrims who look to Dōgen
Dōgen
for religious inspiration the Dōgen
Dōgen
we remember is a constructed image, an image constructed in large measure to serve the sectarian agendas of Eihei-ji
Eihei-ji
in its rivalry with Sōji-ji. We should remember that the Dōgen
Dōgen
of the Shōbōgenzō, the Dōgen
Dōgen
who is held up as a profound religious philosopher, is a fairly recent innovation in the history of Dōgen
Dōgen
remembrances.

LAY INTERESTS

Funerals continue to play an important role as a point of contact between the monks and the laity. Statistics published by the Sōtō school state that 80 percent of Sōtō
Sōtō
laymen visit their temple only for reasons having to do with funerals and death, while only 17 percent visit for spiritual reasons and a mere 3 percent visit a Zen priest at a time of personal trouble or crisis.

MONASTIC TRAINING

See also: Zen
Zen
ranks and hierarchy

In an advice to western practitioners, Kojun Kishigami Osho, a dharma heir of Kodo Sawaki , writes:

Every year, about 150 novices arrive. About 90 percent of them are sons of temple heads, which leaves only 10 percent who chose this path for themselves. For the autumn session, about 250 monks come together. Essentially what they are learning in these temples is the ability to officiate all kinds of ceremonies and rites practiced by the Soto School – the methods for fulfilling their role. Apart from this aspect, practicing with the idea of developing one’s own spirituality is not prevalent.

According to Kishigami, practice may as well be undertaken elsewhere:

If you want to study Buddhism, I recommend the Japanese universities. If you want to learn the ceremonies practiced by the Soto School, you need only head for Eihei-ji
Eihei-ji
or Soji-ji.

But if your goal is to seriously learn the practice of zazen, unfortunately, I have no Japanese temple to recommend to you. Of course, you can go to Antai-ji, if you want; but if you want to deepen your practice of true Zen, you can do it in Europe. If you go to Japan for this, you will be disappointed. Don’t expect to find anything wonderful there.

SPREAD IN THE WESTERN WORLD

In the 20th century Soto- Zen
Zen
spread out to the west.

SHUNRYU SUZUKI

Shunryu Suzuki
Shunryu Suzuki
played a central role in bringing Sōtō
Sōtō
to the west. Suzuki studied at Komazawa University , the Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen
Zen
university in Tokyo. In 1959 Suzuki arrived in California
California
to attend to Soko-ji , at that time the sole Sōtō
Sōtō
temple in San Francisco
San Francisco
. His book Zen
Zen
Mind, Beginner\'s Mind has become a classic in western Zen
Zen
culture. Shunryu Suzuki's teaching of Shikantaza and Zen
Zen
practice led to the formation of the San Francisco
San Francisco
Zen
Zen
Center, one of the largest and most successful Zen
Zen
organizations in the West. The training monastery of the San Francisco
San Francisco
Zen
Zen
center, at Tassajara Hot springs in central California, was the first Buddhist Monastery to be established outside Asia. Today SFZC includes Tassajara Monastery, Green Gulch Farm, and City Center. Various Zen
Zen
Centers around the U.S. are part of the dharma lineage of San Francisco
San Francisco
Zen
Zen
Center and maintain close organizational ties with it. Dainin Katagiri
Dainin Katagiri

Suzuki's assistant Dainin Katagiri
Dainin Katagiri
was invited to come to Minneapolis , Minnesota
Minnesota
, where he moved in 1972 after Suzuki's death. Katagiri and his students built four Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen
Zen
centers within Minneapolis–Saint Paul .

SANBO KYODAN

Taizan Maezumi
Taizan Maezumi

The Sanbo Kyodan
Sanbo Kyodan
, in which Soto and Rinzai are merged, is also of central importance western Soto Zen. Their lineage, starting with Hakuun Yasutani , includes Taizan Maezumi
Taizan Maezumi
, who gave dharma transmission to various American students, among them Tetsugen Bernard Glassman , Dennis Genpo Merzel
Dennis Genpo Merzel
, Charlotte Joko Beck
Charlotte Joko Beck
and John Daido Loori .

In Europe the Sanbo Kyodan
Sanbo Kyodan
has been influential via Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle , and via students of Dennis Genpo Merzel, especially in the Netherlands.

Sanbo Kyodan
Sanbo Kyodan
was also connected to the Soen Nakagawa -Eido Tai Shimano lineage, due to a personal fondness of Soen for the teaching practices of Harada roshi , who was the teacher of Hakuun Yasutani.

ANTAI-JI

Shohaku Okumura

The Antaiji -based lineage of Kodo Sawaki is also widespread. Sawaki is regarded as one of the greatest Zen
Zen
teachers of recent times. Sawaki's student and successor as abbot Kosho Uchiyama was the teacher of Shohaku Okumura who established the Sanshin Zen
Zen
Community in Bloomington, Indiana
Bloomington, Indiana
, and his student Gudo Wafu Nishijima is the teacher of Brad Warner
Brad Warner
.

SOTO ZEN BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION

The larger majority of North American Sōtō
Sōtō
priests joined together in 1996 to form the Soto Zen
Zen
Buddhist Association . While institutionally independent of the Japanese Sōtōshū, the Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen Buddhist Association works closely with what most members see as their parent organization. With about one hundred fully transmitted priests, the Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen
Zen
Buddhist Association now represents about 80% of Western Sōtō
Sōtō
teachers. The Soto Zen
Zen
Buddhist Association approved a document honoring the women ancestors in the Zen
Zen
tradition at its biannual meeting on October 8, 2010. Female ancestors, dating back 2,500 years from India, China, and Japan, may now be included in the curriculum, ritual, and training offered to Western Zen
Zen
students.

PRACTICE

Daily services in Soto monasteries include chanting of sutras and dharanis.

SHIKANTAZA

In the Soto school of Zen, Shikantaza , meditation with no objects, anchors, or content, is the primary form of practice. The meditator strives to be aware of the stream of thoughts, allowing them to arise and pass away without interference.

Considerable textual, philosophical, and phenomenological justification of this practice can be found throughout Dōgen
Dōgen
's works:

In the first works he wrote after his return to Japan, the Fukan zazengi (Principles for the universal promotion of zazen) and Bendōwa (Distinguishing the Way), he advocated zazen (seated meditation) as the supreme Buddhist practice for both monks and laypersons.

Other important texts promoting zazen are the Shōbōgenzō, and the "Principles of Zazen" and the "Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen".

SOTO VERSUS RINZAI

Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen
Zen
was often given the derogatory name "farmer Zen" because of its mass appeal. Some teachers of Zen
Zen
would say that the reason why it was called "farmer Zen" was because of its down-to-earth approach, while the Rinzai school
Rinzai school
was often called "samurai Zen" because of the larger samurai following. The latter term for the Rinzai can be somewhat misleading, however, as the Sōtō
Sōtō
school also had samurai among its rosters.

TEXTS

SUTRAS

Main article: Zen
Zen
and Sutras

Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen, like all of Zen, relies on the Prajnaparamita Sutras, as well as general Mahayana Buddhist sutras, such as the Lotus Sutra , the Brahma Net Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra . Zen
Zen
is influenced in large part by the Yogacara school of philosophy as well as the Huayan school .

Until the promotion of Dogen studies in modern times, the study of Chinese texts was prevalent in Soto:

After textual learning was revived during the early Tokugawa period, most Japanese Sōtō
Sōtō
monks still studied only well-known Chinese Buddhist scriptures or classic Chinese Zen
Zen
texts. Eventually a few scholarly monks like Menzan Zuihō began to study Dōgen's writings, but they were the exceptions. Even when scholarly monks read Dōgen's writings, they usually did not lecture on them to their disciples.

SōTō ZEN TEXTS

Shih-t'ou Hsi-ch'ien's (Shitou Xiqien, Sekito Kisen, 700–790) poem "The Harmony of Difference and Sameness" is an important early expression of Zen
Zen
Buddhism and is chanted in Sōtō
Sōtō
temples to this day.

One of the poems of Tung-shan Liang-chieh, the founder of Sōtō, "The Song of the Jewel Mirror Awareness " is also chanted in Sōtō temples. Another set of his poems on the Five Positions ( Five Ranks ) of Absolute and Relative is important as a set of koans in the Rinzai school.

Other texts typically chanted in Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen
Zen
temples include the Heart Sutra (Hannyashingyō), and Dōgen's Fukanzazengi (Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen).

Dogen

Dōgen's teaching is characterized by the identification of practice as enlightenment itself. This is to be found in the Shōbōgenzō . The popularity of this huge body of texts is from a relatively recent date:

Today, when someone remembers Dōgen
Dōgen
or thinks of Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen, most often that person automatically thinks of Dōgen's Shōbōgenzō. This kind of automatic association of Dōgen
Dōgen
with this work is very much a modern development. By the end of the fifteenth century most of Dōgen's writings had been hidden from view in temple vaults where they became secret treasures In earlier generations only one Zen teacher, Nishiari Bokusan (1821–1910), is known to have ever lectured on how the Shōbōgenzō should be read and understood.

The study of Dogen, and especially his Shobogenzo, has become the norm in the 20th century:

Beginning in 1905 Eiheiji organized its first Shōbōgenzō conference (Genzō e) Since 1905 it has become an annual event at Eiheiji, and over time it gradually changed the direction of Sōtō Zen
Zen
monastic education Sōtan's lectures provided a model that could be emulated by each of the other Zen
Zen
monks who came to Eiheiji. This model has become the norm, not the exception. Today every Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen teacher lectures on Dōgen's Shōbōgenzō.

ORGANISATION

Sōtō's head temples (honzan) Eihei-ji
Eihei-ji
Sōji-ji
Sōji-ji

The Soto-shu organisation has an elaborate organisation. It consists of circa 15.000 temples. There are circa 30 training centers, where Soto-monks can train to become an oshō or priest and run their own temple.

HEAD AND PARLIAMENT

Soto Zen
Zen
headquarters, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Japan

Soto-shu has a centralised organisation, run by a head:

Soto-shu is a democratic organization with a head (called 宗務総長 Shûmusôchô) that is elected by a parliament. The parliament in turn consist of 72 priests that are elected in 36 districts throughout Japan, 2 from each district. The Shûmusôchô selects a cabinet that consists of him and seven other priests who together govern the organization. It is commonly believed that the Kanchô, who is either the head of Eiheiji or Sôjiji, the two head temples, is the boss of Soto-shu. This is not the case. The Kanchô has only representational functions; the real power lies with the Shûmusôchô and his cabinet.

TEMPLES

Contemporary Soto-shu has four classes of temples:

* Honzan (本山), head temples, namely Eihei-ji
Eihei-ji
and Sōji-ji
Sōji-ji
; * Kakuchi, teaching monasteries, where at least once a year an ango (ninety-day retreat) takes place; * Hōchi, dharma temples; * Jun hōchi, ordinary temples.

While Eihei-ji
Eihei-ji
owes its existence to Dōgen, throughout history this head temple has had significantly fewer sub-temple affiliates than the Sōji-ji. During the Tokugawa period , Eiheiji had approximately 1,300 affiliate temples compared to Sōji-ji's 16,200. Furthermore, out of the more than 14,000 temples of the Sōtō
Sōtō
sect today, 13,850 of those identify themselves as affiliates of Sōji-ji. Additionally, most of the some 148 temples that are affiliates of Eiheiji today are only minor temples located in Hokkaido
Hokkaido
— founded during a period of colonization during the Meiji period . Therefore, it is often said that Eiheiji is a head temple only in the sense that it is "head of all Sōtō
Sōtō
dharma lineages.

LEGAL STATUS

The Soto-shu is an "umbrella (hokatsu) organization for affiliated temples and organizations". It has "three sets of governing documents":

* Sotoshu Constitution (Sotoshu shuken); * Regulations for the Religious Juridical Person Sotoshu (Shukyo honin Sotoshu kisoku); * Sotoshu Standard Procedures (Sotoshu kitei).

SEE ALSO

* Buddhism portal

PERSONS

* Shunryu Suzuki
Shunryu Suzuki
* Taizan Maezumi
Taizan Maezumi
* Kodo Sawaki * Gudo Nishijima * Muho Noelke

PRACTICE

* Koan
Koan
* Shikantaza * Zazen
Zazen

CHINESE CHáN

* Chinese Chán
Chinese Chán
* Caodong

JAPANESE ZEN

* Japanese Zen
Zen
* Japanese Buddhism
Japanese Buddhism

TEMPLES

* Eihei-ji
Eihei-ji
* Antai-ji

NOTES

* ^ But it is not the largest network as a school. About 30,000 temples in Japanese Pure Land Buddhism are split across over 10 legal entities. * ^ 「洞上の玄風、天下にしく、故に諸方の宗匠、ともにこれを推尊して洞曹宗という」. (Japanese tr. by Masunaga) * ^ although including Japanese nationals, mainly those of American and specifically European descent * ^ See Soto-shu organisation for an organogram

REFERENCES

BOOK REFERENCES

* ^ A B Bodiford 1993 . * ^ Slater 1997 , p. 218-219. * ^ A B C D E F G H I Bodiford 2006 . * ^ A B C Masunaga 1964 , p. 722. * ^ Dumoulin 2005a , pp. 165–166. * ^ Wegner 2001 . * ^ Leighton 2000 . * ^ Leighton, 17 * ^ Kōans in the Dōgen
Dōgen
Tradition * ^ A B Hall 1998 , p. 625. * ^ A B Yampolsky 1985 , p. 4-5. * ^ A B Foulk & Year unknown . * ^ Dumoulin 2005b , p. 128. * ^ Dumoulin 2005b , p. 124. * ^ A B C Dumoulin 2005b , p. 122. * ^ A B Dumoulin 2005b , p. 125. * ^ Dumoulin 2005b , p. 135. * ^ Faure 1986 , p. 47. * ^ A B Dumoulin 2005b , p. 139. * ^ Dumoulin 2005b , p. 140. * ^ A B C Dumoulin 2005b , p. 142. * ^ A B Faure 1986 , p. 7. * ^ Faure 1986 , p. 8. * ^ Prebish & Heine 2003 . * ^ Bodiford 1993 , p. 81. * ^ Slater 1997 . * ^ A B C Dumoulin 2005b , p. 207. * ^ Dumoulin 2005b , p. 208. * ^ Dumoulin 2005b , pp. 208–209. * ^ A B Mohr 1994 , p. 353. * ^ Snelling 1987 . * ^ A B Dumoulin 2005b . * ^ Mohr 1994 , p. 353-354. * ^ A B C D Bodiford 1991 , p. 450. * ^ Tetsuo 2003 . * ^ Bodiford 1999 . * ^ Lachs 1999 . * ^ Heine ">

* ^ A B Kojun Kishigami Osho, Of roots and branches * ^ Chadwick, David (c. 1997). "Crooked Cucumber: Interview With Tomoe Katagiri". Crooked Cucumber Archives. and "Dainin Katagiri Lineage". Sweeping Zen. Retrieved June 2, 2012. * ^ "United States Dharma
Dharma
Centers: Minnesota: Minneapolis". DharmaNet. * ^ "Directory of Religious Centers". President and Fellows of Harvard College and Diana Eck. Retrieved June 16, 2012. * ^ Foulk, T. Griffith. "Soto School Scriptures for Daily Services and Practice (Sôtôshû nikka gongyô seiten)". Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford. Soto Zen
Zen
Text Project. Archived from the original on April 8, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2015. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link ) * ^ Soto Zen
Zen
Text Project. "Zazengi translation". Stanford University . Retrieved 2008-03-26. * ^ Soto Zen
Zen
Text Project. "Fukan Zazengi". Stanford University. Retrieved 2008-03-26. * ^ A B Muho Noelke: About the meaning of the vertical and horizontal structure of the sangha

SOURCES

* Anderson, Reb (2001). Being Upright: Zen
Zen
Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts. Rodmell Press. ISBN 0-9627138-9-9 . OCLC 44414111 . * Bodiford, William M. (1991), Dharma
Dharma
Transmission in Soto Zen. Manzan Dohaku's Reform Movement. In: Monumenta Nipponica, Vol.46, No.4 (Winter, 1991), pp 423-451 * Bodiford, William M. (1992), Zen
Zen
in the Art of Funerals: Ritual Salvation in Japanese Buddhism. In: 'History of Religions' 32, no. 2 (1992): 150 * Bodiford, William M. (1993). Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen
Zen
in Medieval Japan. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-1482-7 . * Bodiford, William M. (2006). "Remembering Dōgen: Eiheiji and Dōgen
Dōgen
Hagiography". Society for Japanese Studies. 32 (1): 1–21. ISSN 1549-4721 . doi :10.1353/jjs.2006.0003 . * Bodiford, William (2006b), Koan
Koan
practice. In: John Daido Loori (ed)(2006), "Sitting with koans. Essential writings on the practice of Zen
Zen
koan introspection", Boston: Wisdom Publications * Bodiford, William M. (2008), Dharma
Dharma
Transmission in Theory and Practice. In: Zen
Zen
Ritual: Studies of Zen
Zen
Buddhist Theory in Practice (PDF), Oxford University Press * Coleman, James William (2001). The New Buddhism: The Western Transformation of an Ancient Tradition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515241-7 . OCLC 48932003 . * Dōgen, Eihei (1971). Primer of Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen: A Translation of Dōgen's Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki. Masunaga, R. (trans). (East West Center Book) University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-0357-4 . * Dumoulin, Heinrich (2005b), Zen
Zen
Buddhism: A History. Volume 2: Japan, World Wisdom Books, ISBN 978-0-941532-90-7 * Faure, Bernard (1986). Visions of Power: Imagining Medieval Japanese Buddhism. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02941-5 . OCLC 44599484 . * Ford, James Ishmael (2006). Zen
Zen
Master Who?: A Guide to the People and Stories of Zen. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-509-8 . OCLC 70174891 . * Foulk, T. Griffith (n.d.), History of the Soto Zen
Zen
School * Hall, John Whitney (1988). The Cambridge History of Japan. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-22352-0 . OCLC 17483588 . * Harvey, Peter (1990). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History, and Practices. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-31333-3 . OCLC 19589186 . * Heine, Steven ; Wright, Dale S. (2000). The Koan: Texts and Contexts in Zen
Zen
Buddhism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-511748-4 . OCLC 41090651 . * Heine, Steven (2004). "Kōans In The Dōgen
Dōgen
Tradition: How and Why Dōgen
Dōgen
Does What He Does With Kōans". Philosophy East & West. University of Hawaii Press. 54 (1): 1–19, 19p. ISSN 0031-8221 . OCLC 1485347 . doi :10.1353/pew.2003.0052 . * Juergensmeyer, Mark (2006). The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513798-1 . OCLC 64084086 . * Kay, David N. (2004). Tibetan and Zen
Zen
Buddhism in Britain: Transplantation, Development and Adaptation. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-29765-6 . OCLC 51315294 . * Koho, K.C. (2000) Sōtō
Sōtō
Zen: An Introduction to the Thought of the Serene Reflection Meditation School of Buddhism, Shasta Abbey Press, ISBN 0-930066-09-X * Lachs, Stuart (1999), Means of Authorization: Establishing Hierarchy in Ch\'an / Zen
Zen
Buddhism in America * Leighton, Taigen Daniel (2000). Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen
Zen
Master Hongzhi. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3240-4 . OCLC 43978646 . * Loori, John Daido (1996). The Heart of Being: Moral and Ethical Teachings of Zen
Zen
Buddhism. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3078-9 . OCLC 42855782 . * Lu, David J. (1997). Japan: A Documentary History. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 1-56324-907-3 . OCLC 34876074 . * Masunaga, Reihō (1969) . Sekai hyakka jiten 世界百科事典. 13. Heibonsha. * McMahan, David L. (2008), The Making of Buddhist Modernism, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-518327-6 * Mohr, Michel (1994), Zen
Zen
Buddhism during the Tokugawa period: The challenge to go beyond sectarian consciousness. In: Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, vol. 21 no. 4, December 1994, pp. 341–72 (PDF)

* O'Halloran, Maura (2007). Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen
Zen
Saint. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-283-8 . OCLC 83977483 . * Oldmeadow, Harry (2004). Journeys East: 20th Century Western Encounters with Eastern Religious Traditions. World Wisdom, Inc. p. 528. ISBN 0-941532-57-7 . OCLC 54843891 . * Prebish, Charles S.; Heine, Steven (2003). Buddhism in the Modern World: Adaptations of an Ancient Tradition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-514698-0 . OCLC 50730942 . * Senauke, Hozan Alan (April 2006). "A Long and Winding Road: Sōtō Zen
Zen
Training in America". Teaching Theology & Religion. Blackwell Publishers. 9 (2): 127–132, 6p. ISSN 1467-9647 . OCLC 38912788 . doi :10.1111/j.1467-9647.2006.00274.x . * Sharf, Robert H. (August 1993), "The Zen
Zen
of Japanese Nationalism", History of Religions, 33 (1): 1–43 * Shimano, Eido Tai (1996), Dai Bosatsu Mandala. A Portrait of Soen Nakagawa. In: Kazuaki Tanahashi & Roko Sherry Chayat (1996), Endless Vow. The Zen
Zen
Path of Soen Nakagawa, Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, Inc * Slater, Peter (1977). Religion and Culture in Canada: Essays by Members of the Canadian Society. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. ISBN 0-919812-01-5 . OCLC 2157551 . * Snelling, John (1987), The Buddhist handbook. A Complete Guide to Buddhist Teaching and Practice, London: Century Paperbacks * Spuler, Michelle (2003). Developments in Australian Buddhism: Facets of the Diamond. Routledge. ISBN 0-7007-1582-7 . OCLC 49952207 .

* Victoria, Brian Daizen (2006), Zen