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Dōgen (1200–53)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G114-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 20, 2024, from

Article Summary

Dōgen Kigen, the founder of Japanese Sōtō Zen Buddhism, is most noted for his argument that meditation is the expression or enactment of enlightenment, not the means to attaining it. Dōgen believed that even a novice might achieve insight, however fleeting. The difficulty, however, is in expressing that insight in one’s daily acts, both linguistic and non-linguistic. In developing his position, Dōgen articulated a phenomenology of incarnate consciousness and a sophisticated analysis of meaning. His theories of mind–body unity, contextualized meaning, temporality and theory–praxis influenced many prominent modern Japanese philosophers such as Watsuji Tetsurō, Tanabe Hajime and Nishitani Keiji.

Citing this article:
Kasulis, Thomas P.. Dōgen (1200–53), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G114-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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