Course Description 

In this course, we will explore the life and writings of the thirteenth-century Buddhist priest, poet, and Zen Master Eihei Dōgen. Dōgen is known as the founder of the Sōtō Zen school of Buddhism in Japan. His major writings, collected into the Shōbōgenzō, also known as the “Treasury of the True Dharma Eye,” is considered a seminal work in Buddhist literature and philosophy. It covers topics from the mundane, including how monks are to care for their hygiene, to the esoteric, including the nature of time itself. The course will give the student a variety of resources both to study during the course, and to return to in order to delve more deeply into Dōgen’s philosophy, practice, and work. 


  • Demonstrate and explain how to do zazen meditation 
  • Describe Dōgen’s history and his influence on Buddhism 
  • List components of Dōgen’s instructions for monastics 
  • Compare and contrast different translations of Dōgen’s writings 
  • Describe how Dōgen used Kōans, and compare one of his kōans to a corresponding Dharma talk 
  • Describe how Dōgen’s writings can be used in your work as a priest, teacher, or chaplain 


  • Engaging in all components of each week comprised of videos, readings, reflection papers, and other exercises 
  • Regularly contributing to discussions and responding to peers: 30% 
  • A mid-term assessment assignment: 30% 
  • A final paper: 40%