“ZEN”: The Life of Dogen

The new film Zen focuses on the life of Zen master Dogen, the prolific writer of The Eihei Koroku, a translation of which can be found in Dogen’s Extensive Record. The Japan Times is calling Zen an inspired biopic, “since Dogen was a fearless spiritual seeker and brilliant writer whose deeds and words still engage. The film is generally faithful to what is known of his life, from the early deaths of his parents to his travels in China and his difficulties with the religious powers-that-be in Japan.”

Zen Buddhism: Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Shunryu Suzuki (1905-1971) was a direct spiritual descendant of the great thirteenth-century Zen Master, Dogen. This inspiring work ranks with the great Zen classics, in a voice and language completely adapted to contemporary sensibilities. Suzuki's words breathe with the joy and simplicity that make a liberated life possible. As he reveals the actual practice of Zen as a discipline for daily life, one begins to understand what Zen is really about.

Zen Hermits are Fine Forest Friends

American director Edward A. Burger takes us on his unforgettable journey into the hidden lives of China's forgotten Zen Buddhist hermit tradition. "Amongst White Clouds is a look at the lives of zealot students, gaunt ascetics and wise masters living in isolated hermitages dotting the peaks and valleys of China's Zhongnan Mountain range." The Zhongnan Mountains have been home to recluses since the time of the Yellow Emperor, some five thousand years ago. Many of China's most realized Buddhist masters attained enlightenment in this very range! And now? It is widely thought that this tradition was all but wiped out by the twists and turns of history. "Amongst White Clouds" shows us this is not the case. One of only a few foreigners to have lived and studied with these hidden sages, Burger reveals to us their tradition, their wisdom, and the hardship and joy of their everyday lives. With both humor and compassion, these inspiring and warm-hearted characters challenge us to join them in an exploration of our own suffering and enlightenment in this modern world.

Zen Buddhism - The Land of the Disappearing Buddha - Japan (BBC 1977)

1. The film opens with a shot of Tokyo (urban jungle) and a description of the rapid changes in Japanese society; against this background Buddhism in Japan is an oasis of stability. Yet this Buddhism is very different from Sri Lankan Buddhism, and shows the differences not only between the Theravada and the Mahayana, but between differing cultural influences (hence his question "If the Buddha from Sri Lanka met the Buddha from Japan, would they recognize each other?").

Zen Hospice Project

The “Zen” in our name reflects our approach of bringing mindfulness and compassion to our care for the dying, their caregivers, and the bereaved. This approach is grounded in the 2,500 year-old teachings of the Buddha, especially as they relate to coping with death and dying. The Buddha taught that life is happiest for those who learn to meet change, loss, and the eventuality of death with equanimity and kindness. Doing so can enhance one’s understanding and love of life.