A dramatic and beautifully filmed Japanese movie based on the life of Zen master Dogen.
This is the inspiring true story of Eihei Dogen, the great 13th century Japanese Buddhist master. Dogen studied in China and established a monastic practice which emphasizes sitting meditation; he is regarded as the founder of the Soto school of Zen.
Zen is a poignant, in-depth, reverent and surprisingly moving portrait of Dogen. Filmed on location in Japan, the movie is impressively well researched and produced with great attention to authentic detail. From pilgrimages to China to armed monks at war, the Kamakura era was a time of upheaval in Japan and saw the beginnings of both the Rinzai and Soto schools of Zen, and the arrival of tea. The country would never be the same again.
Born in 1200, orphaned at eight and initiated as a monk at age fourteen, Dogen is perhaps best known in the West for his texts Instructions to the Cook and a collection of profound philosophical discourses called the Shobogenzo. He led a renaissance in practice and doctrine in Japan, and his Zen is the practical implementation of the principle of non-duality. Two key points are: there are there is no gap between practice and enlightenment; and, right behaviour in daily life is Buddhism itself.
DVD, 127 minutes