Diamond Buddha – A Film on the Life of Zen Master Dogen

My friend Alan moved away. Fortunately we can connect through the marvels of technology. Here’s his latest suggestion of a must see film from the world of Zen Buddhism. This is a film from Japan on the life of Zen Master Dogen (13th century) which was released in 2009.  I found the film to be very moving.  Dogen brought (Soto) Zen Buddhism from China.  This is the story of his life’s teaching. It is subtitled in English.

In the beginning of the film, Dogen meets a head cook of a monastery in China on his search for a master teacher. As a result of the training that Dogen received at the monastery where the Head Cook (Tenzo) also instructed him, he wrote an essay known in English as “Instructions To The Cook“.** This essay explained the duties of the head cook is as the same as taking care of one’s own life.

The head cook is responsible for everyone’s life in the monastery. The film gives a glimpse into the practice of Zen meditation.



by Eihei Dogen zenji – translated by Anzan Hoshin roshi

and Yasuda Joshu Dainen roshi

Retrieved November 29, 2014

About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Credits: Do not own a microwave oven and never have. Do not own a food processor. Chopped veggies in a Zen monastery for a weekend. (Seriously) Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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