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.
**TENZO KYOKUN: INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE TENZO
by Eihei Dogen zenji – translated by Anzan Hoshin roshi
and Yasuda Joshu Dainen roshi
Retrieved November 29, 2014