ISBN 9781611802283,Just This Is It: Dongshan and the Practice of Suchness

Just This Is It: Dongshan and the Practice of Suchness



Shambhala Publications

Publication Year 2015

ISBN 9781611802283

ISBN-10 1611802288


Number of Pages 256 Pages
Language (English)


The joy of “suchness”—the absolute and true nature inherent in all appearance—shines through the teachings attributed to Dongshan Liangjie (807–869), the legendary founder of the Caodong lineage of Chan Buddhism (the predecessor of Soto Zen). Taigen Dan Leighton looks at the teachings attributed to Dongshan—in his Recorded Sayings and in the numerous koans in which he is featured as a character—to reveal the subtlety and depth of the teaching on the nature of reality that Dongshan expresses. Included are an analysis of the well-known teaching poem “Jewel Mirror Samadhi” and of the understanding of particular and universal expressed in the teaching of the Five Degrees. “The teachings embedded in the stories about Dongshan provide a rich legacy that has been sustained in practice traditions,” says Taigen. “Dongshan’s subtle teachings about engagement with suchness remain vital today for Zen people and are available for all those who wish to find meaning amid the challenges to modern life.”
About the Author

TAIGEN DAN LEIGHTON is an adjunct professor at the Institute of Buddhist Studies of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and has taught widely elsewhere, including at the University of Chicago, the California Institute of Integral Studies, Loyola University, the University of San Francisco, and Otani University in Kyoto. He's also a priest and dharma teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki and a dharma heir of Tenshin Reb Anderson. He is the author or translator of numerous academic books on Zen, along with others that straddle the line between scholarly and popular, most prominent among which is his Bodhisattva Archetypes (Penguin, 1998, reissued by Wisdom in 2003 as Faces of Compassion: Classic Bodhisattva Archetypes and Their Modern Expression).