Dōgen is known for his extensive writing including the Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma or Shōbōgenzō, a collection of ninety-five fascicles concerning Buddhist practice and enlightenment.
Quotes by Dogen Zenji
Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water. Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky.
Working with plants, trees, fences and walls, if they practice sincerely they will attain enlightenment. This is because the four elements and five clusters and plants, trees, fences and walls are fellow students; because they are of the same essence, because they are the same mind and the same life, because they are the same body and the same mechanism.
Studying the Buddha way is studying oneself. Studying oneself is forgetting oneself. Forgetting oneself is being enlightened by all things. Being enlightened by all things is to shed the body-mind of oneself, and those of others. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this traceless enlightenment continues endlessly.
Cease from practice based on intellectual understanding, pursuing words, and following after speech, and learn the backward step that turns your light inward to illuminate your self. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will be manifest.
Through one word, or seven words, or three times five, even if you investigate thoroughly myriad forms, nothing can be depended upon. Night advances, the moon glows and falls into the ocean. The black dragon jewel you have been searching for, is everywhere.
Mountains and rivers at this very moment are the actualization of the world of the ancient Buddhas. Each, abiding in its phenomenal expression, realizes completeness.
That you carry yourself forward and experience the myriad things is delusion. That the myriad things come forward and experience themselves is awakening.
Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to Dharma see no Dharma in everyday actions; they have not discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of Dharma.
Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life.
Handle even a single leaf of green in such a way that it manifests the body of the Buddha. This in turn allows the Buddha to manifest through the leaf.
The true person is not anyone in particular; But like the deep blue color of the limitless sky, it is everyone, everywhere in the world.
You should study not only that you become a mother when your child is born, but also that you become a child.
The color of the mountains is Buddha's body; the sound of running water is his great speech.
If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
In a mind clear as still water, even the waves, breaking, are reflecting its light.
Flowers fall amid our longing and weeds spring up amid our antipathy.
Sitting is the gateway of truth to total liberation.
What is Reality? An icicle forming in fire.
Enlightenment is intimacy with all things.