Encountering Dogen’s Early Teachings taught by Rev. Choro Antonaccio


A six-session class taught by Guiding Teacher Rev. Choro Antonaccio Thursdays, Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, and Dec. 1; 7:00 – 8:15 pm in person and on Zoom  *Please join in person if at all possible

Eihei Dogen Zenji (1200-1253 CE) is the founder of our school in Japan, Soto Zen. Orphaned at a young age and first ordained as a Tendai monk. He subsequently studied under Myozen, whose own master had introduced Zen to Japan, and he traveled to China with Myozen. After Myozen died in China, Dogen he met his true teacher, Rujing, who practiced the Chinese form of Zen known as Caodong (Jp. Soto). At the age of 27, Dogen returned from China with dharma transmission (authorization to teach) and immediately began writing and teaching in his home country.
In this class, we will study the first two of Dogen’s writings: Bendowa (Wholehearted Practice of the Way) and Fukanzazengi (Recommending Zazen to all People). These two texts lay out the fundamentals of his teachings, which were elaborated later in his major work, Shobogenzo, which consists of 95 essays (including Bendowa).

This class is intended for everyone, beginners and experienced practitioners alike, who would benefit from studying these fundamental texts with others. Although Fukanzazengi was the second text to be composed, we will read Bendowa first. Several translations of these texts are available; PDFs will be provided and some background material, but our emphasis will be on reading, discussing, and understanding these texts ourselves.

Everyone is welcome; regular attendance is encouraged. Classes will be recorded, but this is not a lecture class and participation is important.

 Rev. Choro Carla Antonaccio began formal Zen practice at Chapel Hill Zen Center in 1999. She received lay precepts from her teacher, Rev. Josho Patricia Phelan, in 2001 and priest ordination in 2010. She was shuso in Chapel Hill in 2016. Rev. Choro has practiced at the three temples of San Francisco Zen Center including practice periods at Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm. In Chapel Hill she served for multiple years in the positions of Tenzo, Work Leader, and Ino and also served as member at large and president of the board of directors. She decided to end her career in academia in 2018 and moved to Austin to practice with the sangha at AZC in 2020, serving as Tanto (Head of Practice).

In 2021, she received dharma transmission from Rev. Konjin Gaelyn Godwin, Abbot of Houston Zen Center, and became Guiding Teaching in 2022. She is a full member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association and also of the American Zen Teachers Association. 

Cost for the class: $65 members / $85 nonmembers

As always, AZC is committed to making the teachings available to everyone. To request financial assistance from our Scholarship Fund, or if you would like to donate to the Fund for others to be able to participate, please contact AZC Administrator Maida Barbour admin@austinzencenter.org