Current Work of the Project

Update 10/23/08: The project has completed its publication of the liturgy (number 1 below). The ritual manual (number 2) is now in press. Draft translations have been prepared of approximately seventy-five percent of the chapters of the Shōbōgenzō (number 3) and twenty-five percent of the Denkōroku (number 4).

1) Sōtōshū nikka gongyō seiten 曹洞宗日課勤行 (Soto School Scriptures for Daily Services and Practice). A complete translation of the basic liturgy of the Soto school. In order to ensure the broadest possible consensus on the English version, the translations were developed as a cooperative effort of the American Soto Zen centers, through a series of translation workshops at Green Gulch Farm, in California, that brought together representatives of American Soto groups to work with the translators. The project's translation has been published by the Sotoshu and is available from Zenshuji, 123 South Hewitt Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Soto Zen groups may order free examination copies. For information, e-mail Eventually, we hope to put the complete text on this site; at present, we are limited to the Contents and Introduction.

2) Sōtōshū gyōji kihan 曹洞宗行持軌範 (Standards for Soto School Practice). A complete, annotated translation of the ritual procedures of the Soto school, for use in the training of priests and the organization of practice centers. The translation, by Griffith Foulk, is now in press, with publication by the Sōtōshū Shūmuchō expected in 2009. Whether an electronic version will also appear on this site remains to be determined. For more information, contact Griffith Foulk.

3) Shōbōgenzō 正法眼藏 (Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma). A complete, annotated translation of the new, Shumucho edition of the vernacular writings of the Soto school founder, Dōgen (1200-1253). Although the Shōbōgenzō has previously been translated into English several times, the project aims to make the original Japanese text more accessible to scholars, students, and practitioners, by providing not merely a new English version but an abundance of reference material on the language and content of the texts. When complete, the translation will be published by the Sōtōshū Shūmuchō, in cooperation with a major American university press. Meanwhile, we will be publishing individual fascicles in the journal Dharma Eye and have worked out an arrangement with the Shūmuchō to make these and other project translations appearing in print available on this site. For more information, contact Carl Bielefeldt.

4) Denkōroku (Record of Transmission of the Light). A complete, annotated translation of the history of the Sōtō Zen transmission by the founder of Sōjiji 総持寺, Keizan 瑩山 (1268-1325). For more information, contact William Bodiford.