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Eiheiji, the "temple of eternal peace," is one of Soto Zen's two head temples. It is located deep in the mountains near the rugged west coast of Japan, not far from Fukui City.
Dogen zenji, the founder of Eiheiji, was born in l200A.D. When he was 24, he went to China and devoted himself to true Zen practice under the strict guidance of Nyojo zenji at Mt.Tendo. After having ''dropped off both body and mind," realizing the way of the Buddha, he returned home in l228. He lived at Kenninji temple for 3 years, then founded his rlrst temple, Kosho-Horinji, in Uji, Kyoto.
In 1244 Dogen zenji and his followers visited Shii-no-Sho in Echizen (now Fukui Prefecture) to build a mountain temple. He was offered land and other help for this by YoshishigeHatano,asamurai who was one of his most devoted lay followers. Dogen thus founded Eiheiji, where he devoted himself to training his followers in the perfection of Zen practice in every action of daily life.
 He died on September29, 1253,leaving a number or noted books including the Shobogenzo,Gakudo Yojinshu, and Eihei Dai Shingi.
 Dogen zenjj's authentic Zen has been scrupu1ously observed by his successors. Even today,both prjests and lay people devote themselves to his practice of Shikan- taza(''just sitting").