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Taigen Daniel Leighton

Adjunct Faculty, Institute of Buddhist Studies


B.A., Columbia University
M.A., California Institute of Integral Studies
Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union


Taigen Dan Leighton has taught since 1994 at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. He has a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Columbia College, N.Y., and his M.A. in Philosophy and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies in S.F. His Ph.D. is from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, where he received a Presidential Scholarship. Leighton has taught at other universities including Otani University and Kansai University in Japan; University of San Francisco, C.I.I.S., and Saint Mary’s College; and currently at Loyola University, Chicago, from where he continues to teach online at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. His research interests include Zen, East Asian Mahayana imagery, and modern Buddhist ethics.


Taigen Leighton is author of Visions of Awakening Space and Time: Dôgen and the Lotus Sutra (Oxford) and Faces of Compassion: Classic Bodhisattva Archetypes and Their Modern Expression (Wisdom). He is editor and co-translator of Dôgen’s Extensive Record: A Translation of the Eihei Kôroku (Wisdom); Dôgen’s Pure Standards for the Zen Community: A Translation of Eihei Shingi (SUNY Press); Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi (Tuttle); and The Wholehearted Way: A Translation of Eihei Dôgen’s Bendôwa with Commentary by Kôsho Uchiyama Roshi (Tuttle). He has written articles or translated primary writings in numerous other books and journals, and is co-editor with Richard Payne of Discourse and Ideology in Medieval Japanese Buddhism (Routledge).


Taigen Leighton is an ordained Sôtô Zen priest and Dharma successor in the American Suzuki Roshi lineage, and he also trained extensively in Japan. He currently leads the Ancient Dragon Zen Gate meditation group in Chicago.

Contact Taigen Leighton via email.