I have read some things by "Zen teachers" lately implying that Dogen taught people a kind of "objectless" meditation, urging students to "let go" of thoughts. Some even suggest that Dogen's teaching exalted some kind of detached state of "pure awareness" and that Dogen exhorted students not to employ their intellect during sitting meditation.
I would like to ask Dogen himself about it.
Master Dogen, what should we do during the very time of our sitting?
"At the very time of your sitting, you should examine exhaustively whether the total world is vertical or horizontal. At that very time, what is the sitting itself? Is it wheeling about in perfect freedom? Is it like the spontaneous vigor of a leaping fish? Is it thinking? Or not thinking? Is it doing? Is it non-doing? Is it sitting within sitting? Is it sitting within body and mind? Or is it sitting that has cast off sitting within sitting, sitting within body and mind, and the like?"
Dogen, Shobogenzo, Sammai-O-Zammai, Waddell & Abe, p.100
Okay, thank you for clearing that up.
To read this passage in the context of the whole essay, please follow this link to the translation by Carl Bielefeldt: