eMirror Vol 25, No. 48 (2021-11-26)

Chi (Prajna) sho By Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi
Chi (Prajna) sho
By Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi

eMirror Vol 25, No. 48

Friday, November 26th
Edited by the Practice Council

The White Wind Zen Community:
An international community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985.

There is an old saying, “with both eyes open.” I think that living our lives with both eyes open means being willing to see the truth or at least being suspicious about our assumptions and being willing to have them contradicted.

In Zen practice, we learn to live with all of the senses open and alive. We learn how to have both eyes open, to allow ourselves to recognize how through following associations and daydreams and discursiveness we can mask what is seen, to recognize how we are tending to see and to move past this. We move past this not by backing away from or pushing past these tendencies of attention but by recognizing them as they arise and opening around them. Then both eyes open of themselves.

The visual sense, which is the sphere of interactions of the sense base of the eyes and visual cortex and the visual field of chromatic space, is in many ways the most important of the senses. In conventional language for example, we often equate “seeing” with “understanding,” if you see what I mean. In Dogen zenji’s text Zanmai-O-Zanmai, there appears a phrase: “From that time to this day, brains and eyes have pervaded China.” In this case, “brains and eyes” means the essence and view of Dharma. Dogen zenji referred to his collection of teisho and essays as the Shobogenzo, the Treasury of the Eye of Utter Reality or True Dharma. Thus the eye and seeing can be seen to be primary metaphors for Knowing.

That this is so is not surprising because seventy percent of the body’s sense receptors are associated with seeing. What is surprising is how little people see and how strategic seeing can often become. In zazen we sit with the knees only a few inches from the wall that we are sitting in front of. In the early days, months, years, and decades of a beginner’s practice she might find herself noticing some of these strategies playing themselves out. The eyes water, they squint, they protrude, they ache. The sense of being someone behind the eyes looking out at a world and doing the seeing manifests clearly in this situation. Over time he might learn to loosen the seeing, to just see rather than trying to see the wall. Over and over again students are instructed to allow the peripheral vision to be open, and to relax the muscles of the face around the eyes in order to give the muscles behind the eyes a sympathetic release from the rigours they must endure through focussed and narrowed attention.

-Ven Anzan Hoshin roshi, beginning Class Two: "Both Eyes Open" in the series "Zen Arts: The Flowering of the Senses", October 1999 Daruma-ki O-sesshin, Dainen-ji.

Upcoming Events

Fusatsu: December 1st and 15th.

Rohatsu O-sesshin
The Rohatsu O-sesshin began at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 1st, and will end on Wednesday, December 8th following Jodo-e (commemorating the Buddha's Awakening).

A Note to Preliminary and Public Students Concerning O-sesshin
During an O-sesshin the schedule is such that there is no time to reply to email correspondence sent by public students. Public students are asked to send their weekly practice journals, as they will be reviewed. But unless there is something that needs an immediate reply, you will not receive an email reply until the week following the O-sesshin.

Jodo-e: (commemorating the Buddha's Awakening) December 8th

December 12th is the anniversary of the day on which the Roshi’s Teacher, Ven. Yasuda Joshu Dainen roshi died.

The Roshi is currently in an extended period of "self-isolation" due to underlying health issues until the COVID-19 situation clarifies.

Beginning Instruction in Zen Practice:
For information concerning our Long-distance Training Program, please visit this Web Page: https://wwzc.org/long-distance-training-program



Congratulations to Rev. Fushin shramon on being accepted as a student by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei on November 14th, 2021. Fushin shramon began practising as an associate student in November of 2005; he was accepted as a probationary formal student by Shikai Zuiko O-sensei in April of 2009; began training as a formal student in May 2011. He received the Three Jewels in August of 2011. He received the Sixteen Bosatsu-kai and the Forty-eight Supporting Precepts in shukke-tokudo as a postulant for monastic training from the Roshi in May of 2015. And on May 20th, 2016 Ven. Fushin anagarika received Novice Monk Vows from Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi. 

Congratulations to David Gallant on being accepted as a formal student by ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei on November 15th, 2021. David began practising as an associate student in July of 2009; He was accepted by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei as a probationary formal student in November of 2017.


Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, November 23rd at her home in the Berkshires. Marc Valade sat a half-day retreat on Saturday, November 20th during a work placement in Manitoba. Tarik Kaya sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, November 20th at his home in Ottawa, Ontario. Brian Lakeman sat half-day retreat on Sunday, November 21st at his home in Brampton, Ontario.  Daryl David sat a half-day retreat on Wednesday, November 24th at his home in Ottawa, Ontario

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is not possible at this time to schedule retreats in the monastery. If you would like to sit a retreat at home please follow the schedule outlined in this page:  https://wwzc.org/retreat-schedule-public-students.

Recorded Teachings Schedule

Saturday, November 27th to Saturday, December 4th

Saturday, November 27th: "Drawn In, Moving Forth": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Bendowa: A Talk on Exerting the Way”: "The Buddha's Mudra" (9 of 28)
Sunday, November 28th: SAkN "Root Cycle Two: Locating the Self" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Understanding, Misunderstanding" (teisho 1 of 3)
Monday, November 29th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Seeing Fruits" (Dharma Talk 65)
Thursday, December 2nd: " All Around, All at Once, part three: Unfabricated" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei  
Saturday, December 4th: "Drawn In, Moving Forth": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Bendowa: A Talk on Exerting the Way”: "The Person and World of Zazen, part 1" (10 of 28)

Listening to Teisho and Dharma Talks

​Associate and general students should continue to follow the recorded Teachings schedule for the sitting you were attending at the monastery, and listen to that during your home practice.

You can access the online Recorded Teachings Library at wwzc.org/recorded-teachings-schedule. 

You can also use the streaming site at app.wwzc.org to live stream recordings from the online Library. If you have forgotten your password or need assistance with accessing the recorded Teachings, please email schedule@wwzc.org.

Please note that teisho should be listened to in the correct order and with none missed out as themes, metaphors, questions raised and answered evolve in spirals throughout the series.

Recorded Teachings for Public Access

While most of the online Recorded Teachings library is password-protected and only accessible to students of the Lineage of Zen Master Anzan Hoshin, a small selection of MP3 recordings of teisho are accessible to the public at wwzc.org/recorded-teachings Additional recordings will be uploaded periodically. MP3 recordings of four recorded teisho by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi are currently available:

Dharma Position https://wwzc.org/dharma-position
Eyes See, Ears Hear https://wwzc.org/eyes-see-ears-hear
Embarrassment https://wwzc.org/embarrassment
Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi's reading of his translation of Eihei Dogen zenji's “Bendowa: A Talk on Exerting the Way”: https://wwzc.org/bendowa-talk-exerting-way

New Hojo Renovation Page on the 
White Wind Zen Community Website

By Saigyo Cross ino, shissui

Stripped down Hojo, renovations in process

From August to November 2020, the Hojo (Abbots Quarters) were renovated. This was possible due to the generosity of the Sangha and was the first time since we moved into the building nearly 25 years ago that any major work was done to improve the Roshi's living area. In accordance with the Roshi's wishes these were the last rooms in the building to be properly renovated. Many long-standing problems were rectified, such as:

Completely insulating the washroom to help stop the formation of large icicles each year. Providing the Hojo with consistently reliable hot water and good drainage.
Correcting a four-inch slope in the kitchen floor.
Removing a tripping hazard into the washroom. 
Replacing old and worn out cabinets.
Upgrading the wiring and improving the lighting throughout. 

The document on our Website which details and explains the work is here: 

Thank you very much to Jinmyo sensei for taking daily photographs of the work area so we are able to create this Web page.  

Thank you to everyone who contributed towards this important and much needed work to improve the living quarters of the Abbot and Teacher, Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi.

Repairs to the Wolfville Zazenkai's Knowlan Mountain Zendo

This summer and autumn Rev. Zenki Hope-Simpson anagarika took time off work to do much needed maintenance and upgrades to the Wolfville Zazenkai Knowlan Mountain Zendo. The outside siding and trim are being repaired, and the outside of the building has now received 2 coats of paint. Planning for the long term, and inspired in part by the need to physically distance during the pandemic, a large outdoor practice deck is being built, suitable for doing kinhin and the Daruma Kata-aiki outdoors.
About 25 years ago, the then Shikai godo visited Wolfville and did a series of workshops in Nova Scotia. During that visit, a densho, made from cutting an acetylene tank in half, was installed outside the Zendo. That densho now hangs in the main stairway at Dainen-ji. The other half of the tank remained here at the Wolfville Zendo. To mark continuity and commemorate the one-year anniversary of Shikai sensei’s death, Jinen and Zenki anagarika made a  new post for the densho.

Outdoor densho (hanging bell) in Wolfville, NS

Jinen has just made a han for the Zendo building. The wood is local American Elm, from an over two hundred year old tree cut down because of Dutch elm disease. The handle of the mallet is a recycled shovel handle and the mallet head is made from the same tree. Jinen brushed the characters “Daiji” or  "Great Matter" as best he could, but the characters are in the wrong order. This is its temporary location.

Wolfville Han


Translations and Texts

Photograph of Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi at Daijozan, mid-1980s, by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
Photograph of Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi at Daijozan, mid-1980s,
by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei

Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi has recently completed translation work on some shorter texts by Eihei Dogen zenji from the Shobogenzo. The work on these particular texts is based upon the literal translations that he worked on with Joshu Dainen roshi at Hakukaze-ji around 1977-78 followed by many years of putting them down, picking them up, and polishing. Naturally, more essential texts such as Uji, Genjokoan, Shinjin Gakudo and some 40 others were completed first and have been given extensive commentaries by the Roshi. This batch of texts includes Baike: Plum Blossoms, Ryugin: Howling Dragon, and Udonge: The Udumbara Blossoming and many others are nearing completion. Annotation details and successfully conveying them across various document formats are the issue at this point.

Work on Bussho: Buddha Nature, a very long and nuanced text by Dogen zenji, is ongoing.

Roshi is also finishing an update to the Saijo Shingi: The Deportment of Radiance, our manual of monastic training standards which is a supplement to the ancient Eihei Shingi and Keizan Shingi. 


Painted Cakes
(do not satisfy hunger)

Begun by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei
Finished by Rev. Fushin Comeau shramon following her death


Continuing on with “Painted Cakes: A Zen Dictionary” a limited edition text written by Anzan Hoshin roshi in the 1980s and last revised in 1994.

Shuzen (J): Stage by stage or gradual practice through accumulating and rejecting rather than the Direct Path of recognition.

Posted November 26th, 2021. New entries are posted every two weeks.


Tea Pot on fire

Office of the Tenzo

Dogen zenji taught in the Tenzo kyokun: Instructions for the Tenzo (https://wwzc.org/dharma-text/tenzo-kyokun-instructions-tenzo) that the work of preparing and serving meals is "a matter for realized monks who have the mind of the Way or by senior disciples who have roused the Way-seeking mind." In alignment with this, part of Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's samu for the Community involves personally overseeing the activities of the ancient office of tenzo. Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei serves as tenzo and Mishin godo and Saigyo ino offer assistance as tenzo-anja.

Monday Yakuseki:
Farfalle with garlic-butter sauce (minced garlic, chopped onion, butter, lime juice, pinch of sugar, Parmesan cheese); tomato and bean soup (chopped onion, minced garlic, tomato juice, red wine, thyme, oregano, mushroom stock, red and white kidney beans and a little cream); cubed friulano with gherkins.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Crusty rolls; Chicken and bean stew (pieces of skinless, boneless chicken thighs coated with flour mixed with Japanese mustard powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and then browned, low sodium chicken stock, white kidney beans, diced carrots, celery and onions, pearled barley, thyme, oregano, lots of black pepper, garlic, dried red chili flakes, a dash of red wine vinegar. 
Vegetarian version: sauteed diced carrots, celery and onions, thyme, oregano, lots of black pepper, garlic, dried red chili flakes, a dash of red wine vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, Japanese mustard powder, white kidney beans, pearled barley, diced potato to thicken it; green cabbage coleslaw.

Mixed grain (Thai white and brown rice and basmati rice); bulgogi tofu (sauteed cubed medium-firm tofu, sauteed chopped poblano, green and red bell peppers, chopped white onion, bulgogi sauce); pickle made from sliced apple and cucumber with lime juice, red chili flakes and roasted peanuts.


Monk in gassho - drawing

Thank You

If you would like to thank someone for a contribution they have made, please feel free to send an email to Jinmyo osho at rengezo at Gmail dot com, but be sure to type "eMirror" in the subject line.

From Anzan Hoshin roshi:
Thank you to Saigyo ino for installing a new drive in the Hojo computer and other hardware help.