Digital image by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi
eMirror Vol 23, No. 51
Friday, December 20th, 2019
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho
The White Wind Zen Community:
An international community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985.
Dogen zenji says,
Teachers of doctrine may speak about the term “dharmata”, but it is not the dharmata expressed by Mazu. These sentient beings who have never left dharmata, even if they doubt that this is dharmata, still have it. Even this is just another instance of dharmata. They may think that greeting and speaking, working and acting lack dharmata, but they still are greeting and acting and this is dharmata. For countless eons the sun and moon flow by as the passing of dharmata. So it is now and so it will be in the future.
We may think of the measure of the bodymind only according to what we can weigh and that it is other than dharmata, but even such an idea is itself still dharmata. We may think of the weight of the bodymind only according to what we can measure and that it is other than dharmata, but this idea is also itself still dharmata. “Thought” and “non-thought” are both dharmata. Although “ta” (sho) means nature or essence we should not take it as something unchanging like water that does not flow, or a tree that neither grows nor perishes. That is the opinion of those outside of the Way.
The true measure and weight or importance of this living bodymind cannot fit within self-image’s nest of old views. It is not my body. It is not your body. There is no one inside this body or that one or that one or that one. It is not a material cage binding a birdlike soul or spirit. The rib cage expands and contracts as the diaphragm makes the lungs into bellows breathing in and breathing out. Whether someone knows it or not, doubts it or not, the coming and going of each sip of each breath is dharmata, essential reality.
Whether sentient beings recognize it or not, realize it or not, actualize it or not, they are dharmata abiding in the samadhi of dharmata. They can never leave the samadhi of dharmata because, whether they are alive or crumbled into fine powder or even finer into molecules, as long as this universe exists they are still within dharmata’s samadhi. Dharmata does not create or destroy anything because it is not a thing. But creation and destruction and all things are dharmata. As this is so, dharmata is always already available for anyone who would return to life from the ghostly pale world of self and other and knower and known. As Zen practitioners who have received the samadhi of dharmata from our Lineage Ancestors it is our responsibility to make it possible for sentient beings to meet Masters and question into the Way, to meet the sutras and encounter reality.
All samadhis are ultimately dharmata samadhi because whatever is, that too is dharmata. Thus the Zanmai-O-Zanmai, the sovereign of all samadhis of sitting up straight in zazen is dharmata samadhi as expressed through this living bodymind. So stop perching on your shoulders peering out from behind your eyes and sit down. And when you stand, stand forth from the haunted and dead thoughts of the past and idle and wasteful speculation about the future and take a step.
Please, this evening, enjoy yourselves.
-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, concluding teisho 5: "Actualizing the Samadhi of Dharmata," Tuesday, December 7, 2004 in the teisho series "Essentially Real: Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji’s 'Hossho: Dharmata'."
December 25th, January 8th, January 22nd.
On Tuesday, December 31st at 10 p.m. until Wednesday, January 1st at 12:00 a.m., we will celebrate Joya or New Year's. Join Zen Master Anzan Hoshin, Ven. Shikai Sensei and Ven. Jinmyo osho and the monastics of the Northern Mountain Order in ringing in the New Year with 108 recitations of the Mahaprajnaparamita Hridaya sutra mantra. Following the sitting there will be an array of shojin-ryori (Zen vegetarian cuisine) dishes for an informal feast. All students are welcome to attend. There is no better way to begin the year. Dana is $25. Please register by sending an email to schedule at WWZC dot org, or telephone the Zen Centre office (613) 562-1568.
The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage on Wednesday, January 1st, which will end on Sunday, January 5th, at 9:30 a.m. when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana.
Introduction to Zen Workshop
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on January 4th at 1:45 p.m. For more information please see: https://wwzc.org/introduction-zen-workshop-ottawa
For information concerning our Long-distance Training Program, please visit this Web Page: https://wwzc.org/long-distance-training-program
January Two-day Sesshin
The January two-day sesshin will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 10th and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 12th. Monastics and formal students are asked to send in their schedules as soon as possible.
Associate and General Sitting January 11th
During the sesshin, on Saturday, January 11th, there will be a sitting for associate and general students which will take place in the Zendo. Arrival time is 9:15 a.m. (in time for First Bell). The sitting ends at 11:30 a.m. Students attending are reminded to remain on the first floor.
January 22nd is the memorial of the date of death of Daiji Tenku daiosho, who was the Teacher of Joshu Dainen daiosho, both of whom Anzan Hoshin roshi studied with.
The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage at midnight on Wednesday, January 29th, which will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 2nd, when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana.
Congratulations and deep gassho to Denise Beaudot of Chelsea, Quebec, who has been accepted as a general student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi.
To Schedule a Retreat
Please visit this Web page for information about scheduling a retreat and an explanation of the different kinds of retreat (duration and timing) you can sit: https://wwzc.org/retreats. Please note that retreats should be scheduled one week in advance.
Public students sitting retreats should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm they sat a retreat so that notice of it can be included in the eMirror. Please include the location of the retreat and the duration.
Recorded Teachings Schedule
- Saturday, December 21st: “Bright Right Through”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Muchu Setsumu": "Gathered and Released" (5 of 12)
- Sunday, December 22nd: SAkN "Root Cycle Four: Moving in Knowing" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi "Tantra is Unnecessary" (Teisho 4 of 5)
- Monday, December 23rd: "The Four Noble Truths" by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei: "End It" (Dharma Talk 3 of 4)
- Thursday, December 26th: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Motives” (30 of 71)
- Saturday, December 28th: “Bright Right Through”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Muchu Setsumu": "The Pole" (6 of 12)
Missed Sittings and Teisho
If associate students are unable to attend the Thursday evening associate sitting, they may attend one of the general sittings to make up for the sitting they missed. General sittings are held on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. (first Bell is at 7:15) and Saturday mornings at 9:30 a.m. (first Bell at 9:15 a.m.). Please send an email to request permission to attend one of these sittings.
Teisho presented at general and associate sittings which are part of a series need to be listened to in the correct order and with none missed out. If you miss a sitting please borrow a copy of the missed teisho from the library or download it from the WWZC Media Site as soon as possible, so that the continuity of what is being presented is not disrupted. The weekly list of recorded teisho played at sittings is posted on the web site at:
Online Access to Recorded Teachings
Students can access the password-protected online Recorded Teachings library on the WWZC website at https://wwzc.org/recorded-teachings or through the streaming site at http://app.wwzc.org. The custom-built media streaming site allows students to live stream recordings from the WWZC Recorded Teachings collection. It is optimized for use on smartphones and tablets, and works with most modern browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It can also be used on desktops.
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. Many of these will be posted on our website over the next few months.
Newly Presented Teachings
- During the December 2019 Rohatsu O-sesshin, Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi presented the following teisho as part of the ongoing series, "The Lineage of Luminosity, Part Two: The Lineage in China”:
- December 2nd: Rujing’s Plum Blossoms Again
- December 3rd: Rujing’s Flower for Pindola
- December 4th: Rujing’s Painting Plum Blossoms
- December 5th: Rujing’s Frogs and Worms
- Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi presented the following teisho during the November Sesshin, as part of the ongoing series, "The Lineage of Luminosity: Part Two: The Lineage in China”:
- November 9th: Rujing and the Old Plum Tree
- November 9th: Rujing and the Old Plum Tree
Recorded Teachings for Public Access
While most of the online Recorded Teachings library is password-protected and only accessible to students of Zen Master Anzan Hoshin, a small selection of MP3 recordings of teisho are accessible to the public at https://wwzc.org/recorded-teachings. Additional recordings will be uploaded periodically.
MP3 recordings of five teisho 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
Update on the Plan for Essential Repairs to the Hojo (Abbot’s Quarters)
Hojo renovation funds raised to date: $4,210
Fundraising goal: $40,000
Essential repairs are needed to the Hojo (Abbot’s Quarters). The needed work includes taking down the ceiling in the Hojo washroom in order to insulate, raising the floor, repairing interior moisture damage, and addressing other structural problems (extremely uneven floors, and ventilation, plumbing, and electrical issues).
The Office of the Shissui has met with 3 local design/build companies to discuss the scope of this substantial work and is reviewing their quotations. The total cost of the work will be in the region of $40,000. Provided that we are able to meet the fundraising goal, we anticipate undertaking the work in the summer of 2020.
All donations towards the Hojo renovation fund will be much appreciated, and will receive a charitable tax receipt.
The image above shows the icicle that forms every winter on the roof of the Hojo. It is often over 20 feet long and is causing damage to the exterior trim and roof line and may be causing interior damage and mold inside the walls.
Description of the work
After a recent risk inspection by our insurance company, one requirement for ongoing insurance coverage is to address a buildup of large icicles over winter from the roof over the Hojo washroom. The ice buildup is caused by heat loss through the roof that melts the winter snow, which refreezes into icicles.
In order to address this, we should be insulating the ceiling of the Hojo washroom. We will use an application of spray foam insulation which will require taking down the interior ceiling. As there is also heat loss through the very poorly insulated walls, we shall also be removing all of the wall plaster and lathe and using spray foam insulation on the exterior walls. As well as heat insulation, this closed cell foam insulation will impede moisture transfer and eliminate the possibility of moisture buildup and mold issues in the room. Because the plaster and lathe will need to be removed in order to insulate, we will be replacing the old shower stall and re-plumbing the shower.
Replacing the ceiling allows us to raise the height of the ceiling so that we can eliminate the 8-inch step down into the washroom, which is a potential tripping hazard. We can also add new lighting, improved ventilation and proper venting of fixtures. Raising the floor height requires replacing two hot water radiators with under-floor electric heating and installing a new vanity.
Once completed, all of this work will result in a substantial improvement to the functionality of the living and working environment of the Hojo, the Abbot’s Quarters, and eliminate potential hazards. As the last area of the building to receive any major renovation work, this improvement is a priority.
(do not satisfy hunger)
by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
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.
Shikan-taza (J) “Just sitting”. The root practice of our Lineage. The practice of realization; practice without reference points, techniques or boundaries. Shikan-taza is complete penetration into and actualization of Ordinary Mind; anything less is either an introductory stage of shikan-taza practice or a delusion.
Questions can be sent to me, Shikai sensei, at email@example.com.
Office of the Tenzo
Dogen zenji taught in the Tenzokyokun 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 osho serves as Tenzo and Mishin godo and Saigyo ino offer assistance as tenzo-anja.
Mashed Yukon gold potatoes; cauliflower and cheese (chopped cauliflower, carrots and Spanish onion in a sauce made from roux, extra-old cheddar cheese, friulano cheese, milk, mustard powder, lots of black pepper); cubed deep-fried tofu with sauteed onions and poblano peppers.
Hainan rice (mixed grain of arborio, pearled barley, Korean rice, basmati rice and Thai rice cooked with chopped scallions, ginger and garlic blended in chicken stock); roasted chicken thighs and legs, salad of thinly sliced Napa cabbage, carrots, daikon and white onion with a choice of dressing - balsamic vinegar or sriracha mayonnaise.
Lundberg Farms short-grain brown rice with butter, peas and chickpeas; soup made from Monday’s leftover cauliflower and cheese blended with cooked butternut squash, carrots and celery, seasoned with thyme, lots of black pepper, a little garlic and onion powder; black olives and artichoke hearts.
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 Endai shuso:
Thank you to the Roshi for the many translations of Dogen zenji’s texts that he has made over the years in order that students may learn the practice of mindfulness and insight. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for instruction on mindful speech. Thank you to Mishin godo and Saigyo ino for leading the monthly Introduction to Zen workshops and for providing subsequent instruction to attendees in preliminary interviews.
From Chiso anagarika:
Thank you to Roshi for making this practice available, for the teisho presented during O-sesshin and for dokusan; to Shikai sensei for wonderful refreshments during O-sesshin; to Jinmyo osho for leading O-sesshin and daisan and for her care and concern about the price of medicine in the US; to Mishin godo for preparing breakfast and lunch during Obsessing and for her help with prescription print out and pharmacies; to Saigyo ino for making sure I have all I need; to Endai shuso for a warm welcome and for his practice to become shuso; to Fushin shramon for bringing my sleeping system where I slept; to Senbo for always sending the latest recordings without fail; to Isshin for showing me the new layout, so I know where things are in the basement during samu.
From Chantal Maheu:
Thank you to Endai shuso for his Shuso-hossen Dharma Talk. It was a great reminder that I can stop following my discursive thoughts or narrowing my attention before my hundred legs slide down the shower base — maybe even before my first two (four; six; …) legs. Thank you also for his example over the years.
From Hannah Kent:
Thank you to Shikai sensei for daisan and help with painting.
From Claude Schryer:
Thank you and congratulations to Endai shuso for his talk on December 14. It was an engaging presentation, in particular the story about the centipede. Thank you to Saigyo Ino for his reminder to always follow the leader during Kata. Thank you to the person who properly folded my clothing in the men’s change room while I sat. I appreciate this reminder to be mindful of properly looking after my clothing.
"All is Change"
Dainen-ji, being a 140-year-old building, is continuously in need of maintenance and the costs associated with this can be astronomical when such things as porch repairs or exterior painting are needed. This is something that we cannot afford to do, yet must do and so the "All is Change" project has been created. The "All is Change" project is very simple. Most of us have a bowl or a jar or some other kind of container that we keep somewhere at home and fill up with loose change because it's too heavy to carry around. Several hundred dollars has been collected so far both in loose change and Canadian tire money which has been put towards the building maintenance fund. If anyone would like to contribute to this fund, each penny will be appreciated. The “All is Change” container is on the wooden wall shelf under the Sangha Board in the cloak room.