"Hossho", sho by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi
eMirror Vol 23, No. 22
Friday, May 31st, 2019
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho
The White Wind Zen Community:
An international community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985.
When we first encounter the practice of Dogen’s Lineage of Zen we can recognize the simple and yet profound truth of it. Those of us who follow through on that recognition by continuing to do the practice will find that we might have had many other motivations and ideas and stories when we first began but that recognition is what brings us again and again to zazen. As our practice continues and deepens and opens we learn numberless things about ourselves and this world of numberless things, including that there is no self and that there are no things.
At first we simply practice mindfulness to what simply is. We sit and see how clouded our seeing becomes, our hearing becomes, our lives become when our attention folds into a nattering nest of discursiveness and feeling-tones. We begin to realize how much of our lives become lost when attention becomes lost through narrowing and focusing. We learn more and more how to open past this habit of narrowing attention and find that there is a freshness and sanity and beauty in just feeling the tips of the thumbs in contact, the belly and chest moving gently with the breath, the sound of a bird’s wing snapping or snow tumbling from a branch or a car’s tires spinning against the snow.
We begin to see that the world is not the world that we thought it was. It is not a world that can be captured by thought. We begin to see that the world is not about us. This can sometimes seem to us to be very frightening and alien. We had really thought the world was about what’s on television tonight and spending the holidays with our family and telling old stories and listening to new versions of old stories. But we can begin to see that everything in the world is not about us at all. Our shoe is not about us. It is just there. It just is. The sound of the wind is not about us. It is just there. It just is. Even our parents’ faces and our children’s faces and our lovers’ faces are not about us. Even our thoughts are not really about us even though we are the topic of their stories. They are just thoughts. Everything just is; everything is just there. We just are; we are just there.
We might react to this with more of our usual fear and our denials and hopes. In fact, when this is recognized outside of the context of the practice of the Dharma it is either immediately covered over, or becomes a nervous breakdown, or reinterpreted as a kind of mystical experience given a series of interpretations from whatever our religious background is. However, if we continue to practise at such a time we begin to recognize that it is not a matter of something being there, over there somewhere. Everything is here, arising within experience. Everything is together and every thing is intimate in a way that is so vast and subtle and yet dynamic that it is too intimate to be personal. Then we begin to realize for ourselves what the Buddha and the Awakened Ancestors have always said about sunyata or ku or emptiness and tathata or immo or Suchness
-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, beginning teisho 1: "Meeting Natural Wisdom" Friday, December 3, 2004 in the teisho series "Essentially Real, commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji’s 'Hossho: Dharmata'."
Fusatsu: June 5th and 19th.
May 26th is a day traditionally dedicated to Fudo Myo-o. Fudo Myo-o (J) Acala Vidyaraja (S) A manifestation of “Mahavairocana” or all pervading Awareness as a wrathful guardian figure; a symbol of boundless energy, determination and compassion. Traditionally used as a symbol of the Teacher’s mind in this Lineage. Fudo stands glaring and snarling like a demon; it holds the sword of insight in one hand and the cord of the Precepts in the other; it has chained itself to a rock in the midst of the raging flames of the deepest hell to work for the liberation of all beings there.
The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage at midnight on Wednesday, May 29th, which will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 2nd, when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana.
Introduction to Zen Workshop
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on Saturday, June 1st, at 1:45 p.m. For more information please see:
For information concerning our Long-distance Training Program, please visit this Web Page: https://wwzc.org/long-distance-training-program
June Two-day Sesshin
The June two-day sesshin will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 7th, and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 9th. On Saturday, June 8th, associate and general students may attend a sitting held 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.
June 7th is a day traditionally dedicated to Manjusri, a reminder of prajnaparamita.
Congratulations and deep gassho to Eric Cyr of Ottawa who has been accepted as an associate student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi.
Aaron Ford sat a one-day retreat on Sunday, May 26th at his home in Sointula, British Columbia.
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 email@example.com 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, June 1st: “Bodhidharma’s Eyes” by Ven. Anzan Hoshin: “It Eats the Rice in Your Bowl" (12 of 13)
- Monday, June 3rd: "Simple Minded" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari
- Thursday, June 6th: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Begin Here” (3 of 71)
- Saturday, June 8th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: "When Entering a Hall" (Dharma Talk 27)
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.
Help Required with Archiving Project
We would like assistance from students to work on an archiving project which has been underway for a number of years. Approximately 100 recordings of teisho and Dharma Talks presented by the Roshi in the late 1980's and early 1990's are still not available to students on our web-site. These were recordings were made on audio cassette. The process for preserving these cassette recordings and making them available to students is as follows:
- Transfer the cassette recording to a digital format
- Edit the single digital files from each cassette side to separate the presentations.
- Clean up the quality of the recording as much as possible using computer software and in the cases of a recording being of very poor playback quality, using the services of a professional audio restoration company.
- Rename, digitally tag each presentation and add the recording information to the database.
- Create archive quality master CD copies of the recordings for long term storage including printing all of the CD case inserts and graphics.
- Upload completed audio files to the WWZC sound-site so that they are available to students to listen to.
This process is extensive and time consuming, requiring at least 4-5 hours of work for each individual recording. The amount of work required for the monastic sangha to complete this project expediently is not possible, so we are asking for help from the rest of the sangha.
A student would be required to offer regular commitment of time, a block two to three hours weekly is ideal but also a commitment every two weeks would work well. Students would be trained in the work they would be doing and so no specific skill set is needed.
If you are able to assist with this vital project to preserve the Teachings please write to Mishin ino or Saigyo tando or send a message to WWZC.org. Thank you very much.
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
- Yaza 2007: Sit Through the Night, the Night is Bright Right Through https://wwzc.org/yaza-2007
- 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
Samu on Sundays
Each Sunday afternoon (except during O-sesshin and Sesshin), Caretaking Council (Saigyo tando, Fushin shramon and Endai shramon) do samu from 1:30p.m to 4:30p.m. on the various small projects required around the monastery. There are always a great many tasks that need to be done and so any students are welcome and encouraged to come to Dainen-ji to join the monastics in caretaking practice. If you would like to partake in the samu practice on Sundays please write to Saigyo tando at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to do if you arrive late for a sitting
You don't need to turn around and go home. Ring the bell once and then sit on the bench on the front porch. If possible, we will come and unlock the door for you right away. If we are in the middle of the chants or listening to a teisho, we will come to let you in as soon as the teisho finishes.
(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.
Seiza (J) A formal kneeling posture which may be used in zazen as an alternative to lotus postured or the agura posture.
Questions can be sent to me, Shikai sensei, at shikai.sensei@gmail.
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 ino and Saigyo tando offer assistance as tenzo-anja.
New potatoes cooked with a little rice bran oil on low heat until they ‘wrinkle’, then seasoned with a mixture of shoyu, sesame oil, lots of minced garlic a pinch of brown sugar, and toasted sesame seeds and cooked over low heat until they’re evenly coated and the sauce has reduced; medium-firm tofu sliced and sauteed until ‘pockmarked’ and then seasoned with gojuchang, some Bulgogi sauce, garlic, sesame oil and shoyu, garnished with thinly sliced scallions; baechu kimchi and a daikon salad (thin strips of daikon marinated in gochugaru (red pepper flakes, minced garlic and ginger, rice vinegar, salt).
Chili (ground beef and pork, sauteed onions and poblano peppers, red kidney beans, whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes, cumin, oregano, ancho powder, chipotle paste, chili powder, tomato juice, lots of black pepper; baguettes with butter; salad of thinly sliced red and green cabbage, red endive and an assortment of fresh sprouts seasoned with white balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper and grapeseed oil.
Biryani (basmati rice mixed with caramelized Spanish onion, chopped sauteed Yukon gold potatoes, diced carrots, currants, cayenne, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and turmeric); cream of butternut squash/carrot soup (pureed cooked butternut squash, carrots and caramelized Spanish onion, lime juice, freshly ground coriander and mustard seeds, minced ginger, and madras curry powder); Chunks of Asian pear drizzled with lime juice and garnished with crushed chilis.
Baking by Shikai sensei:
Molasses raisin cookies; five ingredient no-bake brazil nut coconut energy balls (provide selenium).
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 Jinmyo osho:
Thank you to Fushin shramon for designing and building a very practical, but also nicely constructed, wooden shelf with grow lights in the Dining Hall. The shelving and lights will be used for growing microgreens.
From Endai shramon:
Thank you to the Roshi for the teisho series "The Thread of the Buddhas", a commentary on Eihei Dogen zenji's text "Bukkyo" (‘The Buddha's Sutras’), which was recently excerpted in the eMirror each week. Thank you to Shikai sensei for the picture of Shindo in last week's eMirror. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for learning about growing various kinds of lettuce indoors for use in yakuseki meals. Thank you to Saigyo tando for overseeing the relocation of the laundry room to a more accessible area of the monastery.
"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.