The Butsudan at Wolfville Zazenkai's Knowlan Mountain Zendo, Nova Scotia
eMirror Vol 22, No. 6
Friday, February 9th, 2018
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho
The White Wind Zen Community:
An international community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985.
Quotes from teisho are run sequentially in the eMirror
If we don't know who and what we are, if we don't know what the world is, if we don't live what we understand when our understanding is at its most open… then what are we doing?
We might know how to open and close a door: all that matters is knowing what the door is, knowing who and what we are, and then everything that we know about what to do, what not to do, is effortlessly guided by the whole field of experiencing itself. We don't need to live as if our lives were problems. We don't need to live as if there was something fundamentally wrong with us, or something fundamentally wrong with everybody else. We don't have to try to manage anything or control anything. We just do what we do as fully and completely as we can, and if we make a mistake, that shows us how to do it better. There's no problem: everything fits, everything works. Everything is the working of reality.
And so he says, "Walking the Way, it isn't near, isn't far":
Ayumi o susumureba gonnon ni arazu.
yumi means "foot" or "step" again; susumureba means "going on"; gonnon: gon is "near" and non is "far": the Way, the dō, is that which moves as everything and yet in itself never moves, because there is nothing and nowhere outside of it. It is not here, not there, not in between. Everything arises within it and it is as you, right here. Everything is right here. Nothing is opposed to anything else. Everything is available to you because who you are arises as everything. When we are walking the Way, when we are walking as the Way, as dō, then what to do, the way to do things – mizu – is presented to us continuously. Practising this is not a matter of seeking some kind of goal, some way of being. Nor is it a matter of running away from anything. It is simply the practice of Exposure: the practice of Intimacy.
-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing teisho 4: "The Root of Your Life," September 16th, 1996 in "Studying the Mystery: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Shitou Xiqian's Sandōkai"
This Year’s Flu Season is Nasty and Getting Worse
A Few Things You Can do to Prevent Contagion:
We have provided paper hand towels for each washroom and in the Dining Hall to prevent the spread of infection through using cloth towels. In addition, hand sanitizer has been placed at each sink and on the shelf next to the coat rack. Please use it. As part of daily samu, handrails, door knobs and other surfaces are disinfected before each sitting. As monastics already clean the practice rooms during this time, assistance from associate or general students would be appreciated. Please contact Mishin ino at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrive for sittings a few minutes early.
The simple act of hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of viral and bacterial infections. But hand washing requires more than a quick rinse under the tap. You need to work the soap over both hands, between your fingers and up the wrist for 15 seconds (count it out) for it to be effective. Or you can use the hand sanitizer placed at sink areas if you don't want to use soap and water. But please, clean your hands frequently.
If you really need to cough you can do so. But to avoid spreading a cold or flu or spraying the wall, it is better to bring one hand out of the mudra, raise and then turn it so that you cough against the back of the hand rather than into the palm as we use the palm to turn door knobs, handle water glasses and so forth. When practicing in a group situation, it is helpful to be mindful of such details.
If you need to blow your nose, please feel free to blow it while sitting in zazen. You do not need to use the forms we use for changing posture in order to blow your nose. Just do it with as little muss and fuss as possible so that there is a minimum of distraction for you and for others. The only exception to this would be, for instance, during a bowing round, or during the chants while holding the chanting text. But these are brief activities and you should be able to “work it out” so that you can blow your nose before or after.
Sniffing should be avoided as it is very distracting to others and does not help anything. The reason the nose runs is because the bodymind is trying to expel mucus and so sniffing it back into the nose or down the throat will only cause further irritation to the mucous membranes. It is simpler to just blow the nose.
Continuous throat clearing is possibly one of the greatest sources of irritation both for the person who does it and anyone within earshot. Constantly clearing the throat will irritate it and that will lead to even more throat clearing. Once in a while it may be necessary to do this, or it may happen spontaneously, but it should not be repetitive. It is something that can become habitual, just as sniffing can. It is advisable to perhaps cough to clear the throat if it is that congested, and balance and equalize the sensations by opening attention around them to the rest of the sensations of the body.
Associate students who need to miss a sitting because they are too ill to attend can make up the sitting they’ve missed by attending one of the two general sittings held each week (Monday evening, 7:15 to 9:10 or Saturday morning, 9:15 to 11:40) Please send an email to email@example.com requesting permission to do so. If you are unable to attend your scheduled sitting, please send an email in advance to notify us of that as we will worry about you if you don’t arrive.
Fusatsu: February 14th and 28th.
Cancelled General Sitting
The Monday, February 12th, 7:30 p.m. general sitting is cancelled due to O-sesshin.
Cancelled Associate Sitting
The Thursday, February 15th, 7:30 p.m. associate sitting is cancelled due to O-sesshin.
The Nehan O-sesshin will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 9th, and will end on Friday, February 16th, at noon. Formal students are reminded to send their schedules to schedule at wwzc dot org as soon as is possible.
On Saturday, February 10th, 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.
A Note to Preliminary and Public Students Concerning O-sesshin
During an O-sesshin the schedule is such that there is no time to meet face to face with preliminary students or 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.
Sarah Goul sat a two-day retreat from Friday, February 2nd to noon on Sunday, February 4th. Rodney Gallant sat a two-day retreat on Saturday, February 3rd and Sunday, February 4th at his home in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Deshi Isshin began a retreat on the afternoon of Tuesday, February 6th which continues through to the start of the Nehan O-sesshin, which she will be attending until Monday, February 12th.
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, February 10th associate and general sitting: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Parents” (Dharma Talk 2)
- Saturday, February 17th general sitting: “Zen Arts: The Flowering of the Senses” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Flowering of the Senses” (teisho 1 of 6)
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.
Charitable Tax Receipts for Dana Contributions
Charitable tax receipts for all donations made during 2017 will be mailed out before the end of February. If you have moved in the last year or are unsure whether we have your current address on file please confirm your mailing address with Mishin ino (mishin at gmail dot com) to ensure that you receive your tax receipt. If you have made your donations to WWZC through CanadaHelps.org, tax receipts for those donations are issued directly by CanadaHelps. Thank you to all who have offered monthly dana and special gifts over the past year to support the activities of the monastery, maintenance and renovation projects.
WWZC Website www.wwzc.org
Newly Posted Recordings for Students
"Surpassing the Teacher", Memorial of Keizan Jokin zenji, by Ven Anzan Hoshin roshi (April 17, 1988, Daijozan). Direct link: https://wwzc.org/recorded-teachings/surpassing-teacher
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 email@example.com.
Dharma in Prison
By Shikai Zuiko sensei
On Wednesday, January 31st, at 830a.m. Peter McRae, Ryoshin, and I, met at Dainen-ji for the trip to Bath Institution, a medium security federal prison and treatment centre. This would be our first visit with the inmate Sangha since November as healing of the cracked and fractured pelvis I incurred December 9th had kept me lying down for six weeks and this was the first “road trip” since then. The sun was out and the temperature was rising as we turned on to the Queensway encouraged by weather reports indicating that there would be flurries only later in the day. Surprisingly there was very little bird activity along 417. A parliament of ravens was spotted in a dead tree by Peter. I saw only one raptor, flying low over the median where a road crew was removing a dead deer. A lone crow was watching the activity maybe hoping there’d be a venison lunch.
After lunch in the town of Bath the flurries were stronger and there was a strong wind gusting. We turned off the highway into the road to Bath Institution just as the flurries were becoming denser and we determined that if, it did not stop snowing in an hour or so, we would head back to Ottawa early.
Bath Institution has been undergoing a major transition and, even though extremely busy security personnel went out of their way to contact Chaplin Sue Beare to make sure we passed through security in a timely fashion. In the chapel of the Spiritual Centre one member of the original group, Scott, who six years ago as part of the original group, had asked Chaplin Regina Lannon to find some texts and eventually a Dharma teacher, was waiting. Chaplin Lannon has just retired and we thank her for her help over the years. Another regularly attending student was already sitting zazen. The men had recently been given a “license” to have incense in their rooms for home practice. Incense, however, is a little hard to come by.
The practitioners expressed appreciation to all at Dainen-ji, especially the Roshi, who have provided texts, CD’s, and hard copies of the eMirror for study and practice. Scott, an artist, told us that he uses photos from the eMirror as inspiration for drawings and paintings. Thank you to contributing photographers.
As snowflakes swirled the practitioners expressed concern for our safety on the return trip. We all decided it was better for us to leave an hour and a half before our usual time. We did. And we're glad we did. There were a number of incidents on the 401 including several pile-ups of cars and eight 18 wheelers in the ditch and the median. Nearly six hours later we arrived safely at Dainen-Ji.
(do not satisfy hunger)
by Shikai Zuiko sensei
Continuing on with “Painted Cakes: A Zen Dictionary” a limited edition text written by Anzan Hoshin roshi in 1994.
Ordinary Mind; Heijoshin (J) When capitalized, it refers to experience as it is without dualistic modifications. A synonym for Awareness, Buddhamind.
Questions can be sent to me, Shikai sensei, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Lo mein noodles with thinly sliced poblano, cubanelle and red bell peppers, ginger, garlic, shoyu, mirin, roasted chili paste; deep-fried tofu cooked with chili sauce; sauteed bok choy; Asian pear with lime juice and chili flakes.
White and brown Thai rice; shrimp tamarind curry (cubed potato, chunks of poblano peppers, shrimp, red onion, galangal, tamarind, chili, salt, turmeric); white kimchi.
Lundberg Farms short-grain brown rice with baby peas and butter; Tomato soup (sauteed Spanish onion, garlic, tomato juice, oregano, basil, lots of black pepper; Sauteed cremini and shitake mushrooms; Baechu kimchi.
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 Shikai sensei:
Thank you: to Fushin shramon for a big birthday box of Godiva dark chocolate truffles; to Ryoshin for picking up and returning a very supportive walker; to Tettsu for birthday greetings; to Marcin for a very generous gift certificate which magically is now an induction hot plate for the Sensei-ryo.
From Endai shramon:
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading the chants at the formal sittings this week and for instruction on the Shingi ("Standards of Deportment for Monks") and the precepts. Thank you to Mishin ino for the many administrative tasks that she takes care of for the monastery. Thank you to Leonardo Nobrega for a cake from Brazil for the monks.
From Sarah Goul:
Thank you to Roshi and all the monastics for maintaining Dainen-ji as a place to practice. Thank you to Office of the Tenzo for delicious meals during my recent retreat, and Mon and Thurs meals as well. Thank you to Osho for a very fun and also informative instruction on alignment, during daisain. Thank you to Ino for an enjoyable practice interview a while ago, esp. discussion about responding to the question 'how is your practice?' Also for leading the Intro session, which was fun to attend again. Also, always a big thanks for Sat eggs. Thank you to Tando for an enjoyable and clarifying practice interview today, esp. explanation about state vs no state and for being available for questions during the retreat. Thank you to Endai Shramon for some guidance with the coping saw and an enjoyable time putting together Ikea shelving for the Osho-ryo.
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.
Ongoing Project: "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.