eMirror Vol 22, No. 47 (2018-11-23)


Chicken, photograph by Dr. Jinen S. Boates, Harrow Zazenkai
Photograph by Dr. Jinen S. Boates, Harrow Zazenkai

eMirror Vol 22, No. 47

Friday, November 23rd, 2018
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Soon there came to be a distinction between the Bukkyo or Tathagata Zen or Nyorai Zen 如来禅and the Way of the Ancestors, Soshi Zen 祖師禅. To bring together and include both as aspects of the Dharma as a whole, to show that they are not separate, Dogen raises two kien mondo 機緣問答 concerning soshi-no-serai-i 祖師西来意 the meaning or intention of the First Ancestor Bodhidharma’s coming from the west. A kien mondo is a record of an encounter, of questioning and answering between Teacher and student, drawn from the classical Transmission of the Lamp histories such as the Jingde Chuandeng lu 景德传灯录. They are not formally koan though they might be used as koan. The first concerns Baling Haoqian, who we know from koan study for his “snow in a silver bowl.”

Once a monk asked Baling,1 “The intention of the Ancestors and the intention of the sutras: Are they the same or different?”

The Master said, “When a chicken is cold it climbs a tree; when a duck is cold it goes into the water.”

We must study this saying through practice, looking for the Ancestor’s interpretation of the Buddha Way by seeing and listening to the Buddha’s sutras. The monk’s question concerns the sameness or difference between the intention of the Ancestors and the intention of the sutras. Baling’s answer “when a chicken is cold it climbs a tree; when a duck is cold it goes into the water” seems to indicate a difference; however this “difference” is not the usual “difference” of most people’s views of same or different. Baling is beyond limited views of same or difference and is saying, “same yet different.” And so, we should not ask about “same or different” in that way.

A chicken. A duck. Hm. [laughs] Which represents the Ancestors and which the sutras? [laughs] I have no idea.
I do know about cold though. The main thing about cold, such as the cold of our Ottawa winters, is that it is cold. Very cold. Whether you like it or not, it is just cold. Except for the evergreens, the elm, the oak, the maple and the other trees have learned to drop what they were doing and let their leaves just fall into the cooling air and sleep in the cycling of their roots. The ground hardens. The sky becomes paler and brighter though the daylight hours become narrower and narrower. Soon the moisture that would fall as rain or dew or rise as mist drops as snow. The cold is so cold and lasts so long that months pass before snow that fell months ago will finally melt. Ice hangs where moisture and a few wisps of heat have met. When I stand outside and breathe out, my breath becomes steam. Looking around, it is clear that the cold will turn the blood in my veins to ice given the opportunity. It’s cold. No question about that.

So the chicken responds to the cold in one way that is natural to it and the duck in another way that is natural to it. Regardless of whether the Buddhas and Awakened Ancestors are supposed to be chickens or ducks, they respond to the cold in a way that is natural to them. The cold is both the shivering and trembling of beings hardened by contraction of attention and suffering and the vigorous and sharp clarity of Reality. Reality is real.
1 Baling Haoqian (Pa-ling Hao-chien, Haryo Kokan), 10th C. A Dharma-heir of Yunmen Wenyen, He appears in Blue Cliff Records 13 and 100.
-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi,  continuing teisho 34 "Yes?" Monday, February 16, 2004 in the tesho series "The Thread of the Buddhas," commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Bukkyo.

Upcoming Events

Fusatsu: November 21st, December 5th and 19th.

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

Cancelled General Sitting
The Monday, December 3rd general sitting that would normally begin at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled as the Rohatsu O-sesshin will be in progress.

Cancelled Associate Sitting
The Thursday, December 6th associate sitting that would normally begin at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled as the Rohatsu O-sesshin will be in progress.

For Associate and General Students:
A morning sitting will take place in the Zendo on Saturday December 1st. The sitting begins at 9:30 a.m. (please arrive by 9:15 in time for first Bell) and ends at 11:30 a.m. Students 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.

Jodo-e: December 8th

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

The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage on Monday, December 12th, which will end at 12 a.m. on Saturday, December 15th.

Introduction to Zen Workshop
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place at Dainen-ji on Saturday, December 15th. For more information please see: http://www.wwzc.org/content/introduction-zen-workshop-ottawa
For information concerning our Long-distance Training Program, please visit this Web Page: http://www.wwzc.org/long-distance-training-program

Joya (New Year’s Celebration)
On Monday, December 31st at 10 p.m. until Tuesday, 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.

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.


Rodney Gallant sat a two-day retreat on Saturday, November 10th and Sunday, November 11th at his home in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Michael Nisch sat a half-day retreat on Sunday, November 11th at his home in Ulm, Germany.

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 schedule@wwzc.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.

Fundraising for roof repair

Fundraising goal: The estimates we have received for this roof work total $30,653.63 for replacement of all three roofs. We hope to engage the contractor to do the work in spring 2019, but this will depend on whether sufficient funds have been collected.

Amount raised to date: $5,880

Three roofs at Dainen-ji are in need of replacement in the next twelve months: the roof of the Osho-ryo at the rear of the building, and the roofs of the bay windows in the first floor library and the covered balcony on the west side.

The roof above the Osho-ryo is currently covered in tar and gravel, an old roofing system that is in need of replacement with a modern membrane. UV light has (dried and) damaged quite a bit of the tar, especially at the edges of the roof, creating a danger of leaks. A leak into the Osho-ryo via the chimney flashing was patched recently. Due to sagging of the roof structure over time, water is pooling in a low spot that is no longer draining properly. This will be remedied with the installation of a new membrane. The old flashing has pulled away from the building and has been repaired many times, as you can see from the photos. Old wires and other fittings need to be removed safely or secured properly.

osho-ryo roof

Detail of Osho-ryo roof showing flashing in poor repair,
unsecured wires, and the deterioration of the old tar and gravel covering


Detail of Osho-ryo roof showing failing flashing and past patching; green is moss growing on gravel roof surface

Detail of Osho-ryo roof showing failing flashing
and past patching; green is moss growing on gravel roof surface


The roofs of the bay window of the first-floor library and the covered balcony are made of metal and are very old. They are rusty, and the leaking joints and flashing have been patched with tar many times over the years. These roofs will be replaced with modern shingles or a membrane as suitable. Both roofs have sprouted leaks numerous times in recent years, damaging materials for the suiseki arrangements stored there and putting books and other materials at risk in the first floor library.

Roof of covered balcony on west side of building showing rusting metal surface and patched seams

Roof of covered balcony on west side of building
showing rusting metal surface and patched seams


Roof of first-floor library bay window showing past patching and rusting metal surface

Roof of first-floor library bay window showing past patching and rusting metal surface


Recorded Teachings Schedule

  • Saturday, November 24th: "All Around, All at Once, part 3: Unfabricated" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari
  • Sunday, November 25th: SAkN "Questioning the Enigma" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "To Be and Not to Be" (2 of 4)
  • Monday, November 26th: "Is There A Problem" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari
  • Thursday, November 29th: "Crunch" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari
  • Saturday, December 1st: “Without Difficulty”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on Jianzhi Sengcan's “Xinxin Ming: Words on Trusting Awareness”: “Wise Up Down and All Around" (19 of 26)

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.

WWZC Website


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:


Recent Dharma Talk

On Saturday, September 22nd, Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari presented "The Whole World is Already Ready", Dharma Talk 2 in the series "All Around, All At Once".
Direct link to transcript of Dharma Talk: https://wwzc.org/dharma-text/all-around-all-once-part-2-whole-world-already-ready 
Direct link to MP3 recording (accessible to students): https://wwzc.org/recorded-teachings/all-around-all-once

On Saturday, November 17th, 2018, Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari presented the Dharma Talk "Unfabricated", Dharma Talk 3 in the series "All Around, All At Once.

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 saigyo.cross@gmail.com.



Painted Cakes
(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.

-SAkN “Space, Activity, and Knowing”. The class of Teachings developed by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi to present the totality of practice through detailing the basic facets of experiencing and how  to recognize and open these throughout all states. Available only to probationary formal students (deshi) and further.

Questions can be sent to me, Shikai sensei, at shikai.sensei@gmail.


Chinese cauliflower

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.

Meals Served Prior to the Evening Sittings:

Monday Yakuseki:
Yukon gold potatoes roasted with chunks of cubanelle and poblano peppers and Spanish onions; sliced deep-fried tofu, chopped gai lan and bok choy sauteed with butter, lots of garlic, vinegar, and chipotle, cumin powder; mushroom soup (crimini and eryngii mushrooms, white onion, red wine, vegetable stock, thyme, garlic, and shoyu).

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Irish stew (beef blade roasts cut into large pieces, dredged in flour and then seared and braised in red wine, condensed beef broth with added chopped onion, potatoes, carrots, celery, baby green peas, garlic, lots of black pepper, thyme, and rosemary) green beans seared in butter and minced garlic, with toasted walnuts; rolls with butter. Vegetarian option: tofu stew with tomatoes, celery, baby green peas, oregano, basil, Parmesan cheese, served with seared green beans and rolls with butter.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Lundberg Farms short-grain brown rice with sauteed crimini and eryngii mushrooms; minestrone (sauteed chopped Spanish onion, diced carrots and celery, chopped green cabbage, chopped gai lan stems, porcini mushrooms, black beans, white kidney beans, tomato juice, red wine, oregano, cumin, red chili flakes, with Parmesan served separately; lime tofu (deep-fried tofu marinated in lime juice, minced garlic, cumin, and bran oil and then sauteed to a golden brown just before serving).

Baking by Shikai sensei:
Plantain tea bread; Any Time of Day Nutritious Bites-peanut butter, oat, molasses, roasted peanuts.

Gassho (palm to palm image)

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 Mishin ino:
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading Saturday's Dharma Assembly, "All Around, All At Once, part 3", presenting the Dharma Talk "Unfabricated", and preparing a delicious chickpea curry for supper.

From Claude Schryer:
Thanks for guidance from Mishin ino on my practice and additional reading material to answer my questions.

From Marc Valade:
Thank you to the Roshi for establishing Dainen-ji as a practise and learning environment. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for making me laugh when most needed during daisan. Thank you to Mishin ino for helping me untie a knot during a practise interview. Thank you to the Office of Tenzo for succulent meals during the last Dharma Assembly.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Endai shramon for a donation towards a new expandable table for the monastery dining hall.

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.