eMirror Vol 23, No. 13 (2019-03-29)


Ven. Saigyo tando during the recent Samu Weekend, Photograph by Nicolas Senbo Pham-Dinh
Ven. Saigyo tando during the recent Samu Weekend,
photograph by Nicolas Senbo Pham-Dinh

eMirror Vol 23, No. 13

Friday, March 29th, 2019
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Open your eyes and enter bodily and directly into your life.

We enter into the vastness of our lives through recognizing how completely we are already within it. We are entirely surrounded in all directions by our very own lives. Our life is here as all directions, all places, all of these colours and forms, and all of these sounds and smells. All of these people that we think of as “other people out there” are arising intimately within our lives and we arise intimately within theirs. We experience what we think of as ourselves and what we refer to as others in the same way: we all arise together within experiencing.

The least important part of our lives are the scurrying flitters of discursive thoughts and recursive commentaries that self-image uses to screen itself from the measureless richness of experience. It presses itself down upon these thoughts and stories as if they were the only thing of value or importance. And yet a few moments later, it can be difficult to remember just what the thought that you were lost in was even about. People then believe that because the bodymind experiences these thoughts and feeling-tones but does not directly know the stories that others tell themselves that this marks off a barrier between self and other that is vital.

One argument for this is that you can lie to people and they do not know it. People can lie to you and you do not know it. Fundamentally, this is how it can seem as if there is a self separate from others: people can lie. But people lie to themselves as well; they deceive themselves in kinds of ways. They think that they are fatter than they really are or think that they are prettier than they really are. They think that they are clumsier than they really are or that they are friendlier than they really are. They think that aging and death happen but that this has nothing to do with them. They tell themselves and each other lie after lie. While this increases the fractures and divisions within how people live their lives, it is an effect of self-image and is part of how self-image poisons the vitality and vastness of how the bodymind lives. The capacity to lie and to be deceived says nothing vital about our lives.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, beginning teisho 8: "The Purpose of the Sutras", Saturday, March 20th, 2004 in the teisho series "The Thread of the Buddhas," commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Bukkyo. 

Upcoming Events

April 3rd and 17th.

The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage on Wednesday, April 3rd, which will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 7th, when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana. 

Introduction to Zen Workshop
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 6th. 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

Hanamatsuri Two-day Sesshin
The Hanamatsuri (Festival of Flowers) two-day sesshin begins on Friday, April 12th at 8:00 p.m., and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 14th. On Saturday, April 13th, 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.

Roof Repair


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 flashing in poor repair,
unsecured wires, and the deterioration of the old tar and gravel covering

Roof repair funds raised to date: $23,220 ($10,120.00 - collective donation from monastics this week). This is enough to repair one roof of the three that need work.

Fundraising goal: 
$7,433.63 for the other two roofs (this amount may end up being slightly higher because the quotes for these roofs are now a year old).

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.

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


Covered balcony ceiling showing areas of frequent leaks.
Covered balcony ceiling showing areas of frequent leaks.

Samu Weekend report by Ven. Saigyo tando

Over the weekend of March 23rd and 24th we held our first Samu Weekend of the year. 21 students attended over the two days. Although many projects were planned for the two days, one unexpectedly became the main one, which was removing a dangerous ceiling from the dining hall. After close inspection on Saturday morning, it became clear that the 120 year old plaster and lathe ceiling hidden above the newer acoustic tile hung ceiling was in a much worse shape than we thought. Over the years, about 75% of the entire ceiling area of plaster and lathe had sagged away from the joists from which it originally hung. The four inch smooth nails has simply worked their way out of the joists due to vibration (probably from traffic), time and weight. A less severe issue was repaired successfully in the Zendo, re-bolting the drooping ceiling to the joists above, but in the dining hall the problem was too far gone for an in-place repair. The centre of the ceiling was a full ten inches sagged away from the joists. The potential for a disaster of an unexpected collapse (directly above the dining hall table!) meant it was decided to remove the ceiling immediately. So, with all available students kitted out with protective gear, the 1 1/2 tonnes of plaster (with a additional layer of drywall attached) was torn down. This waste was put into a rented dumpster and carted away. Any remaining lathe and strapping was secured safely to the joists and the ceiling covered in thick plastic to stop any further dust migrating into the public spaces. Many hours of cleaning later the dining hall was returned to functionality by Sunday evening. Planning is underway to install a new soundproofed drywall ceiling in April. As White Wind Zen Community has no available funds for this project, Saigyo tando will be taking time off work to undertake this project utilizing as much help as possible from residents and any available students. Rebuilding a ceiling will take about two weeks.

Also, during the Samu Weekend Mishin ino did a large amount of administration work and many of the buildings bug-screen were repaired and re-installed with many dirty windows getting a spring wash.

Thank you to Jinmyo osho for the wonderful midday meals provided for the participants who stayed for a full day of work and to Shikai sensei for the nutritious and delicious afternoon refreshments to sustain students to the end of each day.

Thank you to the following students for offering their time to do samu:

Mishin ino, Fushin shramon, Endai shramon, Senbo, David Gallant, Claude Schryer, Tarik Kaya, Michael Nisch, Jean-Francois St-Louis, Kathleen Johnson, Marc Valade, Chantal Maheu, Constantine Tikhonov, Sarah Goul, Paula Negraes, Ian Richard, Don Charette, Robin Whitehead, Denise Beaudot and Sydnee Burgess.


Congratulations and deep gassho to Chris Jamison of Washington, DC, who has been accepted as an associate public student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi.

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.


Tarik Kaya sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, March 16th. Michael Nisch, visiting Dainen-ji from his home in Ulm, Germany, began a five-day retreat on Monday, March 18th which concludes on the evening of Friday, March 22nd.

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.


Recorded Teachings Schedule

  • Monday, March 25th: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "What Will Be Lost" (12 of 13) 
  • Thursday, March 21st: "Content and Context: Beyond the Circles of Self-Concern" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari 
  • Saturday, March 30th: “Bodhidharma’s Eyes” by Ven. Anzan Hoshin: "A Fine Blend of Teas" (5 of 13)

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.

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:

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.

Sanmei (J) Three Aspects (of koan study).
Richi: knowing the ultimate. Aware Space.
Kikan: devices, skillful means. The machine.
Kojo: Reality Itself.

For a full presentation of the permutations of meanings of these three terms in the context of koan practice refer to Koan: The Real Question, May 1994 O-sesshin.

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.

Monday Yakuseki:
Noodles mixed with strips of sauteed Spanish onion and poblano peppers, seasoned with shoyu, ginger, garlic, chili oil and sesame oil; cubed medium-firm tofu sauteed and then braised in coconut milk with red Thai curry paste and chopped fresh basil; gai lan and dai-gai choy with lime juice, garlic, and lots of black pepper. 

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Fried rice (white and brown Thai rice, diced carrots, peas, corn, chopped scallions, ginger, shoyu; chicken thighs and drumsticks seasoned with sesame oil, bugogi sauce, shoyu and garlic powder and then roasted; haricot verts sauteed with minced garlic; monastery-made baechu kimchi.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Thai white rice; sliced tofu, sauteed carrots, slivers of red bell pepper and onions in a peanut sauce (peanut butter, lime juice, coriander powder, rice vinegar, chopped fresh coriander); cream of cauliflower soup (roasted, blended cauliflower and onion, Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, rice vinegar, vegetable stock, chopped scallions for garnish); pea sprout salad (monastery grown pea sprouts, white balsamic vinegar, black pepper, grapeseed oil). 

Baking by Shikai sensei:
Peanut coconut and chocolate power balls; maple critter cookies.


Roshi bowing in gassho

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 roshi:
My deep thanks and gassho to all who participated in the recent Samu Weekend at Dainen-ji. And thank you to Michael Nisch for the small Monju rupa which joins various others on the bookshelves in the Hojo that hold Prajnaparamita, Vinya, and Abhidharma texts.

From Jinmyo osho:
Thank you to Mishin ino for the hours each week she spends working on practice journals from long-distance students, administration and treasurer’s work. Thank you to Saigyo tando for setting up a planting station for soil sprouts in what used to be the ‘finishing room’; to Fushin shramon for picking up birdseed regularly, to fill the feeding stations around the monastery; to Endai shramon for helping with the translation of chants and teisho into German and for transcribing teisho; to Isshin for dana; to Senbo for acting as Webmaster for the wwzc.org website (he also designed it), for laying out texts in preparation for printing, and for sending out the eMirror each week; to David Gallant for IT work on our file servers; to Leonardo for a cake from Brazil. 

From Michael Nisch: 
First of all, thank you to the Roshi for having established a practice place like Dainen-ji and making it possible for people like me to come to in order to deepen one's practice. Secondly, I would like to thank Jinmyo osho for her precious guidance during my stay. Thank you to Mishin ino and Saigyo tando for helping and correcting me with the forms, and for their right words at the right time. A special thanks to Shikai sensei for her practical and useful hints and advice when meeting her in the kitchen and for the always tasty and delicious refreshments she provided while being in retreat. And a heartfelt thank you to the whole community of Dainen-ji!

From the Office of the Treasurer: 
Thank you to Jean-Francois St. Louis, Ian Richard, and Julien Jefferson for donations to the roof repair fund. Thank you to the following for donations towards the recent samu weekend: Hannah Kent, Kathleen Johnson, Jean-Francois St. Louis, and Paula Negraes.

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.