eMirror Vol 23, No. 24 (2019-06-14)


Flower, photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
Photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei

eMirror Vol 23, No. 24

Friday, June 14th, 2019
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

It can be confusing to think about practice clearly because it is beyond thought. Many things have been said and many of these things come from the various understandings and misunderstandings that people have had throughout the history of the Dharma.

From the point of view of the new student, Zen practice is brutal, austere, and terrifying. Or sometimes it’s nice. In any case, it’s a very long slog. When something is realized, a moment later we cannot remember what that something was. So surely practice is a matter of slowly accumulating realizations of “somethings”. Or something like that.

From the perspective of more mature practice, Zen is just allowing reality to exert itself.

From the vantage of Masters, nothing is easier. There are no things, just the vast ease of the playful Activity of Aware Space which dances while motionless. 

Hearing of this “great ease” some students are resentful, some despair, others try to just take it easy.

Particularly confusing is the relationship between the process of learning and study through practice and the always already primordial and natural qualities of what is realized. Dogen brings this together in our practice as “shojo-no-shu”, the practice of realization, the continual practice of embodying Awake Awareness.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing teisho 1: "Meeting Natural Wisdom" Friday, December 3, 2004 in the teisho series "Essentially Real, commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji’s 'Hossho: Dharmata'."

Upcoming Events

June 19th, July 3rd, 17th and 31st.

Introduction to Zen Workshop
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place at Dainen-ji on Saturday, July 6th. 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



Congratulations and deep gassho to Marc Valade of Ottawa who has been accepted as an general student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi.


Gillian Higenbottam, visiting from her home in Peterborough, Ontario sat a two and a half-day retreat from the evening of Monday, June 10th to the morning of Thursday, June 13th.

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.

Windows Laptop

If anyone has a Windows laptop that they would be able to donate to the monastery, this would be much appreciated. We need to set up a second device on which to run Quickbooks 2019 (the accounting program used by the Office of the Treasurer) and it runs best on Windows. This would make it easier for a second person to take on regular data entry for monastery bookkeeping. Please email Mishin ino at mishin at gmail dot com for more information.


Recorded Teachings Schedule

  • Saturday, June 15th: “Bodhidharma’s Eyes” by Ven. Anzan Hoshin: Readings of “Two Entries and Four Practices” and “Soshi Sairai no i”
  • Monday, June 17th: "Remembering Reality" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari
  • Thursday, June 20th: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Snow” (5 of 71)
  • Saturday, June 22nd: “Flowers and Clouds” by Ven. Anzan Hoshin: Reading of “Kuge” by Eihei Dogen zenji.

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.

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.


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.

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.


Oryoki set drawing

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:
Cavatappi pasta with tomato sauce (diced Spanish onion, minced garlic, diced tomatoes, whole San Marzano tomatoes, porcini mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, oregano, basil, a pinch of cumin, red chili flakes, Parmesan cheese; greens and beans (chopped steamed kale, strips of sauteed Spanish onion, chopped poblano peppers and red bell peppers, garlic, red balsamic vinegar, red kidney beans; olives and artichoke hearts. 

Tuesday Yakuseki:
‘Fish sticks’ (assorted fish balls on skewers coated with awabi sauce mixed with toasted red chili oil; fish curry (sauteed onions, diced butternut squash, chopped potatoes, cod fillets, madras curry powder, coriander powder and fresh chopped coriander, tamarind paste; Thai white and brown rice; chopped Asian pear with lime juice and chili flakes. 

Thursday Yakuseki:
White Thai rice; vegetables and tofu in peanut sauce (chopped Spanish onions, poblano and red bell peppers, ginger, garlic, cauliflower, zuccini, green cabbage, deep-fried tofu, chili sauce, coriander, peanut butter; kimchi.

Baking by Shikai sensei:
Oat cakes; feta biscuits; tart lemon tart; peanut butter oat cookies; rhubarb tart.



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 Shikai sensei:
Thank you to Mishin ino for computer help in the midst of her busy schedule; to Ian Richard for first in season rhubarb.

From Mishin ino:
Thank you to the Roshi for the thousands of teisho he has presented, which like “The Bodymind of Zazen” played at the associate sitting always speak right here and now to students even when the presentation was several decades ago. Thank you to Shikai sensei for last week’s ‘shrinking hubby’ cookies which were such a good combination of nuts and dates, and for always delicious oat cakes for sesshin. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading the June sesshin and the chanting of the Vow of Samantabhadra each evening, and for making large batches of excellent kimchi to enrich monastery meals. 

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to the United Church of Christ in South Dakota for a donation after visiting the monastery last Friday for an introduction to Zen Workshop. 

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.