eMirror Vol 23, No. 27 (2019-07-05)


Fishing spider, photograph by Dr. Jinen S. Boates, Wolfville zazenkai
Fishing spider, photograph by Dr. Jinen S. Boates, Wolfville zazenkai

eMirror Vol 23, No. 27

Friday, July 5th, 2019
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Although Knowing in itself is our own nature, when we are first born there is little that we know how to do. We cannot sit, walk, or stand but only lay where we are put or as we are held and perhaps jerk convulsively until we learn to squirm. We cannot speak. We do not know the sound of a dog barking. Perhaps we do not even know the difference between a dog barking and our own yowling. But we do know how to yowl. And how to breathe, although even that usually has to be given a start through a painful smack so that we open our mouths and gasp and cry in shock. We know how to suck, though we don’t know how we know that or even know that we know it; we just do it. We know how to excrete. We know how to oxygenate the blood. We know how to pump the heart. We know how to shed and grow skin and hair and nails. The infinitesimal atoms that constellate as our tiny bodyminds flash in and out of existence but know how to arrange themselves with each other consistently enough to be molecules, which arrange themselves as chemicals, and the chemicals as cells. There is much activity going on as that body and mind and in various ways it can all be understood as systems of knowings nesting together and opening out as more and more complex systems of knowing.

But there is not much that the bodymind knows how to do as a bodymind within a world of many possibilities. When as an infant we are given a block of wood we suck on it. At some point we will have learned to grasp our fingers and press them together against the palm and so we can grasp the block of wood. Excited at this experience we jerk our arms up and down and arch our backs… and smack the block of wood against our forehead. Oh well. We will learn.

“Natural wisdom” does not mean that there is nothing more for us to learn. It is what we learn with. That which recognizes the Truth that is taught is the wisdom that has no Teacher.

-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

 July 17th and 31st.

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

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

Yaza (all night sitting) will take place on Saturday, July 13th, from 10pm until Sunday,  July 14th, at 8am Zen Master Anzan Hoshin will lead the Yaza. Students attending should arrive by First Bell at 9:45 p.m. A light breakfast will be served before the end of the Yaza. All students are welcome to attend. Please register soon as seating will be limited. The suggested dana contribution for Yaza is $30.00. To register, please send an email to schedule@wwzc.org or leave a message on the Zen Centre office answering machine at (613) 562-1568.

Samu Weekend: 
The next Samu Weekend is scheduled to take place on Saturday and Sunday, July 27th and 28th. Please pencil these dates into your schedule so that you will be able to attend some or all of this weekend of samu practice. Saigyo tando will be writing soon to students with more details about the activities taking place over the weekend. To register please send an email to Saigyo tando at saigyo dot cross at gmail.com or leave a message on the Zen Centre office answering machine at 613-562-1568.


Congratulations and deep gassho to Neil Faught of Burnaby, BC, who has been accepted as an associate public student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi.


Leonardo Nobrega sat a two-day retreat from Friday, June 28th to Sunday, June 30th. Sarah Goul sat a one-day retreat on Monday, July 1st. Mohamed Zakzouk sat a two-day retreat on Tuesday, July 2nd and Wednesday, July 3rd.

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

  • Saturday, July 6th: “Flowers and Clouds” by Ven. Anzan Hoshin: “Sobu Kuju” (3 of 12)
  • Sunday, July 7th: SAkN “Root Cycle Two” by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: “Understanding, Misunderstanding” (teisho 1 of 3)
  • Monday, July 8th: "Rhythm and Song": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dongshan Liangjie's "Hokyo Zanmai": "Where there are Words" (2 of 15)
  • Thursday, July 11th: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Uncertainty” (8 of 71)
  • Saturday, July 13th: “Flowers and Clouds” by Ven. Anzan Hoshin: "The True Person of No Position" (4 of 12)

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.

Sensei: (J) Traditional term used for a transmitted Zen teacher under fifty or sixty years of age. Most Zen teachers prefer this term, especially if their own teacher is still living or in deference to their memory. It is also common for any teacher of anything in Japan, e.g. martial arts, calligraphy, grade school etc. Translates as “one who has come before” or “first born”. See also Roshi.

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


Japanese cast iron pot over fire (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:
Fried rice (leftover mixed grain, chopped red and yellow bell peppers, cubanelle and poblano peppers, chopped Spanish onion, scallions, minced ginger and garlic, scrambled egg, hoisin sauce and vegetarian oyster sauce; tamarind soup (tamarind, shoyu, mirin, ginger) with puffed tofu; baechu kimchi. 

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Baguettes; Scottish oak smoked salmon; chicken salad (chopped cooked chicken, minced garlic and ginger, chopped celery, radishes and kohlrabi, horseradish, lime juice, mayonnaise); sliced tomatoes; cream cheese; sliced red onion; kimchi gazpacho (baechu kimchi, chopped tomatoes, tomato juice, chopped red onion, cucumber, black pepper; vegetarian option: two kinds of hummus, cream cheese, gazpacho, baguettes. 

Thursday Yakuseki:
Black bean soup (diced potato, chopped onion, minced garlic, tomato puree, black beans, salt, black pepper, cumin, chipotle adobo, coriander) - half of which was blended to create a ‘creamy’ base, served with optional grated friulano cheese, sliced bananas; corn tortilla chips; tomato salad with lime juice and fresh coriander. 

Baking by Shikai sensei:
Rhubarb cake; rhubarb pudding; rhubarb tart; rhubarb crisp; soft and chewy oat and raisin cookies; soft molasses cookies.


Monk in gassho with begging hat

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 Endai shramon:
Thank you to the Roshi for the teisho series "Rhythm and Song", which consists of his commentaries on the important text "Hokyo Zanmai" by Dongshan Liangjie zenji, which is being played back during the Monday general sittings. Thank you to Shikai sensei for suggestions about clothing design. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for instruction on the proper use of the mokugyo (fish-shaped drum) during morning chanting of the Heart Sutra. Thank you to Mishin ino for her work as Librarian, which includes overseeing the various archiving projects by means of which the Teachings can be preserved for future students. Thank you to Saigyo tando for organizing samu for students who offer their time to improve the grounds and perform other tasks that benefit the Sangha and make practice possible.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to William Ferguson for a donation to the upcoming Samu Weekend.

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.