eMirror Vol 23, No. 45
Friday, Novemver 8th, 2019
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho
The White Wind Zen Community:
An international community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985.
Dogen zenji says,
There are some who say they have had twenty or thirty years of study and yet when they are confronted with a discussion of dharmata they are tongue-tied and wander about their lives blindly. Others have spent years in a monastery and now sit up on a Master’s seat but when they hear or are shown something of dharmata they just bob up and down in subject or object, body or mind, completely confused. Their understanding is that dharmata is only revealed after the entire universe and the three worlds which we presently experience are destroyed, and that dharmata will be something other than the numberless presencing of experiences.
Whoa. That’s some pretty strong recoil there. This is of course the product of the kind of simplistic thinking that arises from the cartoonish imaginings of self-image trying to make sense of the Dharma on its own terms. I think it might have happened like this: All dharmas are impermanent and without a self but are a presencing and a process. This is always true of everything. Since this is always true then dharmata is unchanging. Since dharmata is unchanging it is permanent. And so dharmata, according to one definition that I have seen on the Web is the “ground for being, the essence of everything; unifying spiritual reality; the absolute from which all proceeds.”
In Tibetan Buddhism it is common to hear that dharmata is the creator of all things. For example in The Ocean of Definitive Meaning or Ngedon Gyamtso by the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje it says,
Samsara and nirvana manifest according to whether the mode of being (bzhugs tshul) of the true nature, the dharmakaya, is realized or not. Even when there is realization, dharmata (present as the ground and free from elaborations) is the creator (byed pa po) of all that exists, samsara and nirvana. Because nothing transcends this, it is [known as] ‘mudra’ (phyag rgya) or seal. Since there is nothing to be sought that is higher than this--no superior dharmakaya--it is fit to be referred to as ‘maha’ (chen po) or great.
Although I have great respect and affection for and have practised Mahamudra together with various Tibetan Masters such as Geshe Khenrab Gajam and Kalu rinpoche and others decades ago, this is just nonsense. It means that dharmata is beyond samsara and nirvana, the manifestation of which depends only upon whether or not one is realized or not; but the manifestation of anything, even the Dharmakaya or the space of Open Knowing, are all created by dharmata. While this kind of view has needless reifications, it need not affect the actual shinay and lhathong of Mahamudra sitting practice, which is already quite complicated, but it does bend the Mikkyo or tantric elements of Mahamudra toward a withdrawal from experiences.
And so because dharmata is a term representing essential reality some people made it into the absolute and unconditioned and formless something that is behind the universe that primitive thinking tends to look for. In order to realize such a dharmata you either have to remove everything from existence or to fold attention in upon itself into such a concentration state that there is only a blankness and then confuse this blank state with dharmata.
Silly and sad. This is not the samadhi of dharmata.
-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, beginning teisho 4: "This is Not the Samadhi of Dharmata," Monday, December 6, 2004 in the teisho series "Essentially Real: Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji’s 'Hossho: Dharmata'."
November 13th and 27th.
November Two-day Sesshin
The November 2-day sesshin begins at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 8th and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 10th. Formal students are reminded to send their schedules to schedule at wwzc dot org as soon as is possible.
On Saturday, November 9th, 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.
November 18th is the Memorial for the death of Anzan Daiko zenji.
The next Samu Weekend is scheduled to take place on Saturday and Sunday, November 23rd and 24th. 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 Daryl David of Ottawa, Ontario, who has been accepted as an associate student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi.
Beth Buerkle sat a one day retreat onThursday, November 7, in her home in Chamcook, New Brunswick.
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, November 9th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei: “Practicing Insight" (Dharma Talk 32)
- Monday, November 11th: “The Posture of Practice” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei: “Kinhin: The Dignity of the Buddha” (Dharma Talk 2 of 2)
- Thursday, November 14th: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Needle in a Bag” (24 of 71)
- Saturday, November 16th: “Bright Right Through”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Muchu Setsumu": "Transparency" (2 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.
Newly Presented Teachings
- On Saturday, October 19th, Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari presented the Dharma Talk “Heaps and Poisons”, the second presentation in the series “The Sky Around the Clouds”.
- Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi presented the following teisho during the October Daruma-ki O-sesshin, as part of the ongoing series, "The Lineage of Luminosity: Part Two: The Lineage in China”:
- October 7th: Rujing and the Stainless
- October 8th: Rujing, the Abbot of Tiantong part 1
- October 9th: Rujing, the Abbot of Tiantong part 2
- October 10th: Rujing’s Windbell
- On Saturday, September 14th during the September sesshin, Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi presented the Reading of Denkoroku Case 51: Tiantong Rujing as part of the ongoing series, "The Lineage of Luminosity: Part Two: The Lineage in China.”
- On Saturday, August 24th, Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari presented the Dharma Talk “The Sky Sits Up Straight”, the first presentation in “The Sky Around the Clouds”, a new series of Dharma Talks.
- On Saturday, August 10th during the August sesshin, Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi presented the teisho “Zhijian's Concealed and Unconcealed” as part of the ongoing series, "The Lineage of Luminosity: Part Two: The Lineage in China.”
- During Yaza on Saturday, July 13th, Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi presented the teisho “Yaza: The Buddha and the Lies”.
Newly Added Recorded Teachings for Associate and General Students
- The Sky Around The Clouds: DharmaTalk 2: Heaps and Poisons
Direct link: https://wwzc.org/recorded-teachings/sky-around-clouds
- MP3 of “Yaza: The Buddha and the Lies”: Yaza: The Buddha and the Lies
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
- 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
Roof Repair and Essential Repairs to the Hojo (Abbot’s Quarters)
Essential repairs are needed to the Hojo (Abbot’s Quarters), and we are in the process of planning how we can best proceed with this large project. The needed work includes replacing the roof over that area of the building, taking down the ceiling in the Hojo washroom to repair interior damage and properly insulate, and address structural problems (extremely uneven floors, and ventilation, plumbing, and electrical issues). We have received quotations for much of the work but are still waiting on some information. We will be providing the Sangha with a detailed plan breaking the work into phases, along with the amount that must be fundraised.
The image above shows the icicle that forms every winter on the roof of the Hojo. It is often over 20 feet long and is causing damage to the exterior trim and roof line and may be causing interior damage and mould inside the walls.
Dainen-ji re-roofing work completed
The work to replace three portions of the monastery roofs, which we began fundraising for in August of 2018 has been completed. Over 6 days in late September, Godfrey Roofing removed all of the old roofing materials and flashing from the Osho-ryo flat roof, the 2nd floor covered balcony roof and the bay window roof of the first floor library and installed new roofing and flashing. On the flat roof we now have a white membrane material which allows for any standing water that may accumulate and the two other steel roof were replaced with standard roof tiles. The quality of the work is excellent.
New roofing on Osho-ryo flat roof
Thank you very much to everyone who donated towards this project over the last year. In the past, each of these three roofs have leaked at various times and it is a relief that these roofs are now secure for the coming years.
(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.
Ino (J) weino (Ch) "proctor", "discipline master", broadcasts the leader's timing of the forms WWZC
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.
Mixed grain (calrose, arborio, pearled barley, sticky rice); bulgogi tofu (chopped red bell peppers, cubanelle and poblano peppers, Spanish onions, ginger, tofu, bulgogi sauce); Asian pear with lime juice and chili flakes.
Hainan rice (chopped scallions, ginger, and garlic, sauteed in sesame oil and then blended with condensed chicken stock, used to cook a mixture of Chinese rice, Jasmine rice, and basmati rice; roasted chicken thighs and drumsticks seasoned with garlic, onion, and mustard powder, black pepper, Korean barbecue sauce; sauteed bok choy and dai gai choy (mustard greens) seasoned with lime juice, mirin, and lots of black pepper.
Lundberg farms short-grain brown rice with peas and butter; large slices of deep-fried tofu cooked with onion, red bell pepper, cubanelle and poblano peppers, seasoned with butter and HP sauce; butternut squash soup (blended butternut squash and Spanish onion with black pepper and a small amount of cream).
Baking by Shikai sensei:
Chocolate chip malties; healthy oat apple cookies.
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 Jinmyo osho:
Thank you to the Roshi for the text, “True Entry: a Commentary on the Song of the Mind Mirror Samadhi”, written in 1987.
From Claude Schryer:
Thank you to Mishin godo for her supportive response to my comment about ‘letting go of negative thoughts’. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for her edits to some of our entries to the e-Mirror which make them more precise.
"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.