eMirror Vol 23, No. 46 (2019-11-15)


Vines with autumn colors growing on the monastery wall, photograph by Ven. Mishin Roelofs godo
Photograph by Ven. Mishin Roelofs godo

eMirror Vol 23, No. 46

Friday, Novemver 15th, 2019
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

And so Dogen says,

The true meaning of dharmata is not like that. The intimacy between this world of experiences and dharmata completely goes beyond ideas of sameness and difference, separation and unity. It is not in the past, present, or future, cannot be seen as a thing existing isolated in space and time nor as eternally constant,1 and is beyond form, reactivity, symbolization, habitual patterning, or consciousness.2 It is dharmata.

Everything is dharmata because dharmata is just how everything is. Dharmata does not create anything or destroy anything. It is the rising and falling, the coming and going of everything. It is not in itself a thing. It is just how things are. In fact, in Pali, the term dhammata can mean “natural”, “naturally”, “customary”, “habit” and “usual”. It is what is always true.

As Dogen says dharmata is not danken, a thing by itself that can be located in time and space, and it is not joken, some eternally unchanging mysterious something. It is not a cosmological backdrop to the theatre of the universe. It is a description of the universe as playfulness, as change, as empty and open, as activity, as radiance. “It” does not do anything except metaphorically because “it” is not an “it”, it is just a description of the essentially real.à

And Knowing in itself, knowing as such, is also not a background or container for knowns. Knowns arise within it but it has no edge. It is not something that can be known because if Knowing in itself were the same as anything that is known then there could only be that one thing. The categories that can be used to think about modes of knowing and knowns cannot be applied to it. Depending upon how we want to class things we could say that dharmata is greater than or lesser than the Dharmakaya or Knowing in itself.

It’s difficult to think about it. So, you know what? Don’t think about it. Practise it. Question into it with this whole living bodymind and see that dharmata is what is essentially real. It is the essence of seeing and seen, hearing and heard, touching and touched. It is there as the stars, the planets, the sky, the earth. Just sit up straight and enter the samadhi of dharmata with your whole life in each moment because it is what your whole life is.

Please, this evening, enjoy yourselves.

1 Danken (seen as isolated in space and time), joken (seen as eternally constant). Materialism and idealism.
2 The five skandhas.                             

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, concluding 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'."

Upcoming Events

November 27th.

November 18th is the Memorial for the death of Anzan Daiko zenji.

Samu Weekend: 
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.


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 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.

Training Session

Charlane Bishop sat a one-week training session at Wolfville branch centre from Monday, November 4th through Sunday, November 11th.

Recorded Teachings Schedule


  • Saturday, November 16th: “Bright Right Through”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Muchu Setsumu": "Transparency" (2 of 12)
  • Sunday, November 17th: SAkN "Root Cycle Four: Moving in Knowing" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi "Motion" Teisho 1 of 5
  • Monday, November 18th: “Zen is Not Kidding” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
  • Thursday, November 21st: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “What Makes Sense" (26 of 71)

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”.

WWZC Website


Newly Added Recorded Teachings for Associate and General Students

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:


Update on the Plan for Essential Repairs to the Hojo (Abbot’s Quarters)

Essential repairs are needed to the Hojo (Abbot’s Quarters). The needed work includes taking down the ceiling in the Hojo washroom in order to insulate, raising the floor, repairing interior moisture damage, and addressing other structural problems (extremely uneven floors, and ventilation, plumbing, and electrical issues). 

The Office of the Shissui has met with 3 local design/build companies to discuss the scope of this substantial work and is reviewing their quotations. The total cost of the work will be in the region of $40,000. Provided that we are able to meet the fundraising goal, we anticipate undertaking the work in the summer of 2020.

All donations towards the Hojo renovation fund will be much appreciated, and will receive a charitable tax receipt. 


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 mold inside the walls.

Description of the work
After a recent risk inspection by our insurance company, one requirement for ongoing insurance coverage is to address a buildup of large icicles over winter from the roof over the Hojo washroom. The ice buildup is caused by heat loss through the roof that melts the winter snow, which refreezes into icicles. 

In order to address this, we should be insulating the ceiling of the Hojo washroom. We will use an application of spray foam insulation which will require taking down the interior ceiling. As there is also heat loss through the very poorly insulated walls, we shall also be removing all of the wall plaster and lathe and using spray foam insulation on the exterior walls. As well as heat insulation, this closed cell foam insulation will impede moisture transfer and eliminate the possibility of moisture buildup and mold issues in the room. Because the plaster and lathe will need to be removed in order to insulate, we will be replacing the old shower stall and re-plumbing the shower. 

Replacing the ceiling allows us to raise the height of the ceiling so that we can eliminate the 8-inch step down into the washroom, which is a potential tripping hazard. We can also add new lighting, improved ventilation and proper venting of fixtures. Raising the floor height requires replacing two hot water radiators with under-floor electric heating and installing a new vanity. 

Once completed, all of this work will result in a substantial improvement to the functionality of the living and working environment of the Hojo, the Abbot’s Quarters, and eliminate potential hazards. As the last area of the building to receive any major renovation work, this improvement is a priority. 


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
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. 


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.

Shiho (J) Transmission. The student has gotten the basic point and is able to actualize it without distortion in each moment of experiencing. This is acknowledged by the Teacher in the form of a public statement or ceremony.

Further, from "Monkish Talk": “Teaching of the Dharma”, which is received in Transmission through menju (face to face Transmission) or menzan (face to face study) between Teacher and student; in modern Soto-shu transmission through copying the kirigami or silks, usually from one’s father as inheritor of his temple; in WWZC the second of three depths of Transmission; includes Denkai (empowerment as a preceptor) and Denbo (Sealing the Transmission ceremony) both of which occur in private, followed by a public ceremony called Den’e (“receiving the robe”); in Joshu Dainen daiosho’s Transmission, becoming a kyoshi or practice advisor is the first stage of the process of Shiho, which can extend over many years.

Note: Shikai Zuiko sensei and Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari have received Shiho as Dharma Successors of the Abbot, Anzan Hoshin roshi.

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


Zenga by Sato Kenchu
Zenga by Sato Kenchu

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 prepared during Sesshin:

: Chow mein noodles with sauteed strips of yellow onion, poblano, and red shepherd bell peppers, slivered ginger, garlic, shoyu, chile oil, bulgogi sauce; scrambled eggs.
Lunch: Mixed grain (calrose and arborio rice); miso shiru (kombu stock, shiro miso, ginger, shoyu, mirin, rice vinegar, silken tofu, rehydrated shitake mushrooms); takuan and gari.
Supper: Minestrone (small “shells” pasta, chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped carrots, celery, poblano, cubanelle and red bell peppers, Paris and porcini mushrooms, red wine, tomato juice, Parmesan cheese, thyme, rosemary, basil, lots of black pepper and a drop of cream to cut the acidity of the tomato juice); sauteed greens and beans (Spanish onion, gai lan, dai gai choy, bok choy, red and white kidney beans, red balsamic vinegar); cubed friulano cheese with sweet gherkins, lemon zest and lemon juice.

: Fried rice (Lundberg brown rice with peas, and calrose and arborio rice left over from previous meals, chopped leftover greens and beans, diced shitake mushrooms removed from strained miso shiru broth, caramelized spanish onion, cumin, chipotle, black pepper.)
Lunch: Mixed grain (Jasmine white and brown rice); topped with cubed, sauteed daikon with chile sauce; seaweed soup (strained leftover miso shiru stock with wakame seaweed, slivered ginger, shoyu, sesame oil, chili paste, and silken tofu); baechu kimchi.  

Meals Prepared Throughout the Week, Prior to the Evening Sittings:

Monday Yakuseki
Lo mein noodles with mushroom sauce (sauteed sliced paris mushrooms, finely chopped white onion, garlic, ginger, mushroom stock, hoisin sauce, shoyu; sauteed sliced deep-fried tofu; steamed greens. 

Tuesday Yakuseki
Mixed grain (calrose, arborio, Thai, Chinese, basmati and pearled barley); lemon-masala chicken (chicken breasts, garlic, lemon juice, ginger, bran oil, cilantro leaves and stems, mint leaves, coriander, amchur (dry mango powder), turmeric, salt, red chili powder); soup made from concentrated chicken stock, shoyu, white pepper, with added greens (mustard greens, bok choy). 

Thursday Yakuseki
Mixed grain (Korean, Thai sticky rice, Calrose rice and pearled barley); medium-firm tofu sauteed until ‘pockmarked’ and then added to a sauce made from shoyu, gochugaru, honey, sesame oil, garlic and ginger; mushroom soup made with shitake mushrooms, mushroom stock, shoyu, ginger, added greens; Asian pear with lime juice and chili flakes. 

Baking by Shikai sensei:
Salted maple tart; oat cakes; Feta biscuits; ginger, apple, molasses cookies; Caramel apple crisp; Date power balls; Peanut butter cup energy bites.

Offering mudra

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 godo for purchasing a bushel assortment of apples already used in crisps and cookies.

From Jinmyo osho:
Thank you to Mishin godo, Saigyo ino, Fushin shramon and Endai shramon for work on remastering teisho and classes presented by the Roshi from the 1980s; to Fushin shramon for data entry in QuickBooks each month; to Chiso anagarika for proofreading texts.

From Mishin godo:
Thank you to the Roshi for gathering together and translating various sayings and doings of our Lineage Ancestor Tiantong Rujing, who lived from 1163-1228. Thank you to Shikai sensei for baking sesshin refreshments and for a great apple crisp. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading the November sesshin. Thank you to Senbo for circulating MP3 files of new teisho and Dharma Talks to monastics and formal students. 

From Endai shramon:
Thank you to the Roshi for presenting the next teisho in the series “The Lineage of Luminosity, Part II: The Lineage in China” during last week’s sesshin, consisting of a further presentation of the Dharma of our Lineage Ancestor Tiantong Rujing daiosho. Thank you to Shikai sensei for preparing delicious refreshments. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading sesshin and for designing and preparing the outstanding oryoki meals in her position as Tenzo. Thank you to Mishin godo for assisting in the preparation of the meals. 


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.