eMirror Vol 23, No. 48 (2019-11-29)


Great Master Mazu Daoyi by Sengai
Great Master Mazu Daoyi by Sengai

eMirror Vol 23, No. 48

Friday, Novemver 29th, 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 now raises Great Master Ma’s Teaching:

Zen Master Mazu1 said,

“All sentient beings have never left dharmata samadhi throughout myriads of eons. They are always in the reality of dharmata samadhi, putting on their clothes, eating rice, greeting and speaking, the workings of the six sense organs, all their activities are completely dharmata.”2

The “dharmata” expressed by Mazu is the dharmata expressed by dharmata. Dharmata is the condition of Mazu and the state of Mazu is the same as dharmata. Mazu understands dharmata and therefore cannot fail to express it. Dharmata is riding Mazu.3

Great Master Mazu Daoyi was one of the most influential of the Tang dynasty Chinese Chan Masters. He was in the eighth generation of the Chinese Transmission, the only Dharma-heir of his Teacher Nanyue Huairang, and had one hundred and 139 Dharma-heirs during his long life from 709 to 788. He was a huge man and was said to have the glare of a tiger and the walk of a buffalo. With shouts and gestures and eloquent words he shook students from their perches and hurled them to the ground.

He was a contemporary of our own Lineage Ancestor Shitou Xiqian, known as Old Stonehead. Great Master Ma, which means “horse”, and Old Stonehead used to send students back and forth between each other. Shitou’s Dharma-heir and our Ancestor Yaoshan Weiyan studied also with Mazu. Another monk who studied with both Mazu and Shitou was Deng Yinfeng.

The Wudeng Huiyan says,

When Deng Yinfeng was leaving, Master Mazu said to him, “Where are you going?”
Yinfeng said, “To see the Stone.”
Mazu said, “Shitou’s road is slippery.”
Yinfeng said, “I’ll carry a wooden staff with me and when I encounter such a place I’ll play it as it goes.” Then he went off.
Upon arriving at Shitou’s he circled that Teacher’s meditation seat, loudly struck his staff on the floor, and asked, “What doctrine is it?”
Shitou said, “Oh, heavens!”
Yinfeng didn’t speak, but returned and reported this to Master Mazu. Master Mazu said, “Go there and ask him again. Wait for his answer, then roar twice.”
Yinfeng again went to Shitou and asked the question as before. Shitou roared twice. 
Yinfeng again didn’t speak. He returned and reported this to Master Ma.
The Master said, “I told you that ‘Shitou’s road is slippery.’”

These two Great Masters knew each other’s minds well. Both were alive to dharmata and expressed it each in their own way. Mazu’s expression here of the samadhi of dharmata is dharmata expressing itself through Mazu, riding him like a horse, moving his lips, flying as his spittle.

1 “Mazu Daijaku of Kosei in Koshu.” Jiangxi Mazu Daoyi (Chiang-hsi Ma-tsu Tao-i, Mazu Doitsu) 709-788. He was the sole Dharma-heir of Nanyue Huairang. Amongst his 139 Dharma-heirs was Baizhang Huaihai. He was one of the most prominent of the Tang Chan masters and had a great deal to do with shaping the directness of Teaching styles through his use of the shout, stick, and glare. His sayings and doings are collected in the Jiangxi Daoyi Chan-shi yu-lu (Kiangsi Tao-i ch’an-shih yu-lu, Recorded Sayings of Ch’an Master Daoyi of Jiangxi). He appears in Blue Cliff Records 3, 53, 73, Records of Silence 6, 36, 90 and Gateless Gate 30, 33. He appears in the Sayings and Doings of Dongshan (Dongshan yulu) 2. See Dogen’s Uji, Koku.

2 Kosonshuku-goroku 1.

3 “Ma” means horse”

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing teisho 5: "Actualizing the Samadhi of Dharmata," Tuesday, December 7, 2004 in the teisho series "Essentially Real: Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji’s 'Hossho: Dharmata'."

Upcoming Events

Fusatsu: December 5th and 19th. 

Rohatsu O-sesshin
The Rohatsu O-sesshin began at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 1st, and will end on Sunday, December 8th following Jodo-e (commemorating the Buddha's Awakening).

Cancelled General Sitting
The Monday, December 2nd general sitting that would normally begin at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled as the Rohatsu O-sesshin will be in progress. 

Cancelled Associate Sitting
The Thursday, December 5th associate sitting that would normally begin at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled as the Rohatsu O-sesshin will be in progress.

For Associate and General Students
A morning sitting will take place in the Zendo on Saturday December 7th. The sitting begins at 9:30 a.m. (please arrive by 9:15 in time for first Bell) and ends at 11:30 a.m. Students are reminded to remain on the first floor.

A Note to Preliminary and Public Students Concerning O-sesshin
During an O-sesshin the schedule is such that there is no time to meet face to face with preliminary students or to reply to email correspondence sent by public students. Public students are asked to send their weekly practice journals, as they will be reviewed. But unless there is something that needs an immediate reply, you will not receive an email reply until the week following the O-sesshin.

Jodo-e: December 8th

December 12th is the anniversary of the day on which the Roshi’s Teacher, Ven. Yasuda Joshu Dainen roshi died.

The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage on Wednesday, December 11th, which will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 15th, 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, December 14th. 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

Joya (New Year’s Celebration)
On Tuesday, December 31st at 10 p.m. until Wednesday, January 1st at 12:00 a.m., we will celebrate Joya or New Year's. Join Zen Master Anzan Hoshin, Ven. Shikai Sensei and Ven. Jinmyo osho and the monastics of the Northern Mountain Order in ringing in the New Year with 108 recitations of the Mahaprajnaparamita Hridaya sutra mantra. Following the sitting there will be an array of shojin-ryori (Zen vegetarian cuisine) dishes for an informal feast. All students are welcome to attend. There is no better way to begin the year. Dana is $25. Please register by sending an email to schedule at WWZC dot org, or telephone the Zen Centre office (613) 562-1568.

The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage on Wednesday, January 1st, which will end on Sunday, January 5th, at 9:30 a.m. when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana.


Thach Hoang sat a one-day retreat from the evening of Friday, November 22nd to Saturday, November 23rd at his home in Laval, Quebec. Sydnee Burgess sat a one-day retreat on Tuesday, November 26th. 

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, November 30th: “Bright Right Through”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Muchu Setsumu": "The Path of the Buddhas" (3 of 12)
  • Sunday, December 1st: SAkN "Root Cycle Four: Moving in Knowing" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi "Unknown Knowing" Teisho 2 of 5
  • Saturday, December 7th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “When Uncrossing the Legs" (Dharma Talk 33)


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


  • Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi presented the following teisho during the November Sesshin, as part of the ongoing series, "The Lineage of Luminosity: Part Two: The Lineage in China”:
    November 9th: Rujing and the Old Plum Tree
  • Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi presented the following teisho during the November Sesshin, as part of the ongoing series, "The Lineage of Luminosity: Part Two: The Lineage in China”:
    November 9th: Rujing and the Old Plum Tree

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:


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

Hojo renovation funds raised to date: $4,185
Fundraising goal: $40,000

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.

Samu Weekend Report by Saigyo ino

Over the weekend of November 23rd and 24th we held our winter Samu Weekend. 24 students attended over the two days and worked on a wide variety of projects in the building and grounds. Here are some of the "highlights": In the grounds we completed winterizing, protecting delicate plants, setting up the snowblower and its winter housing and storing various garden items cleaned and ready for next year. Leaves were collected in the parking areas and the porches were cleaned. Inside the building some extra winterizing tasks were completed including new insulation for the electrical panel room window in the basement, removable caulking on windows and insulating the attic hatch. A great deal of reorganization was completed in the basement now that new laundry room next to the workshop and the new storage room in the pantry have been completed. The basement toilet room was repainted. In the attic a repair was worked on to replace the insulation and vapour barrier in an area of the ceiling damage by water.  All of the public areas of the monastery were cleaned thoroughly and a truck load of renovation waste was taken to the local dump. 

Thank you to Jinmyo osho for designing and preparing the excellent midday meals for those students who stayed for the full day of samu and to Shikai sensei for the lovely afternoon refreshments. 

Thank you to the following students who offered their time to work on the projects to maintain and improve the practice environment of Dainen-ji:  

Mishin godo, Fushin shramon, Endai shramon, Isshin, David Gallant, Leonardo Nobrega, Ian Richard, Claude Schryer, Greg Parker, Sydnee Burgess, Matt Broda, Julien Jefferson, Hannah Kent, Jean-Francois St-Louis, Alison Burke, Tarik Kaya, Jesse Steinberg, Kathleen Johnson, Shannon Morphew, Don Charette, George Donovan, Marc Valade and Constantine Tikhonov. 


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.


Meal served in the dining hall at Dainen-ji

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 godo and Saigyo ino offer assistance as tenzo-anja. 

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

Monday Yakuseki
Bean soup: green and yellow split peas, red lentils, barley, arborio and Thai rice, cubed potatoes, chopped carrots and Spanish onions, garlic, chipotle in adobo sauce, oregano, cumin, thyme, black pepper, and red wine vinegar; green cabbage coleslaw: green cabbage, white onion, horseradish, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, lime juice; croutons: toasted cubed focaccia bread, bran oil, minced garlic, lots of black pepper. 

Tuesday Yakuseki
Hainan rice: calrose rice, arborio, pearled barley, Korean short-grain white rice, Chinese rice, basmati rice, cooked with chicken stock, chopped scallions, garlic and ginger; roasted chicken thighs and drumsticks seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, BBQ sauce, black pepper; sauteed green beans with garlic; baek (white) kimchi. 

Thursday Yakuseki
Lundberg short-grain brown rice with butter and peas; soup made with vegetable stock, chopped zucchini, white onion, leeks and celery root; deep-fried tofu, chopped red bell peppers and chopped Spanish onion with chili sauce and a drop of HP sauce.

Baking by Shikai sensei
Oat chocolate chip cookies; Peanut butter molasses popcorn balls; Garlic, cheese, chocolate chips popcorn balls; Sticky lemon cake; Three ingredient peanut butter cookies.


Ven. Anzan Hoshin 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 Hoshin roshi:
My deep gassho of appreciation to all who participated in the recent Samu Weekend, helping the monastery to be ready for the winter.

From Shikai sensei:
Thank you to Ryoshin for Taylors of Harrogate Earl Grey tea (my favourite).

From Mishin godo:
Thank you to Fushin shramon and Endai shramon for bi-weekly dana processing. Thank you to David Gallant for archiving samu.

From Endai shramon:
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for preparing delicious lunches on both Saturday and Sunday for the students who participated in the Samu Weekend. Thank you to Saigyo ino for organizing the samu tasks and overseeing all of the work that was done. Thank you to Fushin shramon for purchasing supplies for the Samu Weekend.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Marcin Matusckiewicz for a donation. Thank you to Jean-Francois St. Louis, Stacey Loyer, and William Feguson for donations towards the 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.