eMirror Vol 23, No. 8 (2019-02-22)


River in winter, photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
Photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei

eMirror Vol 23, No. 8

Friday, February 22nd, 2019
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Thus have I heard.”

This is how the Buddha’s sutras begin.

But on the other hand, this teisho begins with those words. So when it is transcribed, will it be a “sutra”? Yes and no. Which is to say, that it depends on who you ask and what you define a sutra as being. In the end, whatever word we call something, even groups of words such as sutras, misses the mark.

The sutras are texts which record discourses that were attributed to Sakyamuni Buddha. The Sanskrit word “sutra” and the Pali word “sutta” have as their root meanings “thread” as in something connected together. The English word “suture” has the same origins. So a sutra is a thread or line of talking. But even the earliest texts, the Pali suttas, were written long after the Buddha’s death and may or may not represent what he might actually have said.

The Sakyamuni of many of the Mahayana sutras is a much vaster and mythic figure than Old Man Sakyamuni. The Socrates that appears in Plato’s writings is not his old teacher but a literary device. The four gospels of the Christian New Testament are only a few out of dozens of similar texts produced around the same time and are not the works of the authors to whom they are attributed.

The sutras are the record not so much of the voice of Sakyamuni but the voices of countless different Buddhists with many different interests, only a few of whom were interested in practice. What matters for us as Zen practitioners is what use has been made of the sutras by the Lineage of Buddhas and Awakened Ancestors and how we might in turn use them.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, concluding teisho 7: "The Twelve Divisions", Thursday, February 19, 2004 in the teisho series "The Thread of the Buddhas," commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Bukkyo.

Upcoming Events

March 6th and 20th.

The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage at midnight on Wednesday, February 27th, which will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 3rd, when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana.

Introduction to Zen Workshop
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place at 1:45 p.m., on Saturday, March 2nd. For more information please see:
For information concerning our Long-distance Training Program, please visit this Web Page: https://wwzc.org/long-distance-training-program

March Two-day Sesshin
The March two-day sesshin will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 8th and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 10th. On Saturday, March 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.

Keizan Ki
March 21st is the memorial for Keizan Jokin zenji.

Samu Weekend 
The next Samu Weekend is scheduled to take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 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 soon be writing 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.

Fundraising for Roof Repair

Fundraising goal: The estimates we have received for this roof work total $30,653.63 for replacement of all three roofs. We hope to engage the contractor to do the work in spring 2019, but this will depend on whether sufficient funds have been collected.

Amount raised to date: $9,730

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.


Michael Nisch sat a half-day retreat on Saturday, February 16th at his home in Ulm, Germany. 

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, February 23rd: “Bodhidharma’s Eyes” by Ven. Anzan Hoshin: “Mr. Daruma” (teisho 2 of 13)
  • Sunday, February 24th: SAkN "Tathagatagarbha" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "The Flash of Knowing" (2 of 4) 
  • Monday, February 25th: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's
  • "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "The Dragon Maiden" (8 of 13)
  • Thursday, February 28th: “The Art of Subtraction” by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari
  • Saturday, February 30th: “Bodhidharma’s Eyes” by Ven. Anzan Hoshin: “No Text, No Trace, No Corpse” (teisho 3 of 13)

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.



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.

Sangha (S);  So (J)  In many traditional Buddhist  cultures “sangha” refers only to the monastic community. In the West, sangha has been broadened to include all practitioners. In the Zen Community it also means all beings, all thoughts and perceptions, the harmony of the whole moment. Sangha translates as “harmonious community”.

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


drawing of oryoki set

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 Prior to the Evening Sittings:

Monday Yakuseki
Thai rice mixed with sauteed onion and sauteed cubed Yukon gold potatoes and garlic; medium-firm tofu sliced into ¼ inch thick slices cooked in bran oil and drizzled with a sauce made from minced garlic, chopped green onions, Korean hot pepper flakes, shoyu, lime juice, a pinch of brown sugar and garnished with thinly sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds; steamed greens (tatsoi, bok choy and gai lan) with lime juice; Asian pear with lime juice and chili flakes.

Tuesday Yakuseki
Roasted Yukon gold potatoes; Thick pork loin chops seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, black pepper, and chipotle barbeque sauce, seared on all sides and then finished in the oven before serving; steamed cabbage and baby green peas; mushroom gravy (roux made with bran oil and flour, shoyu, mushroom stock, chopped sauteed crimini mushrooms, white onion, thyme, savory, lots of black pepper. 

Thursday Yakuseki
White and whole wheat naan toasted in the oven; red lentil dal (red lentils, tomato paste, chopped onions, cubed potato, garam masala); tomato salad (chopped tomatoes, lime pickle, lime juice, fresh coriander). 

Extra items made: 
Mustard green kimchi (gat kimchi), made by Mishin Ino
Radish Water Kimchi (동치미)

Baking by Shikai sensei:
Oat date pickled pineapple cookies



Line drawing of hands 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 Saigyo tando:
Thank you to the Roshi for the recorded teisho series "Bodhidharma's Eyes" which we have begun to listen to during the Saturday general sittings and for the vibrant and powerful portrait of Bodhidharma which hangs in the practice halls. Thank you to the Roshi for useful and fun terminal apps for my computer. Thank you to Shikai sensei for delicious baked goods for residents. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading the recent Nehan O-sesshin and for making a new batch of amazing kimchi. Thank you to Mishin ino for all of the extra administration required during this busy end-of-year financial period. Thank you to Fushin shramon for overseeing the quantities of the weekly delivery of dairy products for the monastery. Thank you to Endai shramon for organizing supplies in the pantry. Thank you to Jean-Francois St-Louis, Shannon Morphew, Claude Schryer and Ian Richard for their assistance with the archiving project to restore teisho and Dharma Talks by the Roshi which were recorded onto tape cassettes in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Thank you to those students who remain behind after the evening sittings to assist with cleaning the hallways. 

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.