eMirror Vol 24, No. 1 (2020-01-03)


Animal prints in snow, photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
Photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei

eMirror Vol 24, No. 1

Friday, January 3rd, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Usual people have heard the word “Dharmadhatu” and think that realm of reality that the Buddhas speak of is some other realm, some other place than their own lives. Usual people hear the word “dharmata” and think that there is an essential unchanging essence that can be attained by turning away from their lives. They hear of the realization of emptiness and believe it refers to dwelling in an abstract void where they can no longer by bothered by the inconveniences of laundry and illness, eating and sweeping, aging and fevers and responsibilities and gravity and the sharpness of thorns and the hardness of stones. They hear of “komyo” or “luminosity” and close their eyes and look for an inner light.

The Buddhas call sentient beings to turn towards their lives as they actually are and to realize the Suchness and luminosity of the essentially real. Your life is open all around your ideas of it. Nothing that you can think about anything is what it is, including a thought. A thought, like a flower or a leaf or a pattern of frost are all beyond concepts about them and are all the open luminosity of reality.

Dogen says that if one doubts this then -- as Zen practitioners who have had some deep experience as his monastics no doubt had -- then just put aside that this is “your” own doubt and just look at it as a statement. If you can do this then the nonsense of it might become clear to you just through doing that. But that is only so if you are actually practising mindfulness and open attention at the time. As students ask questions in practice interviews, daisan, and dokusan their unstated assumptions and misunderstandings and presumptions can be drawn out and recognized for what they are by practice advisors and Teachers. Often there is a shock of recognition and laughter at the obvious absurdity of self-image and its patterns. However, often people will settle right back into their own absurdity and continue as if that recognition had never occurred. So I think that Dogen’s statement that “question it three or four times and you’ll probably find your way through it” is a bit optimistic.

But he is right that truly clarifying doubt is not a matter of trying of get rid of it but instead of recognizing the nature of a thought as it actually is through actually practising. Self-image’s thoughts are all an expression of a doubt towards reality, a fundamental wordless refusal, and are constructed through a constriction of attention. All around this feeling of locatedness, this sense of a self, everything is already open as it is. The feeling of a self demonstrates that it is not a self because it is felt, it is known, by something larger than it, by the knowing that it claims to be doing. But the nature of even this delusion of a self is dharmata. 

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing teisho 6: "Coming Thus As Us" Saturday, December 7, 2005 in the teisho series "Essentially Real: Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji’s 'Hossho: Dharmata'."

Upcoming Events

January 8th, January 22nd.

The Roshi will began 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.

Introduction to Zen Workshop
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on January 4th at 1:45 p.m. 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 

January Two-day Sesshin
The January two-day sesshin will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 10th and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 12th. Monastics and formal students are asked to send in their schedules as soon as possible. 

Associate and General Sitting January 11th
During the sesshin, on Saturday, January 11th, there will be a sitting for associate and general students which will take place 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.

January 22nd is the memorial of the date of death of Daiji Tenku daiosho, who was the Teacher of Joshu Dainen daiosho, both of whom Anzan Hoshin roshi studied with.

The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage at midnight on Wednesday, January 29th, which will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 2nd, when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana.


Congratulations and deep gassho to Winston Teng Jun Yuan of Singapore who has been accepted as an associate public student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi.


Tarik Kaya sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, December 28th.

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, January 4th: “Bright Right Through”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Muchu Setsumu": "Because" (7 of 12)
  • Sunday, January 5th: SAkN "Root Cycle Five" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi "The End of All Knowing" (Teisho 1 of 5)\
  • Monday, January 6th: "So Intimate It Cannot Be Personal" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari
  • Thursday, January 9th: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Open Heart” (32 of 71)
  • Saturday, January 11th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Lowering the Feet and Resting" (Dharma Talk 34)


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.

Photograph of Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi at Daijozan, mid-1980s, by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
Photograph of Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi at Daijozan, mid-1980s, by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei


Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi has recently completed translation work on some shorter texts by Eihei Dogen zenji from the Shobogenzo. The work on these particular texts is based upon the literal translations that he worked on with Joshu Dainen roshi at Hakukaze-ji around 1977-78 followed by many years of putting them down, picking them up, and polishing. Naturally, more essential texts such as Uji, Genjokoan, Shinjin Gakudo and some 40 others were completed first and have been given extensive commentaries by the Roshi. This batch of texts includes Baike: Plum Blossoms, Ryugin: Howling Dragon, and Udonge: The Udumbara Blossoming and many others are nearing completion. Many of these will be posted on our website over the next few months.

Newly Presented Teachings


  • During the December 2019 Rohatsu O-sesshin, Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi presented the following teisho as part of the ongoing series, "The Lineage of Luminosity, Part Two: The Lineage in China”:
    • December 2nd: Rujing’s Plum Blossoms Again
    • December 3rd: Rujing’s Flower for Pindola
    • December 4th: Rujing’s Painting Plum Blossoms
    • December 5th: Rujing’s Frogs and Worms
  • 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: $11,360
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.


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.

Shikan-taza (J) “Just sitting”. The root practice of our Lineage. The practice of realization; practice without reference points, techniques or boundaries. Shikan-taza is complete penetration into and actualization of Ordinary Mind; anything less is either an introductory stage of shikan-taza practice or a delusion.

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


Japanese tea pot on the fire

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. 

Monday Yakuseki:
Calrose, Arborio, Thai white rice, basmati white rice, Chinese white rice with sauteed cubed sweet potato, chopped Spanish onion and minced garlic; medium-firm tofu sauteed until pockmarked, mixed with a sauce made from gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), shoyu, minced garlic, lime juice, turbinado sugar; seared green beans with garlic; steamed spinach; kimchi.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Fresh crusty rolls, back bacon roasted, sliced, and sauteed on the griddle; tomato bisque (pureed cooked carrots, celery, onion and garlic with tomato juice, thyme, oregano, lots of black pepper); salad of sliced Napa cabbage, thinly sliced carrot and daikon batonettes, thinly sliced white onion served with a choice of balsamic vinegar or sriracha mayonnaise.

Joya Meal:
Lo mein noodles mixed with cooked strips of onion, poblano peppers, red bell peppers, ginger, shoyu, gochugaru, small amount of Bulgogi sauce; sliced deep-fried tofu cooked in chili sauce; doenjang broth (mushroom stock, minced ginger, shoyu, shiru miso and doenjang (Korean miso); baechu kimchi.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Roasted Yukon gold potatoes; cauliflower baked in a cheese sauce (roux made with butter and all-purpose flour, mixed with milk, friulano and extra-old cheddar cheese, mustard powder, sauteed chopped onion, garlic, lots of black pepper.


Hand holding a begging bowl

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 Jinmyo osho: 
Thank you to the Roshi for the teisho, “Joya 2019-20: Seeing 2020” presented on New Year’s Eve. 

From Mishin godo:
Thank you to Anzan Hoshin roshi for presenting a teisho during Joya (New Year’s celebration), and to Jinmyo osho for leading Joya and preparing the delicious midnight feast for practitioners.

From Endai shuso:
Thank you to the Roshi for presenting a teisho at Joya. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading the sitting that is part of the celebration of Joya and for preparing the delicious meal of noodles, tofu, kimchi and a warming miso broth. Thank you to Saigyo ino for instructions about placement of seats and practice items in the practice halls.

From David Gallant:
Thank you to Roshi for the gift of Field Notes notebooks, and for presenting an excellent teisho at this year's Joya. Thank you to my teacher Jinmyo osho for regular daisan and valuable practical wisdom that often comes at just the right time.  Thank you Jinmyo osho for her continual efforts as Tenzo and for the preparation of many nourishing and delicious meals each week, and also for her extra meal preparation efforts over the holiday period.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Gillian Higenbottam, Hannah Kent, Chris Jamison, and Michael Horgan for donations to the Hojo Renovation Fund. Thank you to Saigyo ino, Endai shuso, Isshin, David Gallant, Leonardo Nobrego, Allison Calvern, Michael Giles, and Elayne van Snellenberg for donations.


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.