eMirror Vol 24, No. 12 (2020-03-20)


Photograph by Ven. Fushin Comeau shramon
Photograph by Ven. Fushin Comeau shramon

eMirror Vol 24, No. 12

Friday, March 20th, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Here's a story I could tell you.

Joshu Dainen asked Daiji Tenku, "The Way cannot be practised because it is beyond delusion and enlightenment. What can I do?" Daiji Tenku said, "What can you do?" Joshu raised his hand and fluttered it and said, "I can do this…." Daiji Tenku hit him and said, "No you can't". Joshu understood. Daiji Tenku said, "Don't just sit there. Show me!"

Now, this is a very useful story. So useful, that we treat it as a koan. It is the thirtieth case of the Book of Open Eyes, the Kaigenroku, that we begin koan study with. Through this story, when we understand it, we come to a more intimate understanding of who we are and of who we are not. Through becoming intimate with the koan, we become intimate with Joshu Dainen, we become intimate with Daiji Tenku. When we have unfolded this intimacy, then we can answer the question, "What did Joshu show him?"

Zen is a transmission of intimacy, intimacy between teacher and student, intimacy with all beings. Through the intimacy between teacher and student, we realize that we are all beings, we are each other, and: there is no-one. It is because of this intimacy between Daiji Tenku and Joshu Dainen, that Daiji Tenku strikes him.

Speaking, striking - all of this points to that which is beyond and before words and yet which speaks. That which never moves and yet is active as all that is.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing teisho 2: "We Each Are Each Other" Saturday, July 20th, 1996 in the teisho series "Studying the Mystery", Commentaries on Shitou Xiqian's "Sandokai".

WWZC’s Response to Covid-19
(Zen and the Art of Washing Your Hands)

Due to a recent announcement from Ottawa Public Health we have cancelled all sittings for local Sangha members.

Dr. Vera Etches, Deputy Medical Officer of Health (Ottawa Public Health) has urged residents to “strengthen their social distancing measures”, cancel any planned events and “not go out for non-essential reasons.”


Students are expected to sit at home, and in the next few days we will be writing to all local Sangha members about arranging times for daisan and practice interviews by telephone, We will also send you further information about how we structure training by email and telephone.

The Roshi and Practice Council


Upcoming Events

March 25th, April 8th and 22nd.

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

The Roshi is currently in an extended period of "self-isolation" due to underlying health issues until the Corvid-19 situation clarifies.

Hanamatsuri Two-day Sesshin
The Hanamatsuri (Festival of Flowers) two-day sesshin begins on Friday, April 10th at 8:00 p.m., and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 12th. On Saturday, April 11th, 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.

Beginning Instruction in Zen Practice:
For information concerning our Long-distance Training Program, please visit this Web Page: https://wwzc.org/long-distance-training-program


Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is not possible at this time to schedule retreats in the monastery. If you would like to sit a retreat at home please follow the schedule outlined in this page:  https://wwzc.org/retreat-schedule-public-students. We can arrange for a telephone interview or daisan providing this does not conflict with the sesshin or O-sesshin schedule listed above, under “Upcoming Events”.

Listening to Teisho

​Associate and general students should continue to follow the recorded Teachings schedule for the sitting you were attending at the monastery, and listen to that during your home practice. 

You can access the online Recorded Teachings Library at wwzc.org/recorded-teachings-schedule.

You can also use the streaming site at app.wwzc.org to live stream recordings from the online Library. If you have forgotten your password or need assistance with accessing the recorded Teachings, please email schedule@wwzc.org.

Please note that teisho should be listened to in the correct order and with none missed out as themes, metaphors, questions raised and answered evolve in spirals throughout the series.

Recorded Teachings Schedule

Saturday, March 21st: "Birth and Death: The Works": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Zenki: Complete Activity” and “Shoji: Birth and Death”: "Not a Problem" (3 of 9)
Sunday, March 22nd: SAkN "The Anatomy of Awakening" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi "Knowing as Feeling" (3 of 9)
Monday, March 23rd: "The Dragon in His Waters, The Tiger in Her Mountains, Part 3" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari  
Thursday, March 26th: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Welcome" (42 of 71)
Saturday, March 28th: "Birth and Death: The Works": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Zenki: Complete Activity” and “Shoji: Birth and Death”: "A Person in a Boat" (4 of 9)

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 January 2020 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”:
          January 11th: “Rujing's Broken Broom of Mu”.
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

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



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.

Shinjin gakudo (J) “Studying the Way with the whole bodymind.” Completely beyond reference point. One of Dogen’s most important phrases. Refer to The Way of the Bodymind and other sources.

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


Japanese pot on coals with monk feeding the fire with kindlings, digital painting?

Office of the Tenzo

We will discontinue the list of meals prepared prior to evening sittings and instead post recipes or information about food.

For this week:
If you combine rice or bread or pasta with seeds, nuts, lentils, or beans, you have a complete protein. A very simple way to do this even if you have very little money is to make “congee”. Congee has been a staple for monastics for centuries. 

You need medium-grain white rice (Calrose). 
For several servings of congee:
One cup of rice
9 cups of water
A pinch of salt
Combine the above, bring to a boil and then turn it down to medium. Stir frequently until the rice cooks and the liquid becomes silky. Aim for the consistency of a not-too-thin porridge.
You can eat it as is (but it won’t be a complete protein), or you can add a wide variety of seasonings, such as:
Shoyu (soy sauce)
Thinly sliced ginger
Chopped scallions
Sesame oil
Curry seasonings or just curry powder
If you add a handful of frozen peas, or a can of lentils or beans, you have a complete protein
You can add sliced cabbage (sauteed first is more flavourful, but not necessary).
You can add chopped onion
You can add diced carrots
Just about any vegetable you want to add will work. 
If you add miso, that completes the protein.
If you add sesame seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, that completes the protein.
If you make a big pot of congee you can feed half of your neighbourhood.

Avalokiteshvara, photo of sculpture with digital art


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:
Jinen Sherman Boates for an article on “Why Soap Works” (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/health/soap-coronavirus-handwashing-….

From Mishin godo
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for looking into the disinfecting and cleaning protocols that the monastery should undertake for Covid-19, and for sourcing the needed supplies.

From Endai shuso
Thank you to the Roshi and Practice Council for expanding the Long-Distance Training Program so that all members of the Sangha can continue to receive instruction remotely in daisan and through practice interviews.

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.