eMirror Vol 24, No. 13 (2020-03-27)


Jizo Bosatsu rupa on the Zendo Butsudan, Dainen-ji
Jizo Bosatsu rupa on the Zendo Butsudan, Dainen-ji

eMirror Vol 24, No. 13

Friday, March 27th, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

And this is what Old Stonehead, Shitou, has transmitted to each and every one of us. Shitou is long gone, long dead and there is very little left of him. There are hardly any stories, hardly any koan. We have only two texts: the Sandokai, "Meeting of Ultimate and Relative", and "Song of the Grass Thatched Hut", the Soanka, both of which occur at the end of the Jiangde Chuandeng-lu, the "Transmission of the Lamp", compiled in the early 1000s.

Although there is very little left of Shitou except for these texts, he is here in our sitting. And when we stand, Shitou stands. When we speak, when we are silent, if we listen, we can hear Old Stonehead cackling.

Because there is very little left of Shitou except for these texts, I thought that in our commentary on the Sandokai, I would speak as much as is possible about the text itself. Now of course this text was originally composed in Chinese. Our translation, however, was made from the Japanese translation of this text, because it is in the Japanese language that this text has been chanted and studied for the past many hundred years.

-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.”


All local students and those practising at a distance will receive email and/or telephone support through White Wind Zen Community’s Training Program, established in 1995 to provide instruction to students living outside of commuting distance from the monastery. 

The Roshi and Practice Council


Upcoming Events

April 8th and 22nd.

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. 

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 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)
Sunday, March 29th: “SAkN: The Anatomy of Awakening" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi "Hearing and Speaking" (4 of 9)
Monday, March 30th: “The Four Great Vows” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei: “All Beings” (Dharma Talk 1 of 4)
Thursday, April 2nd: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Cycles" (43 of 71)
Saturday, April 4th: "Birth and Death: The Works": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Zenki: Complete Activity” and “Shoji: Birth and Death”: "The Total Mess" (5 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 that we hope you will find useful during this period of social distancing.

Masoor dal (split red lentils)
Serves 4 to 6
Serve with rice or naan for a complete protein.

1 cup of washed red lentils (Look through the lentils and pick out anything that shouldn’t be in them, such as small stones. Put the lentils in a bowl to wash with cold water, agitating them with your hand and then pouring off as much liquid as you can. Repeat until the water runs clear then tip them into a wire or fine-mesh sieve. Set aside).
2 peeled and then diced potatoes
1 medium carrot diced
1 cup of green peas
1 medium onion, diced
3 tablespoons oil or ghee
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 dried chiles, or 1 teaspoon dried chile flakes, or a minced jalapeno (remove the seeds from one half of it. You can always add more heat if you want it, but you can’t take it away once it’s in).
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ cup finely chopped coriander stems
2 teaspoons garam masala (add more if you want to)
kosher salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnish

Do all of the washing and chopping first.
Choose the pot you’re going to use - preferably a heavy, medium-size pot. 
Heat the pot to medium-high, add the oil or ghee.
Add the cumin seeds and stir them until they sizzle and you can smell the cumin.
Add the chopped onion, minced or dried chili, minced ginger and garlic, and a little salt and saute until the diced onion becomes somewhat translucent.
Add the turmeric and garam masala and continue to cook for two minutes.
Add 9 cups of water and bring to a boil
Add the diced potato, carrots, and finely chopped coriander stems and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the lentils, and then turn down to medium-high. If you have a trivet, put it underneath the pot. If not, just be sure to stir a lot to stop it from sticking - you may need to use a lower heat.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are softened and the lentils are tender and creamy (half an hour or so). Add more water if it begins to get too thick. 
Add the peas and cook for another 3 minutes. 
Now taste it. Add more salt if you think it needs it. Add more garam masala if you want it spicier. Add chili flakes if you want it hotter. 
It can be served on top of rice or as a soup, separately from the rice. 

For four to six servings of rice you will need two cups of basmati rice. Wash the rice until the water is only a little cloudy. Drain in a wire mesh sieve and shake to remove excess water. If you have a rice cooker, add the rice to it with two and a half cups of water and two pinches of salt. If you are cooking it on the stove, bring two and a half cups of water with two pinches of salt to a boil (stay there and watch it come to a boil. Don’t wander off or too much of the water could evaporate). As soon as it comes to a boil, add the rice, cover with a lid, and then turn it down to the lowest setting. It will be ready in 25 minutes. Don’t take the lid off to look at it until 25 minutes have passed.

Serve on top of the rice with some coriander leaves for garnish, or serve as a soup with a separate bowl of buttered basmati rice. A dollop of plain yogurt is nice if you have it.
For variation, you can also make this with a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste.


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: 
Thank you to the Roshi for our extensive library of recorded Teachings; to Shikai Sensei for help with food preparation and skilful clothing repairs; to Mishin godo for setting up online shopping with several stores; to Saigyo ino for purchasing supplies for repainting the Zendo while it is not being used for associate and general sittings (the monks are using the Hatto or Dharma Hall for sittings); to Endai shuso and Fushin shramon for extra cleaning and sanitizing throughout the monastery; to Senbo for work on the next printing of “Freedom and Tyranny” by Ven. Shikai sensei (the free eBook is available here: https://wwzc.org/freedom-and-tyranny).

From Endai shuso
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for instruction on chanting and for preparing delicious yakuseki meals and Sunday brunch. Thank you to Mishin godo and Saigyo ino, the tenzo-anja, for assisting in the preparation of meals. Thank you to Saigyo ino for growing various kinds of tasty sprouts. 


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.