eMirror Vol 24, No. 20 (2020-05-15)


Bathing cardinal, photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
Bathing cardinal, photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei

eMirror Vol 24, No. 20

Friday, May 15th, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Each sense base and its object
are related and yet distinct;

when related they are one,
yet still each remains in its own place.

Form distinguishes character and appearance,
sounds can give comfort or pain.

Words like "up" or "down" are lost in the darkness,
brightness distinguishes pure and stained.

Each form is distinct. Up is up and down is down, but because of the activity of the kleshas, reacting to experiences as if we can draw them towards us or push them away from us – as if we are separate from this interaction, from this intimacy – we fall into hope and fear, comfort and pain, and we divide our world into self and other, up and down. But we don't know what anything is. We can know all kinds of things about things, we can say all kinds of things about things, we can have all manner of knowledge about people, events, motives – but we don't know what anything is, and we don't know who we are.

And so we can use the unknowability of knowing to step past limited views of opposites, and we can use the brilliance and vividness of knowns to clarify the details and step past the stain of delusion into fundamental purity. We must work with the nuances of detail that we can name as "sense base", "sense object", "sense consciousness", but we must move past understanding these aspects of experience as if naming the nuances actually carved out separate things.

This is the mystery that we are studying in this practice of Zen. It is not a story that we can tell ourselves. It is not something that we can entertain ourselves with. It is too boring, too painful, too insistent, too vast, too open, too joyous – for any of our stories about practice to describe what practice is. And so we cannot use practice as part of a story that we can tell ourselves about ourselves. The mystery is not hidden – it reveals itself as us but until we know who we are, we must first of all practise the fact that we do not know. And practise this intimately.

Please, enjoy yourselves.

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

Upcoming Events

May 20th, June 3rd, June 24th.

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

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

Sogaku-ki O-sesshin
The Sogaku-ki O-sesshin begins at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 15th and ends at noon on Friday, May 22nd. 

May 18th is the memorial for the death of Sogaku Myoshin Hakukaze daiosho, the 80th Lineage Ancestor and, it is said, the author of “Scattered Notes On The Daruma-kata”. Sogaku Hakukaze daisho lived during the Tokugawa era.  He received transmission from Manzan Dohaku daiosho and gave transmission to Anzan Daiko daiosho.

Fudo ennichi
May 26th is a day traditionally dedicated to Fudo Myo-o. Fudo Myo-o (J) Acala Vidyaraja (S) A manifestation of “Mahavairocana” or all pervading Awareness as a wrathful guardian figure; a symbol of boundless energy, determination and compassion. Used as a symbol of the Teacher’s mind in this Lineage. Fudo stands glaring and snarling like a demon; it holds the sword of insight in one hand and the cord of the Precepts in the other; it has chained itself to a rock in the midst of the raging flames of the deepest hell to work for the liberation of all beings there.


Elizabeth Eve sat a one-day retreat on Thursday, May 7th at her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Thach My completed a 2 day retreat at his home in Laval, from 7:25 pm on May 8th to 6 pm on May 10th.

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, May 16th: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "Reading of Dogen zenji's Raihai Tokuzui"(1 of 13)
Monday, May 17th: "All Around, All At Once": part 1 by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari (Dharma Talk 1 of 3)
Thursday, May 21st: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Hear the World" (50 of 71)
Saturday, May 23rd: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "The Consequences of Realization" (2 of 13)

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

Newly Posted Transcript on the WWZC Website

"Zen is Not Kidding" by Shikai Zuiko sensei https://wwzc.org/dharma-text/zen-not-kidding

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.

Shinnen (J) “Truly human” or “true person”.

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

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.

Basil leaves

Pasta with Marinara Sauce and Lentils (complete protein)
By Jinmyo osho

Marinara Sauce Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large can whole peeled tomatoes
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 smallish carrot, chopped
A medium-sized Spanish onion, peeled and cut in half
Peel but leave whole two large cloves garlic
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
Salt and pepper

Method for the Marinara Sauce:
In a large skillet or pot, (I used a saute pan) heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the canned tomatoes, onion halves, garlic, celery, carrots, a half-teaspoon salt, a half-teaspoon of black pepper and the red pepper flakes if you want some ‘heat’ to the sauce. Cook on a medium-high heat. After about 15 minutes, press the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a spoon to break them and release their juices. Continue cooking for about 45 minutes until the sauce thickens. Then let it cool and puree in a blender. 

Measure out 1/2 cup of green or brown lentils, and check to make sure there are no little stones or other foreign objects mixed into them.
Put them in a small pot and wash them two or three times, swishing them about with your hand and draining off the water each time. 
Add 2 cups of water, a couple of cloves of garlic and a pinch of salt. 
Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium and let them simmer until tender. How long this takes will depend on the kind of lentils you use and how old they are, but approximately half an hour.
Drain the lentils and discard the garlic.

Combine the lentils with the marinara sauce. Taste and add salt or pepper if you think it needs more. Combine with a pasta of choice (would work well with any pasta). Top with vegan Parmesan or dairy Parmesan. Add fresh basil, parsley, or oregano to garnish the pasta if you have it.

The sauce and lentils would freeze beautifully (pour into labelled zip-lock bags, remove as much air as you can, and freeze flat). 



Mishin godo 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 Jinmyo osho:
Thank you to the Roshi for answering my questions; to Mishin godo for food preparation, for taking care of seedlings, and for dyeing fabric for making masks. Thank you to Saigyo ino for cutting the prongs off of duo-tangs to be used for the nose pieces in masks; to Endai shuso and Fushin shramon for regular samu. Thank you to David Gallant for a donation to cover the cost of planter boxes for vegetables.

From Endai shuso:
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for researching improved mask designs, for delicious meals for residents, and for instruction in daisan. Thank you to Mishin godo for tending seedlings and preparing them to move outside. Thank you to Saigyo ino for organizing a samu day this past Sunday and for overseeing the many tasks that were performed.