eMirror Vol 24, No. 29 (2020-07-17)


Eihei-ji rain basin, photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
Eihei-ji rain basin, photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei

eMirror Vol 24, No. 29

Friday, July 17th, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Regardless of what Old Stonehead might say, regardless of what we might hear, we must find the root of our lives, and we find the root not looking up or down, front or back, left or right, but all around all at once. And so he says,

Don't fall for your own fabrications:
Mizukara kiku o rissuru koto nakare.

Mizukara means "by yourself", something that you make up; and kiku means "rules", "standards"; nakare again means "not".

If you can't see the Way, how do you know where to walk?
Sokumoku dō o e sezunba, ashi o hakobu mo izukunzo michi o shiran.

Sokumoku is kind of fun. Soku means "senses" but it also means "an insect's antenna", and moku means "eyes", dō means "Way", e sezunba means "to not understand"; ashi is "foot", and hakobu mo means "going on", so ashi o hakobu mo means "walking"; izukunzo means "how"; michi of course means "way" as well as dō, but in this sense perhaps "where"; and shiran means "know".

If we don't know who and what we are, if we don't know what the world is, if we don't live what we understand when our understanding is at its most open… then what are we doing?

We might know how to open and close a door: all that matters is knowing what the door is, knowing who and what we are, and then everything that we know about what to do, what not to do, is effortlessly guided by the whole field of experiencing itself. We don't need to live as if our lives were problems. We don't need to live as if there was something fundamentally wrong with us, or something fundamentally wrong with everybody else. We don't have to try to manage anything or control anything. We just do what we do as fully and completely as we can, and if we make a mistake, that shows us how to do it better. There's no problem: everything fits, everything works. Everything is the working of reality.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing teisho 4: "The Root of Your Life", Saturday, September 18th, 1996 in the teisho series "Studying the Mystery", Commentaries on Shitou Xiqian's "Sandokai".

Monastery Maintenance

The monastery requires a lot of maintenance because it is a very large 150 year-old building. Most of this is done by residents, but local students are really needed as well. Currently, no one other than residents is spending any time doing samu. 

For example, there are three porches that need scraping and painting before winter. Jinmyo osho (67 years of age) has started on this, but it’s too strenuous for her and needs someone much younger to work on it. There are also three large wooden benches that need scraping and painting. We need help with weeding, picking up trash and sweeping. We need help with watering the grounds and wiping off cobwebs, sills and railings. This is all outdoors work and we would organize it so that students are working alone in different areas of the grounds. If you can help, please send an email to schedule@wwzc.org and we will write to you to schedule a time that is convenient for you.

Your help would be very much appreciated as the monastics are working ‘overtime’ to provide the Sangha with instruction as well as corresponding with a growing number of people around the world whose local Buddhist centers have shut down, to provide them with long-distance training. The more time spent scraping and painting porches, the less time there is to provide instruction.


Update on the Plan for Essential Repairs to the Hojo 
(Abbot’s Quarters)

Hojo renovation funds raised to date: $15,695.
Fundraising goal: $40,000

The renovation project to carry out essential repairs to the Hojo (Abbot’s Quarters) has been scheduled for August to October 2020. The work will be carried out by Copperstone Renovations. 

This three-month project will involve 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). Since the Hojo will be under construction for the next three months, Jinmyo osho has moved out of her rooms and into the third floor common room, with the Roshi moving into her quarters.

The total cost of the work will be approximately $40,000. While donations from monastics and lay students earlier in the year took us part way towards the total amount needed, fundraising was put on hold with the start of the Covid pandemic. However, we do need to complete these repairs before the onset of winter, and the snow and ice that may again compromise the building.

With the renovation scheduled to start next month, all donations are gratefully appreciated. Please contribute what you can to support this essential work. Donations will receive a charitable tax receipt from White Wind Zen Community. 

Upcoming Events

July 22nd, August 5th and August 19th.

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

August Sesshin:
The August 2-day sesshin begins at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, August 14th and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 16th. 

August 28th is Dogen-ki, the memorial of Eihei Dogen zenji's death.

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


Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, July 14th in the Berkshires. Tracey Parker sat a one-day retreat on Thursday, July 9th at her home in Perth, Ontario.

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, July 18th to Saturday, July 25th

Saturday, July 18th: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "Authority and Customs" (10 of 13)
Sunday, July 19th: SAkN "Presencing the Open Body" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "The Paradox of Absence and Contraction" (1 of 5) 
Monday, July 20th: "Flowering Garbage" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge Osho-ajari
Thursday, July 23rd: Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Four Ways of Working with Energy" (59 of 71)
Saturday, July 25th: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "The Place the Three Jewels Shine" (11 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.


Hands in gassho from the side, treated photograph

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 Mishin godo:
Thank you to the Roshi for the recorded teisho we listened to during last weekend's Yaza (all-night sitting), "The Buddha and the Lies", which he presented in 2019. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading the Yaza, preparing the delicious early morning Yaza meal of chirashizushi, and for  editing the weekly e-Mirror so that students and members of the public around the world can read about the Teachings of the Roshi and become familiar with monastery activities.

From Saigyo ino: 
Thank you to Deshi Isshin for her weekly samu to water the hedge and tidy the grounds; Thank you to Probationary Deshi Leonardo Nobrega for sanding the side porch; to the following students who offered time this week to work on scraping, sanding, cleaning and painting the side porch: Sam McFarlane, Julien Jefferson and Jean-Francois St-Louis.  

From Endai shuso:
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading Yaza (sitting through the night) this past weekend, which included instruction in daisan and a delicious meal of chirashizushi. Thank you to Mishin godo for transplanting the tomato plants to larger containers as they continue to grow taller and taller in the monastery roof-top garden. Thank you to Saigyo ino for overseeing the scraping, sanding, priming and repainting of the side porch.

From Claude Schryer:
Thank you to Mishin godo for our practice interview this week.  Monastics work very long days and I appreciate their efforts in support of the Sangha, in particular during this pandemic when fewer students can help out with samu tasks.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Jean-Francois St. Louis and Marc Valade for donations to the Hojo renovation fund. Thank you to Bruce O'Roak and David Turner for donations.