eMirror Vol 24, No. 32 (2020-08-07)

Garden Gate, photograph by Ven. Saigyo Cross ino
Garden Gate, photograph by Ven. Saigyo Cross ino

eMirror Vol 24, No. 32

Friday, August 7th, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

And so Shitou says, 

"This I offer to those who study the mystery: do not waste time."
Tsutsushinde san gen no hito ni mōsu, kōin munashiku wataru koto nakare.

Tsutsushinde means "very respectfully", and so we've translated that as "I offer" – I'm not telling you this, I'm just offering this. San gen: san here means "study" as in dokusan or sanzen, the terms for studying Zen with a teacher; and gen is a variant of ga which means "mystery". Hito is "human" or "person", and so: "people who study the mystery". Kōin: kō is "sunlight" or "bright"; in is "shadow". So kōin together means "day and night" or "time". munashiku wataru means "to go through", "to pass", "to spend". And koto means "to say"; nakare means "not". So Kōin munashiku wataru koto nakare basically means don't bugger around. If you believe that time moves; if you believe that you can pass through your life unscathed; if you believe that you need to protect yourself; if you believe that you need anything at all to believe in, then your life is wasted. If our lives are not lived to be used by all beings to realize their own utter radical freedom, then not only do we condemn ourselves to confusion, but we condemn all beings to confusion. This "Do not waste time" is perhaps the most profound statement in the Sandōkai.

Every evening during sesshin we chant this: we chant the Daiji no ge. The daiji is the great matter of birth and death, the great matter of our lives, the great matter of that which lives as all beings. My grandfather in Dharma, your great-grandfather in Dharma, Daiji Tenku, lived this great matter, and because he did so, Stonehead's transmission is available to us now. All that we need to do to receive it, is to find the root of our lives.

Whatever I might say, and however you might hear it, it is only when you find the root of the speaking and hearing, the sitting, walking, standing and lying down, that you become who you always already were.

Please, this evening, enjoy yourselves.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, concluding teisho 4: "The Root of Your Life", Saturday, September 18th, 1996 and concluding 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: $20,445.
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

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, August 4th in Cambridge, MA. Charlane Bishop sat a seven-day training period from Monday, July 19th to Sunday, July 26th at her home in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Tracey Parker sat a half-day retreat on Thursday, July 23rd and a half-day retreat on Wednesday, July 29th at her home in Perth, Ontario. 


Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, July 28th in the Berkshires. Charlane Bishop sat a seven-day training period from Monday, July 19th to Sunday, July 26th at her home in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Tracey Parker sat a half-day retreat on Thursday, July 23rd and a half-day retreat on Wednesday, July 29th 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, August 8th to Saturday, August 15th

Saturday, August 8th: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "Sacred Space" (13 of 13)
Sunday, August 9th: "SAkN "Presencing the Open Body" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "The Fundamental Process of Self-image" (4 of 5)  
Monday, August 10th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei: “Reading of ‘The Practice of Purity’, part one”
Thursday, August 13th: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "How We Mean" (62 of 71)
Saturday, August 15th: "Rhythm and Song": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dongshan Liangjie's "Hokyo Zanmai": "The Secret of Intimacy" (1 of 15)

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.

Shissui (J) Head Caretaker training position responsible for overseeing caretaking and maintenance of a monastery. From the term “master of novices”.

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

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 ino and Saigyo tando offer assistance as tenzo-anja. The following meals were prepared for residents prior to the evening sittings on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Monday Yakuseki
Mixed grain (Arborio rice, Thai white rice, barley, Korean rice, basmati rice, and white sticky Thai rice); tofu and peppers (cubes of deep-fried tofu, chunks of red bell peppers and poblano peppers, chopped Spanish onion, hot sauce, shoyu, mirin, and a bit of HP sauce; mushroom soup (mushroom stock, sauteed crimini mushrooms, ginger, shoyu, sesame oil; kimchi. 

Tuesday Yakuseki
Fajitas (Thinly cut pork tenderloin marinated in paprika, chili powder, garlic and onion powder, salt, cumin, ground pepper, lime juice, olive oil; sauteed with thick slices of Spanish onion, red bell peppers, poblano peppers, served on tortillas with hot salsa, sour cream, and grated cheese); garden salad made with red leaf lettuce, nasturtium leaves, monastery grown cherry tomatoes and cucumber. 

Thursday Yakuseki
Minestrone (pasta shells, tomato juice, red wine, garlic, chopped onions, poblano peppers, red bell peppers and orange peppers, sliced crimini mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, oregano, dried and fresh basil, red and white kidney beans, and Parmesan cheese); Napa cabbage salad (thinly sliced Napa cabbage, carrots, daikon and Spanish onion with a choice of white balsamic vinegar dressing or sriracha mayonnaise.


Drawing of monks bowing

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 Elizabeth Katz for two kinds of handmade freezer jam (strawberry and blueberry). 

From Saigyo ino:
Thank you to Probationary Deshi Leonardo Nobrega for painting the rear porch ceiling; to Tarik Kaya and Julien Jefferson who offered time this week to work on completing the rear porch painting project.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Jinmyo osho, Saigyo ino, David Gallant, Graham Mayeda, Dan Paulin, and Bruce O'Roak for donations. Thank you to Brian Lakeman, Alex Groarke, Johanne Bourbonnais, and Suzanne Beaulieu for donations to the Hojo renovation fund. Thank you to Peter McRae for picking up the monastery's Bulk Barn order and donating the cost.