eMirror Vol 24, No. 33 (2020-08-14)

White Swan, photograph by Frank Tettsu Woods, Harrow Zazenkai, UK
Photograph by Frank Tettsu Woods, Harrow Zazenkai, UK

eMirror Vol 24, No. 33

Friday, August 14th, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

In the “Zenrin Kushin” 禅林句集, the “Forest of Zen Sayings”, there is a phrase: “Zhang drinks sake and Li gets drunk."

This saying is a teaching on the nature of compassion.

In the Buddha Dharma that has been taught and practised in so many different cultures, in so many different homes under so many different skies, people with bellies full of so many different kinds of food are sitting down, crossing their legs and attending to their bodyminds and to their experience and to each other and to the world.

During all of this time, compassion has always played a major element within the practice and teachings, within the poetry and songs and iconography of the Dharma.

But we have to be very careful even about the word “compassion”.

We see an image of, perhaps, Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, and he or she might strike us as being like the Virgin Mary or some such figure that depicts a kind of consoling pity.

The word for “compassion” in Sanskrit that is used in the Buddha Dharma is “karuna”  करुणा. Karuna is a compassion that springs directly from wisdom, from seeing the emptiness, the tracelessness, the openness, the vastness, the limitlessness of your own experience, the vastness and limitlessness and openness and tracelessness of yourself and of each other.

It is a compassion which can be very ruthless, a compassion that is choiceless. A compassion that not only does not ask for thanks in reward for its actions... not only does it not ask for thanks, it often doesn’t say “please” first. It doesn’t even introduce itself. It simply does what it does. Because compassion is the manifestation of wisdom, of clear seeing, of insight, of mindfulness.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, beginning the teisho "Zhang Drinks Sake", March 25th, 1990, at Zazen-ji

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: $22,745.
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


Congratulations and deep gassho to Julien Jefferson of Ottawa, Ontario who has been accepted as general student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi. Congratulations and deep gassho to Johanne Bourbonnais of St-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, who has been accepted as an associate public student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi. Graham Mayeda has returned to practice as a general student after returning monastic precepts to Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho.


Chantal Maheu sat a two-day retreat on Monday, August 3rd and Tuesday, August 4th at her home in Aylmer, Quebec. Elizabeth Eve sat partial retreats on Thursday, August 6th and Friday August 7th at her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ceri Behar sat a two-day retreat on Saturday, August 8th and Sunday, August 9th at his home in Istanbul, Turkey. 

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 15th to Saturday, August 22nd

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))
Monday, August 17th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Reading of ‘The Practice of Purity’, part two” 
Thursday, August 19th: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Feet First" (63 of 71)
Saturday, August 22th: "Rhythm and Song": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dongshan Liangjie's "Hokyo Zanmai": "Where there are Words" (2 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:
Cavatapi pasta with white kidney beans and tomato sauce (fresh plum tomatoes blended, olive oil, chopped onion, minced garlic, red wine, oregano, fresh basil and parsley, parmesan cheese, lots of black pepper); steamed kale with sauteed mushrooms. 

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Mixed grain (Thai long-grain white rice, basmati rice, pearled barley, arborio, and Chinese long-grain white rice); roasted chicken thighs; ‘massaged’ kale salad (kale rubbed with olive oil and lemon juice, dried cranberries, sauteed diced carrots, and sauteed strips of red bell pepper). 

Thursday Yakuseki:
Cold noodle salad (cooked spaghetti holds shape and texture best, miso, lemon juice, sesame oil, chili oil, thinly sliced cucumber); grilled (age tofu, meinjin (wheat gluten), or chicken) with garlic marinade (blended garlic, lemon juice, ginger, olive oil, cilantro leaves and stems, mint leaves, coriander, amchur (dry mango powder), turmeric, salt, red chili powder); gazpacho (chopped kimchi, chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced scallions, tomato juice, shao shing, white pepper, and salt). 


Mishin godo 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 Jinmyo osho for taking end-of-day photos of the ongoing Hojo renovation, giving a view to what's behind the walls (like the recently discovered newspapers from the 1900s), and for a delicious grilled spiced garlic dish for Thursday yakuseki.

From Christina Marie Comeau:
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for making available the 22 Dharma talks in the Touchstone series that each clarify and deepen practice.