eMirror Vol 24, No. 4 (2020-01-24)


Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi with friend, late 1980s, Photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi with friend, late 1980s,
Photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei

eMirror Vol 24, No. 4

Friday, January 24th, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Dogen zenji concludes his text:

So I would like to ask Mazu, “What are you calling sentient beings?” If we call sentient beings “dharmata” then “what thing comes thus?” If we call sentient beings “sentient beings” it means “to say it is a thing misses the mark.”1 Answer quickly, quickly!

Presented to the assembly at Kippo-ji in Esshu at the beginning of winter, 1243.

Dogen refers here as he so often does in the Shobogenzo, to a famous koan concerning Nanyue Huairang, who was Mazu’s Teacher, and the Sixth Ancestor Huineng. It appears in the Sanbyakusoku Shobogenzo as case 101. Huineng is called Caoxi here, after the place where his monastery was.

The koan says,

When Zen Master Nanyue Dahui first enters into training with the Old Buddha Caoxi, the Old Buddha asked, “What thing comes thus?”

Nanyue thoroughly investigated this ball of mud for eight years. At last he presented the end-play of his thorough investigation to the Old Buddha and said, “Huairang understands now why when I first came here, the Master received Huairang with, 'What thing comes thus.'”

The Old Buddha Caoxi said, “How do you understand it?”

Dahui said, “To call it a thing misses the mark.”

The Old Buddha Caoxi asked, “Do you rely upon practice and realization or not?”

Dahui said, “It is not that there is no practice and realization but that it is stainless.”

Then Caoxi said, “Just this stainlessness is what the Buddhas maintain and care for. You are thus, I am thus, and the Ancestors of India were also thus.”

Whatever we call a “sentient being” or “thing” or “dharmata” or a “self” or a “foot” is not stained by our words. The practice and realization of stainlessness is maintained and cared for by aligning ourselves with what is essentially real. This means turning towards our lives as this whole moment of ten directions while tying our boots instead of just focusing and fumbling with the salt-hardened laces and grumbling to ourselves about the winter cold. When the cold air burns and the wind slashes at our faces and lungs as we squint into winter, this whole moment of ten directions is not blown away but is the aware space which hobbles on the ice “coming thus” as us.

What are we calling when we speak a name? What can we really say and express about who we are? It can take all of our lives to answer this question but Dogen demands you answer it quickly. I will ask you to answer this question now and in each moment through continuously practising the samadhi of dharmata, the dharmata of samadhi, the samadhi of sentient beings, as sentient beings of dharmata.

Please, this evening, enjoy yourselves.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing teisho 6: "Coming Thus As Us" Saturday, December 7, 2005 in the teisho series "Essentially Real: Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji’s 'Hossho: Dharmata'."

Upcoming Events

February 12th and 26th.

The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage at midnight on Wednesday, January 29th, which will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 2nd, when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana.

Introduction to Zen Workshop 
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on Saturday, February 1st, at 1:45 p.m. For more information please see:
For information concerning our Long-distance Training Program, please visit this Web Page: https://wwzc.org/long-distance-training-program

Nehan O-sesshin
The Nehan O-sesshin will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 9th, and will end at noon on Friday, February 16th. A sitting for associate and general students will take place in the Zendo on Saturday, February 15th. Arrival time is 9:15 a.m. (in time for First Bell). The sitting ends at 11:30 a.m. Students attending are reminded to remain on the first floor.

Cancelled General Sitting
The Monday February 10th general sitting that would normally take place at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled due to the O-sesshin.

Cancelled Associate Sitting
The Thursday February 13th associate sitting that would normally take place at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled due to the O-sesshin.

A Note to Preliminary and Public Students Concerning O-sesshin
During an O-sesshin the schedule is such that there is no time to meet face to face with preliminary students or to reply to email correspondence sent by public students. Public students are asked to send their weekly practice journals, as they will be reviewed. But unless there is something that needs an immediate reply, you will not receive an email reply until the week following the O-sesshin.

Commemoration of the Buddha’s Death (Nehan-e) February 15th.


Thach Hoang sat a two-day retreat from the evening of Thursday, January 16th to the evening of Saturday, January 18th at his home in Laval, Quebec. Ceri Behar, visiting from his home in Istanbul, Turkey sat a retreat from Saturday, January 18th to noon on Monday, January 20th. Chris Jamison sat a one-day retreat at his home in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 18th. Mohamed Zakzouk sat a two-day retreat on Saturday, January 18th and Sunday, January 19th at his home in Calgary, Alberta. Aaron Ford sat a one-day retreat on Wednesday, January 22nd at his home in Calgary, Alberta.

To Schedule a Retreat
Please visit this Web page for information about scheduling a retreat and an explanation of the different kinds of retreat (duration and timing) you can sit: https://wwzc.org/retreats. Please note that retreats should be scheduled one week in advance.

Public students sitting retreats should send an email to schedule@wwzc.org to confirm they sat a retreat so that notice of it can be included in the eMirror. Please include the location of the retreat and the duration.

Recorded Teachings Schedule


  • Saturday, January 25th: “Bright Right Through”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Muchu Setsumu": "Rolling Up and Rolling Out" (9 of 12)
  • Sunday, January 26th: SAkN "Root Cycle Five" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi "Beyond the Fields" (2 of 5)
  • Monday, January 27th: "The Meaning of Mindfulness" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari
  • Thursday, January 30th: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Pisspot of Life” (36 of 71)
  • Saturday, February 1st: “Bright Right Through”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Muchu Setsumu": "As Such" (10 of 12)


Missed Sittings and Teisho

If associate students are unable to attend the Thursday evening associate sitting, they may attend one of the general sittings to make up for the sitting they missed. General sittings are held on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. (first Bell is at 7:15) and Saturday mornings at 9:30 a.m. (first Bell at 9:15 a.m.). Please send an email to request permission to attend one of these sittings.        

Teisho presented at general and associate sittings which are part of a series need to be listened to in the correct order and with none missed out. If you miss a sitting please borrow a copy of the missed teisho from the library or download it from the WWZC Media Site as soon as possible, so that the continuity of what is being presented is not disrupted. The weekly list of recorded teisho played at sittings is posted on the web site at:

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 Teisho

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”.

Newly Presented Teachings


  • 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:


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

Hojo renovation funds raised to date: $11,360
Fundraising goal: $40,000

Essential repairs are needed to the Hojo (Abbot’s Quarters). The needed work includes 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). 

The Office of the Shissui has met with 3 local design/build companies to discuss the scope of this substantial work and is reviewing their quotations. The total cost of the work will be in the region of $40,000. Provided that we are able to meet the fundraising goal, we anticipate undertaking the work in the summer of 2020.

All donations towards the Hojo renovation fund will be much appreciated, and will receive a charitable tax receipt. 


The image above shows the icicle that forms every winter on the roof of the Hojo. It is often over 20 feet long and is causing damage to the exterior trim and roof line and may be causing interior damage and mold inside the walls.

Description of the work
After a recent risk inspection by our insurance company, one requirement for ongoing insurance coverage is to address a buildup of large icicles over winter from the roof over the Hojo washroom. The ice buildup is caused by heat loss through the roof that melts the winter snow, which refreezes into icicles. 

In order to address this, we should be insulating the ceiling of the Hojo washroom. We will use an application of spray foam insulation which will require taking down the interior ceiling. As there is also heat loss through the very poorly insulated walls, we shall also be removing all of the wall plaster and lathe and using spray foam insulation on the exterior walls. As well as heat insulation, this closed cell foam insulation will impede moisture transfer and eliminate the possibility of moisture buildup and mold issues in the room. Because the plaster and lathe will need to be removed in order to insulate, we will be replacing the old shower stall and re-plumbing the shower. 

Replacing the ceiling allows us to raise the height of the ceiling so that we can eliminate the 8-inch step down into the washroom, which is a potential tripping hazard. We can also add new lighting, improved ventilation and proper venting of fixtures. Raising the floor height requires replacing two hot water radiators with under-floor electric heating and installing a new vanity. 

Once completed, all of this work will result in a substantial improvement to the functionality of the living and working environment of the Hojo, the Abbot’s Quarters, and eliminate potential hazards. As the last area of the building to receive any major renovation work, this improvement is a priority.


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.

Shingon (J) “True word” or mantra. The Japanese school of Vajrayana founded by Kobo Daishi (Kukai) in the Heian era in Japan.

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


Tatsoi (greens)

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 godo and Saigyo ino offer assistance as tenzo-anja. 

Monday Yakuseki:
Lo mein noodles with strips of Spanish onion, poblano peppers, ginger, garlic, Korean barbeque sauce, lime juice; chopped steamed spinach topped with medium-firm tofu sauteed and then braised in a sauce made from vegetarian oyster sauce and minced garlic garnished with toasted sesame seeds; baechu kimchi.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Mixed grain (Calrose medium-grain white rice, Arborio rice, basmati rice, Korean short-grain white rice, Thai white rice, pearled barley); lemon-ginger chicken (sliced chicken breast marinated in garlic, lemon juice, ginger, bran oil, cilantro leaves and stems, mint leaves, coriander, amchur (dry mango powder), turmeric, salt, red chili powder, seared on the griddle); steamed mixed greens (mustard greens, bok choy and spinach).

Thursday Yakuseki:
Farfalle pasta with tomato sauce (chopped tomatoes broiled and then blended, sauteed onions and mushrooms, lots of garlic, oregano, thyme, basil, black pepper); sauteed tofu seasoned with lime juice and chili sauce; steamed spinach and bok choy.

Baking by Shikai sensei:
Oat cranberry golden raisin cookies; soft molasses cookies.


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 Shikai sensei:
Thank you to Ceri Behar for a beautiful box of Turkish Sweetmeats for residents.

From Jinmyo osho:
Thank you to Saigyo tando for meeting with contractors on Wednesday morning and for cutting holes in a ceiling - and cleaning up afterwards - so that the contractors could assess the work needed on the roof above the Hojo to stop the icicle from forming.

From Chiso anagarika:
Thank you to Roshi for the many texts and books he wrote and made available to his students. I have been reading and re-reading them for over twenty years. It is amazing how each reading points, uncovers new understandings. It is never repetitive, it is never the same.

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.