eMirror Vol 24, No. 52 (2020-12-25)

Buddha statues

eMirror Vol 24, No. 52

Friday, December 25th, 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 Mahapadana-suttanta of the Digha Nikaya Sakyamuni Buddha speaks of six Buddhas that had preceded him in the long past of this system of worlds. The Shichibutsu or seven Buddhas are:

Vipasyin Buddha Daiosho
Sikhin Buddha Daiosho
Vishvabhu Buddha Daiosho
Krakucchandu Buddha Daiosho
Kanakamuni Buddha Daiosho
Kasyapa Buddha Daiosho
Sakyamuni Buddha Daiosho

There were also Buddhas in world-systems or universes before this, such as Dipamkara Buddha, the 24th previous Buddha. Then there is the primordial Buddha Mahavairocana, the oldest of the old Buddhas, who represents the Original Face of all Buddhas, the nature of all experiences and of Experiencing in itself.

Dogen's audience at Rokuharamitsu-ji where he presented this text would all have heard of these Buddhas numberless times. Founded by Kuya Shonin in 963 (which supposedly put an end to an epidemic that was sweeping the country), Rokuharamitsu-ji is at the edge of what was once Kyoto's largest graveyard, the Toribeno and just east of the Kamo river. Rokuhara-ji was associated with the Taira clan at the end of the Heian era. The head of the clan, Taira Kiyomori, took vows and resided at Rokuharamitsu during the period in which he was struggling against the Retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa and so was very famous. It was also on a major pilgrimage route concerned with devotional practices to Avalokitesvara bodhisattva or Kannon and has a large statue of the eleven-headed form of Avalokitesvara. Its name means "Six Paramitas" and it belongs to the Chizen branch of the Shingon school. Dogen's warrior lay patron Hatano Yoshishige maintained a residence in this area and a few months earlier, Dogen had presented "Zenki" or "Complete Activity" there. Some scholars say that Dogen was at the height of his fame amongst the nobility at this time.

And so Dogen's audience was not a gathering of Zen monks dedicated to the realized-practice of zazen. Instead there were also members of the nobility and clerics of various Buddhist schools and traditions. And yet Dogen freely makes glancing but important references to Chinese Chan sayings and stories without much explanation. Perhaps the audience was much more knowledgeable about this relatively new tradition of Zen than one might expect. Or perhaps it really didn't matter to Dogen whether he was understood or not. The honour of being asked to present a Dharma talk at such a famous place might have been bestowed on him by Yoshishige and Dogen might have felt obliged to accept the favour. Certainly Dogen had decided by this time that the sedimented religiosity and politics of Kyoto and his difficulties with elements of the Tendai and Shingon leadership there made truly establishing a place in which he could train his students in the continuous practice of realization unlikely. In any case, three months after presenting Kobutsu-shin Dogen would leave to establish what would become Eihei-ji in the wilds of Echizen province on land offered to him by his student Hatono Yoshishige.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing the teisho "Buddhas Loose in the World", Sunday, February 13th, 1990, at Dainen-ji, in the series "The Primordially Awakened Way: commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Kobutsushin: The Old Buddha Mind".

Hojo Renovations

Funds raised to date: $46,380.

Thank you to all for your generous donations to the Hojo Renovation Fund which have enabled essential improvements to be made to the Hojo, Abbot's Quarters. The contractors have finished their work and the Roshi will be moving into the newly renovated Hojo, Abbot's Quarters, in the next few days.

We have raised slightly more than the amount needed for the renovation project. The additional funds raised will be used to cover the costs of a new window and window screen in the Hojo over the fire escape. This will replace the existing window that is many years old and in disrepair. Once we have approval for the window from the City of Ottawa Heritage department, it will provide a properly insulated and safe egress.

Upcoming Events

December 30th.

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

Joya (New Year’s Celebration)
On Thursday, December 31st at 10 p.m. until Friday, January 1st at 12:00 a.m., we will celebrate Joya or New Year with 108 recitations of the Mahaprajnaparamita Hridaya sutra mantra at midnight.


Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, December 22nd at her home in the Berkshires. Elizabeth Eve sat a one-day retreat on Thursday, December 17th at her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Brian Lakeman sat a partial retreat on Sunday, December 20th at his home in Brampton, 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”.

Recorded Teachings Schedule

Saturday, December 26th to Saturday, January 2nd

Saturday, December 26th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Big Kasyapa” (teisho 5 of 44)
Sunday, December 27th: SAkN: Being Between Being  Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Rebirths" (5 of 6)
Monday, December 28th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Going to Advisors and Teachers” (Dharma Talk 14)
Thursday, December 31st: “The Four Great Vows” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Limitless Awakening” (Dharma Talk 4 of 4)
Saturday, January 2nd: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “If Parshva Doesn't Inspire You...” (teisho 6 of 44)

Listening to Teisho and Dharma Talks

​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.

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


Ma Ka Hannya Ha Ra Mitta Shin Gyo, Japanese characters

Painted Cakes
(do not satisfy hunger)

Begun by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
Finished by Rev. Fushin Comeau shramon following her death

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.

Sogaku Hakukaze daiosho: An important Lineage Ancestor. Author of Scattered Notes On The Daruma-kata.

Posted November 20, 2020. New entries are posted every two weeks.

Onion face

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. The following meals were prepared for residents on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings this week:

Monday Yakuseki:
Lundberg brown rice with peas and butter; sauteed strips of red onion, poblano, kale, sliced firm tofu, garlic, barbeque sauce; kimchi.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Split pea soup (green split peas, diced yellow onion, diced carrots, garlic, fresh bay leaves and thyme, dried marjoram, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper); coleslaw (thinly sliced green cabbage, julienned carrots, julienned white onions, mayonnaise, lime juice, dijon mustard, horseradish, salt, pepper); baguettes.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Mushroom stroganoff with farfalle pasta (sliced cremini and button mushrooms, mushroom broth, dijon mustard, sour cream, parmesan, butter, garlic, fresh thyme, salt, pepper); artichoke hearts and green olives.


Hands in gassho, drawing

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 the donation of a wooden kitchen island for the monastery kitchen. It's a big improvement and gives us a much bigger workspace as well as storage on lower shelves.
From Mishin godo:
Thank you to Saigyo ino for doing the weekly grocery shopping. Thank you to Graham Mayeda for a fruitcake and to David Gallant's mother for holiday cookies baked for residents.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Pablo Esteve and an anonymous donor for donations.