eMirror Vol 24, No. 6 (2020-02-07)


Shitou's Ledge
Shitou's Ledge

eMirror Vol 24, No. 6

Friday, February 7th2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

In order to understand who we are and what this life is, in order to understand our minds, we must understand the mind of the Teacher.

If we understand how the Teacher understands our lives, then – how will we live? How will we express that understanding? To understand our teacher's mind, we must understand the mind of all of the Awakened Ancestors of the Lineage. We must understand Dogen's mind; we must understand Joshu Dainen's mind; we must understand Dongshan's mind; and we must understand Shitou's mind. We must understand what is different and what is the same in this transmission of the Intimacy of Reality. We must understand what is the same and what is the difference between all of these Awakened Ancestors, and how they realized and expressed reality, in order for us to be able to express this same reality – as us.

Intimacy is the Transmission; Intimacy is the means through which we receive and practice the Transmission, and Intimacy is what we realize when we realize that we are what is transmitted.

And we must realize this here and now. When we realize this, here and now, we realize that there are no places, there are no times. And yet, how we express that realisation must be up-to-date. But in order for our expression to be up-to-date, to be fresh and alive, we must understand the lives and teachings of the Teachers who lived as the life that lives as us.

Take Shitou, for example: old Stone Head. He lived between the years 700 and 790. The Dharma had been present in China for some 650 years before his birth. And yet, it was only then shedding its foreignness, shedding its Indian attributes, and becoming something that could be expressed fully and completely and articulated with detail and nuance in a manner appropriate to the time and place in which Shitou lived. And it was through Shitou's life and practice and realisation and teachings that the Way of realized Practice, the practice of realisation, was able to be expressed further, nuanced further, so that it could cut more deeply.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing teisho 1: "What We Do Here" Saturday, June 15th, 1996 in the teisho series "Studying the Mystery", Commentaries on Shitou Xiqian's "Sandokai".

Upcoming Events

February 12th and 26th.

Nehan O-sesshin
The Nehan O-sesshin will begin at 8 p.m. on Sunday, February 9th, and will end at noon on Sunday, 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.

Associate and General Sitting February 15th:
During the Nehan O-sesshin, 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.

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.


Elizabeth Eve, travelling to Dainen-ji from her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia began a retreat on the evening of Thursday, January 30th which continued until the morning of Monday, February 3rd. Mohamed Zakzouk sat a two-day retreat on Saturday, February 1st and Sunday, February 2nd at his home in Calgary, Alberta. Ian Richard sat a two-day retreat on Wednesday, February 5th and Thursday, February 6th. Beth Beurkle sat a one day retreat on Thursday, February 6th, at her home in Chamcook, New Brunswick.

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, February 8th: "Bright Right Through": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Muchu Setsumu": "Each Drop" (11 of 12)
  • Sunday, February 9th: SAkN "Root Cycle Five" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi "Unborn" (4 of 5)
  • Saturday, February 15th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei: “Raising the Legs" (Dharma Talk 35)


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: $12,690
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.


Tenzo (Japanese characters)

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:
Lundberg Farms short-grain brown rice with baby green peas and butter; butternut squash soup (blended butternut squash, chopped cooking onions, vegetable stock, thyme, lots of black pepper, small amount of cream); cubed friulano cheese, black olives and tomato spears drizzled with bran oil, salt and black pepper pepper. 

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Triangle buns; roasted peameal bacon finished on the griddle; green cabbage coleslaw (green cabbage, carrots, white onion, mayonnaise, lime juice, Dijon mustard, horseradish, salt and black pepper. 

Thursday Yakuseki:
Onion soup (red onions, Spanish onions, white onions, vegetable stock, shoyu, thyme, red wine, lots of black pepper); naan topped with a dusting of garlic and onion powder, oregano and melted friulano cheese); tomato salad with torn basil leaves, white balsamic vinegar and black pepper.

Baking by Shikai sensei:
Salted maple tart.


Zen Master Anzan Hoshin 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.

Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi:
My thanks and deep gassho to Mishin godo for her past and ongoing efforts not only as treasurer and for various administrative matters which make my own, and Shikai sensei's and Jinmyo osho's work possible, and to all monastics, formal students, and all other students who contribute time, energy, and funding, to help maintain and improve Dainen-ji. To Chunen angya for maintaining the Guelph Zazenkai and to Frank Tettsu Woods in Harrow, England, and Dr. Jinen S Boates in Wolfville, Nova Scotia who have maintained our branch centres there throughout ill health. And to Mr. Silly and the other grey, brown, and red squirrels and Mme. Dobatsu and the tribes of vari-coloured pigeons coming to the windows of the Abbot's Quarters daily for bearing news of the states of their worlds.

From Jinmyo osho: 
Thank you to Leonardo Nobrega for work on my computer to configure linux to run a foot pedal which will be used for transcribing teisho. 

From Endai shuso:
Thank you to Mishin godo for preparing the tax receipts issued to students: an enormous task on top of the usual work required of the treasurer. 

From Elizabeth Eve: 
Thank you to the Roshi for establishing the monastery and for making this Teaching available to people near and far, as well as for the many sho and rupa that enrich the practice environment. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for daisan, for  reading and responding to practice journals, and for dedicating time and energy to the day-to-day running of the monastery. Thank you to the Office of the Tenzo for the preparation and presentation of nourishing, tasty meals. Thank you to Mishin godo and Saigyo ino for clear instruction during practice interviews, for help with forms, and correction of my kunsu.  Thank you to Endai shuso for leading the kitchen cleanup and for refreshment on Sunday morning. Thank you to Saigyo ino for the thoughtful and upbeat Introductory Workshop.

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.