eMirror Vol 24, No. 7 (2020-02-14)


Shitou Xiqian, woodblock
Shitou Xiqian, woodblock

eMirror Vol 24, No. 7

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

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

It was from the teachings that Shitou presented in his song the Sandokai, the "Meeting of Ultimate and Relative", that Dongshan was able to express it [the Way] further through the Hokyo Zanmai. And it was because of Dongshan's expression of the Hokyo Zanmai, that Dogen was able to present the Shobogenzo, the "Treasury of the True Eye of Reality". Although what was being realized, what was being practised, what was being taught, was the same, there were differences.

In order to understand these samenesses, these differences, we will begin with gaining a glimpse of some of the details of Shitou's life as it has come down to us in the Denkoroku, compiled by Keizan Jokin zenji.

Now as you know, the Denkoroku, the "Record of the Transmission of Luminosity", is a collection of koan concerning the transmission between Awakened Ancestor and Awakened Ancestor, and the text is structured such that first there is the presentation of the koan; following that, comments describing the development of the context of that particular koan, drawn primarily from the Chinese classic the Jingde Chuandeng-lu; and then that is followed by Keizan Jokin's teisho on the koan, and then his summary verse, his jakugo.

What I am going to do this evening is simply extract some bits and pieces here and there from the text.

The Master's name was Xiqian. His family name was Chen, and he came from Gao Yao in Duanzhao. After his mother became pregnant, she lost all taste for even the odour of strong-smelling vegetables or food that was even similar to flesh. As a baby he did not trouble his nurse and as a young child he was confident and sure. Shitou was known for stopping the sacrificial killing of animals by the hunters in his area when he had been quite young. They were very frightened of demons and ghosts and offered many sacrifices of slaughtered oxen and wine. The master destroyed the shrine, and then did this again and again – ten times in one year, and the village elders could not stop him.

When he was only thirteen years of age, he had gone to Caoxi to see Zen Master Huineng. He was initiated as a novice but had not received full ordination. When Huineng was about to die, the Master asked him, “After your death who can I rely on to clarify my doubts?"

The Ancestor said something like, “Go and think (zi) it over."

After the Ancestor died, the Master sat zazen in a still place so that it seemed as though he were dead. The head monk Nanyue Huairang1 asked him, “Your Teacher is dead. What are you doing in your sitting?"

The Master answered, “I am looking into his last words to me."

Huairang said, “Your elder Dharma brother Xingsi is now dwelling at Qingyuan shan. The Ancestor’s words were quite clear but you have confused yourself about them. He said, ‘Go to Si,’ not ‘Go and think (zi)’.

The Master said, “Some people say that nothing is happening at Ling-nan."

Qingyuan said, “If so, where do the Teachings of the Narrow and Vast Paths arise?"

Shitou said, “Nowhere but here."

Qingyuan approved of this and they often engaged in such question and answer exchanges.


1 Nanyue Huairang (Nan-yueh Hai-jang, Nangaku Ejo), 677-744. Dahui (Ta-hui, Daie) is a posthumous honorific. A Dharma-heir of the Sixth Ancestor, Dharma-brother of Qingyuan Xingsi. Two of the Five Houses of classical Chan stem from his Transmission. His Dharma-heir was Mazu Daoyi. His dialogue with Mazu on “polishing the tile” was tremendously influential for Dogen.

-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 26th, March 11th and 25th

Nehan O-sesshin
The Nehan O-sesshin began 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.

Associate and General Sitting February 15th:
The early morning formal sitting on February 15th is cancelled owing to 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.

The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage at midnight on Wednesday, March 4th, which will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 8th, when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana.

Introduction to Zen Workshop
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place at 1:45 p.m., on Saturday, March 7th. 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

March Two-day Sesshin
The March two-day sesshin will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 13th and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 15th. On Saturday, March 14th, associate and general students may attend a sitting held in the Zendo. 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.

Keizan Ki
March 21st is the memorial for Keizan Jokin zenji.


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 15th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei: “Raising the Legs" (Dharma Talk 35)
  • Monday, February 17th: "The Touchstone 5: Washing Rice with Water" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho
  • Thursday, February 20th: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “So Absurd" (38 of 71)
  • Saturday, February 22nd: "“Bright Right Through”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Muchu Setsumu": "Great Faith, Great Doubt, Great Practice" (12 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 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

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.

Shinjin datsuraku (J): “ Dropping through the bodymind” Completely beyond reference point. One of Dogen’s most important phrases. Refer to The Way of the Bodymind and other sources.

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. 

Meals Prepared During the Week of the Nehan O-sesshin:

Chow mein noodles with sauteed strips of yellow onion, poblano, and red shepherd bell peppers, slivered ginger, shoyu, chile oil, bulgogi sauce; scrambled eggs.
Lunch: Mixed grain (calrose and arborio rice); miso shiru (kombu stock, shiro miso, ginger, shoyu, mirin, rice vinegar, silken tofu, rehydrated shitake mushrooms); takuan and gari.
Supper: Roasted Yukon gold potatoes with butter, black pepper and salt; cream of mushroom soup (Paris, cremini, porcini and shitake mushrooms chopped, sauteed and blended, mixed with chopped sauteed mushrooms, thyme, savory, shoyu, red wine, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika. Small amount of cream added just before serving, garnished with finely chopped red bell pepper); sauteed tofu, poblano, and cubanelle peppers with barbeque sauce, black pepper, garlic and onion. 

Fried rice (mixed grain and sauteed tofu left over from the previous day's lunch and supper, minced ginger, spanish onion, red bell pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, curry powder, shoyu).
Lunch: Mixed grain (white and brown Jasmine rice); topped with cubed, sauteed daikon with chile sauce; seaweed soup (strained leftover miso shiru stock with wakame seaweed, slivered ginger, shoyu, sesame oil, chili paste, and silken tofu); baechu kimchi.  
Supper: Cavatappi pasta with a garlic-butter sauce; greens with beans (gai lan, strips of Spanish onion, sliced red bell peppers, red and white kidney beans, seasoned with red balsamic vinegar and lots of black pepper; cubed friulano cheese with gherkins, seasoned with lemon zest and black pepper.

: Fried pasta, greens, and beans (Cavatappi pasta, greens and beans left over from the previous evening's meal, black pepper, red chile flakes)
Lunch: Mixed grain (white and brown calrose); miso shiru (kombu stock, shiro miso, ginger, shoyu, mirin, rice vinegar, silken tofu, rehydrated shitake mushrooms); takuan and gari.
Supper: Mixed grain (arborio, Thai, basmati, barley, Chinese rice, garnished with roasted peanuts). Sate vegetables and tofu (chopped red, green and cubanelle peppers, Spanish onion, and deep fried tofu in a sauce made from unsweetened peanut butter, hot chili sauce, coriander and cumin, lime juice, black pepper); chopped Asian pear with lime juice and chili flakes.

: Fried rice (mixed grain, satay tofu and vegetables, all left over from previous day's supper; diced red onion, diced jalapeno, ground cumin, ground coriander, fresh cilantro).
Lunch: Mixed fried grain (white and brown calrose rice, white and brown Jasmine rice, both leftover from previous day's meals; minced garlic and ginger, sauteed sliced cremini mushrooms, chopped baechu kimchi, sliced scallions, garnished with sesame seeds); seaweed soup (strained leftover miso shiru stock with wakame seaweed, slivered ginger, shoyu, sesame oil, chili paste, and silken tofu); dongchimi (white radish kimchi). 
Supper: Lundberg Farms short-grain brown rice with baby green peas and butter; butternut squash soup (pureed cooked butternut squash, sauteed chopped Spanish onions, butter, thyme, lime juice, savory, lots of black pepper, cayenne, small amount of cream; green cabbage coleslaw (julienne of green cabbage, white onion, and carrot, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, horseradish, lime juice, salt, black pepper).

Baking by Shikai sensei:
Oat cakes; Queen Elizabeth cake; soda biscuits.


Gassho sign

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 the Roshi for the treasury of thousands of recorded teisho, readings, Dharma Talks, and classes that he has presented over the past decades that allow us to meet the Lineage of Awakened Ancestors and their Teachings. During the O-sesshin we heard from and about Daman Hongren, Dajian Huineng, Eihei Dogen, Keizan Jokin, and many others. Thank you to Shikai sensei for baking delicious O-sesshin refreshments. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading the Nehan O-sesshin, and providing instruction in forms, kata, and oryoki.

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.