Shitou's stone ledge
eMirror Vol 24, No. 9
Friday, February 28th 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho
The White Wind Zen Community:
An international community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985.
Following the 22 years on the rock, through which he had received the name that he is known to us now – 'Shitou', or 'Stone Head' – he went in 764 to Liangduan where he and his monastery had a great deal of interaction with the other famous and prominent Zen Master of the time: Jiangxi Mazu Daoyi – great Master Horse, or Master Ma.
Eventually, three of the early five Zen houses or streams stemmed from Shitou. As well as Yaoshan Weiyan, our own lineage ancestor from whom sprang the Caodong, which became known in Japan as the Soto, from his many Dharma heirs the Fayen stream, the Yunmen stream also grew.
Nanyue Huairang, his elder Dharma brother, whose Dharma heir was Mazu Daoyi, was the source for the other two of the five houses or streams.
Eventually, it is said that in his last years he abandoned the large monastery that had grown up around him, and entered again into the mountains with a small number of students.
At the time that he taught, the Dharma was being articulated in language that not only borrowed from indigenous Chinese concepts, but which spoke in greater detail and more clearly to the Chinese, of what must be understood and of how that understanding must be applied.
Rather than speaking merely of ho or fa or dharmas as the components which laced together to arise as cups, chairs, arms, legs, colours, sounds – they began to use the term li, or in Japanese ji, which can be used to indicate a dharma, but also a cup, a table, an arm, a leg, an event, a place. Instead of speaking merely of shunya or emptiness, they wanted to speak of the fact that all appearances are empty and open but bright, and for this they used the term li or in Japanese ri. And as well, later, such terms as pya and chie, bent and straight, were also used, but at Shitou's time, the terms li and shih [Chinese] or ri and ji [Japanese], which had originated with the Huayan school as a way of speaking of the interpenetration of ultimate and relative, principle and thing, and the interpenetration of thing and thing, began to be used.
-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".
March 11th and 25th
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.
March 21st is the memorial for Keizan Jokin zenji.
Thach Hoang sat a one-day retreat from the evening of Friday, February 7th to the evening of Saturday, February 8th at his home in Lavel, Quebec. Ceri Behar sat a partial retreat on Saturday, February 22nd at his home in Istanbul, Turkey. Tarik Kaya sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, February 22nd.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 29th: "Birth and Death: The Works": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Zenki: Complete Activity” and “Shoji: Birth and Death”: Readings of “Zenki” and “Shoji” (1 of 9)
Sunday, March 1st: SAkN: The Anatomy of Awakening by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "The Anatomy of Awakening" (1 of 9)
Monday, March 2nd: "The Dragon in His Waters, The Tiger in Her Mountains, Part 2" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari (2 of 3)
Thursday, March 5th: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “I Hate This" (40 of 71)
Saturday, March 7th: "Birth and Death: The Works": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Zenki: Complete Activity” and “Shoji: Birth and Death”: "The Working of Reality” (2 of 9)
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
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.
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:
- 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
Update on the Plan for Essential Repairs to the Hojo
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.
(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 email@example.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 godo and Saigyo ino offer assistance as tenzo-anja.
Meals Prepared During the Week Prior to the Evening Sittings:
Jajangmyeon noodles with braised tofu (vegetable stock, garlic, ginger - also used for a soup); bokchoy, garlic mushrooms (crimini mushrooms, garlic, shoyu, pinch of turbinado sugar).
Hainan rice (Calrose, arborio, Thai white rice, Chinese rice, basmati rice cooked in a blended stock made from condensed chicken broth, sauteed garlic, onions, white pepper, and ginger); roasted chicken thighs and drumsticks marinated in Adobo barbeque sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, bran oil); Sauteed bok choy, gai lan, and mustard greens with lime juice.
Buttered white and brown basmati rice; saag paneer (caramelized chopped onion, ginger, and garlic, with cumin, coriander, cayenne, garam masala, chopped rapini, cubed paneer browned with bran oil, cayenne and turmeric); Asian pears with lime juice and chili flakes.
Baking by Shikai sensei:
Rustic plain oat cookies; Low sugar date bars; Fig & Feta cookies.
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 and Saigyo ino for meetings with the contractors who will be looking after the Hojo renovation. Thank you to Endai shuso for running the mail merge needed to produce the charitable donation receipts. Thank you to Fushin shramon for preparing a poster about the Hojo renovation fund. Thank you to David Gallant for helping me create a digital signature to use when issuing donation receipts.
From Endai shuso
Thank you to the Roshi for presenting the teisho series “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” that is currently being played at associate sittings on Thursday evenings. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for presenting the Dharma Talks in the series “The Dragon in his Waters, the Tiger in her Mountains”, a commentary on Dogen zenji’s “Fukanzazengi”, which is currently being played during the general sittings on Monday nights. Thank you to Fushin shramon for snow removal after Thursday’s storm. Thank you to David Gallant for doing the dishes on Thursday evenings before yakuseki.
"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.