eMirror Vol 25, No. 06 (2021-02-05)

Snow covered rupa on Dainen-ji's front porch, Photograph by Ven. Mishin Roelofs godo
Snow covered rupa on Dainen-ji's front porch,
Photograph by Ven. Mishin Roelofs godo

eMirror Vol 25, No. 6

Friday, February 5th, 2021
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

At this point in the text Dogen simply cites a number of instances in which ancient Chan masters use the term "old Buddha" in order to provide a lead-up to his main points. Throughout the Shobogenzo we can see that Dogen often referred to Tiantong Rujing as "the old Buddha, my late master" and he also used this term for many great Chan Masters. And so he begins by quoting Rujing:

My late Master [Tiantong Rujing] said, "I have met the old Buddha Hongzhi." And so we know that there is an old Buddha within the house of Tiantong, there is Tiantong within the house of the old Buddha.

Hongzhi Zhengjue lived from 1091-1157. He was also called Tiantong Hongzhi, having been abbot at the Tiantong monastery where Dogen's master Tiantong Rujing later taught. Hongzhi was the most influential Caodong teacher in the century before Dogen. The Records of Serenity were compiled around one hundred cases that he had selected and provided capping verses for. Dogen's text "Zazenshin" is a kind of reply to and expansion on a teaching by Hongzhi.

The Chan master Yuanwu said, "I make great bows to the true old Buddha of Caoxi." We should make prostrations, realizing that the thirty-third generation after Sakyamuni Buddha is an old Buddha. Because the Chan master Yuanwu has the adornments and radiance of an old Buddha, when he meets an old Buddha, he bows to him thus. With Caoxi's head and tail in mind, we should realize that old Buddhas are like grasping the ox's nose-ring.1 Having such a grip is to be an old Buddha.

Yuanwu Keqin lived from 1063-1135. He compiled the Blue Cliff Records from Xuedou Zhongxian's collection of one hundred cases and capping verses, adding pointing phrases and also extensive commentaries. The fundamental layer of questions and answers was constructed by both of them and it is often impossible to distinguish. Dogen says that because Yuanwu was an old Buddha, he could meet or know and understand an old Buddha. This is the same point made in Dogen's text Yuibutsu-Yobutsu and considered in the Seeing Eye to Eye teisho series: only a Buddha can know what a Buddha knows. To know what a Buddha knows is to meet a Buddha and to be a Buddha. Qingyuan and Nanyue were both Dharma-heirs of Huineng and their Dharma-heirs were also closely related. Dajian Huineng of Caoxi however lived from 638-713 and yet Yuanwu can be said to have met him because he can grasp Huineng's entirety, from head to tail, within his own realization. Grasping the ox's nose ring means having completely tamed the white ox of one's own nature and all the old Buddhas are like this.

1 Habi.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, beginning the teisho "Assorted Old Buddhas", Monday, February 14th, 1990, at Dainen-ji, in the series "The Primordially Awakened Way: commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Kobutsushin: The Old Buddha Mind".

Upcoming Events

February 10th, February 24th.

Nehan O-sesshin
The Nehan 7-day O-sesshin will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 12th, and will end at noon on Friday, February 19th.

A Note to Preliminary and Public Students Concerning O-sesshin
During an O-sesshin the schedule is such that there is no time 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 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


Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, February 2nd at her home in the Berkshires. Elizabeth Eve sat a one-day retreat on Thursday, January 28th at her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Tarik Kaya sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, January 30th at his home in Ottawa, Ontario. Brian Lakeman sat a half-day retreat on Sunday, January 31st 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, February 6th to Saturday, February 13th

Saturday, February 6th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “The Work of the Way" (teisho 11 of 44)
Sunday, February 7th: SAkN: Infinite Infinities by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Unfolding, Enfolding" (1 of 7)
Monday, February 8th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Taking Refuge in the Buddha" (Dharma Talk 20)
Thursday, February 11th: “The Tiny Book of Stopping and Looking” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Samatha” (Dharma Talk 1 of 3)
Saturday, February 13rd: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Yaoshan's Chan” (teisho 9 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.


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.

Shinfukatoku (J): Ungraspable Knowing. Also an essay by Dogen zenji in his Shobogenzo.

Posted February 5th, 2021. New entries are posted every two weeks.


Chinese broccoli

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:
Jeera rice (basmati rice cooked with cumin seeds, bay leaf, and cardamom pods); rajma curry (red kidney beans, minced shallot, garlic, and ginger, diced tomatoes, cumin seeds, ajwain, garam masala, cayenne, turmeric, coriander powder, kasoori methi, chopped cilantro, salt, butter); chopped kale and swiss chard sauteed with minced garlic, cumin seeds, and lemon juice; tomato and cucumber raita (seasoned with cumin powder, salt, and pepper).

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Mushroom rice (Thai jasmine rice mixed with chopped and dry-fried sliced button mushrooms). Meat option: pork yakiniku (skewered cubes of pork tenderloin and red onion barbequed on a Japanese grill and glazed with miso sauce. The miso sauce was made from sake, mirin, finely grated ginger and aka (red) miso). Vegetarian option: skewered cubes of firm tofu and red onion seared and brushed with teriyaki sauce (soy sauce, brown sugar, finely minced ginger, minced garlic, mirin); Halved Shanghai bok choy seared on the Japanese griddle.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Cannellini bean soup (reconstituted cannellini beans, mirepoix (sauteed diced carrots, celery and minced garlic), tomato paste, lots of black pepper, apple cider vinegar, thyme, basil, oregano, cumin, hot paprika); grilled buttered naan; salad (green leaf lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced seeded cucumber, chopped radishes and celery, thinly sliced white onion) with dressing (grapeseed oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, dried basil, sugar, salt, pepper).

Drawing of monks 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 Mishin godo:
Thank you to Leonardo Nobrega for looking after washing the monastery's laundry of cloths used in the kitchen, practice halls, and for samu periods.

From David Gallant:
Thank you to Roshi for creating Dainen-ji, and for making it possible for students from around the world to receive regular instruction via the long distance training program. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for regular daisan, and for instruction on dealing with sleepiness during sittings. Thank you to Mishin godo for preparing the resident meals each week while Jinmyo osho is recovering from surgery, and for instruction about not 'hiding in the shadows' during the early morning samu periods. Thank you to Saigyo ino for regular instruction on how to take care of things during Sunday afternoon samu periods. Thank you to Fushin shramon for replacing the shower head in the third floor washroom this week.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Graham Mayeda and Adda Hernandez for donations.