eMirror Vol 25, No. 09 (2021-02-26)

Zhaozhou, woodcut
Zhaozhou, woodcut

eMirror Vol 25, No. 9

Friday, February 26th, 2021
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Dogen continues his text,

Xuefeng said, "Zhaozhou, the old Buddha."

Xuefeng's praise of Zhaozhou occurs in the Zhaozhou Chanshi yulu, the Recorded Sayings and Doings of Chan Master Zhaozhou and also as Sanbyakusoku Shobogenzo Case 284:

A monk came from the south. He had asked Xuefeng, "How is it when the waters of the ancient river valley are cold?" Xuefeng had said, "Though eyes are open wide, the bottom cannot be seen." The monk asked, "What if someone drinks the water?" Xuefeng said, "He doesn't take it through his mouth." Hearing of this, the Master had said, "He doesn't take it through his mouth. He takes it in through the nose."

So the monk now asked, "How is it when the waters of the ancient river valley are cold?"

The Master said, "Bitter."

The monk asked, "What if someone drinks the water?"

The Master said, "Dead."

Xuefeng heard the Master's words and said, "An Old Buddha, an Old Buddha," and offered nothing in reply.

So that monk comes with an image of desolation to represent ultimate realization and both Xuefeng and Zhaozhou play with it and have fun with it. Xuefeng says that it's too vast for you to see to the bottom of it and that, no matter what, it won't serve the purposes of a self. Hearing of this exchange, Zhaozhou adds that it even if you hold yourself back from it as a self it will fill your nostrils. When you find yourself steeping in this cold stream, it is cold, it is painful, it is a bitter shock. In drinking it you drown and there is only the cold stream in the ancient valley with no one separate from it to talk about it. Hearing this, Xuefeng says with admiration that Zhaozhou is an old Buddha and fell silent.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing 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

March 10th and 31st.

March Two-day Sesshin:
The March two-day sesshin will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 12th and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 14th.

March 21st is the memorial for Keizan Jokin zenji.

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


Congratulations and deep gassho to Alex Benay of Ottawa who has been accepted as an associate student of Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Lineage.


Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, February 23rd at her home in the Berkshires. Loïc-Alexandre Ouellette sat a partial retreat on Wednesday, February 17th at his home in Gatineau, Quebec. Chantal Maheu sat a two-day retreat on Thursday, February 18th and Friday, February 19th at her home in Alymer, Quebec. Tarik Kaya sat a half-day retreat on Saturday, February 20th at his home in Ottawa, 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 27th to Saturday, March 6th

Saturday, February 27th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “The Old Nest” (teisho 14 of 44)
Sunday, February 28th: SAkN: Infinite Infinities by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "The Wonton" (3 of 7)
Monday, March 1st: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “When Receiving Novice Precepts" (Dharma Talk 23)
Thursday, March 4th: "Freedom and Tyranny" by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: "Overthrowing the Inner Dictator" (1 of 4)
Saturday, March 6th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Fachang's Stupa” (teisho 15 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.

Shingyõ o totonu (J): Harmonize the body.

Posted February 19th, 2021. New entries are posted every two weeks.

Drawing of a monk lifting a bowl in front of his face in oryoki

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:
Mashed potatoes (Yukon gold potatoes, butter, Dijon mustard, black pepper, salt, small amount of cream); mashed rutabaga with salt, pepper and butter; steamed kale and Swiss chard; firm tofu cut into rectangles, seasoned with chipotle, bran oil, lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper. 

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Chicken stew (pieces of chicken thigh floured and browned, diced carrots, onions, celery, minced garlic, chicken stock, thyme, rosemary, black pepper, apple cider vinegar, pearled barley); vegetarian option: diced carrots, onions, celery, minced garlic, vegetable stock, thyme, rosemary, black pepper, apple cider vinegar, pearled barley); salad of thinly sliced Napa cabbage, chiffonade of carrots, daikon and white onion with balsamic vinegar dressing; toasted naan with butter.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Mixed grain (Chinese rice and basmati); ganmodoki (deep-fried tofu balls made with pressed firm tofu, mashed with scallions, chopped shitake mushrooms, minced ginger, shoyu, corn starch) with a dipping sauce made from shoyu, mirin, minced ginger and rice vinegar; steamed greens (mustard greens, spinach and bok choy) with garlic and vegetarian oyster sauce.

Animated drawing of a monk striking the han, a hanging wooden block

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 teisho presented in 2016 and 2017 that we listened to during this O-sesshin, on our Lineage Ancestors Tongan Guanzhi, Liangshan Yuanguan, Dayang Jingxuan, Fushan Fuyuan, and Touzi Yiqing who carried the Dharma over a millennium ago so that we can practice it now. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading the Nehan O-sesshin and for designing the O-sesshin meals.