eMirror Vol 25, No. 15 (2021-04-09)

Monk in landscape, digital image by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi
Digital image by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi

eMirror Vol 25, No. 15

Friday, April 9th, 2021
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Dogen zenji says,

A monk once asked the National Teacher, "What is the mind of the old Buddhas?" The master answered, "Fences, walls, tiles, stones." The question is saying "this is it," and "that is it." The monk has taken up these expressions and made them a question, and the question has become an expression widely used in past and present. Therefore, the ten thousand trees and the one hundred grasses of "a flower blooms" are an expression of the old Buddha, are a question of the old Buddha. And the nine mountains and eight seas of "the world arises" are the sun face and moon face of the old Buddha, are the "skin, meat, bones, and marrow" of the old Buddha.

Furthermore, it may be the case that the old mind is practicing the Buddha, that the old mind is verifying the Buddha, that the old mind is making the Buddha, that "the Buddha Old" is forming the mind. We say "the old mind" because Awareness is primordial. Because the "mind Buddha" is always old, the old mind is "a chair," "bamboo and wood." It is "impossible to find a single person anywhere on this vast earth who understands the Dharma"; it is "What do you call this, Master?" Whether it be these times and circumstances or innumerable realms and empty space, it cannot be said that any are not the old mind. To maintain the old mind or to maintain the old Buddha is to maintain two heads with a single face, two things in a single picture.

Keizan zenji simply took the "teaching of the insentient" as a mind unmoved by usual conditioning in order to discourage people from getting lost in thinking about Nanyang Huizhong's "fences, walls, tiles, stones." This is fine as far as it goes but Dogen zenji takes it much further. The point is after all to open to the numberless Dharma gates that are presented by the numberless dharmas. The walls not only have ears but they speak. Dogen points to how to enter the conversation.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, beginning the teisho "The Buddha Old", Wednesday, February 16th, 2005, at Dainen-ji, in the series "The Primordially Awakened Way: commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Kobutsushin: The Old Buddha Mind".

Upcoming Events

April 14th and April 28th.

Hanamatsuri Two-day Sesshin:
The Hanamatsuri two-day sesshin began on Friday, April 9th at 8:00 p.m., and will end on Sunday, April 11th at 6:00 p.m. 

Hanamatsuri, the "Festival of Flowers" commemorating the birth of Sakyamuni Buddha is on April 14th.

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

Inka For Jinmyo Renge

On the evening of Thursday, May 20th, during the May Sogakuki O-sesshin, Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari will receive Inka, or the Seal of Authenticity, as a Zen Teacher from Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, to become his first Dharma-heir. As one who has received mind to mind transmission from the Roshi and holds the Lineage, she will thus be able to transmit this Lineage at all stages of practice, including transmitting monastic vows and passing on the transmission herself.

Jinmyo Renge received Shiho Transmission as a Dharma-successor from the Roshi on December 8th, 2001 after having practised as a student and then a monastic since 1990. She presented the monthly Introduction to Zen Workshops for 17 years. As well as bearing a vast range of responsibilities within the Sangha, she trained in the time-honoured post of Tenzo since 1991 and has trained students in oryoki practice since 1992. While serving in the training posts of Shuso, Ino and Godo and Osho, her responsibilities have included overseeing Great Matter Publications and White Wind Zen Community Archives, as well as the duplication, preservation and transcription of our extensive collection of recorded teisho, Dharma Talks, and classes. She has also assisted the Roshi in training other monastics in their training posts of Shuso, Ino and Godo, as well as practice advisors. She worked with Anzan Hoshin roshi on the translation of the Bonmokyo (Bramajala sutra), on the Ten Grave and 48 Supporting Precepts.  She has produced weekly issues of the Sangha electronic newsletter, "The eMirror" since 1998. 

In addition to providing instruction to Sangha members practising at the monastery in Ottawa, she provides training to her own probationary formal and formal students (deshi) and corresponds by email with a large number of students practising in other parts of the world. She is responsible for presenting and organizing many resources such as the Retreat Handbook and other materials.

As well as presenting the foundations of mindfulness and insight, for many years she has also received from the Roshi authorizations to give instruction in koan practice and study, various aspects of kaji and Mikkyo, and the monastic ritsu and shingi. While there are some areas yet to be realized, the Roshi has decided that now would be a good time to acknowledge Jinmyo Renge as Sensei so that our Sangha can ripen further as a result. 

With Shiho ceremonies, as with Shukke-tokudo, these have always been open to all students who have registered to attend. However, given these times of the Covid-19 virus and isolation, the ceremony will be conducted privately in the Hojo. This will then be followed by a Dharma talk by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei in the Hatto.

All students are welcome to sit in their home or personal practice rooms on the evening of Thursday, May 20th, during the May Sogakuki O-sesshin, to align with this important event.


Beth Buerkle sat a one-day retreat on Thursday, April 1st at her home in Chamcook, New Brunswick. Probationary Deshi David Gallant sat a two-day retreat on Saturday, April 3rd and Sunday, April 4th. Tarik Kaya sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, April 3rd at his home in Ottawa, Ontario. Chantal Maheu sat a two-day retreat on Sunday, April 4th and Monday, April 5th at her home in Alymer, Quebec. George Donovan sat a half-day retreat in his home in Ottawa on April 8th.

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, April 10th to Saturday, April 17th

Saturday, April 10th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Body of Joy" (teisho 20 of 44)
Monday, April 12th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Sitting Up Straight" (Dharma Talk 28)
Thursday, April 15th: "Life and Death and All That" by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: "Change" (2 of 2) 
Saturday, April 17th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Nanyue's Stainless Realized Practice” (teisho 21 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.

Shinto (J) The overarching term for the various indigenous folk beliefs of Japan.

Posted April 2nd, 2021. New entries are posted every two weeks.


Wild yeast sourdough Dainen-ji

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:
Sourdough bread; Tomato-bean soup (chopped onion, carrots and celery, tomato paste, lots of garlic, white kidney beans, vegetable stock, dry red wine, lots of ground black pepper, Parmesan cheese); choice of leftover roast pork from Sunday, or (vegetarian option) hummus, friulano cheese, brie; tomato salad (chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, white balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Crusty rolls; beef stew (stewing beef, tomato juice, mushroom stock, chopped potatoes, carrots, celery, minced garlic, thyme, lots of black pepper, red wine, chipotle adobo, red balsamic vinegar, cumin); salad (green leaf lettuce, radicchio, chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced white onion, sliced radishes, celery); dressing made from apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, salt, black pepper. 

Thursday Yakuseki:
Mixed grain (Lundberg Farms short-grain brown rice, Arborio rice, Thai sticky rice, Thai Jasmine rice, pearled barley, basmati rice); ganmodoki (mashed silken tofu, chopped medium-firm tofu, minced shiseido, seeded red chilies, jalapeno peppers, minced scallions and ginger, egg whites, salt, rice flour) formed into balls, rolled in potato flour and deep-fried; dipping sauce made from minced ginger, shoyu, mirin, ponzu and a bit of Mishin godo’s ‘crispy chili oil’; sauteed gai lan (Chinese broccoli) seasoned with vegetarian oyster sauce and garlic; miso broth (reconstituted shitake mushrooms, kombu, shoyu, ginger, miso, mirin, rice vinegar). 

Little monks bowing, Japanese drawing

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 Saigyo ino:
Thank you to the Roshi for the loan of excellent art books. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for years of training on how to effectively communicate with students on the Long-distance Training Program and for making the best covid masks. Thank you to Mishin godo for ensuring monastery paper supplies stay well stocked. Thank you to Fushin shramon for keeping track of the supplies of lightbulbs for the monastery. Thank you to Tarik Kaya for painting samu. 

From Matt Broda:
Please accept my congratulations on your [Jinmyo osho’s] upcoming Inka.  At the same time I would like to thank you for your teaching, guidance, and support over the years – and for continuing to Transmit the Lineage.

From Hannah Kent:
Congratulations and deep gassho to Jinmyo osho on the upcoming honour of receiving Inka from the Roshi and thank you to her for her immense contributions to the Sangha over many decades; thank you to Mishin godo and Saigyo ino for practice interviews that help clarify and strengthen my practice and to Mishin godo for helping me establish a morning sitting schedule.