eMirror Vol 25, No. 16 (2021-04-16)

Photo of what looks like a stone wall?

eMirror Vol 25, No. 16

Friday, April 16th, 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"1 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.

Asking what the mind of the old Buddhas is can be taking up this or taking up that and asking what it really is, letting the "it" of it express itself. Deep questioning of every experience allows every experience to be the expression of an answering. The words, "What is the mind of the old Buddhas?", are not important. The question is not important. Questioning is what is important. Questioning is being open to everything that is outside the scope of the already known. Whatever might seem closest to hand, such as a cup, or the hand itself is actually outside the scope of the already known. What is already known is past and we do not and cannot live in the past. What presences as the present is revealed by questioning, by releasing usual mind's images of solid certainty into the shimmering activity of actual experience.

1 In the Jingde Chuandenglu 1, Prajnatara's Transmission verse to Bodhidharma is:
"The many seeds grow on the ground of Awareness;
the nature can be recognized through things.
When the fruit ripens, Bodhi is fulfilled;
when the flower blooms, the world arises."

-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 28th, May 12th and May 26th. 

Sogakuki O-sesshin
The Sogakuki seven-day O-sesshin will begin on Friday, May 14th, at 8:00 p.m. and will end on Friday, May 21st at noon. Students who will be participating and those who will align with the schedule of the O-sesshin while sitting at home are asked to send their schedules as soon as possible to facilitate the planning of dokusan and daisan as well as meal preparation.

May 18th is the memorial for the death of Sogaku Myoshin Hakukaze daiosho.

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.


Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, April 13th at her home in the Berkshires. Thach Huang sat a two-day retreat from Friday, April 9th to Sunday, April 11th at his home in Laval, Quebec. Carol Hodgson sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, April 10th at her home in Ottawa, Ontario. Brian Lakeman sat a partial retreat on Sunday, April 11th at his home in Brampton, Ontario. Alex Bourne sat a half-day retreat on Sunday, April 11th 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, April 17th to Saturday, April 24th

Saturday, April 17th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Nanyue's Stainless Realized Practice” (teisho 21 of 44)
Monday, April 19th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Crossing the Legs" (Dharma Talk 30)
Thursday, April 22nd: "The Bridge" by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei
Saturday, April 24th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin:  “Xiangyan's Bamboo” (teisho 22 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.

Shõbõgenzõ (J) "True Eye of Reality", the Transmission of Reality. Also used by Dogen zenji as the title for a collection of his major essays and teisho transcripts.

Posted April 16th, 2021. New entries are posted every two weeks.


Oryoki set drawing

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:

Meals Prepared During the Hanamatsuri Sesshin:

Breakfast: Chow mein noodles, strips of Spanish onion, red and green bell and jalapeno pepper, ginger, garlic, shoyu, roasted chili paste, bulgogi sauce; scrambled eggs.
Lunch: Mixed grain (calrose and Arborio) garnished with sesame seeds; miso shiru with reconstituted shitake mushrooms, baby bok choy and silken tofu; takuan and ginger. 
Supper: Lundberg brown rice with peas and butter; tomato bisque (tomato juice pureed with sauteed carrots, onion, and celery, white wine, dried thyme, dried oregano, salt, black pepper); cubed friulano mixed with green olives and lemon zest.

Breakfast: Fried rice (leftover Lundberg rice, chopped Spanish onion, peas, ground cumin, coriander, ancho pepper, salt and pepper); scrambled eggs.
Lunch: Thai white and brown long-grain rice garnished with cubed daikon braised in chili sauce; spicy wakame seaweed soup (wakame, bonito, ginger, shoyu, roasted chili paste and sesame oil), with silken tofu; Baechu kimchi.

Meals Prepared During the Week for Residents:

Monday Yakuseki:
Thai jasmine rice; bulgogi tofu (chopped poblano and red bell peppers, chopped Spanish onions, chopped dai gai choy, deep-fried triangle tofu, thinly sliced ginger, shoyu, bulgogi sauce); Chunks of Asian pear with lime juice and chili flakes. 

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Chicken katsu (boneless, skinless chicken thighs pounded thin, breaded with seasoned panko and deep-fried. Vegetarian option: tofu breaded with panko and then deep fried; served with kaiser rolls, shredded Napa cabbage, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onion, monastery pickled jalapenos, and Kewpie mayonnaise.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Cavatappi pasta with tomato sauce (chopped garlic, celery, carrots, minced garlic, blended San Marzano tomatoes, oregano, pinch of cumin, lots of black pepper, thyme, fresh basil); lime tofu (deep fried tofu seasoned with garlic, lime juice, black pepper); 


Monk in gassho - 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 Jinmyo osho:
Thank you to the Roshi’s deshi, Dr. Jinen S. Boates of Wolfville Zazenkai, for a very informative article entitled "What Netflix’s Seaspiracy gets wrong about fishing, explained by a marine biologist." https://www.vox.com/2021/4/13/22380637/seaspiracy-netflix-fact-check-fi…
Thank you also to deshi Leonardo Nobrega for solving a problem with my computer.

From David Gallant:
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for lending me the book 'Sugar Blues' which I found very helpful. Thank you to Saigyo ino for organizing the work for the upcoming residents' Samu Weekend.

From from Elizabeth Eve:
Deep gassho and congratulations to Jinmyo osho on the honour of receiving Inka from the Roshi. For her immeasurable contributions to the Sangha, I express profound gratitude. Thank you for many periods of daisan, for life-changing instruction and advice, for wonderful dharma talks, and for setting an example as a Dharma Teacher who is genuine, serious and full of humour.

From Claude Schryer:
Congratulations and deep gassho to Jinmyo osho for receiving Inka from the Roshi. I will sit on the evening of May 20 to recognize this moment. I would also like to thank the Osho for her innumerable contributions to the Sangha over many years, including her sense of humour. I am deeply grateful to both the Roshi and to Jinmyo osho for continuing to transmit the lineage. 

From George Donovan:
I would like to thank the Roshi for his teisho today Turning the Wheel of the Way #20 Body of Joy. It had deep meaning to me as I sat Zazen this morning.

From Ceri Behar:
Congratulations to Jimnyo Osho, It is a huge and important  accomplishment, immense commitment day-in, day-out and best self example for the Sangha. You were my first contact with Zen practice in 2003. Through email exchange you taught me so much and when I got to meet you in 2011, you were always shining, gentle and fierce. Thank you for what you do and what you are. I will always be grateful.

From Sam MacFarlane:
I am writing to let say how excited I am for Jinmyo osho to receive Inka.  As a newcomer to Zen I continue to learn about the structures of the Lineage.  But I can understand the significance of the first Dharma-heir and I am humbled to be aware and be peripherally part of this event. I will be sitting at home on the evening of May 20th to align with this significant event.