eMirror Vol 25, No. 23 (2021-06-05)

Dainen-ji Zendo's Butsudan 1998  Photographed by the late Shikai Zuiko O-sensei
Dainen-ji Zendo's Butsudan 1998
Photographed by the late Shikai Zuiko O-sensei 

eMirror Vol 25, No. 23

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

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

The old Buddha that is our own mind is not inside our mind, our mind is inside the old Buddha mind and it is open everywhere throughout the ten directions all around us. This old Buddha mind is not just a mind, it is also a body. It has fingers and toes, a tongue and nostrils. This old Buddha has many bodies and minds and some of them we can call cats and dogs when it does that; or clouds and stars when it does that; or fences, walls, tiles, stones when it does that. The old Buddha mind is always doing that. It is always presencing as numberless beings, numberless stars, numberless worlds, numberless numbers and shapes and smells. Although it is so very old, it never becomes tired. It is ceaselessly active as the motion which moves as all things.

Keizan zenji did not want people to get lost in idle thoughts about the old Buddha mind being fences, walls, tiles, stones but instead to calm down a bit and then look carefully and recognized the subtle and mysterious flavour of Knowing, without grasping after it and to begin to recognize that you cannot escape from it. The old Buddha mind cannot be contained by thoughts. Thinking about it is not it. And yet each thought, as with everything else, like fences, walls, tiles, stones, is the old Buddha mind. And, as with everything else, like fences, walls, tiles, stones, the fact that thoughts are the old Buddha mind does you no good at all unless that is realized whole bodily and throughout all of the moments and days and nights of the bodymind through practising the realization of it. So, unfortunately, Keizan zenji's instructions can easily become misunderstood as "to just calm down, and this calming is what the old Buddha mind is." And then this can fall into the strategies of avoiding thoughts and suppressing thoughts and struggling against thoughts instead of just opening around them and not propagating them.

Dogen however next presents a way of thinking that is not lost in thoughts. He attempts to express, in words, a way of thinking that discursive thought cannot really do. Discursive thoughts are the run-on product of a process of narrowing attention. They are an avoidance of our inherent capacity as intelligent beings to think intelligently and openly and from many different perspectives simultaneously.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing the teisho "Fences, Walls, Tiles, Stones", Thursday, February 17th, 2005, at Dainen-ji, in the series "The Primordially Awakened Way: commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Kobutsushin: The Old Buddha Mind".

Inka For Jinmyo Renge sensei

On the evening of Thursday, May 20th, during the May Sogakuki O-sesshin, Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari received Inka, or the Seal of Authenticity, as a Zen Teacher from Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, and became his first Dharma-heir. As one who has received mind to mind transmission from the Roshi and holds the Lineage, she is thus 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 it is 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 was conducted privately in the Hojo. This was followed by a Dharma talk by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei in the Hatto.

Upcoming Events

June 9th, June 23rd.

June Two-day Sesshin
The June two-day sesshin will begin on June 11th at 8:00 p.m. and will end on Sunday the 13th of June at 6:00 p.m.

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, June 1st at her home in the Berkshires. Tarik Kaya sat a half-day retreat on Saturday, May 29th at his home in Ottawa, Ontario. Brian Lakeman sat a partial retreat on Sunday, May 30th 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, June 5th to Saturday, June 12th

Saturday, June 5th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin:  Bodhidharma's Transmission part 2” (teisho 27 of 44)
Sunday, June 6th: SAkN: Dimensions of Space by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Space is Not a Space" (6 of 8)
Monday, June 7th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko O-sensei: “Taking a Toothstick in Hand" (Dharma Talk 38)
Thursday, June 10th: "The Touchstone 2, Sticks and Feathers" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei
Saturday, June 12th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin:  "Huike's Standing” (teisho 28 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



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.

Shobogenzo Zuimonki (J) Literally "Easy Gate to the True Eye of Reality," or "An Introduction to the True Eye of Reality." Anthology of brief informal teachings of Dogen zenji compiled by Ejo zenji.

Posted May 28th, 2021. New entries are posted every two weeks.

kimchi-mise-en-place in Dainen-ji's kitchen

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:

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Okonomiyaki - Japanese pancakes (chopped green cabbage and scallions mixed with a batter made from cake flour, grated nagaimo yam, baking soda, eggs, beni shoga (salty, spicy red pickled ginger). The pancake is cooked on one side with a layer of bacon on the bottom; Vegetarian pancakes did not contain bacon. Both the meat and vegetarian pancakes were topped with okonomiyaki sauce, Kewpie mayonnaise and finely chopped seaweed. The meat pancakes were also topped with bonito flakes; miso shiru with silken tofu, sliced rehydrated shitake mushrooms and shanghai bok choy (kombu, shoyu, ginger, miso, rice vinegar, mirin); takuan and gari. 

Thursday Yakuseki:
Garlic/soy noodles (lo mein noodles mixed with soy noodles, sauteed mushrooms and strips of red bell peppers, minced garlic, minced ginger, sambal oelek, vegetarian oyster sauce, shoyu, roasted peanuts; salad of Romaine, red and green leaf lettuce, sliced radishes, pea shoots, red onion, radicchio, and chopped tomatoes. Dressing: apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, honey, black pepper); baechu kimchi.


Mishin godo bowing

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 Jinmyo sensei for researching how to beautify the monastery grounds over the next year (such as by creating a rock garden since the water garden is no longer functioning), and organizing residents to discuss ideas for the grounds and improving fencing and building security. Thank you to George Donovan for picking up garden soil at Richie’s Feed and Seed.