eMirror Vol 25, No. 24 (2021-06-11)

Bodhidharma Stone, Photograph by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi
Bodhidharma Stone,
Photograph by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi

eMirror Vol 25, No. 24

Friday, June 11th, 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,

The master answered, "Fences, walls, tiles, stones." The point here is that there is "one advance" that speaks facing fences, walls, tiles, stones: it is fences, walls, tiles, stones. There is "one road" that speaks out beyond speech. There is "one retreat" in which the fences, walls, tiles, stones speak within the fences, walls, tiles, stones. In the round and full perfection of what these sayings express there are walls standing a thousand feet or ten thousand feet; fences standing that encircle the earth and encircle the heavens; tile coverings of one piece or half a piece; sharp stones both large and small. This is so not only of the mind but the body and the objective and subjective.

"Advancing" towards fences, walls, tiles, stones is engaging them from the perspective from which we face them. Speechless, wordless even if there are words, all around there is an open way, an open space, that speaks, that is filled with meanings. These meanings are the wordless concepts we have of the world with its dimensions of height, width, depth, breath and such things as sharp or round or tall or short or soft or hard and on and on. We do not need to use words to have such meanings inform us of what is going on. In picking up a cup we cannot describe all of the numberless cognitive activities involved in reaching, touching, clasping, weighing, lifting the cup. There is simply not time to think discursively about an action and still act within our real life. And the arising of a discursive thought is already something that emerges from the configuration of manifold mental factors. The "one retreat" that Dogen zenji speaks of is opening to fences, walls, tiles, stones as they present themselves more or less from their own side, to allow their naked presencing. "Advancing" and "retreating" simultaneously, opening out all around all at once, exposed to fences, walls, tiles, stones however they might present themselves is how Dogen is pointing to a more complete way of understanding.

One thing that I think is interesting here is that the phrase "fences, walls, tiles, stones" no doubt was intended to indicate the most insentient of insentient beings or things. And self-image is fond of fences and barriers. It walls itself up inside a sensation of being within the head, it fences itself off from intimacy, it barricades itself from open questioning through narrowing and fixating attention. Fences separate an inside from an outside. But just as they demarcate an inside and an outside, they also point to the space of both sides and above. In looking at fields criss-crossed by fences, if we look at a fence as a barrier, then all that we can see is how it constrains and limits. If we see the fences within the context of the rolling fields and open sky above then the lines of the fences indicate the rolling contours of the hills or the extent of a plain.

Of course these "fences, walls, tiles, stones" are really not just fences, walls, tiles, stones but are every thing that we experience. When we open to what Nanyang and Dogen are expressing as fences, walls, tiles, stones we open to a round and full way of thinking and understanding. Just as Dogen's summary instructions for zazen is to sit and "think of not-thinking" by being hishiryo or Before Thinking, his instructions here are to meet the old Buddha mind or primordial Awareness as fences, walls, tiles, stones by being hishiryo. Then we can see many interweaving perspectives simultaneously without being pushed or pulled into the kind of collapse of intelligence that is usual mind's tendency. We can "keep an open mind" as the saying goes by being open to our living experience as it actually is instead of falling back upon whatever configuration of attention first congeals and so avoid endlessly propagating the same conditioned patterns of mind and body.

-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".

Upcoming Events

June 23rd.

June Two-day Sesshin
The June two-day sesshin began 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 8th at her home in the Berkshires. Elizabeth Eve sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, June 5th at her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Tarik Kaya sat a half-day retreat on Saturday, June 5th at his home in Ottawa, Ontario. Brian Lakeman sat a partial retreat on Sunday, June 6th at his home in Brampton, Ontario. Tracey Parker sat a one-day retreat on Sunday, June 6th at her home in Perth, 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 12th to Saturday, June 19th

Saturday, June 12th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin:  "Huike's Standing” (teisho 28 of 44)
Monday, June 14th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “When Chewing on a Toothstick" (Dharma Talk 38)
Thursday, June 17th: "The Touchstone 3, The Three Natures" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei
Saturday, June 19th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin:  "Shitou's Hit” (teisho 29 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


Dharma Talk by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei Posted on the WWZC Website

Dharma Talk Presented by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei on the occasion of receiving Inka: “Receiving the Dharma Seal: Hekiganroku Case 2: Zhaozhou’s ‘The Vast Way is Without Difficulty’”, Dainen-ji, Sogaku O-sesshin, Thursday May 20th 2021.
Read the transcript: Receiving the Seal
Listen to the recording (accessible only to students of this Lineage): Receiving the Seal

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.

Shohõ jissõ (J) The true form (meaning nature) of all experiences.

Posted June 11th, 2021. New entries are posted every two weeks.


Kimchi jar

Office of the Tenzo

Dogen zenji taught in the Tenzo kyokun: Instructions for the Tenzo (https://wwzc.org/dharma-text/tenzo-kyokun-instructions-tenzo) 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 sensei 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.

Monday Yakuseki:
Yuba rolls (sauteed vegetables - thinly sliced shitake mushrooms, celery, carrots, poblano peppers, scallions, ginger seasoned with white pepper, chili oil, shoyu and mirin, rolled in yuba (soy milk) skins, fried until crispy and then braised in a sauce made from shoyu, sake, mirin, and minced ginger); room temperature soba noodles mixed with wakame seaweed, served with a sauce made from miso, Japanese mustard, mirin, tahini and sesame oil; sauteed gai lan (Chinese broccoli). 

Thursday Yakuseki:
Mixed grain (arborio, calrose medium-grain white rice, pearled barley, basmati rice) Chicken katsu (chicken breast breaded with panko, deep fried), served with a tonkatsu sauce made from cooked, blended chopped onion, Asian pear, shoyu, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and sesame oil; Vegetarian option: tofu in panko coating, deep fried; green cabbage coleslaw (thinly sliced green cabbage, carrots and white onion, mayonnaise, horseradish, lime juice, and Dijon mustard).

Thursday Yakuseki:
Fried rice (leftover mixed grain and brown rice, chopped scallions, chopped poblano and red bell peppers, minced ginger, vegetarian oyster sauce and hoisin sauce); scrambled eggs; salad (red and green leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, radishes, chopped tomatoes, chopped celery, radicchio, thinly sliced red onion); dressing made from minced garlic and ginger, minced red onion, minced ginger, toasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds, Dijon mustard, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, grapeseed oil, salt and black pepper.


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 Rodney Gallant:
Thank you to Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi on transmitting Inka to Jinmyo Renge sensei. Congratulations and deep gassho to Jinmyo Renge sensei on receiving Inka from Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi. Thank you to Ven. Mishin godo and Ven. Saigyo tando for the many telephone practice interviews as I practice from a distance.