eMirror Vol 25, No. 27 (2021-06-02)

Dogwood at the side entrance of Dainen-ji, Photograph by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei
Dogwood at the side entrance of Dainen-ji,
Photograph by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei

eMirror Vol 25, No. 27

Friday, July 2nd, 2021
Edited by the Practice Council

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

Dogen zenji says,

Once, a monk asked Great Master Jianyuan Zhongxing,1 "What is the mind of the old Buddhas?"

The master answered, "The world collapses in ruins."

The monk asked, "Why does the world collapse in ruins?"

The master answered, "Better without2 my body."

Jianyuan Zhongxing was a Dharma-heir of Daowu Yuanzhi, who was a Dharma-brother to our Lineage Ancestor Yunyan Tansheng. We do not have exact dates for Jianyuan's life but he will have lived in the 800s. We know that he was the tenzo for many years on Mount Daowu and that he had a profound awakening while hearing a child reciting the Kannon-gyo.

Once a monk asked, "What is the mind of the old Buddhas?"

Whereas Huizhong said that it was "fences, walls, tiles, stones" Jianyuan said, "The world collapses into ruins." Drop everything. Let everything that holds up your view of the world collapse into ruins. Let even the fences, walls, tiles, stones crash and tumble.

The monk didn't understand and asked, "Why does the world collapse in ruins?"
The master answered, "Better without my body."

Some students have asked about this last phrase and so I'll mention a few points about my translation. This phrase "better without" is from the characters "neimu". "Nei" means "preferably" or "this rather than that." "Mu" is the same as Zhaozhou's famous "Mu" which means "doesn't have" or "without." I have seen a translation which takes the sentence to mean, "How is it possible to be without our own body" which, as a sentence, makes more sense; however it requires substantial interpretation and it just does not relate to Jianyuan's metaphor of the world collapsing in ruins to reveal the mind of the old Buddhas. So was Jianyuan then saying that true reality is revealed when we remove everything that exists, including the body? Is he teaching a nihilistic misunderstanding of emptiness as a void? I doubt that very much but even if he had, Dogen zenji uses this story to say just the opposite. "Better without my body" means that it is better not to cling to anything or to try to hold anything up. Release the world out there as a world out there and release the body over here as something over here. This is the mind of the old Buddhas.

1 Jianyuan Zhongxing (Chien-yuan Chung-hsing, Zengen Chuko), n.d. Considered a Dharma-heir of Daowu Yuanzhi.

2 Neimu.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, beginniing the teisho "Collapsing, Dropping, Falling", Saturday, March 19th, 2005, at Dainen-ji, in the series "The Primordially Awakened Way: commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Kobutsushin: The Old Buddha Mind".

Upcoming Events

July 7th, July 21st.

Yaza (all night sitting) will take place on Saturday, July 10th, from 10pm until Sunday,  July 11th, at 8am. 

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 22nd at her home in the Berkshires. Deshi Leonardo Nobrega sat a two-day retreat from Friday, June 25th to Sunday, June 27th. Probationary deshi David Gallant sat a partial retreat on Sunday, June 27th. Tarik Kaya sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, June 26th at his home in Ottawa, Ontario. Chantal Maheu sat a one-day retreat on Tuesday, June 29th at her home in Alymer, Quebec.

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, July 3rd to Saturday, July 10th

Saturday, July 3rd: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Xuansha's Jewel" (teisho 32 of 44)
Sunday, July 4th: SAkN: Five Spheres of SAkN by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Exploring Spaces" (8 of 8)
Monday, July 5th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Washing the Hands in Water" (Dharma Talk 44)
Thursday, July 8th: "The Touchstone 7, Faster Than the Speed of Thoughts" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei
Saturday, July 10th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Changqing's Twenty Zafu" (teisho 32 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


Congratulations and deep gassho to Leonardo Nobrega on being accepted as a formal student by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei on June 12, 2021. Leonardo began practising as an associate student in May of 2015; as a general student in February of 2017; as a probationary formal student in November of 2018.



Painted Cakes
(do not satisfy hunger)

Begun by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-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.

Shõjõ no shu (J) The practice of realization.

Posted June 25th, 2021. New entries are posted every two weeks.


Japanese characters for "Tenzo"

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:
White and brown Thai jasmine rice; red Thai curry (coconut milk reduced, chopped red onion, poblano and long, hot red chilis, cubed deep-fried tofu, red curry paste, lime juice; Salad of Romaine, red and green leaf lettuce, radicchio, celery, radishes, thinly sliced red onion and pomegranate seeds; salad dressing made from coconut milk, lime juice, small amount of brown sugar, finely minced red onion. 

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Macaroni salad (cooked macaroni, chopped red onion, thinly sliced sauteed garlic scapes, capers, chopped celery, sliced radishes, thinly sliced scallions, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and mayonnaise); Roast pork marinated with chipotle adobo; kimchi gazpacho (monastery-made chopped baechu kimchi, diced red onion, minced garlic, tomato juice, red wine, lime juice, and lots of black pepper); Vegetarian option: Beyond Burger with the macaroni salad and gazpacho.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Korean short-grain rice with chopped scallions and sesame oil, garnished with roasted peanuts; Napa cabbage soup with slices of deep-fried tofu (miso, vegetable stock, minced garlic and ginger, chopped Napa cabbage, chopped white onion); salad of thinly sliced daikon, carrots, Napa cabbage and white onion with sriracha mayonnaise.


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 sensei:
Thank you to Ryoshin and Chantal Maheu for transcription; Thank you to Senbo for updating the practice calendar (on the home page of our Website). It can also be viewed here: https://wwzc.org/online-practice-calendar)

From Saigyo ino:
Thank you to the Roshi for the many striking sho (brushwork) that adorn the walls of the monastery.  Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for her excellent Dharma Talk series "The Touchstone" which students are listening to as part of their home practice each week and for a gift of a plant for my room. Thank you to Mishin godo for her care of the monastery roof garden and for finding a supplier of locally grown produce. Thank you to Fushin shramon for repairs to the walk-in refrigerator. Thank you to Leonardo Nobrega for overseeing the cleaning of the kitchen laundry and regular cleaning of the laundry room. Thank you to David Gallant for making sure the Japanese knot weed doesn't get a foothold again near the side entrance. Thank you to Tarik Kaya for creating a plan layout for the front garden to assist with an upcoming re-design of the front garden.

From Claude Schryer:
Thank you to Mishin godo for my practice interview and for repeating instructions. Your patience, insight and sense of humour are greatly appreciated.  Congratulations to Leonardo Nobrega on being accepted as a formal student by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei. Thank you Leonardo for everything you do for the Sangha. I look forward to the day when we can all sit together again at Dainen-ji.

From Alex Bourne:
Thank you to Mishin godo for helping me make a  change to my monthly dana and thank you to Saigyo ino for following up with me about samu on the monastery grounds.