Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi demonstrating "Mu",
eMirror Vol 25, No. 42
Friday, October 15th, 2021
Edited by the Practice Council
The White Wind Zen Community:
An international community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985.
Perhaps we are involved in the arts. We are, or “I” am, an artist. Perhaps we even make money by performing or teaching music or painting or dance. Perhaps we might resent the way that Zen practice is making us enjoy hearing the sound of the wind rustling through branches or the rattle of the refrigerator or the richness and variety of hues that can be seen as the light plays on a blank white wall as much as our music or painting. Perhaps we are confused because what we have been doing in our art is creating choreography or sculptures or writing stories that are just elaborations of the very thoughts and feeling-tones that we wake up from in zazen. Perhaps we fear losing our art and our income if we wake up too much. Perhaps we oppose art and Zen practice against each other. Or perhaps we want to do Zen music the same way that music about an “achey breaky heart” has been done.
Or perhaps we only listen to music but on the radio when we’re driving home from work or whatever is on in the background at the bar or the shopping mall. We don’t go to the theatre, and we think modern dance is a perversion of true dance which is maybe ballet but… we don’t go to the ballet either. We read but only novels by Stephen King or those with women in torn bodices swooning in a dark-eyed stranger’s arms. We cook but yogurt is exotic to us and we refuse to recognize something as a mushroom unless it comes out of a tin. We might wear perfume or aftershave but think incense is vaguely associated with Fu Manchu movies or graven idols. In other words, we aren’t interested in that fartsy government funded arts stuff. So how can we really practice? And aren’t the Zen arts just that weird signage around the monastery in Japanese? In any case, we can’t see the connection between Zen and art. After all, isn’t there that old Zen saying, “painted cakes do not satisfy hunger?”
The Zen arts are not necessarily Japanese or Asian, are not about concretizing and squeezing out our dense states of anxiety or lust onto a canvas and forcing others to put up with them, and are not even about having someone else appreciate or even know that we practise them. The Zen arts are really about how we hold a cup or a leaf. They are about exploring and expressing intimacy. An enso or circle drawn by a brush with ink on paper is about the meeting of breath, brush, movement, ink, paper, the stroke and the space around the stroke. It is about the sphere of interactions. It is not about painting over the realities of hunger and bones and meat and breath and life and death with protests or prettying it up.
-Ven Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing Class One: "Flowering of the Senses" in the series "Zen Arts: The Flowering of the Senses", October 1999 Daruma-ki O-sesshin, Dainen-ji.
October 20th and November 3rd.
November Two-day Sesshin
The November two-day sesshin will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 12th and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 14th.
November 18th is the Memorial for the death of Anzan Daiko zenji.
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
Samu Weekend Report
by Ven. Saigyo ino
Over the weekend of Saturday, September 25th and Sunday, September 26th we held a Samu Weekend to continue with the project in the grounds to build rock gardens to replace the water garden. Although we had to keep the numbers of participants quite low during the on-going pandemic, a tremendous amount of work was done to move rock, build new pathways and add soil and mulch to the newly built beds. Thank you to the Roshi and Jinmyo sensei for all of their design input to the layout of the grounds and to the Sensei for making the lovely midday meals enjoyed by those students who stayed for the full days of work. Thank you to the following students for offering samu over the two days: Mishin godo, Fushin shramon, Ryoshin, Leonardo Nobrega, David Gallant, Chantal Maheu, Tarik Kaya, Carol Hodgson, George Donovan, Sarah Goul, Jesse Steinburg, Loic-Alexandre Ouellette, Kathleen Johnson, Shannon Morphew, Matt Broda, Marc Valade, Sam MacFarlane and Jean-Francois St-Louis.
Request for assistance with landscaping in the front garden
A large project to landscape the front gardens is underway at Dainen-ji after the water gardens were removed due to damage and the amount of yearly upkeep required to keep it functional. Much work has already been done but there is still a great deal to do, so if any students can offer time to assist with this project please write to Saigyo ino at email@example.com. Thank you.
Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, October 12th at her home in the Berkshires. Claude Schryer sat a two day retreat on Wednesday, September 29th and Thursday, September 30th at his home in Duhamel, Québec. Thach Hoang sat a one and a half-day retreat from Friday, October 8th to Saturday, October 9th at his home in Laval, Quebec. Brian Lakeman sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, October 9th and a half-day retreat on Monday, October 11th at his home in Brampton, Ontario. Tarik Kaya sat a half-day retreat on Saturday, October 9th 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.
Recorded Teachings Schedule
Saturday, October 16th to Saturday, October 23rd
Saturday, October 16th: "Drawn In, Moving Forth": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Bendowa: A Talk on Exerting the Way”: "Reading of Bendowa part three" (3 of 28)
Sunday, October 17th: "SAkN “Root Cycle One” by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: “Activity” (teisho 3 of 6)
Monday, October 18th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: "Seeing a Grove" (Dharma Talk 59)
Thursday, October 21st: "The Touchstone 21, Mahavairocana (part 2)" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei
Saturday, October 23rd: "Drawn In, Moving Forth": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Bendowa: A Talk on Exerting the Way”: "Reading of Bendowa, conclusion" (4 of 28)
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 firstname.lastname@example.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
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.
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
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
(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.
Shura (J) The lock of hair cut from an ordainee by the Abbot during monastic ordination.
Posted October 14th, 2021. New entries are posted every two weeks.
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.
Cavatappi pasta with a garlic/butter sauce (minced garlic, butter, lime juice, Parmesan cheese); ‘greens & beans’ (roasted halved brussel sprouts seasoned with red balsamic vinegar mixed with sauteed strips of white onion, poblano and red bell peppers, with red kidney beans; cubed Friulano cheese with gherkins.
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) and hondashi (not included in vegetarian version). The pancake is cooked on one side with a layer of bacon on the bottom; Vegetarian version did not contain bacon; toppings were okonomiyaki sauce, Kewpie mayonnaise, chopped nori and optional bonito flakes; miso shiru broth with mushrooms (reconstituted shitake mushrooms, shoyu, ginger, miso); baechu kimchi.
Lundberg Farms short-grain brown rice with roasted peanuts; vegetable/tofu dish (deep-fried tofu triangles, chopped Spanish onion, poblano and shishito peppers, sliced cremini mushrooms, vegetarian oyster sauce, minced garlic, ginger, shoyu, mirin, Chinese chili oil); baechu kimchi.
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 Mishin godo for assistance with giving Shindo (monastery cat) medications. Thank you to Saigyo ino for driving me to the vet with Shindo for her dental surgery and for assisting in giving her medications. Thank you to Senbo for making requested changes to our Website; for laying out a sign for the side entrance to the monastery and for a cat toy for Kiden the kitten and Shindo.
From Fushin shramon:
Thank you to Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi for the Daruma-ki O-Sesshin. Thank you to Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei for leading all of the o-sesshin sittings and for dokusan. Thank you to Ven. Mishin godo for three excellent meals every day throughout the o-sesshin."
From David Gallant:
Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for regular dokusan. Thank you to Mishin godo for preparing the many meals served during the recent O-sesshin.