eMirror Vol 25, No. 46 (2021-11-12)

The bija HAM (KAN) by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi
The bija HAM (KAN) by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi

eMirror Vol 25, No. 46

Friday, November 12th
Edited by the Practice Council

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

So what are my likes and dislikes? I like what helps me to fulfill the Four Great Vows and what helps to rouse them within you. I like what enlivens the senses and what helps you to be alive to their flowering. I dislike what emerges only from passion, aggression, or stupidity or what seems to tend to encourage contraction of attention. I like art that leads past itself. I like music that encourages exquisite attention and that lights up the vividness of hearing. I like a painting that presents something about the dynamics of the space of perception. I like an interesting configuration of what is traditionally called Sky, Ground, and Being.

Actually, these three principles are most often translated as Heaven, Earth, and Man. However I dislike these terms because of the various connotations that terms like “Heaven” carry because I feel that they are not helpful to you in this practice. Instead, I like the term “Sky” because it speaks more clearly of the open moment before a decision is made, before a word is spoken, before the hand moves and because the sky is an obvious example of the context for all forms or contents. I like the term “Earth” but prefer “Ground” because what the principle is speaking of is grounding the open possibility of Sky in the actual mechanics of making a decision, of speaking a word, of the hand moving. I don’t like the term “Man” in this context because what is spoken of is true for men and women, for cats and dogs, for what is present in a particular arrangement of ink and paper itself when it is actualized and comes alive. Sky, Ground, and Being speak not just of the process of making art but of how a particular work of art is a balance of these three aspects or is out of alignment with it.

Sky, Ground, and Being are ancient Chinese ways of speaking of these things. I do not particularly like them or dislike them because of that. I like them because they seem to be an effective way of speaking of something that is essential for you to understand right here and now. Our practice is to recognize contraction and open around it and then to recognize the possibility of opening further. So, I would like you to like what I like: the process of opening; and to dislike what I dislike: the tendency to contract and to gravitate towards suffering.

-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.

Upcoming Events

November 17th, December 1st.

November Two-day Sesshin
The November two-day sesshin began 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


Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, November 10th at her home in the Berkshires. Elizabeth Eve sat a one-day retreat on Wednesday, November 3rd at her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Thach Hoang sat a two-day retreat from Friday, November 5th to Sunday, November 7th at his home in Laval, Quebec. Tarik Kaya sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, November 6th at his home in Ottawa, Ontario. Brian Lakeman sat a half-day retreat on Sunday, November 7th at his home in Brampton, Ontario. Beth Buerkle sat a half-day retreat on Sunday, November 7th at her home Chamcook, New Brunswick.  

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, November 13th to Saturday, November 20th

Saturday, November 13th: "Drawn In, Moving Forth": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Bendowa: A Talk on Exerting the Way”: "Receive and Use" (7 of 28)
Monday, November 15th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Seeing Flowers In Bloom" (Dharma Talk 63)
Thursday, November 18th: " All Around, All at Once, part one" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei  
Saturday, November 20th: "Drawn In, Moving Forth": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Bendowa: A Talk on Exerting the Way”: "Waiting for a Swelling Tide" (8 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 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.

Recorded Teachings for Public Access

While most of the online Recorded Teachings library is password-protected and only accessible to students of the Lineage of Zen Master Anzan Hoshin, a small selection of MP3 recordings of teisho are accessible to the public at wwzc.org/recorded-teachings Additional recordings will be uploaded periodically. MP3 recordings of four recorded teisho by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi 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

Repairs to the Wolfville Zazenkai's Knowlan Mountain Zendo

This summer and autumn Rev. Zenki Hope-Simpson anagarika took time off work to do much needed maintenance and upgrades to the Wolfville Zazenkai Knowlan Mountain Zendo. The outside siding and trim are being repaired, and the outside of the building has now received 2 coats of paint. Planning for the long term, and inspired in part by the need to physically distance during the pandemic, a large outdoor practice deck is being built, suitable for doing kinhin and the Daruma Kata-aiki outdoors.

About 25 years ago, the then Shikai godo visited Wolfville and did a series of workshops in Nova Scotia. During that visit, a densho, made from cutting an acetylene tank in half, was installed outside the Zendo. That densho now hangs in the main stairway at Dainen-ji. The other half of the tank remained here at the Wolfville Zendo. To mark continuity and commemorate the one-year anniversary of Shikai sensei’s death, Jinen and Zenki anagarika made a new post for the densho this week, and it is being incorporated into the new deck. Updates and more pictures will follow.

Outdoor densho (hanging bell) in Wolfville, NS



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

Translations and Texts

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. Annotation details and successfully conveying them across various document formats are the issue at this point.

Work on Bussho: Buddha Nature, a very long and nuanced text by Dogen zenji, is ongoing.

Roshi is also finishing an update to the Saijo Shingi: The Deportment of Radiance, our manual of monastic training standards which is a supplement to the ancient Eihei Shingi and Keizan Shingi. 



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.

Shushõ (J) A novice monk placed in responsibility for the tone of practice in the Zendo during an ango. The stage of training leading to full ordination as a monk.

Posted November 12th, 2021. New entries are posted every two weeks.


Tenzo (Japanese characters)

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:
Toasted naan with butter; lentil-pea soup (brown and red lentils, split green and yellow peas, barley, sticky rice, cubed potato, chopped onions, celery and carrots, tomato paste, thyme, lots of black pepper, apple cider vinegar, served with grated cheddar cheese; salad of Romaine and leaf lettuce, radishes, finely sliced red onion, chopped tomatoes, grated daikon; dressing made from equal parts mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar with black pepper and a small amount of honey.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
“Spaghetti and meatballs” (spaghettini noodles; tsukune - finely chopped onion, egg yolks, grated ginger, katakuriko (potato starch), ground chicken; sauce made from shoyu, mirin, ginger, thickened with potato starch); Vegetarian option: ganmodoki (tofu balls); green cabbage coleslaw made with finely sliced carrots and daikon, dressed with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, black pepper and chopped jalapeno peppers, served with roasted peanuts.

Lundberg short-grain brown rice with butter and peas; roasted slices of cremini mushrooms with butter and chili sauce; cream of cauliflower soup (blended cooked cauliflower and onion, garlic, onion powder, Dijon mustard, thyme, lots of black pepper, apple cider vinegar, Parmesan cheese, small amount of cream; pickle of cubed Friulano cheese, sweet gherkins, black olives, with lemon zest.


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 Mishin godo:
Thank you to Daryl David for a large fresh-caught filet of arctic char and a lemon tart for residents.

From David Gallant:
Thank you to Roshi for presenting the SAkN teisho series. Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for invaluable regular instruction in dokusan. Thank you to Mishin godo and Saigyo ino for regularly leading kata during the morning sittings. Thank you to Saigyo ino for recent advice on purchasing a new vehicle.

From Claude Schryer:
I am thankful for all of the recorded teachings to which we have access, which are all the more precious when we are away from the Monastery. Thank you in particular to the Roshi for the 'Class One: "Flowering of the Senses" in the series "Zen Arts: The Flowering of the Senses" series that appear in the eMirror, which are of particular interest for me as an artist. Thanks also to Saigyo Ino for his support during our last practice interview. The question ‘is there anything else you would like to talk about’ is greatly appreciated. It allows me to ask any question and deepen our practice by listening attentively to the instructions.

From Ian Richard:
Thank you to the Roshi for excellent translations, keeping thorough and detailed footnotes, and mentioning terms in multiple languages in texts and teisho. Thank you to Saigyo ino for a helpful practice interview, for providing opportunities for outdoor samu practice, and for finding and returning my lost hat.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Sarah Goul for a donation.