Mirror Vol 24, No. 14 (2020-04-03)


Shi Gu Sei Gan literal translation
Shi Gu Sei Gan literal translation

eMirror Vol 24, No. 14

Friday, April 3rd, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

First perhaps, a little about the translation itself. The Sandokai is a text that is chanted regularly in almost all Soto Zen monasteries and temples. When I first began to study with Joshu Dainen zenji at Hakukaze-ji, all of the chants were done in Japanese. Very soon after I began practice there, I asked Joshu roshi, "What does this mean? – Shi Gu Sei Gan, and Shu Jo Mu Hen Sei Gan Do." And he said, "SHUT UP! ASSHOLE! I ASK THE QUESTIONS. WHO ARE YOU?" Fair enough.

So, a little while later I asked again, what Shi Gu Sei Gan meant, what Shu Jo Mu Hen Sei Gan Do meant. And he said, "It means 'Four times LOUD VOICE: Big talk, like you're important and not an asshole. First line means, 'KILL EVERYBODY!' Second line: 'You want something: CRUSH IT!' Third line: 'STUDY EVERYTHING! PRACTISE EVERYTHING! DO EVERYTHING!' Fourth line: 'ALWAYS BUDDHA. BUDDHA EVERYWHERE. LOTS OF BUDDHA, BUT NOT YOU.'

And then a few days later in dokusan, he asked, "What does Shu Jo Mu Hen Sei Gan Do mean?" And I said, "Kill everybody!" And he said, "No! EVERYBODY KILLS YOU! Second line: You want something - IT CRUSHES YOU! Third line: You don't do ANYTHING, you don't know ANYTHING – ANYTHING, EVERYTHING, YOU DON'T KNOW! Fourth line: ALWAYS BUDDHA, LOTS OF BUDDHA, BUT NOT YOU! And then we went on from there.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing teisho 2: "We Each Are Each Other" Saturday, July 20th, 1996 in the teisho series "Studying the Mystery", Commentaries on Shitou Xiqian's "Sandokai".

Upcoming Events

April 8th and 22nd.

The Roshi is currently in an extended period of "self-isolation" due to underlying health issues until the Corvid-19 situation clarifies.

Hanamatsuri Two-day Sesshin
The Hanamatsuri (Festival of Flowers) two-day sesshin begins on Friday, April 10th at 8:00 p.m., and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 12th. 

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


Beth Beurkle sat a one-day retreat on Thursday, April 2nd at her home in 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. 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”. 

Listening to Teisho

​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 Schedule

Saturday, April 4th: "Birth and Death: The Works": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Zenki: Complete Activity” and “Shoji: Birth and Death”: "The Total Mess" (5 of 9)
Sunday, April 5th: “SAkN: The Anatomy of Awakening" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi "Tasting, Smelling and Seeing Light" (5 of 9)
Monday, April 6th: “The Four Great Vows” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Endless Obsessions” (Dharma Talk 2 of 4)
Thursday, April 9th: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Thoughts” (44 of 71)
Saturday, April 11th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei: “When Putting on a Belt" (Dharma Talk 37)

Online Access to Recorded Teachings

Students can access the password-protected online Recorded Teachings library on the WWZC website at https://wwzc.org/recorded-teachings or through the streaming site at http://app.wwzc.org. The custom-built media streaming site allows students to live stream recordings from the WWZC Recorded Teachings collection. It is optimized for use on smartphones and tablets, and works with most modern browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It can also be used on desktops.

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)

by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei

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.

Shinjin gakudo (J) “Studying the Way with the whole bodymind.” Completely beyond reference point. One of Dogen’s most important phrases. Refer to The Way of the Bodymind and other sources.

Questions can be sent to me, Shikai sensei, at shikai.sensei@gmail.com.


Japanese pot on coals with monk feeding the fire with kindlings, digital painting?

Office of the Tenzo

We will discontinue the list of meals prepared prior to evening sittings and instead post recipes or information about food that we hope you will find useful during this period of social distancing.

For this week:

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup (makes 6 servings)
7 cups vegetable broth (you could just use water if you don’t have vegetable broth)
2 cups dried green split peas washed several times in cold water and then strained.
3 tablespoons of pearled barley
1 medium onion cut into spoon-sized pieces
2 medium potatoes diced.
⅔  cup diced carrots
2 celery ribs with leaves, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced finely.
½ teaspoon of thyme
¼  teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon of red wine vinegar
2 green onions, sliced thinly for garnish
The night before you want to make this soup, combine and wash the split peas and barley and then tip them into a pot with a heavy bottom. Add the vegetable broth or water. Add a pinch of salt. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn it off, put the lid on it, and let it sit overnight. 
The next day, bring the peas and barley to a boil again and then turn the heat down to medium. Add the chopped potatoes, diced carrots, chopped onion, celery and garlic and let it cook until the potatoes are cooked through. Stir frequently and add more water if you think it’s too thick. It needs to be stirred a LOT or it will stick to the bottom of the pot.
Add the thyme, ground cumin, salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar. 
Taste and add more salt if you think it needs it. 
When you serve it, add chopped scallions for garnish. 
Serve with bread and butter, and a salad and you have a very nutritious meal which is also a complete protein. Freezes very well. For those who can eat dairy - this soup is very good with some grated cheddar on top. Leftover soup will thicken with refrigeration, so you will need to add more water when reheating.

Monks 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 Jinmyo osho:
Thank you to my daughter, Elizabeth Katz for picking up supplies for the monastery. Thank you to the Sensei for her skillful mending of the lining of my winter coat, the hole in a sweater and for shaving the ‘pills’ off of a shawl that I share with one of the monastery cats. Thank you to Mishin godo for taking care of reimbursements to Elizabeth. Thank you to Mishin godo, Saigyo ino, Endai shuso, and Fushin shramon for the extra cleaning and sanitizing they have been doing twice a day throughout the monastery (as well as the mailbox, hand railing and gate latch for the mailman).

From Mishin godo:
​Thank you to Jinmyo osho for making Korean green onion and kimchi pancakes and other excellent meals for residents this week. ​Thank you to Saigyo ino for receiving all mail deliveries and organizing their 3-day "quarantine" before they're distributed to residents, so that envelopes and packages don't have to be wiped down. Thank you to Senbo and Ryoshin for posting the transcript of Shikai sensei's Dharma Talk "Zen is Not Kidding" on the WWZC website. Thank you to Elizabeth Katz for picking up groceries for the monastery.

From Endai shuso
Thank you to the Roshi for presenting teisho for over thirty years which now make up the immense library of recordings that students can listen to and learn from via the media site. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for her text, “Arranging Space”. Thank you Mishin godo for managing the monastery’s finances in these difficult times. Thank you to Saigyo ino for developing more areas in which to grow vegetables at Dainen-ji. 

From Julien Jefferson:
Thank you to the Roshi for his translation, "Mountains and Rivers", of "San Sui Kyo" by Dogen zenji. Thank you to Shikai sensei for her series of Dharma Talks "Dongshan's Hot and Cold". Thank you to Jinymo Renge osho for explaining "Teacher" and "Sangha". Thank you to Mishin godo for a telephone practice interview.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Endai shuso for a donation to defray the costs of increasing food prices. Thank you to Matt Broda for a donation to the Hojo Renovation Fund.

Ongoing Project:
"All is Change"

Dainen-ji, being a 140-year-old building, is continuously in need of maintenance and the costs associated with this can be astronomical when such things as porch repairs or exterior painting are needed. This is something that we cannot afford to do, yet must do and so the "All is Change" project has been created. The "All is Change" project is very simple. Most of us have a bowl or a jar or some other kind of container that we keep somewhere at home and fill up with loose change because it's too heavy to carry around. Several hundred dollars has been collected so far both in loose change and Canadian tire money which has been put towards the building maintenance fund. If anyone would like to contribute to this fund, each penny will be appreciated. The “All is Change” container is on the wooden wall shelf under the Sangha Board in the cloak room.