Mirror Vol 24, No. 15 (2020-04-10)


Sakyamuni rupa on the Hatto Butsudan seen from three angles, Photograph bu Ven. Fushin comeau shramon
Sakyamuni rupa on the Hatto Butsudan seen from three angles,
Photograph bu Ven. Fushin comeau shramon

eMirror Vol 24, No. 15

Friday, April 10th, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

I believe that the Sandokai was one of the first texts, perhaps not the first, but perhaps the first, that Joshu roshi and I worked on translating. The first lines:

The mind of India's great sage
intimately flowed from west to east.

Whether wise or dull may be found
still in this Way there is no north or south.

So here old Stonehead calls Sakyamuni Buddha "India's great sage". This is an example of Shitou's use of Daoist terminology. "Great sage" is how we wound up translating “daisen”. The mind of India's great sage: Daisen no shin. "Sen" means a hermit, a solitary, and the Daoist implication is "an immortal": one who has gone into the mountains, has vanished into the mountains, and through working with qi, has transcended birth and death by forging an immortal body.

Shitou's use of the term “daisen” means that Sakyamuni Buddha has gone past all such strategies of transcendence that are based on unquestioned materialism, unquestioned assumptions about self and other, birth and death.

When Sakyamuni vanished into the mountains, he emerged as all beings. Now, Shitou himself spent 22 years on the rock at Nanyue, and himself then was a sennin, a hermit. In our lineage, from the time of Sakyamuni Buddha down to Sogaku Hakukaze and on, intensive practice beyond all social definitions, beyond all games of self and other, has been the fundamental style of our lineage. But this is not an isolation from anything. This is an emergence into vast Intimacy. If we believe that our practice occurs in isolation from all beings, then we do not understand who we are, who all beings are. Although many texts, many words, many mantra, many prayers, many chants were transmitted from India to China, there was a transmission that was less obvious. This transmission was mitsu: intimate, secret, hidden. It was secret, it was hidden, because we look for wisdom, we look for holiness, we look for transcendence, we look for salvation, in scriptures, in prayers, in doctrines. But the liberation that is our very nature is not something that is found in any doctrine. It is not that it hides from us – it is that we hide from it. We would rather read about it. We would rather talk about it. We would rather pray to it. We would rather experience it only when it's convenient, only when it won't interrupt our presumptions about who we are and what the world is.

-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 22nd, May 6th, May 20th.

The Roshi is currently in an extended period of "self-isolation" due to underlying health issues until the COVID-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

Sogaku-ki O-sesshin
The Sogaku-ki O-sesshin begins at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 15th and ends at noon on Friday, May 22nd. 

May 18th is the memorial for the death of Sogaku Myoshin Hakukaze daiosho, the 80th Lineage Ancestor and, it is said, the author of “Scattered Notes On The Daruma-kata”. Sogaku Hakukaze daisho lived during the Tokugawa era.  He received transmission from Manzan Dohaku daiosho and gave transmission to Anzan Daiko daiosho.

Fudo ennichi
May 26th is a day traditionally dedicated to Fudo Myo-o. Fuo Myo-o (J) Acala Vidyaraja (S) A manifestation of “Mahavairocana” or all pervading Awareness as a wrathful guardian figure; a symbol of boundless energy, determination and compassion. Used as a symbol of the Teacher’s mind in this Lineage. Fudo stands glaring and snarling like a demon; it holds the sword of insight in one hand and the cord of the Precepts in the other; it has chained itself to a rock in the midst of the raging flames of the deepest hell to work for the liberation of all beings there. 


Elizabeth Eve sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, April 4th at her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

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 11th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei: “When Putting on a Belt" (Dharma Talk 37)
Monday, April 13th: “The Four Great Vows” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei: “Dharma Gates" (Dharma Talk 3 of 4)
Thursday, April 16th: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Christmas Gift" (45 of 71)
Saturday, April 18th: "Birth and Death: The Works": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Zenki: Complete Activity” and “Shoji: Birth and Death”: "Jinzu and Komyo" (6 of 9)

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.


Onion looking like Bodhidharma's face

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:

Plague Salad
If you’re trying to cut down on the number of shopping trips you have to make, you may find you’re not eating much salad because lettuce just doesn’t stay crisp all that long. So we found a work-around that provides us with lovely crunchy salads made from ingredients that can last for weeks in the refrigerator. They’re made with four main ingredients:

Napa cabbage 
White, red, or Spanish onion.

We usually make at least twice as much as we’re going to use for a meal because it will keep for up to a week without losing colour or texture, providing you don’t add any dressing or salt to the portion you’re storing and that you store it in the refrigerator in a container with a lid.

Cut the Napa cabbage into quarters, lengthwise. Slice across the leaves into strips ¼ inch wide.
Cut the carrots and daikon into 8cm lengths and then slice those into ‘slivers’ of about 4mm in width - like very thin matchsticks. 
Cut the onion into very, very thin strips.
Mix it all together and you will have a salad that looks like this:

Napa Cabbage Salad.jpg

If you wish, you can add other ingredients, but if you want to be able to store a quantity of this so that you have ‘ready-made’ salad in the refrigerator, you need to be careful about adding ingredients that are going to wilt too quickly.

Wrap the unused portions of the vegetables in plastic wrap. Napa cabbage will keep for a long time refrigerated.

For simple dressings, just mix some sriracha with mayonnaise (or buy it already prepared). Or make up a white balsamic vinegar dressing (⅔ vinegar, ⅓ light oil such as grapeseed oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of garlic powder). Or mix some coconut milk with a little lime juice and a pinch of salt.

Hands in gassho, digital image

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 Endai shuso:
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for instruction in daisan, for editing the eMirror every week, and for weekly shopping trips to buy food and supplies for the monastery. Thank you to the Ino for driving her there and back. Thank you to Saigyo ino for overseeing samu at the monastery. Now that the weather is better we are able to work in the grounds and prepare them for the growing season. 

From Chiso anagarika:
Thank you to Roshi for years of long distance support for my practice, thank you to Dharma Teachers and Practice Advisors for their long distance training program during these times.
Covid-19 is big, but practice is bigger. To have the support to be able to connect to that is priceless.
From Isshin:
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for telephone daisan  and for securing  some grocery items I needed. Thank you to Mishin godo for adding new teisho to my Dropbox and for picking up much needed eye ointment from the pharmacy.

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.