Mirror Vol 24, No. 17 (2020-04-24)


Adoki Falls, digital painting by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi
Digital painting by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi

eMirror Vol 24, No. 17

Friday, April 24th, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

In the next lines, Shitou says:

The subtlest source is clear within the brightness;
branching streams flow through darkness.

Here, once more, Shitou adopts Daoist terminology in order to speak of the Dharma in a language native to his listeners. The Chinese ming 明, or in Japanese myo or mei, often would symbolise brightness or wisdom. But it could also mean the aspect of experience which presents itself as experiences. It could mean the relative, because it is that which is immediately available to view. And so he says, "The subtlest source is clear within what presents itself right here, right now." Now of course there is a problem with using a term like "source", because a source is something which is left behind. Nonetheless, Shitou is playing with the term and trying to tease out meanings. And so he opposes the first statement with what is actually a parallel or equivalent statement: "branching streams flow through darkness". Brightness speaks of the known: knowing presents itself as what is known. But knowing in itself is always dark, always unknowable, because it can never be made into an object of knowledge. But it is not blank, it is not static. Within the darkness, branching streams flow.

-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

Fusatsu:  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.

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. Fudo 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.


Thach Hoang sat a retreat from 6:00a.m. on Saturday, April 10th to 6:00p.m. on Sunday, April 11th at his home in Laval, Quebec. Tracey Parker sat a partial retreat in her home in Perth, Ontario, on Wednesday, April 22nd.

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 25th: "Birth and Death: The Works": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Zenki: Complete Activity” and “Shoji: Birth and Death”: "Thus This Thought Displays Itself" (7 of 9)
Monday, April 27th: “The Tiny Book of Stopping and Looking” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Samatha” (Dharma Talk 1 of 3)
Thursday, April 30th: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Surrender" (47 of 71)
Saturday, May 2nd: "Birth and Death: The Works": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's “Zenki: Complete Activity” and “Shoji: Birth and Death”: "Not Over or After or Under or Inner" (8 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.

Shinnen (J) “Truly human” or “true person”.

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


Dainen-ji meal, fried rice

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.

Biryani-style Indian Fried Rice
Jinmyo Renge osho


I didn’t consider myself to be a proficient cook until I learned how to use less than ‘choice’ ingredients, including leftovers, in keeping with this passage from the  “Tenzo kyokun: Instructions for the Tenzo by Eihei Dogen zenji” (translated by Anzan Hoshin roshi and Yasuda Joshu Dainen roshi). 

“In preparing food never view it from the perspective of usual mind or on the basis of feeling-tones. Taking up a blade of grass erect magnificent monasteries, (Hoo-setsu; Buddha-ksetra. This term could be used for the Field of Awakening of a Buddha or the temple of a Buddha),  turn the Wheel of Reality within a grain of dust. If you only have wild grasses with which to make a broth, do not disdain them. If you have ingredients for a creamy soup do not be delighted. Where there is no attachment, there can be no aversion. Do not be careless with poor ingredients and do not depend on fine ingredients to do your work for you but work with everything with the same sincerity. If you do not do so then it is like changing your behaviour according to the status of the person you meet; this is not how a student of the Way is”.

The rice dish, photographed above, is an Indian-style fried rice and complete protein that I put together from leftover brown rice with butter and peas, leftover white rice with daikon topping made with hot sauce, some wilted bell peppers, a tin of green lentils, a rubbery carrot, some ageing onions, and a few other ingredients. And there are never any leftovers from these leftovers because everybody really likes fried rice. You can prepare rice for this or start with leftover rice. Any kind of rice is fine, but it shouldn’t be too wet or ‘claggy’. 

Ingredients (new or leftover, wilted or pristine)
Chop lots of onion into spoon-sized pieces
Cube a couple of potatoes.
Dice a carrot.
Mince some ginger and garlic (not a lot - maybe ½ teaspoon of each).
If you have other vegetables to use up, go ahead - chop them up into spoon-sized pieces.
A tin of lentils or a tin of chickpeas (whatever you have on hand).
You will also need:
Curry powder (you could make it yourself or use store-bought. It really doesn’t matter for this dish).
Garam masala.  
Butter (or a butter substitute).
A light oil such as bran oil or canola.

Start by melting some butter in a wok or large frying pan. Add a bit of oil to the butter to stop it from burning.
Sautee the potatoes and carrots with a little salt until about half-cooked and then add the chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Continue cooking until the mixture is cooked through and golden brown. 
Turn the heat down.
Add a teaspoon of curry powder.
Add a teaspoon of garam masala.
You may need to add more butter or oil to stop the spices from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
When the spices cook enough that you can smell them very clearly, add the rice.
Drain and add the lentils or chickpeas.
Add chopped red bell pepper and continue to cook for two or three minutes.
Add raisins, stir well.

Now taste it. Does it taste good? Yes? Okay, leave it alone.
Does it need more salt? More butter? Add a little at a time, mix and taste. 
Does it need more spicing? Add curry powder and/or garam masala until it tastes good to you. 
Now go away and do the dishes. Come back and taste it again. Add more salt or spices as needed and serve.
You could serve this as a one-bowl meal. Or pair it with a soup or salad. Fresh coriander makes a nice garnish.


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 Jinmyo osho:
Thank you to Endai shuso for sewing fabric face masks for residents; to Senbo for restructuring the “Dharma Texts and Translations” page and lists of Dharma Talks on the White Wind Zen Community Website to make it easier to find pages. 

From Endai shuso
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for instruction on forms in the Hatto, on kata, and on the use of practice instruments, and thank you also for reorganizing the kitchen. Thank you to Jinmyo osho and Saigyo ino for increasing the monastery’s capacity for growing vegetables. Thank you to Mishin godo for delicious suppers for residents on Sunday nights. Thank you to Fushin shramon for additional samu on Monday and Thursday nights and Saturday mornings to keep the monastery clean, and for feeding the birds and other animals that cross the grounds.

From Fushin shramon: 
Thank you to Jinmyo osho for food shopping trips with considerably more logistical consideration than usual, for amazing ways and places to grow food and for extra meals prepared for residents during the week. Thank you to both Mishin godo and Saigyo ino for leading kata every day. Thank you to Endai shuso for cheerful samu and freely offering help.
From David Gallant:
Thank you to Roshi for the vast library of teisho he has presented over 30+ years and made available to students all around the world.  Thank you to Shikai sensei and Jinmyo osho for presenting many Dharma Talks. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for much instruction in daisan each week, for regularly 'holding up the mirror' in daisan, and for showing me how to keep my practice strong during the pandemic.  Thank you to Mishin godo for her work as treasurer.  Thank you to Saigyo ino for leading care-taking efforts at Dainen-ji and for arranging to have my spin bike transported up to my room in the monastery on this coming Saturday.  Thank you to Endai shuso and Fushin shramon for being excellent exemplars of practice at Dainen-ji.
From Gillian Higenbottam:
Thank you to the Roshi for the clear and meaningful translations he has done over the years and is still doing now. There are so many texts that would otherwise be unavailable to students, and even the well known ones are fresh and new. And also for continuing to pick up ones that were put down. Thank you to the Office of Tenzo for providing wonderful recipes each week. It is such a great time to be in the kitchen and not outside receiving or giving illness. I enjoyed the congee very much, and am planning the masoor dal next. Thank you to Chunen Angya for practice advice regardless of where I am located. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for the weekly e-Mirror, which is especially appreciated when students are unable to show up in person.

From Claude Schryer
Thank you to Saigyo ino and Mishin godo for my recent telephone practice interviews. I’ve enjoyed keeping a practice journal and appreciated receiving instruction in my practice. Thanks also to the Roshi for the “No Consolation” Dharma text, which was useful to read during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Mishin godo, Isshin, and Kathleen Johnson for donations. Thank you to Matt Broda and Michael Nisch for donations 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.