eMirror Vol 21, No. 49 (2017-12-08)


Photograph by Ven. Fushin Comeau shramon

eMirror Vol 21, No. 49

Friday, December 8th, 2017
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Quotes from teisho are run sequentially in the eMirror

Old Stonehead says:

The four elements return to their own nature 
like a child to its mother.
Fire is hot, wind moves, water is wet, earth hard, 
eye sees, ear hears, nose smells, tongue tastes 
salt and sour.

In Japanese, this is:

Shidai no shō onozukara fukusu,
kono sono haha o uru ga gotoshi.
Hi wa nesshi, kaze wa dōyō,
mizu wa uruoi, chi wa kengo,
Manako wa iro, mimi wa onjō,
hana wa ka, shita wa kanso.

So, shidai means four great, and is a reference to the four mahabhutas, the four elements. In the Abhidhamma, the mahabhutas are a way of speaking of how what appears to be solid is an interaction of activities that have different qualities to them.
     For example, fire is hot but fire ripens and matures: hi wa nesshi. Wind moves, is the quality of vibration: kaze wa dōyō. Water is wet but water also coheres, it is a quality of integrity, of something maintaining itself through the process of developing and moving: mizu wa uruoi. And earth is hard, the quality of surface: chi wa kengo. So these are the shidai, which of course we have studied in the context of the Maharahulavada Sutta and so we know these well, and we know that when we feel the step, feel the fingertips, and open to how this moment comes from nowhere and goes nowhere, but shines forth vividly and brilliantly, the shidai can give us a way of articulating some of the nuances, some of the details, of what opens for us. Shidai no shō: so, "four great", no is "of" and shō is "nature". Onozukara means "naturally" or "spontaneously". Fukusu to "resume". Kono is "child", haha is "mother", uru means "to obtain", and also "home", "to come home". And gotoshi means "like" or "as".
     So that these first two lines would actually read something like, "Four great of nature naturally to resume; child mother home like as." Now you'll notice that in our translation we simply say "the four elements return to their own nature". There's something missing: the onozukara, which means "naturally" or "spontaneously". When Joshu roshi and I were working on these lines I of course wanted to translate it as something like, "The four elements are spontaneously resolved into reality." And Roshi said, "NO! People are CRAZY! You can't say that. You can't say 'spontaneously'. You can't say 'naturally'. It's not that simple. It's not that easy. It's SO easy that it is difficult, and crazy people want trouble. So DON'T say 'naturally', don't say 'spontaneously', or they don't know what to do. So he would just say, "HOSSU! Try! Try! Exert yourself! HOSSU!"

-Continuing teisho 3: "Waking Up is Not a Matter of 'Up'," August 24th, 1996 in "Studying the Mystery," Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Shitou Xiqian's "Sandōkai"

Upcoming Events


Fusatsu: December 20th.

Jodo-e: December 8th

December 12th is the anniversary of the day on which the Roshi’s Teacher, Ven. Yasuda Joshu Dainen roshi died.

The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage on Monday, December 11th, which will end at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 15th, when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana.

Introduction to Zen Workshop
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place at Dainen-ji on Saturday, December 9th. For more information please see: https://www.wwzc.org/content/introduction-zen-workshop-ottawa
For information concerning our Long-distance Training Program, please visit this Web Page: https://www.wwzc.org/long-distance-training-program

Joya (New Year’s Celebration)
On Sunday, December 31st at 10 p.m. until Monday, January 1st at 12:00 a.m., we will celebrate Joya or New Year's. Join Zen Master Anzan Hoshin and Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei  and Ven. Jinmyo osho and the monastics of the Northern Mountain Order in ringing in the New Year with 108 recitations of the Mahaprajnaparamita Hridaya sutra mantra. Following the sitting there will be an array of shojin-ryori (Zen vegetarian cuisine) dishes for an informal feast. All students are welcome to attend. There is no better way to begin the year. Dana is $25. Please register by sending an email to schedule at WWZC dot org, or telephone the Zen Centre office (613) 562-1568.


Beth Buerkle sat a one-day retreat on Tuesday, November 28th, at her home in Chamcook, New Brunswick.  

To Schedule a Retreat

Please visit this Web page for information about scheduling a retreat and an explanation of the different kinds of retreat (duration and timing) you can sit: https://wwzc.org/retreats. Please note that retreats should be scheduled one week in advance.

Public students sitting retreats should send an email to schedule@wwzc.org to confirm they sat a retreat so that notice of it can be included in the eMirror. Please include the location of the retreat and the duration.


Recent Teisho

During the December 2017 Rohatsu O-sesshin, Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi continued his presentation of the series "The Lineage of Luminosity: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Keizan Jokin zenji's “Denkoroku: Record of the Transmission of Luminosity”: Part Two: The Lineage in China:

  • December 4th: Zhenxie's Cleverness Vanished
  • December 5th: Zhenxie Qingliao's Turning Phrases
  • December 6th: Reading of Case 49: Tiantong Zongjue
  • December 7th: Tiantong Zongjue and Expressing It

Recorded Teachings Schedule

  • Saturday, December 9th general sitting: “The Primordially Awakened Way”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's "Kobutsu-shin": Reading of the text (1 of 8)
  • Sunday, December 10th formal sitting: SAkN “Root Cycle One” by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: “Knowing” (teisho 4 of 6)
  • Monday, December 11th general sitting: “Bodhidharma’s Eyes” by Ven. Anzan Hoshin: “Mr. Daruma” (2 of 13)
  • Thursday, December 14th associate sitting: “Sitting Up Straight”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Keizan Jokin zenji's "Zazen Yojinki": “Incomparable” (15 of 18)
  • Saturday, December 16th general sitting: “The Primordially Awakened Way”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's "Kobutsu-shin": “Buddhas Loose in the World” (2 of 8)

Missed Sittings and Teisho

If associate students are unable to attend the Thursday evening associate sitting, they may attend one of the general sittings to make up for the sitting they missed. General sittings are held on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. (first Bell is at 7:15) and Saturday mornings at 9:30 a.m. (first Bell at 9:15 a.m.). Please send an email to request permission to attend one of these sittings.        

Teisho presented at general and associate sittings which are part of a series need to be listened to in the correct order and with none missed out. If you miss a sitting please borrow a copy of the missed teisho from the library or download it from the WWZC Media Site as soon as possible, so that the continuity of what is being presented is not disrupted. The weekly list of recorded teisho played at sittings is posted on the web site at:


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.

WWZC Website

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:

New Stock of Incense in Myomaku

A new shipment of incense has arrived in Myomaku (in the first floor library at Dainen-ji) with a variety of Shoyeido products available for purchase, to use in your practice space or as gifts. The selection includes an assortment of incense for daily use, several smokeless varieties, and premium incense. There are also incense gift sets, and small cloth and brocade sachets (containing powdered incense) that can be used to freshen closets. All proceeds support White Wind Zen Community.


Samu on Sundays

Each Sunday afternoon (except during O-sesshin and Sesshin), Caretaking Council (Saigyo tando, Fushin shramon and Endai shramon) do samu from 1:30p.m to 4:30p.m. on the various small projects required around the monastery.  There are always a great many tasks that need to be done and so any students are welcome and encouraged to come to Dainen-ji to join the monastics in caretaking practice. If you would like to partake in the samu practice on Sundays please write to Saigyo tando at saigyo.cross@gmail.com.

Prison fence

Zazen in Prison

by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei

"Traps and cages spring open." - Eihei Dogen zenji, Fukanzazengi

Wednesday, November 29th was the last visit to Bath Institution for 2017. As Peter McRae and I pulled out of the monastery drive-way at 8:30 a.m. the day was already beginning to fall into the “gorgeous” category; magnificent cloud scapes from dark purple to brilliant white against a blue and sun filled sky. Five practitioners were waiting for us in the spiritual centre. A catch-up-discussion and quick instruction on how to practice for Nick, the president of an inmate and administration liaison committee, who was joining the group. We chanted the Three Jewels and the Ten Proclamations and without hesitation the practitioners took their seats and the round began. The group had begun to listen to my “Every Breath You Take” Dharma talk series. Time was such I was able to have daisan with three of the practitioners. Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 is the next scheduled visit.


Painted Cakes
(do not satisfy hunger)

by Shikai Zuiko sensei

Continuing on with “Painted Cakes: A Zen Dictionary” a limited edition text written by Anzan Hoshin roshi in 1994.

Nyoi (J);   The teacher’s symbolizing transmission. Sometime quite ornately shaped and carved, sometimes just a wizened old branch.

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

Dining Hall at Dainen-ji

Office of the Tenzo

Meals Prepared During the Week of O-sesshin


Breakfast: Lo mein noodles, strips of poblano, orange and red bell peppers, Spanish onion, roasted scallions, shoyu, roasted chili paste; scrambled eggs.
Lunch: Calrose short-grain white rice with gomashio; miso shiru with baby bok choy, reconstituted Chinese mushrooms and silken tofu; orange beets pickled in rice vinegar with kombu, and gari (pickled ginger).
Supper: Thai white and brown long-grain rice, Basmati brown and white rice; dai gai choy soup (chopped dai gai choy stems and leaves, celery, Spanish onion, mung bean sprouts, puffed deep-fried tofu, Shaoxing, shoyu, ginger); chunks of pineapple tossed with lime juice and chili flakes. 


Breakfast: Fried rice (Thai white and brown rice, basmati white and brown rice, chopped Spanish onion, red bell pepper and orange bell pepper, minced garlic and ginger, scrambled egg, hoisin sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, shoyu, white pepper. 
Lunch: Thai white and brown rice topped with cubes of daikon braised in chili sauce; spicy seaweed soup (wakame, slivered ginger, shoyu, bonito, sesame oil, roasted chili paste, silken tofu; Kkakdugi kimchi.
Supper: Cavatappi pasta in a butter-garlic sauce with baby peas; sauteed strips of Spanish onion and red bell peppers with gai lan stems and leaves, seasoned with balsamic vinegar; olives and artichoke hearts. 


Breakfast: Congee with sesame oil, scallions, ginger, peanuts.
Lunch: Calrose short-grain white rice, arborio rice, pearled barley garnished with gomashio; miso shiru with baby bok choy, sliced reconstituted shitake mushrooms and silken tofu; takuan and ginger.
Supper: Thai white and brown rice seasoned with sesame oil, tossed with sauteed sliced sweet potato and chopped scallions; bulgogi tofu (deep-fried tofu triangles, poblano and red bell peppers, mustard greens, Spanish onions, thinly sliced carrots and daikon, bulgogi barbeque sauce and shoyu; pickle of fermented strips of daikon and carrot mixed with steamed beansprouts and scallions, seasoned with lime juice and mirin and garnished with toasted sesame seeds.


Breakfast: Lo mein noodles, strips of poblano, orange and red bell peppers, Spanish onion, roasted scallions, shoyu, roasted chili paste; scrambled eggs.
Lunch: Fried rice (several kinds of leftover rice, mixed with Thai white and brown rice seasoned with sesame oil, tossed with sauteed sliced sweet potato and chopped scallions); spicy seaweed soup (wakame, shoyu, roasted chili paste, sesame oil, ginger, silken tofu); kkakdugi and baechu kimchi.
Supper: Roasted Yukon gold potatoes; mushroom soup with puffed deep fried tofu (cremini, oyster and porcini mushrooms, shoyu, thyme, lots of black pepper, garlic, chopped onion); fruilano cheese with sweet gherkins.


Breakfast: Fried rice with peanuts.
Lunch: Calrose and arborio rice garnished with gomashio; miso shiru with baby bok choy, reconstituted shitake mushrooms and silken tofu; takuan and ginger. 
Supper: Biryani (basmati white rice cooked with turmeric, mixed with sauteed chopped onion, cubed Yukon gold potatoes, carrots, sultanas, butter, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, crushed chillies, nutmeg, mace); curried butternut squash soup (blended cooked Spanish onion and butternut squash, ginger, mustard, cardamom, cayenne and cumin); daikon and carrot slaw (mayonnaise, finely chopped lime pickle, sunflower seeds).


Breakfast: Leftover biryani with added sauteed mushrooms and peppers; scrambled egg.
Lunch: Thai white rice garnished with cubed daikon braised in chili sauce; spicy seaweed soup (wakame, shoyu, roasted chili paste, sesame oil, ginger, silken tofu); kkakdugi and baechu kimchi.
Supper: White and brown Thai rice cooked with coconut milk and garnished with chopped scallions; tamarind curry (chopped green and red bell peppers, chopped Spanish onion, cubed, sliced green beans, cubed Yukon gold potatoes, butternut squash, cubed deep-fried tofu, red onion, galangal, tamarind, chili, salt, turmeric); Asian pear with lime juice and chili flakes. 

Pickles Made:

15 lbs baechu kimchi
10 lbs kkakdugi kimchi

Shikai sensei’s baking:

Oatcakes; pecan bars; black sesame lace bites; Endurance crackers; apple crisp with whipped cream; feta biscuits.

Gassho (bowing monk)

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 Senbo for assisting with food preparation during O-sesshin and for IT work done during the week. 

From Mishin ino:

Thank you to the Roshi for the Rohatsu O-sesshin, and for presenting four teisho during the O-sesshin, despite being unwell, that introduced us more deeply to Lineage Ancestors Zhenxi Qingliao and to Tiantong Zongjue. Thank you to Shikai sensei for baking great refreshments, including oatcakes, endurance crackers, and a delicious apple crisp. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading many of the sittings during the O-sesshin, for wonderful meals three times a day for practitioners during the seven days of the O-sesshin, and for instruction. Thank you to Saigyo tando for looking after arrangements for monks and deshi staying over at Dainen-ji during the O-sesshin. Thank you to Fushin shramon for preparing candles for the Hatto and Zendo Butsudan, and the various incense stations used during Jodo-e. Thank you to Endai shramon for regular supply trips to make sure we are always well stocked for cleaning products, paper towels, and toilet paper. Thank you to Senbo for working on a new mobile-friendly template for the eMirror. 

From Endai shramon:

Thank you to the Roshi for presenting excellent teisho in the ongoing series "The Lineage of Luminosity Part Two: The Lineage in China", this time on our Lineage Ancestors Zhenxie Qingliao and Tiantong Zongjue. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for daisan, for instruction in various forms, and for preparing three oryoki meals each day of Rohatsu O-sesshin. Thank you also to the Osho for taking on many additional responsibilities during O-sesshin. Thank you to Mishin ino and Saigyo tando for leading oryoki practice each day, and to Fushin shramon and Senbo for helping as oryoki servers.

From David Gallant:

Thank you to Roshi for creating a brilliant and rich practice environment that continually prompts students to question into who we really are and what's going on.  Thank you to Roshi for leading the Rohatsu O-sesshin and for presenting teisho in the series 'The Lineage of Luminosity Part Two'.  Thank you to Shikai sensei for creating the lovely retreatant refreshments for Rohatsu O-sesshin.  Thank you to Jinmyo osho for regular daisan throughout Rohatsu O-sesshin, for answering questions about oryoki practice, and for creating the many oryoki meals served during this O-sesshin.  Thank you to Mishin ino for an extensive walk through of how to clean my oryoki set.  Thank you to Mishin ino and Saigyo tando for leading oryoki practice during Rohatsu O-sesshin and for additional instruction on oryoki forms.  Thank you to Saigyo tando for instruction on practicing with painting during various Samu Weekends over the past few years, which has been a great aid to me recently during a series of projects at home.  Thank you to Fushin shramon and Endai shramon for facilitating kitchen cleanup during O-sesshin.

From George Donovan:

I recently completed a two week Maitri practice. I would like to sincerely thank Mishin Ino for her guidance and help throughout the two weeks as it was deeply appreciated.

From Ian Richard:

Thank you to the Roshi for making the teachings and practice environment available in such an accessible and comprehensive way, and for being willing to accept me as an associate student. A deep and heartfelt thanks as well to Jinmyo osho for writing many of the Dharma texts whose clarity and sincerity first drew me to the website to begin with and convinced me to come to Dainen-ji for further instruction. And thank you kindly to Mishin ino and to Saigyo tando for their time, patience, humour and clear instruction during practice interviews over the past several weeks.

What to do if you arrive late for a sitting

You don't need to turn around and go home. Ring the bell once and then sit on the bench on the front porch. If possible, we will come and unlock the door for you right away. If we are in the middle of the chants or listening to a teisho, we will come to let you in as soon as the teisho finishes.

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.