eMirror Vol 23, No. 5 (2019-02-01)


Dainenji's garden gate in winter, photograph by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho
Dainenji's garden gate in winter,
photograph by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

eMirror Vol 23, No. 5

Friday, February 1st, 2019
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Dogen zenji continues to review the Three Paths. He says,

The bodhisattva path. This is the path of those who attain the Way through the Teaching, practice, and Awakening of the six paramitas and it is the actualization of complete and perfect Awakening. That actualization is not intentional nor unintentional, not originally existent, not newly or previously attained, not original action or non-action. It is just the actualization of complete and utter Awakening. The paramitas are: generosity, discipline, flexibility, exertion, practice, and perfect knowing. These are all complete and utter Awakening and not concepts like “unborn” or “uncreated.” Dana or generosity isn’t necessarily first and perfect knowing isn’t necessarily last. The sutras say, “One who is opening to Openness who is intelligent understands that perfect knowing is first and generosity last but one whose opening is dull thinks that generosity comes first and wisdom last.”

The six paramitas can be understood as a progression towards “enlightenment” through cultivating different qualities. First one practices generosity through making offerings to the monastic Sangha and doing good works for society. Then one practices discipline by receiving the precepts and trying to live a moral and ethical life. Then one practices ksanti or patience, trying to be forbearing about life’s difficulties. Then one tries to practise exertion, to rouse oneself to the point that one actually does zazen. Doing zazen, finally one has an experience of prajna, perfect or transcendent knowing. Of course this kind of gradual approach of edging gingerly towards the zafu suits self-image perfectly. It can feel that it is involved in some kind of higher thing, something spiritual, that lifts it up and yet doesn’t threaten it. Traditionally it is said that a bodhisattva who practices in this way will take at least three great immeasurable eons to wake up. No wonder.

Prajna is actually the basis for all of the paramitas. Dana paramita is the recognition and practice of generosity in which there is no one giving, nothing given, no one receiving anything. It is unlimited by self and other and their strategies of gain and loss. It is sheer generosity, an expression of the fundamental richness of Reality. This is what makes dana paramita a paramita, a perfection, a transcendence of the closed cycles of samsara or conditioned experience. When a niche appears in an ecosystem, an organism develops that can live in it. When a cup is empty, fill it. When a bowl is dirty, wash it.

This is why Dogen zenji says that the actualization of complete and utter Awakening cannot be understood as being intentional or unintentional. It is simply an expression of, a bodying forth of Reality. The practice of opening to Openness is the realized-practice of taking responsibility for living out our Buddha Nature, our inherent capacity to be Awake.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, beginning teisho 6, "The Paramitas" on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 in the teisho series "The Thread of the Buddhas," commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Bukkyo. 

Upcoming Events

February 6th and 20th.

The Roshi began a period of hermitage at midnight on Wednesday, January 30th, which will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 3rd, when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana.

Introduction to Zen Workshop 
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on Saturday, February 2nd at 1:45 p.m. For more information please see:
For information concerning our Long-distance Training Program, please visit this Web Page: https://wwzc.org/long-distance-training-program 

Nehan O-sesshin
The Nehan O-sesshin will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 8th, and will end at noon on Friday, February 15th. A sitting for associate and general students will take place in the Zendo on Saturday, February 9th. Arrival time is 9:15 a.m. (in time for First Bell). The sitting ends at 11:30 a.m. Students attending are reminded to remain on the first floor.

Cancelled General Sitting
The February 11th general sitting that would normally take place at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled due to the O-sesshin.

Cancelled Associate Sitting
The February 14th associate sitting that would normally take place at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled due to the O-sesshin.

A Note to Preliminary and Public Students Concerning O-sesshin
During an O-sesshin the schedule is such that there is no time to meet face to face with preliminary students or to reply to email correspondence sent by public students. Public students are asked to send their weekly practice journals, as they will be reviewed. But unless there is something that needs an immediate reply, you will not receive an email reply until the week following the O-sesshin.

Commemoration of the Buddha’s Death (Nehan-e) February 15th.

The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage at midnight on Wednesday, February 27th, which will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 3rd, when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana.

Fundraising for Roof Repair

Fundraising goal: The estimates we have received for this roof work total $30,653.63 for replacement of all three roofs. We hope to engage the contractor to do the work in spring 2019, but this will depend on whether sufficient funds have been collected.

Amount raised to date: $9,730

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.


Shannon Morphew sat a two-day retreat on Sunday, January 27th and Monday, January 28th. Beth Buerkle sat a one-day retreat on Thursday, January 31st 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.


Recorded Teachings Schedule

  • Saturday, February 2nd: “Without Difficulty”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on Jianzhi Sengcan's “Xinxin Ming: Words on Trusting Awareness”:  “Three Cases of Zhaozhou, Part Two" (26 of 26)
  • Sunday, February 3rd: SAkN "Presencing the Open Body" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Opening Past Everything" (5 of 5)
  • Monday, February 4th: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "Moshan" (6 of 13)
  • Thursday, February 7th: “Sitting and Walking” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Water Moves Water” (teisho 2 of 3)
  • Saturday, February 9th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Donning Monastic Robes" (Dharma Talk 18)

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.

Help Required with Archiving Project

We would like assistance from students to work on an archiving project which has been underway for a number of years. Approximately 100 recordings of teisho and Dharma Talks presented by the Roshi in the late 1980's and early 1990's are still not available to students on our web-site. These were recordings were made on audio cassette. The process for preserving these cassette recordings and making them available to students is as follows:

  • Transfer the cassette recording to a digital format
  • Edit the single digital files from each cassette side to separate the presentations.
  • Clean up the quality of the recording as much as possible using computer software and in the cases of a recording being of very poor playback quality, using the services of a professional audio restoration company.
  • Rename, digitally tag each presentation and add the recording information to the database.
  • Create archive quality master CD copies of the recordings for long term storage including printing all of the CD case inserts and graphics.
  • Upload completed audio files to the WWZC sound-site so that they are available to students to listen to.

This process is extensive and time consuming, requiring at least 4-5 hours of work for each individual recording. The amount of work required for the monastic sangha to complete this project expediently is not possible, so we are asking for help from the rest of the sangha.

A student would be required to offer regular commitment of time, a block two to three hours weekly is ideal but also a commitment every two weeks would work well. Students would be trained in the work they would be doing and so no specific skill set is needed. 

If you are able to assist with this vital project to preserve the Teachings please write to Mishin ino or Saigyo tando or send a message to WWZC.org. Thank you very much.

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:

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.



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.

Samu (J) Work practice, caretaking.  A vital part of practice on a daily basis, samu offered by monks and students maintains the practice rooms, the environment of the monastery, and the grounds. By participating in samu students learn how to practise whilst working which will have a carryover effect into other aspects of daily life. The tasks students are assigned are of benefit to the community as a whole. So shovelling snow at the monastery would be "samu", and shovelling snow on your own sidewalk would not, and cleaning your garage at home even during a retreat is not "samu", but cleaning the boot rack used by Sangha members is "samu".

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


conchiglie pasta

Office of the Tenzo

Dogen zenji taught in the Tenzokyokun 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 osho serves as tenzo and Mishin ino and Saigyo tando offer assistance as tenzo-anja.

Meals Prepared Prior to the Evening Sittings:

Monday Yakuseki
Thai white rice; bulgogi meinjin (wheat gluten with chopped onions, ginger, orange pepper, mustard greens, beansprouts, and scallions with Korean bulgogi sauce, garnished with chopped scallions; Asian pear with lime juice and chili flakes.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Mashed Yukon gold potatoes (butter, Dijon mustard, small amount of cream); roast pork roast seasoned with a dry rub of onion and garlic powder, mustard powder, ancho chili powder, finished with chipotle barbeque sauce); sauteed green cabbage with wide strips of Spanish onion, lots of black pepper; seared red bell pepper batonettes with baby green peas and corn; mushroom gravy (roux made with bran oil and flour, mushroom stock, red wine, sauteed shitake and crimini mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, shoyu, thyme, savory, black pepper. 

Thursday Yakuseki: 
Pasta with a mushroom cream sauce (chopped white onion, crimini, shitake, eryengi and porcini mushrooms, minced garlic, oregano, shoyu, basil, lots of black pepper, small amount of cream, with penne pasta); sauteed Spanish onion, chopped mustard greens, slivered jalapeno, garlic, with romano and red kidney beans, seasoned with red balsamic vinegar; friulano cheese with sweet gherkins, lemon zest, olive oil and black pepper. 

Baking by Shikai sensei:
Chocolate chili chewies.



Line drawing of hands in gassho

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 the Sensei for chopping vegetables; to Saigyo tando, Fushin shramon, Endai shramon and Leonardo for their hard work to keep the snow drifts under control at the front and side of the monastery. 

From Mishin ino:
Thank you to Saigyo tando, Fushin shramon, Endai shramon, and Leonardo for lots of snow shovelling and sanding to keep Dainen-ji’s front, side, and back entrances clear and safe for students to use.  Thank you to Claude Schryer for archiving samu.

From Isshin:
Thank you to the Roshi for empowering my rupa. 

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.

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