eMirror Vol 23, No. 4 (2019-01-25)


Bent rusty metal, photograph by Frank Tettsu Woods, Harrow Zazenkai, UK
Photograph by Frank Tettsu Woods, Harrow Zazenkai, UK

eMirror Vol 23, No. 4

Friday, January 25th, 2019
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

The difference between the usual person’s old nest of views and the open sky of the luminosity of the Buddhas and Awakened Ancestors is said to be like two sides of a shore. But the sky rises above and already includes both sides.

The view of sravakas and pratyekabuddhas belonging to something called the Hinayana or Narrow Path was part of how the Mahayana or Vast Path viewed itself. The Vast Path contains a range of various Teachings, most of which are found in a more basic forms in the Pali suttas. The most prominent Teachings are those of prajna paramita and sunyata, Tathagatagarbha or Buddha Nature, and the bodhisattva. Whereas the Hinayana was concerned with applying the Buddha’s instructions, the Mahayana bodhisattva was concerned with doing what the Buddha did in order to actually become a Buddha.

The word “bodhisattva” or “bosatsu” in Japanese has two parts: “bodhi” means Awakening and “sattva” means being. The roots of the term “bodhi” have to do with intelligence and with something opening or unfolding. What brings about Awakening is the realization of sunyata which is usually translated as “emptiness” but which actually means something more like “openness”. And so I often translate the term as “one who is opening to Openness” or, depending upon the context, “one who is open as Openness.”

The prajna paramita Teachings were historically a very important part of how Dharma Teachers reclaimed the directness of the Buddha’s practice from the tendency of scholastics to keep making Buddhism complex and Awakening merely a distant goal to be thought about but almost impossible to reach. The basic point of the prajna paramita is to expose oneself openly to experiences as they present themselves, to allow naked Reality to express itself. Eventually, the prajna paramita Teachings themselves fell into gradualism and so the Buddha Nature Teachings developed. These stated, basically, that practice was simply the unfolding of what was already true about you: that you and all beings are inherently and primordially beyond samsara.

-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

Fusatsu: February 6th and February 20th.

The Roshi will begin a period of hermitage at midnight on Wednesday, January 27th, which will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 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: $9,480

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.


Michael Nisch sat a half-day retreat on Sunday, January 20th at his home in Ulm, Germany.

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, January 26th: “Without Difficulty”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on Jianzhi Sengcan's “Xinxin Ming: Words on Trusting Awareness”:  “Three Cases of Zhaozhou, Part One" (25 of 26)
  • Sunday, January 27th: SAkN "Presencing the Open Body" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "The Fundamental Process of Self-image" (4 of 5) 
  • Monday, January 28th: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "Do Not Be Petty" (5 of 13)
  • Thursday, January 31st: “Sitting and Walking” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Simplicity” (teisho 1 of 3)
  • 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)

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.


Large batch of overflowing kimchi

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
Kala chana (black chickpeas, cumin, chopped Spanish onions, chopped tomatoes, garlic, finely chopped green chilli, kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric, pinch of asafoetida, Punjabi garam masala or regular garam masala powder, fresh coriander leaves); curried mustard greens and spinach with red bell peppers (caramelized diced white and Spanish onions, minced garlic, minced ginger, finely chopped hot finger chilies, jalapeno and poblano peppers, garam masala, peanut butter, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper, garnished with roasted peanuts; raita made from chopped cucumber and vine-ripened tomatoes, mixed with yogurt, seasoned with cardamon, cumin, lots of black pepper; warm buttered naan.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Pork ribs coated with a dry rub (salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, small amount of brown sugar), cooked at high pressure in an Instant Pot and then brushed with Kalbi sauce and finished under the broiler; roasted Yukon gold potatoes (bran oil, salt and pepper); green cabbage coleslaw (green cabbage and carrots thinly sliced on a Benriner, seasoned with mayonnaise, horseradish, lime juice and Dijon mustard.

Thursday Yakuseki: 
Tamarind curry (chopped leftover roasted Yukon gold potatoes, red onion, red bell peppers, bean sprouts, red onion, galangal, tamarind, chile, salt, turmeric, coconut milk, curried mein jin); sauteed gai lan stems, sugar snap peas and haricots verts with garlic and lime juice; baechu kimchi (Napa cabbage).

Baking by Shikai sensei:
Salted caramel popcorn balls with raw sunflower seeds; oatmeal cookies


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 Endai shramon:
Thank you to the Roshi for introducing the practice of recording teisho and Dharma Talks: on cassette tapes in the 1980s and 1990s, on CDs in the new millennium, and in the last year or so directly on digital recorders. As I and other monks and students work on archiving the early audio files, I have come to appreciate how much material would have been lost had recordings not been made. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for instruction in daisan. To Mishin ino for overseeing the insurance audit of Dainen-ji that ensures that the building is safe and risks minimized. Thank you to the Shissui, Saigyo tando, for maintaining the building in such good order and making many improvements over the years. 

From Paula Negraes:
Thank you to the Roshi for accepting me as an associate student, and sharing his knowledge with all of us. Thank you to Mishin ino and Saigyo tando for so kindly guiding me through the early days of my practice, and continuing to be a great support as I learn about the forms and refine my sittings. Deep gassho to all at Dainen-ji for maintaining such a peaceful and safe place for us to practice in Ottawa.

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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