eMirror Vol 23, No. 3 (2019-01-18)


Icy brick wall, photograph by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari
Photograph by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari

eMirror Vol 23, No. 3

Friday, January 18th, 2019
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho

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

Dogen says that it is “like ‘I have an axe and I’ll give it to you so that you can live on this mountain’ and ‘When I set out I received the Master’s permission and now I would like to receive that axe.’”

This is a reference to an event told in the Jingde Chuandenglu chapter 5 involving our direct Lineage Ancestors Qingyuan Xingsi and Shitou Xiqian. Qingyuan was a Dharma-heir of the Sixth Ancestor Huineng. Shitou, who had studied with Huineng, continued his practice with both Qingyuan another Dharma-heir Nanyue Huairang. Shitou often went back and forth from one to the other for many years, eventually receiving Transmission from Qingyuan.

The Chuandenglu says,

"The Master asked Xiqian to take a letter to Master Nanyue and he said, “Having delivered the letter come right back. I have an axe and I’ll give it to you so that you can live on this mountain.”

On arriving there, before presenting the letter, Xiqian asked immediately, “What is it like when we do not idealize the sages and not attach importance to our own views?”

Huairang said, “The disciple asks about a refined life. Why not aim your question a bit lower?” Xiqian said, “How could I accept being always sunk down? I will pursue Awakening without trailing the sacred ones.” Huairang let him go.

Xiqian went back and the Master said, “It isn’t long since the disciple left. Did you deliver the letter or not?”

Xiqian said, “Nothing was conveyed nor any letter delivered.”

The Master asked, “What happened?”

Xiqian told him the above story then said, “When I set out I received the Master’s permission and now I would like to receive that axe.”

The Master let a leg hang down. Xiqian offered prostrations to it and then departed for Nanyue."

Qingyuan’s talk of giving an axe is an instance of giving Shitou Xiqian sanction to mature his practice as a hermit on this mountain where he will eventually become a resource for the liberation of beings. Since the axe was offered, Shitou asked for it.

Dogen says that cause and effect or conditions can be like this: opportunities to unfold freedom for ourselves and for all beings when known from the open perspective of realized-practice. Each moment always freely offers such opportunities in its ring and in its falling. The Dharma is continually speaking of freedom whether through dangling a leg, receiving an axe, breaking the links of a chain, through a sutra or gesture.

And that’s more than enough for now.

Please, this evening, enjoy yourselves.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, concluding teisho 5, "The Four Noble Truths and Interdependent Emergence" on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 in the teisho series "The Thread of the Buddhas," commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Bukkyo. 

Upcoming Events

Fusatsu: January 23rd, February 6th and February 20th.

January 22nd is the memorial of the date of death of Daiji Tenku daiosho, who was the Teacher of Joshu Dainen daiosho, both of whom Anzan Hoshin roshi studied with.

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.


Congratulations and deep gassho to Denise Beaudot of Chelsea, Quebec and Paula Negraes of Ottawa, who have been accepted as associate students by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi.


Ceri Behar sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, January 12th at his home in Istanbul, Turkey. 

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 19th general sitting: “Without Difficulty”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on Jianzhi Sengcan's “Xinxin Ming: Words on Trusting Awareness”:  “Zhaozhou Does Not Abide" (24 of 26)
  • Sunday, January 20th formal sitting: SAkN "Presencing the Open Body" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Objectifying Experience" (3 of 5) 
  • Monday, January 21st general sitting: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "Sincerity and the 'Worldly'" (4 of 13)
  • Thursday, January 24th associate sitting: “The Posture of Practice” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Kinhin: The Dignity of the Buddha” (Dharma Talk 2 of 2)
  • Saturday, January 26th general sitting: “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)

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.


green bean plant

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
Biriyani (basmati rice mixed with sauteed cubed potato and Spanish onion and green lentils, seasoned with butter and garam masala, with a sprinkle of dried black currants); curried butternut squash soup (blended cooked butternut squash and white onion, with added thinly sliced potatoes, chopped Spanish onion, chickpeas, seasoned with cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and a little cream added at the end of cooking); sliced Asian pear with lime juice and chili flakes. 

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Fish chowder (blended cooked potato, garlic, carrots, white onion, celery, fresh basil and fresh parsley, tomato juice and tomato paste, chicken stock, with added cooked new potatoes, diced carrots, Spanish onion and porcini mushrooms, chunks of haddock, cod and shrimp, seasoned with thyme, savoury, black pepper, red balsamic vinegar and some chipotle adobo); crusty baguettes; pickle of cubed friulano cheese with artichoke hearts and black olives. 

Thursday Yakuseki: 
Very thin ramen noodles mixed with beansprouts, topped with sauteed mushrooms, thinly sliced peppers (shepherd red bell peppers, cubanelle and jalapeno peppers), daikon strips marinated in gochugaru and shoyu; steamed bok choy, and soft cooked boiled eggs with a broth made from vegetable stock, mushroom stock, shoyu and ginger; baechu kimchi.

Baking by Shikai sensei:
Crisp oat cakes; two ingredient chocolate peanut  fudge with peanuts; Snickerdoodle muffkies (cross of muffins & 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 Mishin ino:
Thank you to the Roshi for translating and reading the text “Seven Nails” by our Lineage Ancestor Sri Simha and providing historical context, in the recorded teisho “Sri Simha’s Mind” from the series “The Lineage of Luminosity part one: The Lineage in India”. Thank you to Shikai sensei for the collection of Dharma Talks and mondo compiled in the “Freedom and Tyranny” book. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading the January sesshin, and for many delicious soups during sesshin and yakuseki meals before sittings.

From Endai shramon:
Thank you to the Roshi for the teisho played during Sesshin this past weekend. They were part of the series "The Lineage of Luminosity, Part I: The Lineage in India", and interpreted the Teachings of our Lineage Ancestor Sri Simha. Thank you also for the Roshi's translation of Sri Simha's text "The Seven Nails" which is available on, the White Wind Zen Community website. Thank you to Shikai sensei for her Dharma Talk "Snake's Head Soup", played at last week's associate sitting, which teaches us the importance of practising with whatever states arise. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for leading the sittings during Sesshin and for instruction in daisan. 

From Michael Nisch in Germany:
Thank you to the Roshi for accepting me as a general public student and for having established such a great and wonderful practice place. Thank you to all at Dainen-ji for running and helping to maintain this place. Deep bows!

From the Office of the Treasurer: 
Thank you to Brian Murphy for a donation to the roof repair fund. Thank you to Michael Nisch and Ian Hepburn for donations.

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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