Anzan roshi brushing a sho into snow at Zazen-ji, early 1990s,
Photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
eMirror Vol 24, No. 2
Friday, January 10th, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho
The White Wind Zen Community:
An international community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985.
Now Dogen turns once again towards Master Ma’s statement that ““All sentient beings have never left dharmata samadhi throughout myriads of eons. They are always in the reality of dharmata samadhi, putting on their clothes, eating rice, greeting and speaking, the workings of the six sense organs, all their activities are completely dharmata.” He says,
Mazu's “completely dharmata” is truly 80 or 90 percent of what is realized, but Mazu has still left much unsaid. For example, he did not say: “dharmata does not leave dharmata, the totality of all dharmatas is dharmata,” “sentient beings cannot depart from sentient beings,” “sentient beings are only a small part of dharmata,” “sentient beings are only a small part of sentient beings,” “dharmata is half of sentient beings, half of sentient beings are half of dharmata,” “no sentient beings are dharmata,” “dharmata is not sentient beings,” “dharmata leaves dharmata,” “sentient beings are free of sentient beings.” He only said that sentient beings do not leave the samadhi of dharmata. He did not say that dharmata does not leave the samadhi of sentient beings, nor that dharmata samadhi leaves and enters sentient being samadhi. Furthermore, we did not hear: “dharmata becomes Buddha, sentient beings enlighten dharmata,” “dharmata enlightens dharmata,” “inanimate things do not leave dharmata.”
Dogen says that Mazu’s expression of what is realized is wonderful and that at least 80 or 90 percent of it is there. But there is more that can be expressed about dharmata because dharmata itself is an expression that describes what is essentially true of what is always expressing itself everywhere as everything. Sentient beings are it. Leaving is it. Entering is it. Not leaving is it. All is it. Part is it. Half is it. Whatever is, that is it. And there is no “it”. That is just an artefact of language. And dharmata is just a word, a description. The essential reality of everything is beyond words and is indescribable. But it is also words and sounds and tones.
-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing teisho 6: "Coming Thus As Us" Saturday, December 7, 2005 in the teisho series "Essentially Real: Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji’s 'Hossho: Dharmata'."
January 22nd, February 12th and 26th.
January Two-day Sesshin
The January two-day sesshin will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 10th and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 12th. Monastics and formal students are asked to send in their schedules as soon as possible.
Associate and General Sitting January 11th
During the sesshin, on Saturday, January 11th, there will be a sitting for associate and general students which will take place in the Zendo. 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.
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 29th, which will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 2nd, when he leads monastics in Acalanatha Sadhana.
Introduction to Zen Workshop
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on Saturday, February 1st, 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
The Nehan O-sesshin will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 9th, and will end at noon on Friday, February 16th. A sitting for associate and general students will take place in the Zendo on Saturday, February 15th. 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 Monday February 10th general sitting that would normally take place at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled due to the O-sesshin.
Cancelled Associate Sitting
The Thursday February 13th 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.
Congratulations and deep gassho to Alex Bourne of Ottawa, who has been accepted as an associate student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi.
Neil Faught began a retreat on the morning of Thursday, January 9th which concludes on the early evening of Friday, January 10th.
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 email@example.com 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 11th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “Lowering the Feet and Resting" (Dharma Talk 34)
- Monday, January 13th: "This Time It's Personal" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho-ajari
Thursday, January 16th: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “All Kinds of Cats” (33 of 71)
- Saturday, January 18th: “Bright Right Through”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Muchu Setsumu": "Each Drop" (8 of 12)
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.
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 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
- November 9th: Rujing and the Old Plum Tree
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
Update on the Plan for Essential Repairs to the Hojo
Hojo renovation funds raised to date: $11,360
Fundraising goal: $40,000
Essential repairs are needed to the Hojo (Abbot’s Quarters). The needed work includes taking down the ceiling in the Hojo washroom in order to insulate, raising the floor, repairing interior moisture damage, and addressing other structural problems (extremely uneven floors, and ventilation, plumbing, and electrical issues).
The Office of the Shissui has met with 3 local design/build companies to discuss the scope of this substantial work and is reviewing their quotations. The total cost of the work will be in the region of $40,000. Provided that we are able to meet the fundraising goal, we anticipate undertaking the work in the summer of 2020.
All donations towards the Hojo renovation fund will be much appreciated, and will receive a charitable tax receipt.
The image above shows the icicle that forms every winter on the roof of the Hojo. It is often over 20 feet long and is causing damage to the exterior trim and roof line and may be causing interior damage and mold inside the walls.
Description of the work
After a recent risk inspection by our insurance company, one requirement for ongoing insurance coverage is to address a buildup of large icicles over winter from the roof over the Hojo washroom. The ice buildup is caused by heat loss through the roof that melts the winter snow, which refreezes into icicles.
In order to address this, we should be insulating the ceiling of the Hojo washroom. We will use an application of spray foam insulation which will require taking down the interior ceiling. As there is also heat loss through the very poorly insulated walls, we shall also be removing all of the wall plaster and lathe and using spray foam insulation on the exterior walls. As well as heat insulation, this closed cell foam insulation will impede moisture transfer and eliminate the possibility of moisture buildup and mold issues in the room. Because the plaster and lathe will need to be removed in order to insulate, we will be replacing the old shower stall and re-plumbing the shower.
Replacing the ceiling allows us to raise the height of the ceiling so that we can eliminate the 8-inch step down into the washroom, which is a potential tripping hazard. We can also add new lighting, improved ventilation and proper venting of fixtures. Raising the floor height requires replacing two hot water radiators with under-floor electric heating and installing a new vanity.
Once completed, all of this work will result in a substantial improvement to the functionality of the living and working environment of the Hojo, the Abbot’s Quarters, and eliminate potential hazards. As the last area of the building to receive any major renovation work, this improvement is a priority.
(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.
Shingon (J) “True word” or mantra. The Japanese school of Vajrayana founded by Kobo Daishi (Kukai) in the Heian era in Japan.
Questions can be sent to me, Shikai sensei, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 godo and Saigyo ino offer assistance as tenzo-anja.
Penne with tomato sauce (chopped Spanish onions, chopped cremini mushrooms, minced garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato juice, porcini mushrooms, oregano, thyme, basil, black pepper, pinch of cumin, Parmesan cheese); fried eggs; cubed friulano cheese with sliced sweet gherkins mixed with lemon zest.
Mixed grain (arborio, basmati, Thai sticky white rice, pearled barley, Calrose and Korean short-grain white rice); seared chicken thighs and sliced chicken breast seasoned with garlic, lemon juice, ginger, bran oil, cilantro leaves and stems, mint leaves, coriander, amchur: dry mango powder, turmeric, salt, red chili powder); sauteed greens with peanuts.
Thai white rice; Thai curry (chopped white onion, poblano and red bell peppers, chopped bok choy, deep-fried tofu cubed, coconut milk and cream, red Thai curry paste, roasted peanuts); Asian pears with lime juice and chili flakes.
Baking by Shikai sensei:
Oat cakes-dairy free: feta biscuits.
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 shuso:
Thank you to Shikai sensei for the photo of racoon paw prints in the snow that was featured in last week’s eMirror. Thank you to Jinmyo osho for instruction on chanting. Thank you to Mishin godo for leading an excellent Introduction to Zen workshop last weekend. Thank you to Saigyo ino for building a storage device for canned goods in the kuin (kitchen) and for help in designing shelves for growing sprouts in the dining hall.
From Kail Shanker:
Thank you to Tettsu for re-establishing sittings at Harrow Zazenkai (UK) last weekend; after a major health ordeal over a year and a half ago, he has been magnificent in his dedication and effort (and positivity) to regaining his health. It is really nice to be able to rejoin him for sittings there now.
"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.