eMirror Vol 26, No. 39 (2022-09-23)

Printing block, Zutang-ji
Printing block, Zutang-ji

eMirror Vol 26, No. 39

Friday, September 23rd, 2022
Edited by the Practice Council

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

I think that writing short stories and novels is a much different matter [than poetry]. There is obviously much more room for entanglement in the story making and becoming abstracted from bodily experience because the emphasis must be based on having some sense of a plot and characters well before the first word is written. As the writing progresses and the plot develops further into events that have yet to be written, or which occur in the past of the novel’s time frame but will be presented as flashback at a later point, or which have been written and have to do with the foreshadowing of the outcome that must be borne in mind….it is easy to merely get lost in thought, abstracted, contracted and congealed.

Which brings me to a question I have often been asked: Can stories and people’s love for being told stories be useful or is it all inevitably abstraction and closing away from experience. I think that stories and novels can be useful in so far as they make a setting or a situation or an issue come alive for a reader. What might otherwise be a vague and distant sense of something might be brought forward in such a way that a particular time, or culture, or world view other than that of the reader can be encountered. For example, the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer, even translated from the Yiddish, can allow a reader from an utterly different background and set of values meet the world view of pre-Holocaust Jews of Lodz and the Polish countryside. Shakespeare’s works are an incomparable presentation of the richness of the English language, the machinery of personalities, the tragedy of the three klesas and some of the greatest jokes and humourous writing in human history. A novel or story can make vividly apparent to you how others might live in the world. While style is important, a novel or story does this not so much by a clarity and mastery of language such that every word is essential as by presenting lives and situations and characters with directness and subtlety.

As for myself, I seldom read novels because the plots are just the same old stories I hear from students every day. A novel is only as interesting as the mind of the novelist and most minds are uninteresting to me because they are not interested in the fundamental questions of experiences and experiencing. When I do read them it is often because they present something of a time or place in which I am interested. For example, I might be interested in the New York literary and cultural scene of the 1920s. This comes about because I have an interest in how the consequences of the financial boom following the First World War creating both real and illusory opportunities for American culture to heal the rift at its heart of racism. And so I read several books on early jazz, then a few on the Harlem Renaissance, then some biographies of figures associated with the Algonquin Round Table and so on. And so I find myself reading through Dorothy Parker’s short stories. Or I might read a novel that is set in a particular era or culture of interest. Once I have a clear sense of that or if the author’s presentation does not have the depth or accuracy or vividness to be worth spending time on, I usually just stop reading it. I could not care less what happens to the characters or how it all works out for them, heartless as that might seem.

-Ven Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing Class Six: "The Mind Is Not 'The' Mind" in the series "Zen Arts: The Flowering of the Senses", October 1999 Daruma-ki O-sesshin, Dainen-ji.

Upcoming Events

Fusatsu: September 28th, October 12th and 26th.

Re-opening the Monastery
We will be reopening regular sittings to students, beginning with the Saturday morning sitting for general students on October 15th. The sitting begins at 9:30 a.m. First Bell is at 9:15 a.m. The sitting ends at 11:50 a.m. If required we will be using two practice Halls for sittings  (the Hatto and Zendo) to ensure adequate spacing. All students attending will be required to wear an N-95 mask. We will be sending emails to all students with further plans for re-opening. 

Associate sittings will resume on Mondays and Thursday evenings, beginning on Monday, October 17th and Thursday October 20th. The sittings will begin at 7:30 p.m. First Bell is at 7:15 p.m. The sittings end at 9:10 p.m. 

Both the Monday and Thursday evening sittings are reserved for associate students, who may attend one sitting per week. General students are to attend a minimum of two sittings each week: one morning formal sitting each week and the general sitting on Saturday mornings. Attending both the formal sitting and the general sitting will count as a half-day retreat (breakfast at the monastery, dana $5). 

Introduction to Zen Workshop 
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on Saturday, October 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 

Daruma-ki O-sesshin
The Daruma-ki O-sesshin will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 2nd, and will end on Sunday, October 9th at noon. Formal students are reminded to send their schedules to schedule at wwzc dot org as soon as possible. 

A Note to Preliminary and Public Students Concerning O-sesshin
During an O-sesshin the schedule is such that there is no time for monastics to take telephone calls or reply to email correspondence sent by public students (unless it’s an emergency).  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.

The Roshi is continuing an extended period of "self-isolation" due to underlying health issues until the COVID-19 situation clarifies.

Beginning Instruction in Zen Practice
For information concerning our Long-distance Training Program, please visit this Web Page: https://wwzc.org/long-distance-training-program


Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, September 20th at her home in the Berkshires. Aaron Ford sat a two-day retreat on Friday, September 17th and Saturday, September 18th at his home in Calgary, Alberta. Jensen Burghardt sat a half-day retreat on Sunday, September 18th in Campbell River, British Columbia. Tracey Parker sat a half-day retreat on Sunday, September 18th at her home in Perth, Ontario. Beth Buerkle sat a partial retreat on Wednesday, September 21st at her home in Chamcook, New Brunswick. 

If you would like to sit a retreat at home please follow the schedule outlined in this page: https://wwzc.org/retreat-schedule-public-students. After your retreat, please send an email to schedule@wwzc.org to confirm that you sat a retreat and include the duration and location.

Retreats at Dainen-ji

If you would like to sit a retreat at Dainen-ji, please email schedule@wwzc.org to register.

You would need to schedule your retreat a week in advance. You will also need to get a rapid antigen Covid test done the day before you arrive and email us to let us know that you are Covid negative.

You will need to wear an N-95 mask while in the monastery. This link will let you know where you can pick up a free rapid antigen test  https://covid-19.ontario.ca/rapid-test-locator

You can sit a partial retreat, half-day retreat or full retreat for one or more days (providing you stay in the monastery and do not leave). The duration of retreats is as follows:

Half-day Retreat
You would need to arrive 15 minutes before the actual starting time. Begin at 6:00 a.m., end at noon. Or begin at 9:30 a.m., end at 6:00. Or begin at 3:00 p.m., end at 9:10.

Partial Retreat
You would need to arrive 15 minutes before the actual starting time. Begin at 6:00 a.m., end at 6:00 p.m. Or begin at 9:30 a.m., end at 9:10 p.m.

Full retreat
You would need to arrive by 5:45 a.m. Begin at 6:00 a.m., end at 9:10 p.m. 

Please remember to bring a change of clothes suitable for samu (caretaking practice). If staying overnight, please remember to bring a sleeping bag, a towel and other such necessities. If you have been diagnosed by a medical doctor as having allergies to specific foods, please contact the tenzo-anja, mishin godo at mishin at gmail dot com, a week in advance of your retreat to inform her of dietary restrictions as this affects food purchases and meal planning. The suggested dana for retreats is $50 for a full day or $40 for a partial day, which covers the basic cost of food and other materials. Donations above this figure are very welcome and all donations are tax deductible.

If you would like to schedule a retreat, please send an email to schedule@wwzc.org.

Recorded Teachings Schedule

Saturday, September 24th to Saturday, October 1st

Saturday, September 24th: “Wild Time: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on “Uji: Being Time” by Eihei Dogen zenji: “Shining Forth" (7 of 13, 29 minutes)
Sunday, September 25th: SAkN: "The Anatomy of Awakening" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Hearing and Speaking" (4 of 9)  
Monday, September 26th: Hekiganroku 40: Flower in a Dream: "The Case" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi (2 of 3, 15 minutes) 
Thursday, September  29th: "The Sky Around the Clouds: Heaps and Poisons" by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei (2 of 2, 11 minutes)
Saturday, October 1st: “Wild Time: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on “Uji: Being Time” by Eihei Dogen zenji: “Arising Attains Itself" (8 of 13, 33 minutes)

Listening to Teisho and Dharma Talks

​Associate and general students should continue to follow the recorded Teachings schedule for the sitting you were attending at the monastery, and listen to that during your home practice.

You can access the online Recorded Teachings Library at wwzc.org/recorded-teachings-schedule. 

You can also use the streaming site at app.wwzc.org to live stream recordings from the online Library. If you have forgotten your password or need assistance with accessing the recorded Teachings, please email schedule@wwzc.org.

Please note that teisho should be listened to in the correct order and with none missed out as themes, metaphors, questions raised and answered evolve in spirals throughout the series.

Recorded Teachings for Public Access

While most of the online Recorded Teachings library is password-protected and only accessible to students of the Lineage of Zen Master Anzan Hoshin, a small selection of MP3 recordings of teisho are accessible to the public at wwzc.org/recorded-teachings Additional recordings will be uploaded periodically. MP3 recordings of four recorded teisho by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi 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


Translations and Texts

Photograph of Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi at Daijozan, mid-1980s, by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
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. Annotation details and successfully conveying them across various document formats are the issue at this point.

Work on Bussho: Buddha Nature, a very long and nuanced text by Dogen zenji, is ongoing.

Roshi is also finishing an update to the Saijo Shingi: The Deportment of Radiance, our manual of monastic training standards which is a supplement to the ancient Eihei Shingi and Keizan Shingi. 

Changes to the Grounds at Dainen-ji

In preparation for planting a new stretch of hedge along the East (Friel Street) side of the monastery, all of the old cedars were cut down and the roots removed. The cedars were very old and had become quite ‘bald’ in some areas and were encroaching into the sidewalk. Cedars need a lot of light and they were not able to thrive under the shade of the massive Chinese elm on that side of the property. 

Cutting the hedge down now will make the work of planting 59 yews much simpler in the spring, as they preferably should be planted as early in the spring as possible after the ground thaws. For the winter months we will put the fence back up. Most of us had never really seen the whole of the monastery from that side as the old cedar hedge blocked the view. 

This is the side view of the monastery showing the bay window of the Shuryo (library) on the first floor. The rain shelter (seen next to the elm tree) was moved and will be relocated on the grounds. The cedar stumps have now been removed so we can put the fence back up for the winter.

We were able to purchase the 59 yews needed to complete the hedge at the same price we paid for them last year. Funding is already in place for the new yews and to cover the cost of removing the old hedge. 

And in this view you can also see a few of the Roshi’s pigeon friends up on the roofs, waiting for lunch seed. 

East side of Dainen-ji

The fence installed for the winter months.
The fence installed for the winter months. 

Painted Cakes
(do not satisfy hunger)

Begun by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei
Finished by Rev. Fushin Comeau shramon following her death


Tendai (J); T'ien-t'ai (C ): The school of Buddhist study founded in T'ang dynasty China and continued in Japan by Saicho. Dõgen zenji was originally ordained as a Tendai monk.

Posted September 23rd, 2022. New entries are posted every two weeks.


Tenzo in kanji
Tenzo in kanji

Office of the Tenzo

Dogen zenji taught in the Tenzo kyokun: Instructions for the Tenzo (https://wwzc.org/dharma-text/tenzo-kyokun-instructions-tenzo) 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 sensei serves as tenzo and Mishin godo and Saigyo ino offer assistance as tenzo-anja. The following meals were prepared on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings for residents:

Monday Yakuseki:
Mixed grain (Thai and Chinese rice); Tempeh crumble with peppers (crumbled tempeh browned in oil with sauteed peppers, chilli garlic sauce, tamarind, ginger, garlic, vegetable stock; sauteed chopped gai lan and strips of Spanish onions.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Mixed grain (calrose, arborio, Thai and basmati rice); mushroom soup (mushroom stock, eringi mushrooms, mushroom seasoning powder, ginger); dipping sauce made from shoyu, rice vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, minced green onions and sesame oil; thinly sliced green cabbage served with lemon wedges.
For those who wished to supplement their diet with meat - karaage (deep-fried breaded chicken seasoned with garlic, ginger, sake, pepper, Japanese mustard). 
Vegetarian option: breaded tofu seasoned with garlic, ginger, sake, pepper, Japanese mustard.

Thursday Yakuseki: 
Spaghettini with garlic-oyster sauce (thinly sliced Spanish onion, anaheim peppers, poblano peppers, vegetarian oyster sauce, sambal oelek, minced garlic, low sodium shoyu, demerara sugar); deep fried tofu cut into strips, sauteed with chopped red onion and hot chilli sauce; salad of chopped romaine, leaf lettuce, radicchio, tomatoes, sliced radishes, white onion, celery.


Gassho sign (hands in gassho in in a circle)

Thank You

If you would like to thank someone for a contribution they have made, please feel free to send an email to Jinmyo sensei at rengezo@gmail dot com, but be sure to type "eMirror” in the subject line.

From Mishin godo:
Thank you to the Roshi for many interesting commentaries in the teisho series "The Recorded Teachings of Vimalakirti", presented in 1992. Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for transcribing most of the transcripts of recorded Teachings that are on the White Wind Zen Community Website for students and the public to study. Thank you to Saigyo ino for arranging for the removal of the cedar hedge and putting up the metal fence. Thank you to Charlane Bishop for growing and gifting me a bodhi tree plant for my birthday. 

From Saigyo ino:
Thank you to the Roshi for designing Kyosaku, (postural adjustment sticks Mishin godo and I will use during sittings) and to Jinmyo sensei for coming up with the idea for contactless postural adjustments by practice advisors. Thank you to Mishin godo for updating the grocery shopping lists each week. Thank you to Fushin shuso for making sure the recorded teisho and Dharma Talks are on the tablets for use at the upcoming sittings. Thank you to Leonardo Nobrega for samu to remove some of the Engleman ivy from the neighbours’ property and to Sam MacFarlane for samu in the rain to help reinstall the fence panels on the east side of the property.  

From David Gallant: 
Thank you to Mishin godo for growing vegetables and herbs on the third floor rooftop garden this year which has been a great addition to resident meals. Thank you to Saigyo ino for instruction on how to serve as jikido for the morning formal sittings.

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