Photograph by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi
eMirror Vol 27, No. 15
Friday, April 14th, 2023
Edited by the Practice Council
The White Wind Zen Community:
An international community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985.
If we don’t recognize that, then something goes amiss and we become confused by worm talk. And because of this we cannot move beyond the meanings of the worm world and discover what the worm is, what food is, what lives as all of these lives.
Now, the Buddha didn’t mind the worm at all. He took very good care of the worm because he realized that he was not worm mind. He realized that in fact, that in its true nature there is no worm. And so he could eat freely, walk freely, speak freely, move freely, and live and die freely. He didn’t eat when he wasn’t hungry because he didn’t feel compelled to eat because of storylines and associations about food that disguised the simplicity of food as food. And when eating, he didn’t feel a need to merely consume. Instead, when he was hungry, he tasted his food, he swallowed it, and then probably some hours later he deposited the previous day’s food as a tidy little package and buried it, in some place where nobody would step on it, and where it would return all of the richness of that food, that the worm hadn’t been able to consume. He would return that back to the whole cycle, of earth, air, water, fire and space.
It is very important for us to relate to the realities of bodymind, instead of the anxieties and aversions and fantasies that cloud the actual purpose and function and meaning of this fleshy tube we call bodymind.
One thing about this tube and its articulated limbs, its flanged valve at the top with the teeth and the tufts of hair, is that it is itself a cycle of living and dying and of feeding. Cells are coming and going, flora and fauna dwell within it, living their little lives, having their little families and their little careers. Sometimes it experiences painful sensations, sometimes it experiences pleasant sensations. Unless these painful sensations are due to some extreme trauma to the system, there is nothing particularly awful or horrible about these painful sensations. They are simply a fact of bodymind. The bodymind is always twitching and itching and aching, because that is its nature.
If we do not accept this, if we try to hide from this, then we are not going to have too much room or very much space in which to live. If every time there is a pain in the knee you try to find some area, perhaps at the furthest recess at the back of your skull, where you can hide from it, you are simply making your experience smaller and smaller and smaller. Sometimes when we sit, because the ligaments are stretched and the joints are bent, there are painful sensations. Sometimes, when we sit, there are very pleasant sensations. When there are pleasant sensations, we scramble after them and forget about the painful sensations, we forget about the pain in the knee, because our breath has become so light and so open, because our hearing has become so sharp and clear. So we forget all about those nasty pains in the knees and go thrashing and scrambling around after the pleasant sensations. When there is a pain in the knee, sometimes we will find ourselves focusing on that, doing battle with it, and not noticing how light and easy our breath is. So we are flip flopping all of the time. It is as if we are so simple minded that we can only accept an experience in terms of either/or, that either something is pleasant or it is painful. Whereas in fact it is almost always mixed, not necessarily in equal portions of both, but they are mixed.
-Ven Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing Teisho Four: "The Functioning of the Elements" in the series "Flowers and Worms", Hanamatsuri sesshin, April 11th to 14th, 1991, Zazen-ji.
The Hatto (for formal sittings)
The Zendo (for associate and general sittings)
Practice Schedule and Upcoming Events
Formal Sittings for WWZC Students: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday Mornings The formal sittings begin at 6:00 a.m. You would need to arrive by 5:45 in time for First Bell. The sitting ends at 7:25 with the Chants. Following that there is a Daruma-kata Aiki review which ends at about 7:50. If you need to leave before the kata, please let us know that in advance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday Morning General Sitting for WWZC Students: The general sitting begins at 9:30 a.m. You would need to arrive by 9:15 a.m., in time for First Bell. The sitting ends at 11:45 a.m. Some general students attend the 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning formal sitting, stay for breakfast and then attend the general sitting. If you stay for breakfast you will need to make a $5.00 dana contribution for the meal. Proceeds from meals go to White Wind Zen Community.
Monday and Thursday Evening Associate Sittings for WWZC Students: The associate sitting begins at 7:30 p.m. You would need to arrive by 7:15 p.m., in time for First Bell. The sitting ends at 9:10 p.m.
Friday (Hosan): There are no formal sittings scheduled at the monastery on Fridays, but you are expected to sit at home if you have committed to sitting zazen daily.
Sunday Formal Sitting: The Sunday morning formal sittings are reserved for monastics, formal students, and probationary formal students.
Fusatsu (Renewal of Vows): April 19th, May 3rd, 17th, and 31st.
Introduction to Zen Workshop Ottawa:
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on Saturday, May 6th, at 1:45 p.m. To register: https://IntroductionToZenWorkshop.eventbrite.ca; for more information please see https://wwzc.org/introduction-zen-workshop-ottawa
May Sogaku-ki O-sesshin:
The May Sogaku-ki Seven-day O-sesshin begins at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 12th, and will end on Friday, May 19th, at noon. Probationary formal students and formal students are reminded to send their schedules as soon as possible.
Formal sittings During the Week of O-sesshin are reserved for participants of the O-sesshin.
The Saturday, May 18th general sitting will take place in the Zendo. The sitting begins at 9:30. Please arrive by 9:15 in time for First Bell. Students attending are reminded to stay on the first floor.
The Monday, May 15th and Thursday, May 18th associate sittings are cancelled due to O-sesshin.
The Roshi is continuing an extended period of hermitage due to underlying health issues until the COVID-19 situation clarifies.
Long Distance Training Program:
For students living an hour or more commuting distance from the monastery in Ottawa, please visit this Web Page: https://wwzc.org/long-distance-training-program
White Wind Zen Community Website Update
“River of Memory”: transcript of teisho presented by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi at Zazen-ji, on March 21st, 1991:
Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, April 4th at her home in the Berkshires. Aaron Ford sat a two-day retreat on Saturday, April 1st and Sunday, April 2nd at his home in Calgary, Alberta. Charlane Bishop sat a half-day retreat on Monday, April 3rd at her home in Newtonville, Nova Scotia. Tracey Parker sat a half-day retreat on Saturday, April 1st at her home in Perth, Ontario. Thach Hoang sat a one and a half-day retreat from Saturday, April 1st to Sunday, April 2nd at his home in Laval, Quebec.
If you are a student of Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi and would like to sit a retreat at Dainen-ji,, please email email@example.com to register a week in advance. For further information please visit this page: https://wwzc.org/retreats
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm that you sat a retreat and include the duration and location.
Recorded Teachings Schedule
Saturday, April 15th to Saturday, April 22nd
Saturday, April 15th general sitting: “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)
Sunday, April 16th formal sitting: SAkN: "Tathagatagarbha" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Bodhicitta" (teisho 4 of 4)
Monday, April 17th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “What Are We Doing?” (Dharma Talk 1 of 71, 37 minutes)
Thursday, April 20th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “What Are We Doing?” (Dharma Talk 1 of 71, 37 minutes)
Saturday, April 22nd general sitting: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "Moshan" (6 of 13)
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 email@example.com.
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
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
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.
(do not satisfy hunger)
Begun by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei
Finished by Ven. Fushin Comeau shuso following her death
UPAYA (S) —skillful means— wisdom of adapting action to circumstances.
Posted April 7th, 2023. New entries are posted every two weeks.
Office of the Tenzo
Dogen zenji taught in the Tenzo Kyokun: Instructions for the Tenzo (Tenzo kyokun: Instructions for the Tenzo | White Wind Zen Community) 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 WWZC does not advocate any particular diet. However all meals prepared during practice events, such as Dharma Assemblies, sesshin, or retreats are vegetarian as most people can eat this. On Tuesday evenings there is an optional meat dish, as some people find that a purely vegetarian diet, especially as they get older, is not sufficient for their health.
Meals Prepared for Practitioners During the Hanamatsuri sesshin:
Breakfast: "Rice and eggs" (calrose rice seasoned with shoyu, mirin and wasabi, gently fried eggs, shichimi).
Lunch: Calrose rice; miso shiru with cubed silken tofu and Shanghai bok choy (kombu, shiro miso, shiitake mushrooms, slivered ginger, shoyu, rice vinegar, mirin); takuan and ginger.
Supper: Cavatappi pasta with caramelised onions and cabbage (caramelised chopped white onions and green cabbage, dried thyme, red kidney beans, butter, cream, salt, pepper); black olives mixed with cubed friulano cheese and lemon zest.
Breakfast: Fried pasta with scrambled eggs.
Lunch: Thai white and brown rice; spicy wakame seaweed soup (leftover strained miso shiru broth, wakame seaweed, ginger, shoyu, roasted chile oil), with silken tofu; kimchi.
The following meals were prepared on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings:
Lundberg Farms short-grain brown rice mixed with fried diced onion and chickpeas, seasoned with butter, cumin, thyme and cayenne; carrot-miso soup (garlic, ginger, chopped carrots, apple, leeks, tomato, cumin, cayenne, sweet paprika, turmeric, coconut cream, shiro miso, crushed chili flakes); Salad of Romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, radicchio, grated carrots, finely sliced red onion, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber and celery; dressing for the salad made from equal parts mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and black pepper.
Crusty rolls with butter; green cabbage coleslaw (thinly sliced cabbage, carrots and white onion mixed with mayonnaise, horseradish, lime juice, lots of black pepper).
Vegetarian option: White bean stew (diced carrots, onions, celery, minced garlic, chopped rutabaga, leeks, baby green peas, white kidney beans, vegetable stock, thyme, oregano, cayenne, apple cider vinegar, lots of black pepper).
For those who wished to supplement their diet with meat: small pieces of seared boneless chicken thigh added to the white bean stew.
Mixed white and brown jasmine rice; seaweed soup (broth made from kombu, slivered ginger, wakame seaweed, shoyu, mirin, rice vinegar, chile oil, cubed tofu); Korean stir fried zucchini (half moons of zucchini, thinly sliced yellow onion, garlic, scallions, shoyu, rice vinegar, gochugaru, sesame seeds, sesame oil).
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 Saigyo ino:
Thank you to the Roshi for the vivid and striking sho (brush and ink paintings) that adorn so many of the walls in Dainen-ji. Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for many hours of work this week to collate and organise the transcription samu data so that the required, ongoing and completed transcription work is easily accessible and maintainable. Thank you to Jinmyo sensei and Mishin godo for the lovely meals this week and to Jinmyo sensei for grocery shopping on Thursday morning. Thank you to general student Ian Richard for regularly partaking in samu on Sunday afternoons with the monks and residents.
From David Gallant:
Thank you to the residents of Dainen-ji who made meals for me and brought me needed items during a recent bout of illness.
From Challian Christ:
Thank you Jinmyo sensei for the delicious meals provided during my most recent retreat and during the Samu Weekend. Thank you Saigyo ino for overseeing the Samu Weekend, and thank you Fushin shuso for overseeing my work throughout the day. Thank you Saigyo ino and Mishin godo for your instruction during my retreat.