eMirror Vol 27, No. 18 (2023-05-05)

Samu Weekend, planting yews
Samu Weekend, planting yews

eMirror Vol 27, No. 18

Friday, May 5th, 2023
Edited by the Practice Council

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

Observing this functioning of bodymind is not a matter of standing apart from it. It is not a matter of being ascetic, or denying anything, or suppressing anything. It is just a matter of not adding anything extra to it. Just allow it to be very simple and in that simplicity you will uncover an elegance, a dignity. 

If we strip away and shed all of the theories, all of the judgments, all the condemnations, all of the age-old worm talk of “meaning,” and just experience Experience as it is, then we find that experience does not mean anything other than what it is. A sound is a sound, a colour is a colour, a person is a person. And yet in that experience of taking a step, of breathing a breath, a richness of meaning presents itself. There is a meaningfulness which doesn’t depend on anything else but is simply an expression of the mutuality of this activity of life, this functioning of the worm.

If we can begin to actually appreciate this, then we will not approach the Direct Path, we will not approach Awareness, the Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha, our practice, and our lives, as if they were so much cotton candy to be ground between our teeth and sucked down our gullets. Instead we will realize the Dharma, inside and outside, thoroughly pervading each and every element of experience. And we will realize freedom.

Please, enjoy yourselves.                  

-Ven Anzan Hoshin roshi, concluding 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 Hatto (for formal sittings)


The Zendo (for associate and general 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 schedule@wwzc.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):  May 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 13th 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. 

Cancelled Sittings:
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

About @wwzc.org Email Addresses

Recently we had a problem with the routing of emails sent to any of the @wwzc.org email addresses because of a reconfiguration of our provider. This has now been rectified, as we are with a new configuration for email hosting, so please send your practice journals to journal@wwzc.org. Thank you to deshi, Senbo, for his work on setting this up. Sorry to students for any inconvenience.


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: 

The Practice of Taking Care: short text by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei while training as Shuso. Zazen-ji, 1991.


Johanne Bourbonnais sat a half-day retreat on April 23rd at her home in Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec. Tracey Parker sat a half-day retreat on Saturday, April 29th at her home in Perth. Challian Christ sat a one day retreat on Monday, May 1st at Dainen-ji. 

If you are a student of Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi and  would like to sit a retreat at Dainen-ji,, please email schedule@wwzc.org 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 schedule@wwzc.org to confirm that you sat a retreat and include the duration and location.

Recorded Teachings Schedule

Saturday, Saturday, May 6th to Saturday, May 13th, 2022

Saturday, May 6th general sitting: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "Miaoxin" (7 of 13, 17 minutes) 
Sunday, May 7th formal sitting: SAkN: Infinite Infinities by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Infinite Points of Chaos" (2 of 7)
Monday, May 8th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “The Bodymind of Zazen” (4 of 71, 21 minutes)
Thursday, May 11th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “The Bodymind of Zazen” (4 of 71, 21 minutes)
Saturday, May 13th general sitting: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "The Dragon Maiden" (8 of 13, 19 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.

Samu Weekend report by Saigyo ino

Samu weekend, installing the perimeter edging

Over the weekend of Saturday, April 29th and Sunday, April 30th, we held a Samu Weekend to plant a new hedge of yew trees along the east side of the building. Last year in early spring we planted 50 yew trees along the front and north west corner of the property and this weekend we planted another 53 along the east. Working through the rain, 18 students assisted the monks over the two days and now the perimeter of Dainen-ji next to the road is surrounded by a lovely yew hedge which will grow and fill out as the years pass. The regular rainfall in the days following the planting will be very good for helping the trees get a good start. 

Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for her extremely generous donation towards the purchase of the yew trees. 

Thank you to the following students who worked on this project in less than ideal conditions to improve the grounds of Dainen-ji so dramatically in a short space of time: 

Leonardo Nobrega, David Gallant, Chantal Maheu, Shigemi Ichino, Sam McFarlane, Tarik Kaya, Rowan Russell, Hannah Kent, Mario Delisle, Julien Jefferson, Ian Richard, Selina Wamsley, Greg Parker, Sophia Stevenson, Tarik Kaya, Jesse Steinberg, Robert Carew and Challian Christ.

Thank you to Jinmyo sensei and Mishin godo for planning and preparing the wonderful midday meals we enjoyed on each day.

The newly planted yew trees

Painted Cakes
(do not satisfy hunger)

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


Vairocana Buddha (S); Biroshanu Butsu, Dainichi Nyorai (J): “the illuminator” --- representation of the Primordial Awareness that gives rise to all Buddhas or Luminosity Itself, the Actual Nature Itself --- a central figure of the Kegon or Avatamsaka sutra.

Posted May 5th, 2023. New entries are posted every two weeks.


Swiss chard

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. 

The following meals were prepared on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings:

Monday Yakuseki:
Leftover calrose rice mixed with sauteed cubed sweet potato, scallions and sesame oil; vegetables and tofu in a tamarind sauce (chopped onion, poblano and red bell peppers, zucchini, celery, cubed deep-fried tofu, minced ginger and garlic, tamarind sauce, a little Bulgogi sauce, lots of black pepper and Chinese chili oil; baechu kimchi.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Mixed grain (Brown and white calrose rice, pearled barley, arborio rice, Thai jasmine rice); very thinly sliced green cabbage with lemon.
Vegetarian option: firm tofu cut into slices, dipped in a batter made from all-purpose flour seasoned with mustard powder, onion and garlic powder, salt and white pepper and then coated in panko (bread crumbs). The tofu was deep fried and served with a dipping sauce made from cooked and then blended Spanish onion, chopped apples, ginger, shoyu, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and sesame oil. 
For those who wished to supplement their diet with meat: tonkatsu (sliced pork loin pounded until very thin, coated with the batter described above then with panko and deep fried.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Cavatappi pasta with garlic butter sauce (butter and bran oil, diced onion, lots of minced garlic, lime juice, black pepper and chili flakes); tomato soup (blended cooked onion, carrots, celery, minced garlic, San Marzano tomatoes, tomato juice, black pepper, oregano, basil, thyme); salad of romaine, leaf lettuce, radicchio, thinly sliced white onion, chopped celery and radishes, and black olives.


Anzan Hoshin roshi bowing 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 sensei at rengezo@gmail dot com, but be sure to type "eMirror” in the subject line.

From Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: Deep gassho and gratitude for all those who participated in the recent Samu Weekend.

From Ian Richard:
Thank you to Jinmyo sensei and Mishin godo for the wonderful meals during last week's samu weekend, and to Saigyo ino for planning and overseeing the samu activities. Thank you to all the students who participated for your warmth and friendliness, diligence and energy; it was a pleasure meeting many of you and working alongside you all. As the spring plants begin to appear throughout the grounds, the new hedge looks so vibrant!

From Challian Christ:
Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for the delicious meals during my last retreat. Thank you to all who participated in the Samu Weekend—the new fence and hedgerow of yews looks beautiful. Thank you Mishin Godo for providing us all with hot beverages on the porch when we were cold and too muddy to enter the monastery. Thank you Saigyo ino for overseeing the Samu Weekend.

From Julien Jefferson:
Thank you to Jinmyo sensei and Mishin godo for a delicious breakfast, lunch, and afternoon refreshment during the samu day on Saturday. Thank you to Saigyo ino for leading the samu. Thank you to all the students who came to help: it was nice to work alongside you. Thank you to Mishin godo for a recent practice interview.

From Selina Wamsley:
I am very grateful to have been able to visit Dainen-ji recently, and to be welcomed and able to meet with practice advisors on such short notice. Thank you to Mishin godo for very helpful instruction during two practice interviews. Thank you to Sensei and Godo for the delicious lunch on Saturday during the recent Samu weekend. Thank you to Saigyo ino for all of the time and instruction given responding to my practice journals. Thank you to Julien Jefferson for generously facilitating my visit to Dainen-ji.

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