eMirror Vol 27, No. 23 (2023-06-09)

Tibetan thanka of human anatomy

eMirror Vol 27, No. 23

Friday, June 9th, 2023
Edited by the Practice Council

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

The Buddha says, “Practise friendliness, Rahula. Becoming kind, malevolence is released. Practise compassion, Rahula. Becoming compassionate, violence is released. Practise benevolence, Rahula. Becoming benevolent, aversion is released. Practise equanimity, Rahula. Becoming balanced, anger is released. Practise the contemplation of impurity, Rahula. Practising the recognition of impurity, obsession is released.”

Now, the “contemplation of impurity” mentioned here is basically the sort of thing I was discussing in terms of the twenty-five foot earthworm. Except that what the Buddha was trying to do was to correct obsession with the body by bringing in a kind of negative view to try to bring that into some kind of balance. For example, to someone who saw a beautiful person walking by, he might say, “Yes, but strip the skin off, and then what does she look like?” And of course, yes, that’s true. A lot of how one might be attracted to or jealous of such a person would no longer be relevant when one recognizes that everybody looks basically the same under the skin.

But the thing is, you know, that you can’t strip the skin off of that woman without killing her. And you don’t want to kill her. You want to be like her, or you want to make love to her, or you want to be her friend, or you want to learn her cosmetic secrets or something of this nature. That is what is going on for you. You don’t want to kill her and skin her. And so that kind of approach seems itself to be somewhat out of balance.

Talking about the phlegm and pus and so on and so forth in the body, as if there were something nasty about that; as if there was something unpleasant about the fact of there being hair on the arms, or hair or wax in the ears; as if there is something unpleasant, something nasty, something fundamentally flawed about having five fingers and five toes seems... a little unhelpful. Because then we replace obsession with aversion, and that does not seem to be too balanced.

Instead of giving a negative critique of the body to cultivate aversion as an antidote to obsession, I think that we can just take a look at what it actually is: a twenty five foot earth-worm, a digestive system. There is nothing wrong with that. Yet there is nothing particularly glorious about that either. It is just what is going on. If we recognize the kind of breeding cycles that we go through when we were very young and how those can become a habit and we continue to maintain those long past their usefulness; and how the feeding cycle comprises most of our activity because, when we are not feeding, we are digesting what we have eaten, that’s just fine, that’s okay. There is no inherent problem with that, so we don’t have to think of that as “impure.” But it will help us to release obsession.

-Ven Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing Teisho Five: "The Flower of Twilight" 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):  June 21st. 

Introduction to Zen Workshop Ottawa:
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on Saturday, July 1st, at 1:45 p.m. To register: https://IntroductionToZenWorkshop.eventbrite.ca; for more information please see https://wwzc.org/introduction-zen-workshop-ottawa

June Two-day Sesshin:
The June two-day sesshin begins at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 9th and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 11th. 

Saturday, June 10th General Sitting
The general sitting will take place in the Zendo. Arrival time is 9:15, in time for First Bell. The sitting ends at 11:45. Students are reminded to stay on the first floor.

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

Request for assistance with video editing and filming

If anyone in the local sangha has video editing experience and would like to assist with a project to produce short videos of the forms that we use at Dainen-ji please write to Saigyo ino at saigyo.cross@gmail.com. If you also have a decent camera that shoots video this would be helpful, though not essential. Thank you very much.

Notes on the Forms

Students should arrive by first bell, 15 minutes before sittings begin so that they can be in the Zendo or the Hatto by second bell at the latest to join others for kinhin. This is important because practice advisors meet with the Sensei at third bell, five minutes before the sitting begins in order to determine who is present and decide the order of practice interviews to be announced. If you arrive late, it makes it difficult to know who is present as students are in various change rooms etc., and sometimes results in delaying the sitting. Please do your best to arrive on time to avoid disrupting the schedule of the monastery.

If you arrive after the sitting starts and the door is locked, 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.     

If you need to leave a sitting early due to illness, to meet an early deadline or for some other reason, please inform a practice advisor, the senior in a practice room, or the jikido before leaving. We worry about you

White Wind Zen Community Website Update

"Difficulty, Strangeness, Beauty": transcript of a Dharma Talk presented by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi at Zazen-ji, December 13, 1988: https://wwzc.org/dharma-text/difficulty-strangeness-beauty

"Standing in the Rain (Tangaryo)": transcript of Dharma Talk presented by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi at Zazen-ji, December 13th, 1988: https://wwzc.org/dharma-text/standing-rain-tangaryo

"Snow": transcript of Dharma Talk presented by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi at Zazen-ji, November 18, 1989: https://wwzc.org/dharma-text/snow


Deshi Jinen sat a retreat from 6:00 a.m. on Friday, May 26th until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 27th at the Wolfville Zazenkai. General student Ian Richard sat two day retreats on Friday, May 26th and Saturday, May 27th and on Saturday, April 22nd and Sunday, April 23rd at Dainen-ji. General student Aaron Ford sat a half-day retreat on Tuesday, June 6th at his home in Calgary, Alberta. General public student Thach Hoang sat a two-day retreat from Friday, June 2nd until Sunday, June 4th 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 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, June 10th to Saturday, June 17th, 2023

Saturday, June 10th general sitting: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "The Place the Three Jewels Shine" (11 of 13, 24 minutes)
Monday, June 12th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “The Great Matter” (9 of 71, 14 minutes)
Thursday, June 15th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “The Great Matter” (9 of 71, 14 minutes)
Saturday, June 17th general sitting: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "What Will Be Lost" (12 of 13, 29 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.

Painted Cakes
(do not satisfy hunger)

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


Zafu (J): round cushion for zazen

Posted June 9th, 2023. New entries are posted every two weeks.

Fundraising 2023: Roofs

We are in the process of gathering estimates for roof repairs to several areas of our roofs shown in yellow and white in the following graphic. All of the other (grey) sections of roof have already been taken care of. We have needed to redo the roofs a section at a time because the costs of replacing them, given the size and extreme angle of our roofs is very high. In the next week or two we will post the details of the best estimate we receive. We do know that the total cost to reshingle all of the areas that need to be redone will be in the neighbourhood of $30,000 but we should have a more exact figure in the next few weeks.

Roof Sketch


Monk holding bowl

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. If you are adhering to a strictly vegan diet, you can write to the tenzo, Jinmyo Renge sensei, at jinmyo.renge@wwzc.org a week prior to attending an event to request vegan foods. If you are lactose intolerant or have allergies to foods, you should write to the tenzo about dietary restrictions a week before attending events.

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

Monday Yakuseki:
Calrose brown rice with butter and peas; Vegan chicken cutlets (cannellini beans, tofu and gluten kneaded together and  formed into thin cutlets, seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, lots of black pepper, braised in a savoury broth made from vegetable stock, apple cider vinegar and herbs. The cutlets were coated with seasoned vegan mayonnaise and then grilled; bok choy grilled; a soup of vegetable stock with chopped Spanish onion, celery, zucchini, carrots and red bell peppers, seasoned with thyme, rosemary, and a little white wine.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Calrose brown rice with butter and peas; caramelized cabbage seasoned with minced garlic, chopped onion, thyme, oregano, basil, lots of black pepper; tomato soup (blended cooked carrots, onion, celery, minced garlic, San Marzano tomatoes, tomato juice, Italian herbs, lots of black pepper.
Vegetarian option: very thinly sliced extra-firm tofu seasoned with barbeque sauce, garlic and onion powder, cumin, baked in the oven and then mixed with the caramelized cabbage.
For those who wished to supplement their diet with meat: seared thinly sliced pork loin added to the caramelized cabbage.

White and brown calrose rice; roasted halved zucchini hatch-marked and drizzled with sesame oil, shoyu, and mirin; lime tofu (sliced medium-firm tofu, lime juice, black pepper); mushroom broth with ginger, shoyu, roasted chile flakes, and Shanghai bok choy; baechu kimchi mixed with chopped tomatoes.


Monk in gassho - drawing

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 Saigyo ino:
Thank you to the Roshi for the terrific teisho series "Bowing and Receiving" which we are currently listening to during the general sittings on Saturdays. Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for so many lovely meals prepared for residents each week and for taking such good care of Shindo and Kiden, two of the monastery cats. Thank you to Mishin godo for assisting with the on-line organisation of Caretaking Council documents. Thank you to Fushin shuso and Leonardo Nobrega for work to remove paint from the antique brass window fittings from the first floor guest room and to Challian Christ for samu each week to work on restoring these 150 year old windows. Thank you to David Gallant for testing some wiring in my room, to Stacey Loyer for regular samu in the grounds and to Ian Richard for coming on Sunday afternoons each week to assist the monastics with various samu tasks. Thank you to Sam McFalane for setting up a regular commitment to do samu, this week watering the yew hedge.  

From David Gallant:
Thank you to Saigyo ino for organizing the upcoming Samu Weekend in June.

From Elizabeth Eve
Thank you to Senbo for the gallery of photos of the planting on the yews along the perimeter of the monastery property. Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for the generous donation for purchasing the yew trees. Thank you to everyone who gives time to the care and upkeep of the monastery building and grounds.

From Ian Richard:
Thank you to the Roshi for sharing recollections of his own experience of entering the gates of Hakukaze-ji, now available for all students in two newly posted Teisho, "Difficulty, Strangeness, Beauty" and "Standing in the Rain (Tangaryo)" - I remember these having long been referred to in "Entering the Gates of Practice," but I had not seen Zanmai 7 so this is my first time reading them. Thank you to Mishin godo for a practice interview, and to fellow students for much friendliness and warmth expressed in many simple ways.

Printer Friendly, PDF & Email