eMirror Vol 27, No. 26 (2023-06-30)

The tori/trellis was moved to the west side of the monastery during the June Samu Weekend.
The tori/trellis was moved to the west side of the monastery during the June Samu Weekend.

eMirror Vol 27, No. 26

Friday, June 30th, 2023
Edited by the Practice Council

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

Now the Buddha seems to think, though, that we are so intelligent that sometimes we become very stupid. Because stupidity isn’t possible without some ground-work of intelligence to begin with. We can’t become confused unless we have something to be confused with. And so avidya, “basic confusion,” “primordial duality,” or “really stupid,” however you want to translate that, arises through a folding together or a knotting up of nondual intelligence. And so the Buddha is recommending at this point in our text that Rahula become intelligent about how he is stupid so that his stupidity can become further intelligence. So that confusion can give birth to greater wisdom.

He told Rahula to “see as it is, with great wisdom, form, basic reactivity, symbolization, habitual patterning, and consciousness.” And he introduced Rahula to the five elements so that Rahula could make their acquaintance, become familiar with them, friendly with them, and accommodating towards them, because they were arising as him.

Now also, highly recommended in this Sutta is the practice of anapanasati, or mindfulness of breathing in and breathing out. Traditionally, anapanasati, the practice of mindfulness of the breath, was only given to very stupid people. People who are so intelligent, that they make themselves very stupid. There are many forms of practice, as many forms of practice as they are forms of experience. The Buddha would recommend mindfulness of the mahabhutas, mindfulness of the moment, mindfulness of impermanence or anicca, mindfulness of anatta or selflessness, and he would sometimes recommend that someone calm down a little bit by practising a kasina concentration practice. There are all kinds of different practices, but anapanasati is for people who are very, very stupid indeed.

Now, as Zen practitioners, we all start with anapanasati, mindfulness of breath because we are so intelligent that we are profoundly stupid. Here is what I mean by stupid. We are so intelligent that sometimes we are like a spider in the centre of its web. All of its little feelers placed on the strands of the web. During oryoki, I sometimes have to be very clever and very intelligent and keep an eye on what everyone is doing. But sometimes I can become so clever about that, that I pick up my wipe cloth at the wrong angle and it falls open all funny, or I wind up moving to wash the wrong bowl at the wrong time. That’s how clever I am. I can become sometimes quite stupid.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing Teisho Six: "Beginning at the Beginning" 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):  July 5th, July 19th and August 2nd.

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

Yaza (all night sitting) will take place on Saturday, July 8th from 10pm until Sunday,  July 9th at 8am. Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei will lead the Yaza. Students attending should arrive by First Bell at 9:45 p.m. A light breakfast will be served before the end of the Yaza. All students are welcome to attend. Please register soon as seating will be limited. The suggested dana contribution for Yaza is $30.00. To register, please send an email to schedule@wwzc.org or leave a message on the Zen Centre office answering machine at (613) 562-1568.

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

What to do if you Arrive After the Sitting Begins

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.

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


Rev. Chiso anagarika sat a semi-retreat on Tuesday, June 27 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Ian Richard sat a two-day retreat on Wednesday, June 28th and Thursday, June 29th at Dainen-ji. Julien Jefferson arrived at Dainen-ji on Friday, June 31th to begin a month-long period of residential training and retreats. Rodney Gallant sat half-day retreats on Tuesday, June 20th and on Tuesday, June 27th at his home in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Aaron Ford sat a two-day retreat on Saturday, June 24th and Sunday June 25th at his home in Calgary, Alberta. 

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, July 1st to Saturday, July 8th, 2023

Saturday, July 1st general sitting: “Bowing and Receiving”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dogen zenji's "Raihai Tokuzui: Bowing and Acquiring the Essence": "Sacred Space" (13 of 13, 21 minutes)
Sunday, July 2nd formal sitting: SAkN: Infinite Infinities by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Practicing Infinite Infinities" (6 of 7, 25 minutes) 
Monday, July 3rd associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Simplicity" (12 of 71, 3 minutes) 
Thursday, July 6th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Simplicity" (12 of 71, 3 minutes) 
Saturday, July 8th general sitting: “Wandering on Medicine Mountain”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on "Medicine Mountain": The Recorded Sayings and Doings of Zen Master Yaoshan Weiyan: “What About You?” (teisho 1 of 22, 22 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

Over the weekend of Saturday, June 24th and Sunday, June 25th we held a summer samu weekend. Through the heat and humidity, 21 students worked on a great many projects in the building and in the grounds of Dainen-ji over the two days. Here are some of the highlights:

Work continued within restoration of the large 150 year old sash window in the first floor guest room that we are currently renovating. The recently painted windows, the polished brass fittings and the pulley and lead weights system were reinstalled and now the window operates much like it did when it was built in 1875. Also in this room some framing and drywalling was completed to utilise the corner section of the room for storage or bookcases. A large and old school blackboard which is used for meetings was sanded, primed and painted with blackboard paint and the wooded sections prepared for applying an oil finish in the future. Various items that we no longer need were prepared and photographed for sale to generate some income to be put towards the renovation of the guest room and fabric from the attic sewing room was sorted and organised. In the grounds the torii gate was relocated to its new position on the west side of the building and painted. The front porch steps were repaired and then sanded and painted and the entire decking and trim of the front veranda was sanded and painted. The thresholds at the front doors were also repainted. A good amount of garden maintenance was also completed and the grape vine growing on the rear arbour was trimmed back to keep it healthy. 

Thank you to Jinmyo sensei and Mishin godo for preparing the wonderful midday meals we enjoyed during the weekend.

Thank you to the following students who assisted the monks during the Samu Weekend to improve and maintain the practice environment of Dainen-ji:  Senbo, Leonardo Nobrega, David Gallant, Chantel Maheu, Don Charette, Sam MacFarlane, Greg Parker, Artik Chauhan, Robert Carew, Rowan Russel, Challian Christ, Jesse Steinberg, David Alexander, Sean Howarth, Jean-Francois St-Louis, Ian Richard, Loic Alexandre and Christian Hansen.

Painted Cakes
(do not satisfy hunger)

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


Zazen (J) —sitting practice

Posted June 23rd, 2023. New entries are posted every two weeks.


Fundraising 2023: Roofs

After receiving several estimates for the repairs to the remaining areas of the roof, we now know that the total cost will be between $30,000 and $35,000 (depending on when the work begins, as estimates are only good for three to six months and costs keep increasing). 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. 

Any contribution that you can make will be gratefully received. 

Thank you and Gassho

Roof Sketch


Monastery kitchen - black and white drawing

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:
Brown calrose rice with butter and peas; cremini mushroom soup with sauteed semi-firm tofu (cremini mushrooms, mushroom stock, garlic, diced onion, shoyu, thyme, lots of black pepper); sauteed greens (garlic scapes, chopped gai lan and bok choy) with a lemon-garlic sauce. 

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Cottage pies served in large gratin dishes:
Vegetarian: sauteed strips of firm tofu in a vegan parsley sauce (cashews blended into a milk, thickened with roux (all-purpose flour and oil), cooked diced carrots, baby peas, and corn, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, and sauteed diced white onion, seasoned with vegan ‘chicken’ boullion powder  (nutritional yeast, onion powder, sea salt, turmeric, Italian seasoning, celery salt, dried thyme), topped with mashed Yukon gold potatoes and broiled until golden brown.
For those who wished to supplement their diet with meat, some pies were made with the addition of cooked pieces of chicken thigh. 
Salad made from Romaine lettuce grown in the rooftop garden, mixed with radicchio and some thinly sliced red onion, dressed with white balsamic vinegar.

Biryani (sauteed cubed russet potatoes, diced carrots, finely chopped onions, basmati rice, brown lentils, currants, bay leaves, Kashmiri chillies, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, ajwain seeds (carom seeds), cloves, green cardamom pods, black cardamom, star anise, mace, black peppercorns); coconut-chickpea soup served chilled (chickpeas blended with coconut milk, seasoned with turmeric, cayenne, Madras curry powder, chopped fresh coriander leaves); ‘shocking greens’ (bok choy chopped, blanched and then shocked with cold water, served with a dressing made from mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, popped mustard and cumin seeds. 


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 Anzan roshi: 
My gratitude and gassho to all who participated in the recent Samu Weekend.

From David Gallant:
Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for much instruction over the past 14 years, a priceless gift which I can use in each moment of my life.

From Ian Richard:
Thank you to the Roshi for the teisho: "Self-Doubt and No-Self" in the "Before Thinking" series played at last night's associate sitting. Thanks to the tenzo and tenzo-anja for wholesome and vibrant meals during my recent retreat. Thank you to Saigyo ino for a lively and helpful practice interview, and to Mishin godo for instruction and making herself available to answer questions. Many thanks to David for so expertly doing the dishes at a pace fivefold higher than I'd have thought possible, and to Leonardo for washing so many cleaning cloths and for silently showing at many different points how to move smoothly when there are many people circulating.

From Sam MacFarlane:
Thank you to the Roshi for brushing for me an incredible sho.  Thank you to Mishin godo for the multiple back and forth emails in order to provide the Roshi with the information he needed for the sho.  Thank you to Saigyo ino for giving me the sho and discussing framing colour and dimensions.  

From Challian Christ:
Thank you Saigyo Ino for organizing the recent Samu Weekend, and thank you Jinmyo sensei and Mishin godo for preparing the wonderful lunch. Thank you to Fushin shuso, Saigyo ino, and Mishin godo for your direction throughout the day. And thanks to the Office of the Tenzo for keeping the cupboards stocked with delicious loose leaf teas.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Jean-Francois St. Louis for a donation to the Roof Repair Fund. Thank you to Ian Richard and David Alexander for donations to the recent Samu Weekend

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