eMirror Vol 27, No. 35 (2023-09-01)

Shuryo shadows, photograph by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei
Shuryo shadows, photograph by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei

eMirror Vol 27, No. 35

Friday, September 1st, 2023
Edited by the Practice Council

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

That’s why “the Dharma is good at the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end”: because it pervades everywhere. Whether you are looking at rice in the oryoki bowl or a little piece of chocolate cake, if we can see it, if we can taste it, we can taste the subtle flavour of the Dharma. It is not too pungent, it is not too spicy. It has a rather plain flavour. Although sometimes it tastes like chocolate, sometimes it tastes like rice, there is the taste of the tasting present there which is very subtle, subtler than the taste of water. In every sound that we hear, there is the sound of the sound. This is not something extra, something removed from the sound, something added to the sound; it is the nature of the sound itself, displaying itself like a flower. It is the step felt as a step, the breath breathed as the breath, and life lived as life.

And so, I personally realize that I owe an unspeakable debt to that old fart Sakyamuni Buddha. So much so that I can afford to poke him from time to time, because I know that he is big enough to take it.

Now are we big enough to take what is offered? Are we big enough to receive the inheritance of the Buddha? Are we ready to receive our lives?

Please, enjoy yourselves.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, concluding Teisho Seven: "The Old Fart" and 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):  September 13th and 27th.

Introduction to Zen Workshop Ottawa:
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on Saturday, September 2nd at 1:45 p.m. To register: https://IntroductionToZenWorkshop.eventbrite.ca; for more information please see https://wwzc.org/introduction-zen-workshop-ottawa 

September Two-day Sesshin
The September two-day sesshin begins at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 8th and ends at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 10th. 

Autumn Samu Weekend - September 23rd and 24th 
We shall be holding the next Samu Weekend on Saturday, September 23rd and Sunday, September 24th. As part of the weekend we shall be working on the various winterizing projects we need to do each year, along with yearly window washing, continuing with a renovation in the 1st floor guest room, and we will do some organisation in the basement. As there are many tasks to be done, we encourage you to please make time to attend and assist the monastics with the maintenance and improvements of the practice environment of Dainen-ji. Saigyo ino will be writing to students soon with more details. Please pencil these dates into your calendar so that you will be able to attend. Thank you.

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.


Associate public student Selina Wamsley sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, August 26th and a four and a half-day retreat from Monday, August 28th to Friday, September 1st as part of their three weeks of residential training at Dainen-ji. General student Ian Richard sat a two-day retreat on Saturday, August 26th and Sunday, August 27th. General public student Elizabeth Eve sat a one-day retreat on Sunday, August 27th at her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Aaron Ford sat a half-day retreat on Tuesday, August 29th at his home in Calgary, Alberta. Rodney Gallant sat a half-day retreat on Tuesday, August 29th at his home in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. George Donovan, travelling to Ottawa from his home in Chile, sat a partial retreat on Tuesday, August 29th  at Dainen-ji. David Alexander sat a half-day retreat on Thursday, August 31st at Dainen-ji. Zachary Claxton is arriving on Friday, September 1st for 11 days of residential training.

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, September 2nd, to Saturday, September 9th

Saturday, September 2nd 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: “Going Home” (teisho 9 of 22, 20 minutes)
Sunday, September 3rd formal sitting: SAkN: Dimensions of Space by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Space Is Not A Space" (6 of 8,  29 minutes)
Monday, September 4th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “The Jewel of the Sky” (21 of 71, 7 minutes)
Thursday, September 7th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “The Jewel of the Sky” (21 of 71, 7 minutes)
Saturday, September 9th 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: “Layman Pang's Good Start” (teisho 10 of 22, 23 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.

White Wind Zen Community Website Update

“Cultivation of the Ground of Mind”: transcript of a teisho Presented by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi at Zazen-ji, on June 4, 1989 

The Practice of Boards and Stones” teisho presented by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi at Zazen-ji, on June 18, 1989

"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 15th, 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

Painted Cakes
(do not satisfy hunger)

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


Zenji (J) Ch’an-shih —term used posthumously for great Teachers— later used to refer to Abbots of large monasteries such as Eihei-ji or Soji-ji, in which case it means something like a “bishop” —no Soto Teacher would ever refer to him or herself as “zenji”; used quite commonly in Rinzai Zen for any monastic.

Posted September 1st, 2023. New entries are posted every two weeks.

Fundraising 2023: Roofs

Total donated to date: $9,084

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


Green tomatoes on the vine
Dainen-ji's rooftop vegetable garden,
Photograph by Ven. Mishin Roelofs godo

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:
Spiced rice with lentils (basmati rice, caramelised onions, sauteed cubed potatoes and carrots, Madras curry powder, garam masala, brown lentils); dal (red lentils, cumin seeds, red chillies, bay leaf, chopped onion, garlic, tomatoes, grated ginger, turmeric, fenugreek leaves, garam masala)  Napa cabbage salad (thinly sliced Napa cabbage, slivered carrots, daikon and onions with a dressing made from mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, toasted mustard seeds and cumin seeds; warm naan.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Vegetarian option: cavatappi pasta with vegan tomato sauce (Beyond burger, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato juice, red kidney beans, oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, lots of black pepper); salad of Romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes grown in the roof garden, radishes, thinly sliced red onions, cucumbers, served with a balsamic dressing; garlic bread (crusty rolls sliced in half, brushed with butter, minced garlic, and herbs.

For those who wished to supplement their diet with meat: the pasta sauce described above, made with ground beef and hot Italian sausage meat. 

Thursday Yakuseki:
Tomato soup (made in an instantpot because the induction range wasn’t working) (minced yellow onions, celery, carrots and garlic, red wine, sauteed and pureed with tomato juice, smoked paprika, dried thyme, salt, and pepper); tortillas, caramelized onion and roasted garlic hummus, bean butter (white kidney beans, bran oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, onion powder, sea salt, turmeric, Italian seasoning, celery salt, dried thyme); shredded Romaine lettuce, sliced tomatoes, red onion. 


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 Jinmyo sensei for sorting out how best to prepare meals for retreatants and residents while the monastery stove is under repair.

From Ian Richard: 
Thank you to the Roshi for having established and maintained such a consistent vocabulary for talking about practice. Thank you to the Office of the Tenzo for delicious meals served during retreat, and for making yakuseki available as an option for students attending evening sittings. Thank you to Mishin godo for an insightful practice interview, to Saigyo ino for having built such a beautiful and comfortable tatami bed. And many thanks to Selina for company and reassurance during my recent retreat, and to all those students practising at a distance for their bravery in coming sometimes a very long way to the monastery to practice together as a harmonious community - your example is inspiring!

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Loic Ouellette for a donation to the Roof Repair Fund.


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