eMirror Vol 27, No. 36 (2023-09-08)


"Koku: Open Space", sho by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, 2001

"Koku: Open Space", sho by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, 2001

eMirror Vol 27, No. 36

Friday, September 8th, 2023
Edited by the Practice Council

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

Moment after moment, there is one thing that is fundamental to all of our experiences. They are all experiences of space. Whether it is a door, a cup, or a face, we cannot experience it without experiencing the space around it. The most fundamental thing about space is of course the very fact that it is not a thing. Its featurelessness is its primary characteristic. And it’s not even one thing, in that there are many kinds of spaces that we experience: the space around and inside of a cup or bowl or gong, the space of seeing, the space of hearing, the space of sensation, the space of cognition. There are closed spaces and open spaces.

Although space is so fundamental, we miss it. We look at the cup and don’t notice the space around it. We look at the cup and don’t notice the chromatic space of the seeing. We look at a world that seems to be composed of solid things because we do not understand the spaces in which they arise. Without an understanding of space, we misunderstand our lives.

And so the Buddha Dharma has always been pointing to space in countless ways as its fundamental Teaching. Sometimes it’s called anatta or no-self, no thing. Sometimes it’s called akasa or koku, open or empty space. Sometimes it’s called sunya or ku, openness or emptiness.

In 1233 Dogen zenji began to formally accept students at Kannon-dori-in on the outskirts of Kyoto, the capital. One of the first Teachings that he presented there was Makahannyaharamitsu, which was on the Vast and Perfect Knowing of the Prajnaparamita Teachings such as the Heart sutra. Some years ago I presented a series of teisho on this text. In 1245 Dogen opened the mountain at Daibutsu-ji, later renamed Eihei-ji, deep in the snowy mountains of Echizen province. The first Teaching that he gave there was called Koku: Open Space.

He presented these Teachings on the occasions of founding these two training centres because they are attempts to display space and to show us our lives as the play of space and to show us how we can learn to play with space.

We will begin this series of teisho by hearing first the text Koku, and then Makahannyaharamitsu which I will call upon at various times to supplement Koku.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, Teisho 1: Introduction and Reading, January 13, 2001, in the series "Playing With Space: Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Koku”


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, November 4th 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. Please pencil these dates into your calendar so that you will be able to attend. As part of the weekend we shall be working on our yearly window washing, continuing with a renovation in the 1st floor guest room, doing some organisation in the basement and starting the various winterizing projects we need to do each year. As there will be a great deal to get 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 has written to all local students about the Samu Weekend so if you have not yet replied to his email please do so soon so that he is able to arrange the many tasks happening over the two days.

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 concluded their three week period of residential training on Monday, September 4th with a five-day retreat. Associate public student Zachary Claxton sat a retreat from Friday, September 1st to Sunday, September 3rd and then sat a retreat from the evening of Monday, September 4th to the evening of Wednesday, September 6th as part of his period of residential training at Dainen-ji. David Alexander sat a half-day retreat on Thursday, August 31st at Dainen-ji. Tracey Parker sat a half-day retreat on Saturday, September 2nd at her home in Perth, Ontario.

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.


Congratulations and deep gassho to Neerja Joshi of Gatineau, Quebec, on being accepted as an associate student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi. 

Congratulations and deep gassho to Brandon Rouleau of Ottawa, Ontario, on being accepted as an associate student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi. 

Recorded Teachings Schedule

Saturday, September 9th, to Saturday, September 16th. 

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)
Sunday, September 10th formal sitting: SAkN: Dimensions of Space by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Outshining" (7 of 8, 13 minutes)
Monday, September 11th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Before Thinking” (22 of 71, 7 minutes)
Thursday, September 14th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Before Thinking” (22 of 71, 7 minutes)
Saturday, September 16th 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: “The Highest Mountain, the Floor of the Deepest Ocean” (teisho 11 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.

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


Hiyayakko tofu
Hiyayakko tofu

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:
Pasta salad (small pasta shells, cooked small diced carrots, corn, baby green peas, diced celery, minced garlic and jalapeno peppers, hearts of palm, chopped scallions, chopped basil, vegan mayonnaise (aquafaba, chickpeas, Dijon mustard, salt, bran oil, mixed with hot pepper paste); carrot miso soup (garlic, ginger, chopped carrots, apple, leeks, tomato, cumin, cayenne, sweet paprika, turmeric, coconut cream, shiro miso, crushed chili flakes); third bowl was black olives and artichoke hearts.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
It was 31 degrees today, and so all of the dishes were served at room temperature or slightly chilled.
Dairy-free naan with a choice of dairy butter or Vegan butter; Lentil kofte (cooked lentils and fine bulgur mixed with chopped, caramelised onions, hot red pepper paste, tomato paste, finely chopped scallions, finely chopped parsley, olive oil, ground cumin, rolled into small balls coated with lime juice and served chilled; gazpacho (tomato juice, halved cherry tomatoes from the rooftop garden, minced onion, minced jalapeno (also from our garden), minced garlic, chopped celery, chopped cucumbers, a little mirin, lots of black pepper).

Thursday Yakuseki:
Onigiri (rice balls made with a mixture of calrose short-grain white rice and arborio rice seasoned with kombu stock and Vegan bouillon powder). The rice balls were rolled in gomasio (toasted sesame seeds ground with salt), wasabi furikake and togarashi (Japanese red pepper mixed with black sesame seeds); hiyayakko tofu (cubes of chilled silken tofu resting on a bed of grated daikon, topped with a sauce made from shoyu, mirin and lime juice, garnished with thinly cut scallions; tomato and celery salad (chopped celery, cherry tomatoes and ‘ruby red tomatoes grown in the rooftop garden, chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil, thinly sliced red onion, dressing made from strained bran oil used to cook thinly sliced garlic, mixed with a reduction of rice vinegar; cold shoyu soup (mushroom stock, shoyu, finely sliced ginger, mirin, white pepper, cayenne). 


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 Jinmyo sensei:
Thank you to Saigyo ino for lowering a table in the kitchen, making it easier to use the griddle, and for numerous small repairs and touch-up painting in various areas of the monastery. Thank you to Mishin godo for cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs and an assortment of peppers grown in the rooftop garden; Thank you to Fushin shuso and David Gallant for solving a problem with our doorbells by installing Nest systems and for configuring them. Thank you to Fushin shuso for picking up cat supplies for two of the monastery cats, Shindo and Kiden. Thank you to Elizabeth Eve for proofreading “The Straight Path: Zen Teachings on the Foundations of Mindfulness” by Anzan Hoshin roshi. The book is being prepared for reprinting and will also be made into an ePub by deshi, Senbo. 

From David Gallant:
Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for much instruction over a long period of time about practicing with the many states that can come up. Thank you to Mishin godo for her continual efforts as Treasurer. Thank you to Saigyo ino for organizing the tasks to be completed at the upcoming Autumn Samu Weekend.

From Selina Wamsley:
Thank you to the Roshi for establishing such a strong and supportive practice space. Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for all of her support and clarity during daisan; to Jinmyo sensei and Mishin godo for all of the incredibly delicious meals during my retreats and residential training; to Mishin godo and Saigyo ino for their humour, patience, and care during practice interviews; to Fushin shuso for showing me how various tasks are done at Dainen-ji so things run smoothly; 
I am deeply grateful for this time at Dainen-ji, and for the constant effort from the Practice Council to make the Teachings available.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Ian Richard and Glenn Murphy for donations toward the upcoming Samu Weekend.

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