eMirror Vol 27, No. 39 (2023-09-29)


Storm Gathering at Sunset, Photograph by Frank Tettsu Woods, Harrow Zazenkai, UK

Storm Gathering at Sunset,
Photograph by Frank Tettsu Woods, Harrow Zazenkai, UK

eMirror Vol 27, No. 39

Friday, September 28th, 2023
Edited by the Practice Council

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

One of the things that Sakyamuni Buddha used to do was to try to get people to take a closer look at what they took to be substantial and substantive things. He would point out that each apparent thing is actually made up of smaller things. And that those smaller things were also composed of smaller things. For example the wall that you are facing is made of paint, spackle, gyprock, wood, nails, brick, and mortar. The body facing the wall is made of skin, meat, bone and marrow. Or he would point to them as the coming together of various qualities called the mahabhutas or dhatus, spheres or spaces, that were named after the elements of earth, fire, water, air, and space.

There is nothing solid anywhere unless we are speaking of a momentary state or arrangement or configuration. For example, ice is the solid state of water. But water is the fluid state of ice. And both of these are temporary states of rates of motion. Water is fast ice, ice is slow water. There is solidity, the sensation of firmness or of surface such as is felt when you run your hands over a wall or stone or stand up on the floor or ground. But within the world as you actually experience it, everything is in motion, every thing utterly lacks any quality of a thing out there somewhere being experienced because it arises within the space of experiencing. Understanding this, we understand that there is no one and nothing that is not so intimately a facet of ourselves that the ideas of selves and things become gibberish.

However, most people eventually made this into another way of trying to make the world and themselves solid and certain and easier to think about. They developed intricate hierarchies of categorization of different kinds of things and of different kinds of thingness. So Masters such as Nagarjuna had to point out that the Buddha Dharma is not about cosmology, it is not about mapping the world as a series of components and filing away experiences as being of this or that type of configuration of factors. He pointed out that everything that we experience is always already “sunya” or empty of our categories and concepts. He pointed out that apparent things were empty of being solid things not only because they were made out of smaller things but that all of our descriptions of them, and the Buddha Dharma itself, are also empty and can never be filled. And that while things are empty of being things that are no no-things either.

Other Masters such as Vasubandhu pointed out that while every thing is empty, each thing is also bright. While we tend to only consider things as the conceptual representations we create of them or “vijnapti-matra”, he pointed out that each thing is an experience, is a representing of the creativity of experiencing.

Over and over again students found ways to wriggle away from being cornered with the truth about themselves and the world. They took the Buddha’s teaching of the chain of interdependent emergence and turned it into a way to bind themselves. They took Nagarjuna’s emptiness and turned into a thing behind things or a state of voidness and the absence of things and an experience of hiding from experiences. They took Vasubandhu’s Teaching of Only Knowing and turned it into a cosmology in which things were ultimately made up out of a subtler substance called the Mind.

When the Chinese inherited the Dharma from India they inherited all of these Teachings and also the misunderstandings of them. When Bodhidharma came to China and Transmitted the mind-seal of ungraspable luminosity to Huike, he passed on the understanding and realization from which all of the Teachings of the Buddha Dharma sprang.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, Teisho 2: "The Space of Here and Now," February 10, 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): October 11th and 25th. November 1st.

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 

Daruma-ki O-sesshin
The Daruma-ki O-sesshin will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 1st, and will end on Sunday, October 8th at noon. Formal students are reminded to send their schedules to schedule@wwzc.as soon as possible. 

Combined Associate and General Sitting During O-sesshin:
There will be a combined associate and general sitting that will take place in the Zendo on Saturday, October 7th. Arrival time is 9:15 (in time for First Bell). The sitting starts at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 11:45 a.m. Students attending are reminded to remain on the first floor.

Cancelled Associate Sittings:
The Monday, October 1st associate sitting that would normally begin at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled due to O-sesshin.
The Thursday, October 5th, associate sitting that would normally begin at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled due to O-sesshin.

A Note to Preliminary and Public Students Concerning O-sesshin
During an O-sesshin the schedule is such that there is no time for monastics to take telephone calls or reply to email correspondence sent by public students (unless it’s an emergency).  Students are asked to send their weekly practice journals, as they will be reviewed. But unless there is something that needs an immediate reply, you will not receive an email reply until the week following the 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


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.


Tracey Parker sat a half-day retreat on Sunday, September 24th 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.

Recorded Teachings Schedule

Saturday, September 30th to Saturday, October 7th

Saturday, September 30th 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: “Yaoshan Solves a Problem” (teisho 12 of 22, 23 minutes)
Sunday, October 1st formal sitting: SAkN: Five Spheres of SAkN: "No Thing Stands Prior" (teisho 1 of 7, 36 minutes) 
Saturday, October 7th 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: “Bodhidharma's Meaning” (teisho 14 of 22, 19 minutes)

Recorded teisho playback during the Daruma-ki O-sesshin

Monday, October 2nd - SAkN Root Cycle Three: Aware Space: "Surrender into Radiance" (teisho 7 of 8, 12 minutes)
Tuesday, October 3rd - SAkN Root Cycle Three: Aware Space: "The Spectrum of Radiance" (teisho 8 or 8, 14 minutes)
Wednesday, October 4th - SAkN Root Cycle Four: Moving in Knowing: "Motion" (teisho 1 of 5, 28 minutes)
Thursday, October 5th - SAkN Root Cycle Four: Moving in Knowing: "Uknown Knowing" (2 of 5, 32 minutes)
Friday, October 6th - SAkN Root Cycle Four: Moving in Knowing: "Finite and Infinite Motion: The Total Field of All Possibilities" (3 of 5, 31 minutes)
Saturday, October 7th - SAkN Root Cycle Four: Moving in Knowing: "Tantra is Unnecessary" (4 of 5, 20 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


Autumn Samu Weekend report 
by Saigyo ino

Over the weekend of Saturday, September 23rd and Sunday, September 24th, 23 students joined the monastics to work on many projects during our annual autumn Samu Weekend, two days of work to improve and maintain the practice environment of Dainen-ji. A great deal was accomplished over the two days. Here are some of the "highlights":

At this time each year we wash the windows of the building and so several students worked through the day to remove storm windows, wash down all of the bug screens and clean the many windows of the monastery. Outside, work was begun to winterize the grounds which included re-installing the snow blower shed which is stored during the months without snow, watering, tidying and trimming back foliage from plants. Work was also done to begin re-landscaping the area under the Chinese elm on the east side of the garden, filling a dry-stream trench so that in the spring further landscaping of the area can take place. The storage room next to the Shuryo was re-organized with the three temporary bookcases dismantled and taken to the basement Undo, holes in the walls insulated and repaired (a temporary fix until a full renovation takes place) and the storage system for the spare zafu, zabuton and benches improved. For the ongoing renovation of the guest room on the 1st floor the massive old bookcase was taken apart and moved to the other side of the room to facilitate access to the unfinished wall so that we can now work on that side of the room. Work was done to tidy the electrical room including removing the now unused doorbell system, in the Hatto, a broken sash window rope was repaired and the necessary re-painting done and a great deal of touch-up painting was completed through the public areas of the building. The walls of the basement washroom were cleaned and a kitchen three-drawer unit was sanded and repainted. The early 20th century school blackboard restoration was completed and it now graces the curved area at the bottom of the basement stairs. Work was started to catalogue the books in the Shuryo library, a new samu notice board was designed and created so that we can keep better track of the many regular cleaning and maintenance tasks needed in this building, physical copies of our weekly newsletter, the eMirror, were filed and new lights were installed in the side entrance foyer and over the Shuryo butsudan.  

Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for designing and preparing the truly wonderful midday meals enjoyed by those students who stayed through the day and to Mishin godo for assisting her with the preparation and serving of the meals. 

Thank you to the following students who offered their time to do samu over the weekend:

Senbo, David Gallant, Luis Fumero, Tarik Kaya, Helen Jelich, Loic Ouellette, David Alexander, Sean Howarth, Ian Richard, Denise Beaudot, Kathleen Johnson, Stacey Loyer, Mario Delilse, Jean-Francois St-Louis, Carl Anderson, Brandon Rouleau, Sam MacFarlane, Christian Hansen, Shigemi Ichino, Christina Comeau, Rowan Russel, Shannon Morphew and Stephanie Houle. 

Fundraising 2023: Roofs

Total donated to date: $12,584

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


Vegetables on drying dining hall counter

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:
Leftovers from the Samu Weekend: brown and white basmati rice with butter; a mixed vegetable and chickpea curry (cumin seeds, brown mustard seeds, finely chopped onion, minced garlic, minced ginger, chopped plum tomatoes, turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, tamarind, garam masala, chopped zucchini, carrots and daikon, chickpeas and fresh coriander); curried butternut squash soup (butternut squash, diced shallots, minced garlic, Madras curry powder, cinnamon, coconut milk, vegetable broth, chilli-garlic paste, and a little maple syrup blended until silky); salad of Romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, radicchio, chopped celery, thinly sliced red onion, chopped tomatoes and radishes; dressing made from mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, black pepper, blended with mango chutney and lime pickle.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Roasted Yukon gold potatoes; beef brisket seasoned with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, seared and then braised in stock, sauteed onions, shitake mushrooms, shiro miso, tomato paste, rice wine vinegar, minced red chillies, thinly sliced green onions; peas, carrots and corn. 

Thursday Yakuseki:
Cavatappi pasta with baby green peas in a garlic-butter sauce (minced garlic, chopped onion, lime juice, vegetarian bouillon powder, butter, red chilli flakes); vegetable soup (chopped leeks, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and celery in a vegetable broth seasoned with basil, oregano, and thyme); cubed friulano cheese with gherkins.

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 installing new window latches on two windows in the Sensei-ryo; to Mishin godo for fresh herbs and cherry tomatoes; to Fushin shuso for picking up food for Shindo and Kiden, two of the monastery cats; to David Gallant for IT work and for taking care of electronic items in the monastery that need to be fixed, donated or discarded and for upgrading equipment for our server. 

From Mishin godo:
Thank you to Jinmyo sensei and Saigyo ino for overseeing the construction and design of the new ground floor washroom that will be ready for students to use in the near future. Thank you to David Gallant for looking after the washing of the green bins every week. Thank you to an anonymous student for fresh turnips, ground cherries, and oatmeal cookies. 

From Saigyo ino:
Thank you to Greg Parker for many periods of work over the last couple of months to restore our very old standing school blackboard, which dates back to 1924. This blackboard came to us from previous owners of the building, an Order of Grey Nuns who established a boarding school here. The work to restore it included hours of sanding, restaining and varnishing as well as restoring the antique hardware. The blackboard is now standing in the basement hallway.

From David Gallant:
Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for preparing lovely meals this week for residents. Thank you to Saigyo ino for overseeing the ground floor washroom renovation project. Thank you to Fushin shuso for keeping the new wireless doorbells charged up.

From Elizabeth Eve
Thank you to the Roshi for establishing and maintaining Dainen-ji and the White Wind Zen Community for the purpose of transmitting the Dharma to monastics and lay students. Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for instruction during daisan, for advice on grieving and being honest. Thank you to Saigyo ino for  the support and instruction with sitting a retreat, and for the extraordinary care and artistry in the restoration and renovation of the monastery building. Thank you to Mishin godo for the administration work, and for making practice interviews so helpful and lighthearted. Thank you to Fushin shramon for exemplifying practice, especially during samu.

From Rowan Russell:
Thank you to Jinmyo sensei and Mishin godo for the delicious lunch. The soup was the best soup I’ve ever had. Thank you to Saigyo ino for organizing the recent Samu Weekend, and for supplying me with many interesting tasks to practice with. Thank you to Fushin shuso for your lightheartedness that always puts me at ease. Thank you to all the other students who attended the samu weekend for your friendliness and hard work.

From Zachary Claxton:
Thank you to the Roshi for founding the White Wind Zen Community for practice. Thank you to Jinmyo sensei and Minshin godo for all of the delicious meals prepared during my stay. Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for instruction given during my stay and during daisan. Thank you to Minshin godo and Saigyo ino for instruction given during my stay and during practice interviews. Thank you to Jinmyo sensei, Minshin godo, Saigyo ino, Fushin shuso, and David who were kind and welcoming during my stay. 

​From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Julien Jefferson for a donation to the Roof Repair Fund. Thank you to Rowan Russell and Sean Howarth for donations towards the recent Samu Weekend.

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