eMirror Vol 27, No. 42 (2023-10-20)


Maha Prajnaparamita sutra scroll

Maha Prajnaparamita sutra

eMirror Vol 27, No. 42

Friday, October 20th, 2023
Edited by the Practice Council

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

The Maha Prajnaparamita sutra lists twenty kinds of emptiness: Internal space, external space, space both inside and out, space as space, all pervasive space or daiku. And so on. The space that we open to opens out as right here and now. Our practice is to open to right here and now and to let right here and now open out into the space in which they arise. This cannot be captured within notions of inside or outside, self or other, things or no things. There are no things; but here is the hand, the snow, the sun. There is a wall that your hand can reach out and touch; but it arises within the experience of sensation and of seeing.

The Buddhas and Awakened Ancestors ask us not only to question right here and now into who we are and what the world is but where we are, where “here and now” is.

We are space suspended in space, space moving within space. So what is this space? Koku, akasa, empty or open space has traditionally been said to have ten attributes: First it cannot be obstructed. Secondly, it is pervasive. Thirdly, it is unbiased. Fourth, it is vast. Fifth, it is formless. Sixth, it is pure and stainless. Seventh, it is immovable; you cannot push or pull it. Eighth, it is non-existent in the sense that it is not any kind of thing. Ninth, it is not non-existent because [claps hands together] here it is. And tenth, it does not abide in any place because places happen in space.

As Dogen says there must be at least 84,000 kinds of space. There are infinite infinities of space in all directions and dimensions.

But the primary feature of space is that it is featureless. This is how it can look like you, look like me, look like zazen, look like the sky. And this is also how it can see and hear and touch and taste and think.

Sitting here, right now, with your knees mere inches from the wall it is here, right now, sitting.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, concluding 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 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 

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.

Retreats and Training Sessions

Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, October 17th in Berkshires, Massachusetts. Thach Hoang sat a partial retreat on Sunday, October 15th 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, October 21st to Saturday,  October 28th

Saturday, October 21st 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: “A Dog's Mouth” (teisho 15 of 22, 18 minutes) 
Sunday, October 22nd formal sitting: SAkN: Five Spheres of SAkN by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Dongshan’s Wu-Wei" (2 of 7, 21 minutes)
Monday, October 23rd associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “The Game” (28 of 71, 7 minutes)
Thursday, October 26th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “The Game” (28 of 71, 7 minutes)
Saturday, October 28th 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: “Oxen” (16 of 22, 19 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

Fundraising 2023: Roofs

Total donated to date: $13,859

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


From Dainen-ji's roof garden, Photograph by Ven. Mishin godo

From Dainen-ji's roof garden,
Photograph by Ven. Mishin 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:
Fettuccine with garlic-butter sauce and basil chiffonade (butter, bran oil, minced garlic, chopped white onion, lime juice, baby peas, garnished with finely chopped fresh basil) served with grated Parmesan cheese; vegetable soup (chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped carrots, red shepherd’s bell pepper, carrots, leeks, zucchini, diced fresh tomatoes, vegetable stock, mushroom stock, thyme, basil, a pinch of oregano; cubed friulano with gherkins and lemon zest. 

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Crusty rolls with butter; white bean chicken stew (chopped onion, chopped chicken thighs, diced carrots and potatoes, pearled barley, reconstituted dried porcini mushrooms, baby green peas, chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, lots of pepper, thyme, basil and oregano, cannellini beans; salad of romaine and leaf lettuce, radicchio, thinly sliced celery, slivered white onion, and “Fred’s Tie Dye” tomatoes from the roof garden, with a dressing of mayonnaise, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, pepper, and honey. 

Thursday Yakuseki:
Mixed grain (calrose rice and pearled barley); tofu with peppers (fried semi-firm tofu, minced garlic, chopped red shepherd bell peppers, chopped poblano peppers, chopped Spanish onions, shoyu, shaoxing, sesame oil; steamed bok choy with a sauce made from gojuchang, minced garlic, shoyu, sake, small amount of sugar, sesame oil, white pepper; leek/celery soup (chopped leeks, celery, minced garlic, slivered ginger, mushroom stock, vegetable stock, miso, shoyu, sesame oil).


Little monks bowing, Japanese 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 Mishin godo:
Thank you to David Alexander for a large water jug with a spout that will be very useful during Samu Weekends and Dharma Assemblies. 

From David Gallant:
Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for preparing the delicious Indian cuisine for last weekend's Samu Day lunch. Thank you to Saigyo ino for organizing the Samu Day, where many important tasks were accomplished.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Chantal Maheu for a donation to the Roof Repair Fund. Thank you to Kathleen Johnson for a donation towards the recent Samu Weekend.

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