eMirror Vol 27, No. 46 (2023-11-17)


Master Mazu

Master Mazu

eMirror Vol 27, No. 46

Friday, November 17th, 2023
Edited by the Practice Council

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

Before we become engaged with Dogen’s play with the koan, I thought you might enjoy a bit of background to it.

The Chuandenglu tells us,

Huicang of Shigong used to be a hunter. He despised monks. One day, as he was in pursuit of a herd of deer, he happened across Ancestor Mazu’s hermitage. The Ancestor greeted him. Huicang asked, “Has the Master seen a herd of deer passing nearby?”
    The Ancestor asked, “Who are you?”
    Huicang said, “I’m a hunter.”
    The Ancestor said, “Do you know how to shoot?”
    Huicang replied, “Yes, I know.”
    The Ancestor asked, “How many deer can you shoot with a single arrow?”
    Huicang said, “I can only shoot one with a single arrow.”
    The Ancestor said, “Then you don’t know how to shoot.”
    Then Huicang asked, “Does the Master know how to shoot?”
    The Ancestor said, “Yes, I know.”
    Huicang asked, “How many can the Master shoot with a single arrow?”
    The Ancestor said, “With a single arrow I can shoot an entire herd.”
    Huicang said, “They are also alive; why shoot the whole herd?”
    The Ancestor said, “If you know that, why not shoot yourself?”
    Huicang said, “If you ask me to shoot myself, I cannot do that.”
    The Ancestor said, “Ah, this man. All of his ignorance and defilements accumulated over vast eons have today come to an end.”
    At that point Huicang cut away his hair with a knife, and became a monk with the Ancestor.

Once, as Huicang was working in the kitchen, the Ancestor asked him, “What are you doing?”
    Huicang said, “I am tending an ox.”
    Master Ma said, “How do you tend this ox?”
    Huicang said, “When he wants to wander in the grass, I grab his nostrils and pull him away.”
    Master Ma said, “You are truly tending the ox.”

Shigong had been a hunter, someone who made his living by killing. This was of course regarded as not only a lowly occupation in classical Chinese Buddhist culture but also one that would lead to rebirth in the lower realms in coming lifetimes. Through a chance and brief meeting with Great Master Ma however, there stirred in him the recognition of the value of life, the pricelessness of life, and also the need to use his own life in a way that could express this vast richness. That someone with his background was moved to do this, and was able to do this was regarded as very inspirational.     

As for Xitang, his Dharma-heirs Jilin Daoyi and Hongshe were Korean monks who were fundamental in the establishment of the Nine Mountains of Korean Chan. He also appears in Blue Cliff Records case 73.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, Teisho 3: "Not Pulling Your Leg," February 11, 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):  November 29th, December 13th and 27th.

November 18th is the Memorial for the death of Anzan Daiko zenji.

Rohatsu O-sesshin
The seven-day Rohatsu O-sesshin began at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, December 1st, ending  on Friday, December 8th, following Jodo-e (commemorating the Buddha's Awakening).

Combined Sitting on December 2nd
This will be the only sitting open to associate and general students during the Rohatsu O-sesshin (December 1st-8th). First Bell is at 9:15 a.m. The sitting ends at 11:45 a.m. Students are reminded to stay on the first floor.

Cancelled Associate Sittings
On Monday, December 4th, the 7:30 p.m. associate sitting will be cancelled. On Thursday, December 7th, the 7:30 p.m. the associate sitting will be cancelled. 

A Note to Preliminary and Public Students Concerning O-sesshin
During an O-sesshin the schedule is such that there is no time to meet face to face with preliminary students or to reply to email correspondence sent by public students. Public 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.

Introduction to Zen Workshop Ottawa:
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on Saturday, December 9th, 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

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 are a public student and 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.

If you would like to engage in a training session either at the monastery or at home by aligning with the schedule of the monastery, please read the information on this page: 

Recorded Teachings Schedule

Saturday, November 18th to Saturday, November 25th

Saturday, November 18th 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: “Balls of Mud” (19 of 22, 21 minutes)
Sunday, November 19th formal sitting: SAkN Five Spheres of SAkN: "Guest Meets Host" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin (5 of 7, 28 minutes)
Monday, November 20th associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Open Heart” (32 of 71, 5 minutes) 
Thursday, November 23rd associate sitting: “Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Open Heart” (32 of 71, 5 minutes)
Saturday, November 25th 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 Way of Clouds and Water” (20 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

“Kwannon”: A teisho by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, transcript of a teisho presented on May 6, 1986, at River Road Zendo

“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: $16,959

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


Japanese teapot on flames

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:
Biryani (basmati rice, bay leaf, fennel seeds, star anise, green cardamom, black cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds and mace, cubed Yukon gold potatoes, diced carrots, green peas, brown lentils, currants); curried butternut squash soup (diced shallots, minced garlic, chopped butternut squash, Madras curry powder, cinnamon, coconut milk, vegetable broth, chilli-garlic paste, and a little maple syrup); fresh pineapple. 

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Thai white and brown rice; Thai fish curry (coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, chopped vegetables, cod, basa, shrimp and bay scallops, fish sauce, lime juice, fresh coriander; alternate chicken curry was also prepared; whole pieces of gai lan (Chinese broccoli) plunged into boiling, salted water with a little bran oil for two minutes, then placed on a serving plate and cut into three sections. 

Thursday Yakuseki:
Thai white and brown rice; scrambled tofu (extra-firm tofu broken into small pieces, sauteed with chopped onion, minced garlic and scallions, seasoned with light shoyu, dark shoyu, chilli oil, sesame oil, chopped scallions); whole pieces of gai lan (Chinese broccoli) plunged into boiling, salted water with a little bran oil for three minutes, then placed on a serving plate and cut into sections; fresh pineapple.


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 Jinmyo sensei:
Thank you to David Gallant for his efforts to resolve a connectivity problem with the computer in the Sensei-ryo.

From Mishin godo:
Thank you to Saigyo ino for working on making instructional videos of the forms that will be very useful for public students.

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