eMirror Vol 28, No. 17 (2024-04-26)

Air Plant garden shelves, Dining Hall, Photograph by Ven. Mishin Roelofs godo

Air Plant garden shelves, Dining Hall,
Photograph by Ven. Mishin Roelofs godo

eMirror Vol 28, No. 17

Friday, April 26th, 2024
Edited by the Practice Council

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

Dogen picks up for us a story from chapter 8 the Chuandenglu about this. It also appears as Sanbyakusoku case 4.

The Lecture Master Liang of Xishan once went to practice with Mazu’s community. The Ancestor asked him, “What sutra do you lecture on?”
Liang replied, “The Heart sutra.”
The Ancestor asked, “What do you lecture with?”
Liang answered, “The mind.”
The Ancestor asked, “They say that the mind is the leading actor, intention the supporting actor, and the six consciousnesses the cast. How are these able to lecture on the sutra?”
Liang said, “If the mind isn’t able to lecture on the sutra it’s not just empty space talking is it?”
The Ancestor said, “Yes, of course empty space can talk.”
Liang shook his sleeves and turned to leave.
The Ancestor called out, “Lecture Master!”
Liang turned his head.
The Ancestor said, “From birth to old age, it is just this.”
At this Liang had an awakening. He returned to Xishan and nothing was heard of him again.

Shaking his sleeves in disgust, Za-shu Liang turned to return to his place on West Mountain. Master Ma calls him and he turns his head. Master Ma turns Liang around completely when he points out the empty space which can recognize its name, turn, move, speak, From birth to old age, regardless of what we have learned, regardless of what we remember or know, our capacity to know is just open space.

I think that Liang must have a great deal of sincerity and integrity. He had spoken to others for years about emptiness without understanding it. Although he was the abbot of his own temple he came to study with Master Ma’s community. When he actually met with Great Master Ma he felt like he was being made a fool of and was being told nonsense. Although he was angry, he could recognize the shift in his attention at Master Ma’s call.

Someone asked me why Liang was never heard from again. Perhaps he went off to sulk after this opening. People often find ways to recoil and shut down after an opening just as they often blank out or sink or flatten during the most radical opportunities of practice. Perhaps he went back to his monastery to sell his new understanding to those who came to his lectures. I prefer to think that he was an old man who went off to ripen and mature this awakening as best as he could.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, Teisho 7: "Sutras Speaking”, February 15, 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):  May 8th and 22nd.

Introduction to Zen Workshop Ottawa:
The next two Introduction to Zen Workshops will take place on Saturday, May 4th and June 1st at 1:45 p.m. To register: https://IntroductionToZenWorkshop.eventbrite.ca; for more information please see https://wwzc.org/introduction-zen-workshop-ottawa 

Sogaku-ki O-sesshin
The May Sogaku-ki O-sesshin will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 12th and will end at noon on Sunday, May 19th. Formal students and probationary formal students are asked to send in their schedule as soon as possible.

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.

Cancelled Associate Sittings:
The associate sitting that would ordinarily take place on Monday, May 13th at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled due to the Sogaku-ki O-sesshin. 
The associate sitting that would ordinarily take place on Thursday, May 16th at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled due to the Sogaku-ki O-sesshin.

Cancelled General Sitting:
The general sitting that would ordinarily take place at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 18th, is cancelled due to the Sogaku-ki O-sesshin.

General Sitting:
There will be a sitting held in the Zendo on Saturday, May 18th which general students may attend. The sitting will begin at 9:30 a.m. (arrival time is 9:15, in time for First Bell). The sitting will end at 11:30 a.m. Students attending are reminded to stay on the first floor.

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

Deshi Isshin sat a one-day retreat on Sunday, April 21st at her home in Saint John, New Brunswick. General public student Beth Buerkle sat a one-day retreat on Sunday, April 21st at her home in Chamcook, New Brunswick. General student Artik Chauhan sat a partial retreat on Monday, April 22nd at Dainen-ji.  General student Mario Delisle sat a partial retreat on Tuesday, April 23rd at Dainen-ji.

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, April 27th to Saturday, May 4th

Saturday, April 27th general sitting: “Without Difficulty”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on Jianzhi Sengcan's “Xinxin Ming: Words on Trusting Awareness”: “Resting in Motion” (teisho 15 of 24, 18 minutes) 
Sunday, April 28th formal sitting: SAkN The Horizon of Knowing by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Facets of Radiance'' (2 of 2, 32 minutes)
Monday, April 29th associate sitting: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Spring" (54 of 71, 8 minutes)
Thursday, May 2nd associate sitting: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Spring" (54 of 71, 8 minutes)  
Saturday, May 4th general sitting: “Without Difficulty”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on Jianzhi Sengcan's “Xinxin Ming: Words on Trusting Awareness”: “The Practice of Entrusting” (teisho 16 of 24, 24 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


Bargeboard Restoration


Bargeboard at Dainen-ji

From the “Heritage Conservation Glossary”: Bargeboard (bordure de pignon): Boards or other decorative woodwork fixed to the edges or projecting rafters of a gabled roof, sometimes called “gingerbread”.

Being subjected to the extreme fluctuation of Ottawa’s freezing, dry winters and the heat and humidity of summers for 150 years have taken their toll on the monastery’s elaborate gingerbread. Some of it is so old and damaged that it was necessary to take it down before it fell down. Other areas are badly cracked and all of it needs restoration, sanding and repainting.

Bargeboard at Dainen-ji

From across Friel street showing the height of the window in the above photograph.

As all of the gingerbread is (measurement) above the ground, four floors up and difficult to access because of the steep pitch of our roofs, this is not work we can do ourselves. It is going to require someone skilled in the use of a “cherry picker” and scaffolding, and will also require excellent carpentry skills as some of the gingerbread will need to be recreated. And so we are beginning the process of finding a company that we can hire to do the work. 

In the meantime, the Caretaking Council (monastics Saigyo ino and Fushin shuso) are “ringing the bell” to let the Sangha know that help will be needed. 

Takuhatsu, Alms Round, painting

In Japan, monastics traditionally walk "Takuhatsu” or “Alms Round". They wear a straw hat that hides their eyes and they carry a bell and an alms bowl. As they walk they strike the bell to let people know that there is need. But their eyes cannot be seen below the brim of their straw hat and so they do not look directly at anyone, whether they put something in the alms bowl or do not. Their purpose is to simply let the community know that there is need. 

We are pointing to the need, not to or at anyone or how large or small the dana is being offered.

Monk holding an oryoki bowl up, painting

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. 

Monday Yakuseki 
Thai white and brown rice; bulgogi tofu (chopped red and poblano peppers, red onion, thinly sliced carrots and daikon in a bulgogi sauce; Napa cabbage salad (thinly sliced Napa cabbage, carrots, daikon and red onion with a dressing made from equal parts mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lime juice, a little honey and lots of black pepper.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Thai white and brown rice; chicken curry (sauteed chopped chicken breast and thighs, spanish onion, sliced carrots, poblano peppers, green cabbage, daikon, scallions and leeks in a sauce made from Thai red curry paste, tamarind paste, peanut butter, light and dark soy sauce, small amount of maple syrup, coconut milk, served with toasted peanuts and slices of lime; a salad of chopped leaf lettuce, romaine, and radicchio with thinly sliced celery and red onion.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Garlic noodles (spaghettini noodles mixed with a sauce made from reduced sodium shoyu, minced garlic, sambal oelek, vegetarian oyster sauce, ginger and sesame oil); Garlic green beans (blanched and then sauteed green beans seasoned with vegetarian oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, minced garlic, rice vinegar, and shoyu; vegetable / mushroom soup with silken tofu (vegetable and mushroom stock, sliced ginger, shoyu, white pepper, sliced silken tofu). 

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 Saigyo ino:
Thank you to Fushin shuso for organising the swift repair of malfunctioning laundry machines and for overseeing the recent roofing work including meeting with various contractors to find a suitable company to do the work. Thank you to the following students who attended a day of samu on Sunday, April 21st to assist the monastics with various projects and tasks in the monastery and grounds: Senbo, David Gallant, Luis Fumero, David Alexander, Sam McFarlane, Jean-Francois St-Louis and Mario Delisle. Thank you to Stacey Loyer and Shannon Morphew for samu in the grounds and to Sam McFarlane for regular weekly periods of painting to help keep on top of the many painting tasks needed in this large building. To Mario Delisle and Challian Christ for a samu period each week to work on drywall installation and mudding in the first floor guest room and to David Alexander for taking a trailer full of renovation waste to the municipal dump.  

From Artik Chauhan:
Thank you Saigyo Ino for the practice interview, for providing examples about self image and for assisting throughout the retreat.

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