eMirror Vol 28, No. 19 (2024-05-10)

Mala around a stone

eMirror Vol 28, No. 19

Friday, May 10th, 2024
Edited by the Practice Council

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

In the space cradled within a bowl, clouds of miso tumble and pass through themselves in the broth of miso soup. Raising the bowl to your lips, its taste is simple and yet wondrously complex. It is salty and yet sweet. It is rich yet clean. There are so many nuances present in a single sip of miso shiru. It contains seaweed from the oceans, soybeans from the fields, mushrooms from the forest. Over your head, above the branches and rooftops and chimneys, clouds pass through themselves and each other, dissolving into the sky that moves as each cloud.

In the space all around you, within you, and as you everything is tumbling and turning and passing through themselves, passing past themselves. Nothing is solid, nothing is certain. And yet nothing is vague, misty, or clouded either. The sky is up, the ground is down, snow is cold, water is wet. The space of here and now is here and it is now. Everything comes together and falls away as this time and place, and everything is always coming together and falling away.

It has always been like this and it will always be like this, long before the world came together as this skin, meat, bones, and marrow and long after they fall away from each other. There has always been this sky-like expanse in which clouds of worlds and beings and times and histories gather and disperse. Who and what you are, everything and anything that you can know, every possibility of experience has always already been the play of this sky-like expanse.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, beginning Teisho 8: "Passing Through, Passing Past”, February 16, 2001, in the series "Playing With Space: Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Koku”


The Hatto (for formal sittings)

The Hatto (for formal sittings)

Zen with renovated floors (May 2024)

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 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.

Combined Associate and General Sitting:
There will be a combined associate and general sitting held in the Zendo on Saturday, May 18th which both associate and 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. Seating is limited, registration is required. Register to Attend Combined Sitting on May 18th

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 a semi-retreat on Tuesday, May 7th in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Deshi Chantal Maheu sat a half-day retreat on Monday, May 6th 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: 


Congratulations and deep gassho to Zachary Claxton of San Antonio, Texas, USA on being accepted as a general public student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi. Congratulations and deep gassho to Sarah Little of Ottawa on being accepted as an associate student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi. Congratulations and deep gassho to An Nguyen of Ottawa on being accepted as an associate student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi. Congratulations and deep gassho to Ian Reynolds of Ottawa on being accepted as an associate student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi. Congratulations and deep gassho to Stuart Vickers of Toronto, Canada on being accepted as an associate public student by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi. 

Recorded Teachings Schedule

Saturday, May 11th to Saturday, May 18th

Saturday, May 11th general sitting: “Without Difficulty”: Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on Jianzhi Sengcan's “Xinxin Ming: Words on Trusting Awareness”: “Water Within Water” (teisho 17 of 24, 21 minutes)
Sunday, May 12th formal sitting: SAkN The Self-Secret Matrix of the Total Field: "Class 1: Kokyo" (3 of 8)
Saturday, May 18th combined sitting: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Tenderness" (56 of 71, 14 minutes)

Recorded teisho playback during the Sogaku-ki O-sesshin

Monday, May 13th: SAkN Questioning the Enigma: "To Be and Not to Be" (2 of 4, 38 minutes)
Tuesday, May 14th: SAkN Questioning the Enigma: "Questioning the Enigma" (3 of 4, 37 minutes)
Wednesday, May 15th: SAkN Questioning the Enigma: "Dukkha is Bad Space" (4 of 4, 48 minutes)
Thursday, May 16th: SAkN Questioning the Enigma: "The Paradox of Absence and Contraction" (1 of 5, 26 minutes)
Friday, May 17th: SAkN Presencing the Open Body: "Where is Your Face?" (2 of 5, 15 minutes)
Saturday, May 18th: SAkN Presencing the Open Body: "Objectifying Experience" (3 of 5, 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 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.

Nappa Cabbage

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 
Split pea soup (green split peas, red lentils, Thai jasmine rice, arborio rice, barley, minced garlic, chopped carrots, chopped yellow onions, chopped celery, bay leaves, dried thyme, smoked paprika, olive oil, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar); warm rolls with butter; salad of chopped green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, radicchio, chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced celery, radishes, and thinly sliced red onion, served with optional dressing of equal parts mayonnaise, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, with honey and black pepper.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Cavatappi pasta with garlic/butter sauce (minced garlic, butter, bran oil, finely chopped white onion, lime juice, red pepper flakes; for those who wished to supplement their diet with meat: peppers and onions (Sauteed Spanish and red onion, cubanelle, poblano and shepherd bell red peppers, sliced (on the diagonal) cooked hot Italian sausages and bangers, oregano, black pepper, red chilli flakes, red balsamic vinegar. 

Thursday Yakuseki:
Three bean dal (Masoor dal (red lentils), moong dal (split mung beans) and ahar (split pigeon peas), cooked together and seasoned with toasted cumin seeds, finely chopped yellow onions and tomato, grated ginger, dried Thai chillies, kashmiri chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric, fenugreek leaves, fresh coriander); tomato and cucumber raita (chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, greek yogurt, salt, black pepper, ground coriander); baked naan with cheese.


Smooth stone with white markings

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 solving a long-term doorbell problem by installing a 'SECRUI Wireless Doorbell', which works by using radio frequencies. 

From David Gallant:
Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for excellent resident meals this week, which also provide great leftovers for lunches. Thank you to Saigyo ino for instruction on how to strike the kaishaku properly.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Rana Annous and Ian Reynolds for donations towards restoration of the monastery's heritage barge board (gingerbread).

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