eMirror Vol 28, No. 4 (2024-01-26)


Ice, photograph by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei

Ice, photograph by Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei

eMirror Vol 28, No. 4

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

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

Xitang says, “I know how to grasp it.” Space is universally space. “One touch and it’s tainted”; tainted, universal space collapses on the ground.

Xitang is willing to play too, because the game is very serious. It is a matter of life and death, of how one lives in this coming and going, which lives as Xitang and lives as you.

Space is universally space, is utterly and always ungraspable and unobstructed. Who we are, and what anything is, can never be made into an object of knowledge. No experience can define what experiencing is. Dogen uses a traditional Chinese phrase to say that Xitang’s answer taints the truth of ungraspability, the spaciousness of space, the unknowability of Knowing. He says that so tainted, universal space collapses on the ground. The word “collapse” here is a subtle reference to a story involving Zhaozhou.

Once more, we find Zhaozhou speaking of the cypress tree in the garden. The one that is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from the West, the meaning of Transmission and what is Transmitted from Buddha to Buddha and awakened Ancestor to Awakened Ancestor.

A monk asked Zhaozhou, “Does a cypress tree have Buddha Nature?”
Zhaozhou said, “It does.”
The monk asked, “Then when will the cypress tree attain Buddhahood.”
Zhaozhou said, “Wait until the great universe collapses.”
The monk said, “When will the universe collapse.”
Zhaozhou said, “Wait until the cypress tree attains Buddhahood.”

Zhaozhou says that the cypress tree “has” Buddha nature, the potential to Awake. But this is only revealed or fully attained as Buddhahood when the universe collapses, when there are no objects of knowledge because there is no subject, when the unknowability of Knowing is known and experienced. When the unknowability of the cypress tree stands forth in how it is known then it is not there as something known by someone. Its Buddhahood is revealed when your universe collapses, you drop through yourself, and know it as a Buddha because “only a Buddha can know a Buddha.” When the monk is Buddha, the tree is Buddha.

Collapsing on the ground here then means that Xitang’s comment taints space but is also a grounding of it, a way of trying to reveal it. In other words, there is really nothing can be said or shown of what space is but still we must speak, still we must act. Our life cannot encompass what Life is but how we live must be aligned with Life.

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, concluding Teisho 5: “The Crunching Together of Space”, February 13, 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):  January 24th, February 7th and 21st.

Introduction to Zen Workshop Ottawa:
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on Saturday, February 3rd at 1:45 p.m. To register: https://IntroductionToZenWorkshop.eventbrite.ca; for more information please see https://wwzc.org/introduction-zen-workshop-ottawa 

Nehan O-sesshin
The Seven-day Nehan O-sesshin will begin on Friday, February 9th at 8:00 p.m. It will end on Friday, February 16th at noon. 

A Sitting for Associate and General Students During the Nehan O-sesshin:
A combined sitting for associate and general students will take place in the Zendo on Saturday, February 10th. Arrival time is 9:15 a.m. (in time for First Bell). The sitting ends at 11:30 a.m. Students attending are reminded to remain on the first floor.

Cancelled Associate Sitting:
The Monday February 12th associate sitting that would normally take place at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled due to the O-sesshin.

Cancelled Associate Sitting:
The Thursday February 15th associate sitting that would normally take place at 7:30 p.m. is cancelled due to the 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 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.

Commemoration of the Buddha’s Death (Nehan-e) February 15th.

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 Chantal Maheu sat a half-day retreat on Thursday, January 25th at Dainen-ji. General public student Aaron Ford sat a two-day retreat on Friday, February 20th and Saturday, February 21st at his home in Calgary, Alberta. 

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, January 27th to Saturday, February 3rd

Saturday, January 27th general sitting: "Without Difficulty": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on Jianzhi Sengcan's "Xinxin Ming: Words on Trusting Awareness": "Not For or Against" (5 of 26, 22 minutes) 
Sunday, January 28th formal sitting: SAkN The Drift of Meaning by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Catch My Drift?” (1 of 7, 25 minutes) 
Monday, January 29th associate sitting: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Welcome" (42 of 71, 7 minutes)
Thursday, February 1st associate sitting: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Welcome" (42 of 71, 7 minutes)
Saturday, february 3rd general sitting: "Without Difficulty": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on Jianzhi Sengcan's "Xinxin Ming: Words on Trusting Awareness": "Ideas of Emptiness and Oneness" (6 of 26, 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 2024: Roofs

Total donated to date: $19,959

We are now very close to reaching the fundraising goal for the roof repair. After receiving several estimates for the repairs to the remaining areas of the roof, we have decided to contract with Firon Roofing, who provided the most comprehensive quote at a good price, with very good customer reviews and Better Business Bureau rating. The work will cost $20,845 and will be done in the spring.

Any contribution that you can make will be gratefully received to reach the full cost of the roof repair contract. To donate: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/white-wind-zen-community

Thank you and Gassho

Roof Sketch
Areas of the roof that need repair


Oryoki drawing

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: 
Lundberg Farms short-grain brown rice with peanuts; lime tofu (fried semi-firm tofu seasoned with lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, a pinch of cane sugar, lots of black pepper; braised baby bok choy (baby Shanghai bok choy halved lengthwise plunged into boiling, salted water with a little bran oil for two minutes); mushroom soup

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Thai white and brown rice; deep-fried sliced firm tofu in a batter made from all purpose flour, corn starch, finely minced garlic, finely chopped scallions, coriander powder, and salt, served with a dipping sauce made from Kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) mixed with rice vinegar, shoyu, minced garlic, minced Thai red chilis; a soup made from mushroom stock, tamarind, shoyu and thinly sliced ginger; chunks of pineapple.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Cavatappi pasta with a cannellini bean sauce (cooked cannellini beans, half of them mashed with cooking liquid, white wine, diced carrots, onions, celery and minced garlic, Parmesan cheese, Italian herbs); minestrone (San Marzano tomatoes, tomato juice, diced carrots, onions, celery, zucchini, poblano peppers and red bell peppers, minced garlic, oregano, basil, lots of black pepper); green beans blanched and shocked to bring out bright green colour, then sauteed with butter and garlic and salt and pepper and mixed with toasted walnuts.


Mishin godo bowing

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 the Roshi for the countless hours he has spent and continues to spend Teaching full and lay monastics and deshi, and overseeing the practice of all general and associate students. Thank you to Saigyo ino for using "Audo" software to improve the playback quality of older recorded Teachings including "I Hate This!" (from the Before Thinking series) which we listened to on Thursday evening. Thank you to Chantal Maheu for regular bookkeeping samu. Thank you to David Alexander for making himself available for whatever samu is needed during his residential training, and for installing a keyboard tray and shelf for me.

From David Gallant: 
Thank you to Roshi for creating the daily schedule for residents at Dainen-ji, which is always pointing out that 'schedule is Buddha'. Thank you to Mishin godo and Saigyo ino for leading kata at the formal sittings each week. Thank you to Saigyo ino for clearing the storm drain on Daly Ave in front of Dainen-ji after it became blocked by ice accumulation on Thursday.


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