eMirror Vol 28, No. 5 (2024-02-02)


Daineni-ji's Rain Viewing Shelter and Mountain Gate, 2021

Daineni-ji's Rain Viewing Shelter and Mountain Gate, 2021

eMirror Vol 28, No. 5

Friday, February 2nd, 2024
Edited by the Practice Council

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

Shigong’s words, “How do you grasp it?” mean, “Even if you say it is such as it is, you have already altered it.” And although this is how it is, yet the passing of suchness changes with it and so is such.

These next comments continue this theme. The words “How do you grasp it” mean "how can ungraspability be grasped?" Even saying “nyo-nyo” or “such as it is” or “Suchness is such” alters it. You’ve already gone out of alignment with it. But nyoko, the passing away of Suchness is what Suchness is: the coming and going, the no fixed form of what everything is. And so “How do you grasp it” also means “show me”.

Xitang grabbed at space with his hand. This shows understanding how to ride the tiger’s head but it is not yet grabbing the tiger by the tail.

Dogen praises Xitang’s demonstration of the presence of ungraspability but says it doesn’t have the whole of it.

Shigong says, “You do not understand how to grasp space.” Not only was Xitang’s understanding limited but it did not even dream of empty space. It is too profound and absolute to be described like that.

Since Xitang reaches out at space as something out there Dogen now denounces Xitang’s demonstration as too obvious and literal-minded, too abstract to convey it.

Xitang says, “How do you grasp it, elder brother?” meaning, “Say something yourself then, elder brother. Don’t leave it all up to me.”

Master Shigong grabs Xitang’s nostrils and yanks. We should realize through our practice that in fact Shigong’s whole body enters Xitang’s nostrils. Coming at it another way, we could say that the nostrils tug on Shigong. Although space is universally space, still there is such crunching up together[1].

The space of here and now is here, not out there. There is the space around Shigong but there is also the space of Shigong’s nostrils. There is the space of Shigong and of Xitang. These spaces all arise within space are all space within space. Although space is universally space, although tracelessness has no trace, space is not an absence. And so spaces crunch up against each other. “Crunching up together” is chikajaku-gatsujaku, an onomatopoeic phrase like gravel crunching that comes from the Huayan Chan Master Wuzu Fayan’s statement, “When a person exhibits reality and returns to the source, space throughout the ten directions crunches up against itself.”

Dogen says that Shigong’s whole body inside Xitang’s nostrils. In fact Shigong and Xitang are inside Dogen’s nostrils and he’s inside of yours. Your right nostril contains the left nostril and the left nostril contains the right. Still, although this is so, no one can breathe anyone else’s breath. Exhibiting reality and returning to the source is not a matter of going some place else. It is a matter of realizing where the space of here and now actually takes place. This ji-ji-mugai or unobstructed interpenetration of things is not merely an idea about things and spaces but must be understood through practice. The practices of Kai-in Zanmai, the Mikkyo-zo of Fudo Myo-o and of Kokuzo make this explicit, but it is all just part of the world that is revealed by zazen.

The crunching of space is the interaction of different kinds of spaces and the activity of accomplishing the Four Great Vows throughout the hokkai, the Ocean of Reality.

So perhaps it’s as Dogen says and Shigong had no choice but to yank Xitang’s nostrils because they had seized hold of him. Teachers seldom have any choice about how they will Teach. The situations of students are always dictating the Teaching.

[1] Chikajaku-gatsujaku. An onomatopoeic phrase like gravel crunching. From Wuzu Fayan’s “When a person exhibits reality and returns to the source, space throughout the ten directions crunches up against itself.” Fayan Chanshi yulu 1.

-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):  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

Rev. Chiso anagarika sat a semi-retreat on Tuesday, January 23rd at her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Deshi Chantal Maheu sat a half-day retreat on Monday, January 29th at Dainen-ji. Elizabeth Eve sat a two-day retreat on Saturday, January 27th and Sunday, January 28th at her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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, February 3rd to Saturday, February 10th

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) 
Sunday, February 4th formal sitting: SAkN The Drift of Meaning: “What Does Meaning Meant?” (2 of 7, 27 minutes)
Monday, February 5th associate sitting: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Cycles" (43 of 71, 9 minutes)
Thursday, February 8th associate sitting: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Cycles" (43 of 71, 9 minutes)
Saturday, February 10th general sitting: "Without Difficulty": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's commentaries on Jianzhi Sengcan's "Xinxin Ming: Words on Trusting Awareness": "Don't Swerve" (7 of 26, 18 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: $20,959

Thank you to all who have generously contributed to the Roof Repair Fund. We have now reached the fundraising goal and donations will fully cover the cost of the repairs. We have signed a contract with Firon Roofing, chosen because they provided the most comprehensive quote at a good price, with very good customer reviews and Better Business Bureau rating. The work will be done in the spring.

Thank you and gassho.

Roof Sketch
Areas of the roof that need repair


"Tenzo", sho by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi


"Tenzo", sho by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi

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 (white basmati rice, chopped onions, carrots, cubed Yukon gold potatoes, currants, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, butter); red lentil patties (orange lentils, bran oil, grated carrots, finely chopped onion, minced garlic, eggs, Madras curry powder and garam masala, finely chopped coriander); 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); tomato salad made with chopped tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion mixed with mayonnaise and mango chutney.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Mixed grain (calrose short-grain white rice, arborio rice, barley); tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlets breaded with panko); very thinly sliced green cabbage served with lemon wedges.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Warm naan with butter; Peanut-tamarind curry (chopped red onion, diced sweet potatoes, diced carrots, minced garlic, chopped daikon, chopped green cabbage, 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); haricots verts blanched, shocked and then flash fried with minced garlic and garlic-chilli paste, tossed with sauteed semi-firm tofu; sliced fresh pineapple.


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 the Roshi and Jinmyo sensei for designing so many excellent meals for practitioners and residents week after week over the past decades as part of the Office of the Tenzo. Thank you to Fushin shuso for finding a company that repairs snow blowers and making the arrangements to get the monastery's snow blower fixed. Thank you to David Alexander for taking spent printer ink cartridges to Staples. 

From David Gallant:
Thank you to Jinmyo sensei for preparing a wide array of delicious resident meals this week. Thank you to Mishin godo for helping me store our 'cold storage' data backup drives.

From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Gillian Hern for a donation to the Roof Repair Fund.


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