eMirror Vol 28, No. 6 (2024-02-09)


Digital art rupa, by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi

By Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi

eMirror Vol 28, No. 6

Friday, February 9th, 2024
Edited by the Practice Council

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

Xitang groans painfully and says, “It’s very harsh to grab someone’s nose. It could have come off.” He had thought about it as meeting something outside but now he meets it as himself. But the “self” that this is should not be stained with views of a self but rather be practised.

The intimacy between ourselves and space, between knowings and knowns, is not like meeting something else. It is like space mixing with space. Who we are is space mixing with space. The space of colours and forms, the space of sounds, the space of here and now, all spaces are all mixed together with us. This is your self. But this is not the kind of self that has a story about itself or stands apart from itself to admire or condemn itself. It is not located anywhere because it is where all places arise. There is no self to this self. It is the kind of integrity and wholeness that is present when we release grasping at a self into the ungraspability that we are. 

Shigong says, 

“Directly grabbing hold like this, you should have gotten it from the beginning.” I do not doubt that “directly grabbing hold like this gets it from the beginning.” But since Shigong did not reach out his hand at Shigong and space did not grasp space with a hand, perhaps he was not yet exerting it fully. The total world is empty space without a gap within it. This koan has long been thundering in space. Since the time of Shigong and Xitang there have been many calling themselves masters of the Five Houses of Zen but those who have seen, heard, or plumbed space have been few. Before and after Shigong and Xitang some people have wanted to play with space but few were able to put their hands on it. Shigong certainly had some grasp of space. Xitang did not glimpse space. I, Daibutsu, would like to say to Shigong: “When you yanked on Xitang’s nostrils before, it would have been better to grab your own nose to show grasping at space. Do you understand grasping the fingertips with the fingertips?” 

Even so, Shigong does know something of dignified deportment and grasping space.

In order for us to grasp space we must feel the infinite infinities of spaces that flicker and shine as the fingertips, as the space between the toes. It is not somewhere over there because all places arise within the Luminosity of koku or open space.
If Shigong had grabbed his own nose instead of Xitang’s, would Xitang have understood more clearly? Would Dogen’s expression of it have been more complete than Xitang’s? That’s not the point that Daibutsu Dogen zenji is making. On the one hand he’s just participating in the play of the koan with Shigong and Xitang together with his students at the newly opened monastery of Daibutsu-ji. On the other hand he’s not talking about Shigong or Xitang or anyone else but you.

He is asking you to take hold of your fingertips with your fingertips, your nose with your nose, space with space. To just allow the immediate presencing of seeing, of hearing, of all of the ways in which the bodymind knows to fall open into knowing space and how space knows.

He just wants you to join in the play, the jiyu, of Aware Space.

Please, this evening, enjoy yourselves.

-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 21st.

Introduction to Zen Workshop Ottawa:
The next Introduction to Zen Workshop will take place on Saturday, March 2nd 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. Register to attend the Combined Sitting

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 semi-retreats on Tuesday, January 30th and on Tuesday, February 6th at her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Deshi Ryoshin completed a period of residential training from Friday, February 2nd to Sunday, February 4th and sat two half-day retreats during this time. Deshi Chantal Maheu sat a half-day retreat on Thursday, February 8th at Dainen-ji. Thach Hoang sat a one-day retreat on Sunday, February 4th at his home in Laval, Quebec. Sam McFarlane sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, February 3rd 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, February 10th to Saturday, February 17th

Saturday, February 10th combined sitting: "Before Thinking: Foundations of Zen Practice" by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: "Thoughts" (44 of 71, 4 minutes) 
Saturday, February 17th 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)

Recorded teisho playback during the Nehan O-sesshin

Saturday, February 10th: SAkN The Anatomy of Awakening: "Knowing as Feeling" (3 of 9, 35 minutes)
Sunday, February 11th: SAkN The Anatomy of Awakening: "Hearing and Speaking" (4 of 9, 25 minutes)
Monday, February 12th: SAkN The Anatomy of Awakening: "Tasting, Smelling, and Seeing Light" (5 of 9, 24 minutes)
Tuesday, February 13th: SAkN The Anatomy of Awakening: "The Matter of Consciousness" (6 of 9, 23 minutes)
Wednesday, February 14th: SAkN The Anatomy of Awakening: "Mudra" (7 of 9, 26 minutes)
Thursday, February 15th: SAkN The Anatomy of Awakening: "Strategies of Transcendence" (8 of 9, 34 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


3 bowls: Rice, misho shiru and pickles, served on a black tray


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: 
Caramelized onion and cabbage with farfalle pasta (chopped onion and green cabbage, butter, dried thyme, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dijon mustard, red kidney beans, cream); tomato soup (mirepoix of minced yellow onion, carrots, and celery, San Marzano tomatoes, salt, black pepper, pinch of sugar, dried thyme, cooked and then pureed); thickly sliced halloumi cheese fried and garnished with lemon zest and black olives.

Tuesday Yakuseki:
Mashed Yukon Gold potatoes; Individual chicken pies (hot water pastry crust, chopped chicken, onions, carrots, celery, minced garlic in a gravy made from roux, chicken stock, thyme, sage, basil, black pepper); Chopped green cabbage boiled then seasoned with salt, black pepper, and butter; a thin chicken gravy made from chicken stock seasoned with smoked paprika, thyme, rosemary, sage, strained and then thickened with a small amount of tapioca starch.

Thursday Yakuseki:
Cavatappi pasta in a garlic butter sauce (butter, bran oil, minced garlic, lime juice, vegetarian chicken bouillon powder, chilli flakes; medium-firm tofu cooked in a mixture of butter, smoked paprika, lime juice, onion powder, garlic powder, vegetarian chicken bouillon powder; lightly cooked gai lan (Chinese broccoli) with butter and parmesan cheese; 


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 David Gallant:
Thank you to Saigyo ino for organizing the setup of the new common room space in the attic for residents.

From Sam MacFarlane: 
Thank you to  Jinmyo sensei for preparing the nutritious and flavourful meals during my recent retreat. Thank you to Mishin godo and Saigyo ino for their patience, humour and clear instructions during this retreat.  

From David Alexander:
Thank you to the Roshi for creating Dainen-ji, and for providing me with the opportunity to stay for six weeks of residential training in a beautiful and practice-oriented environment. It was a transformative and enjoyable experience. Thank you to Jinmyo sensei, Mishin godo and Saigyo ino for practice instruction and guidance, and for all the wonderful food prepared by the Office of Tenzo. Thank you to the Sangha for your inspiring practice and dedication.


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