Ven. Shikai Zuiko O-sensei (Feb. 6, 1942 - Oct. 31. 2020)
at Dainen-ji around 2005
eMirror Vol 24, No. 47
Friday, November 20th, 2020
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho
The White Wind Zen Community:
An international community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985.
On Saturday, October 31st, Shikai Zuiko O-sensei died of pneumonia at the Montfort Hospital. Brilliant, fierce, and funny, she was deeply loved and lived a long life of many accomplishments. An artist in different media, she had been a broadcaster and travelled the world. In 1987 she became my student.
Here is one of the first poems I wrote for her:
in this moment
who are you?
what is this moment?
you breathe in and
She was the first student to receive monastic ordination and was a trailblazer for many. Here are some autobiographical comments: https://wwzc.org/ven-shikai-zuiko-sensei. As a practice advisor and then Dharma Teacher she continued to travel for many years. She brought our Lineage's Zen to England and Germany, to prisons and universities. Over the past years as her health suffered she stopped travelling but always carried and upheld the Dharma.
Since her death and up until Saturday, December 19th, monastics and residents at Dainen-ji have been practising the Komyo Shingon. If you have received instruction in this practice you are welcome to join with us in your home practice.
Traditionally in our Lineage the cremated remains of Teachers are cast into the air to become traceless. During this time of the pandemic this will be delayed indefinitely. When it is possible this ceremony will be held and her ashes will be scattered by the water garden that she loved so well. For the time being, her remains are in the Hojo.
Her two best friends, the cats Kitsune and Shindo, are being well cared for.
If you have memories or stories about Shikai sensei that you would like to share then please feel free to write them down. Eventually these will be collected into a "sayings and doings" (yulu or goroku) commemorating her life, practice, and Teaching.
-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi
Funds raised to date: $46,380.
Thank you to all for your generous donations to the Hojo Renovation Fund which have enabled essential improvements to be made to the Hojo, Abbot's Quarters. The contractors have finished their work and the Roshi will be moving into the newly renovated Hojo, Abbot's Quarters, in the next few days.
We have raised slightly more than the amount needed for the renovation project. The additional funds raised will be used to cover the costs of a new window and window screen in the Hojo over the fire escape. This will replace the existing window that is many years old and in disrepair. Once we have approval for the window from the City of Ottawa Heritage department, it will provide a properly insulated and safe egress.
November 18th is the Memorial for the death of Anzan Daiko zenji.
The Roshi is currently in an extended period of "self-isolation" due to underlying health issues until the COVID-19 situation clarifies.
Beginning Instruction in Zen Practice:
For information concerning our Long-distance Training Program, please visit this Web Page: https://wwzc.org/long-distance-training-program
Rev. Chiso anagarika sat her weekly semi-retreat on Tuesday, November 17th at her home in the Berkshires. Thach Huang sat a two-day retreat from Thursday, November 12th to Saturday, November 14th at his home in Laval, Quebec. Daniel Paulin sat a one-day retreat on Saturday, November 14th at his home in Gatineau, Quebec.
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is not possible at this time to schedule retreats in the monastery. If you would like to sit a retreat at home please follow the schedule outlined in this page: https://wwzc.org/retreat-schedule-public-students. We can arrange for a telephone interview or daisan providing this does not conflict with the sesshin or O-sesshin schedule listed above, under “Upcoming Events”.
Saturday, November 21st to November 28th
Saturday, November 21st: "Rhythm and Song": Zen Master Anzan Hoshin's Commentaries on Dongshan Liangjie's "Hokyo Zanmai": "But then that's just me" (15 of 15)
Sunday, November 22nd: SAkN: Being Between Being by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Full Moon Fades" (1 of 6)
Monday, November 23rd: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “When Giving Something Away" (Dharma Talk 9)
Thursday, November 26th: "The Four Noble Truths" by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: "End It" (Dharma Talk 3 of 4)
Saturday, November 28th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “The Most Important Thing” (teisho 1 of 44)
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 email@example.com.
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.
Students can access the password-protected online Recorded Teachings library on the WWZC website at https://wwzc.org/recorded-teachings or through the streaming site at http://app.wwzc.org. The custom-built media streaming site allows students to live stream recordings from the WWZC Recorded Teachings collection. It is optimized for use on smartphones and tablets, and works with most modern browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It can also be used on desktops.
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. Many of these will be posted on our website over the next few months.
During the January 2020 Sesshin, Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi presented the following teisho as part of the ongoing series, "The Lineage of Luminosity: Part Two: The Lineage in China”:
January 11th: “Rujing's Broken Broom of Mu”.
During the December 2019 Rohatsu O-sesshin, Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi presented the following teisho as part of the ongoing series, "The Lineage of Luminosity, Part Two: The Lineage in China”:
December 2nd: Rujing’s Plum Blossoms Again
December 3rd: Rujing’s Flower for Pindola
December 4th: Rujing’s Painting Plum Blossoms
December 5th: Rujing’s Frogs and Worms
Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi presented the following teisho during the November Sesshin, as part of the ongoing series, "The Lineage of Luminosity: Part Two: The Lineage in China”:
November 9th: Rujing and the Old Plum Tree
"Zen is Not Kidding" by Shikai Zuiko sensei https://wwzc.org/dharma-text/zen-not-kidding
While most of the online Recorded Teachings library is password-protected and only accessible to students of Zen Master Anzan Hoshin, a small selection of MP3 recordings of teisho are accessible to the public at https://wwzc.org/recorded-teachings. Additional recordings will be uploaded periodically.
MP3 recordings of five teisho are currently available:
Dharma Position https://wwzc.org/dharma-position
Eyes See, Ears Hear https://wwzc.org/eyes-see-ears-hear
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
Begun by Ven. Shikai Zuiko sensei
Finished by Rev. Fushin Comeau shramon following her death
Continuing on with “Painted Cakes: A Zen Dictionary” a limited edition text written by Anzan Hoshin roshi in the 1980s and last revised in 1994.
Shoken (J) "First View". The first interview between teacher and student which traditionally involves the student offering incense and a gift and applying for acceptance as a student.
Posted November 20, 2020. New entries are posted every two weeks.
Dogen zenji taught in the Tenzokyokun 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 osho serves as tenzo and Mishin ino and Saigyo tando offer assistance as tenzo-anja. The following meals were prepared for residents prior to the evening sittings on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Bow tie Pasta with baby peas in a garlic/butter sauce (butter, bran oil, minced garlic, lime juice, pinch of sugar, black pepper, Parmesan cheese, mixed with baby green peas; Napa cabbage salad (thinly sliced red and green Napa cabbage, thinly sliced red onion; cashew dressing (blended cashews, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt).
Lasagna (Italian sausage, ground beef and ground pork, Marinara sauce, chopped mushrooms, oregano, parsley, basil, thyme, hot pepper flakes, mozzarella cheese, black pepper, lasagna noodles).
Second lasagna made for people who are lactose intolerant, using ‘cashew cream’ instead of dairy cheese.
Third lasagna was vegetarian using lentils instead of meat.
All above served with coleslaw (thinly sliced green cabbage, thinly sliced white onion, shredded carrots and daikon, mayonnaise, horseradish, lime juice, lots of black pepper, salt).
Kung Pao tofu (chopped Spanish onions, yellow and orange bell peppers and poblano peppers, deep-fried tofu triangles, shoyu, black vinegar, brown sugar, chili sauce, ginger, roasted peanuts); Thai white and brown long-grain rice; baechu kimchi.
If you would like to thank someone for a contribution they have made, please feel free to send an email to Jinmyo osho at rengezo at Gmail dot com, but be sure to type "eMirror" in the subject line.
From Fushin shramon:
Thank you to the Abbot, Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi for entrusting me with caring for Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei's cats, Kitsune and Shindo. Thank you to the Roshi for entrusting me with caring for the books with his inscriptions that were given to Ven. Shikai Zuiko O-sensei.
From Hannah Kent:
Thank you to Shikai sensei for her generosity and kindness. I'm grateful for many years of daisan, informal chats, guidance and laughs.
From Claude Schryer:
I would like to acknowledge the immeasurable contribution of Shikai sensei to the Sangha. Shikai sensei taught me a lot about my practice, through daisan, Dharma Talks and writings but also informally in hallway conversations and in emails, where we exchanged about a range of topics including art, climate change and family. She was very kind and generous but also rigorous. I recall that she once asked me during daisan if I had noticed the direction of the striker before I struck the densho. I had not. I do now. I try to honour her teachings with every breath I take.
From Marc Valade:
Thank you to Roshi for accepting Shikai sensei as a student back in 1987 and for maintaining this community of practice. Thank you to the late Sensei for a life lived on purpose, for her teachings that live through her Dharma talks, teisho, poetry and art, and for never putting up with my nonsense which she each time grandmotherly dismissed. Thank you to Dainen-ji monastics for taking good care of the Sensei in her old age and through her illnesses.
From the Office of the Treasurer:
Thank you to Claude Schryer, Robert McBride, and Elayne Van Snellenberg for donations in memory of Shikai Zuiko sensei. Thank you to Graham Mayeda and Shelley McCrimmon for donations to the Hojo renovation fund.