Anzan roshi's Buddha stone,
photograph by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei
eMirror Vol 25, No. 3
Friday, January 15th, 2021
Edited by Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho
The White Wind Zen Community:
An international community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985.
Now Dogen turns to the usual idea of "old" and reconfigures it. He says,
It is not only a matter of before and after: At the time of Sakyamuni Buddha, there were the Buddhas throughout the ten directions. At the time of [Huineng's heir] Qingyuan, there was [his fellow heir] Nanyue. At the time of Nanyue, there was Qingyuan. Similarly, at the time of [Qingyuan's heir] Shitou, there was [Nanyue's heir] Jiangxi. That they do not obstruct each other is not to say that they are unrelated. The fact that they have such a virtue is something to be investigated.
Though these forty Buddhas and Ancestors spoken of above are all "old Buddhas," each has their own mind, their own body, their own radiance, their own realm. Each is "long past" and each is "never passing". Whether it is "long past" or "never passing," it is equally a virtue of the old Buddhas. Studying the way of the old Buddhas is to realize the way of the old Buddhas, in generation after generation of old Buddhas. Though "old Buddhas" is the same "old" as in "new and old," they go beyond past and present, they pass right through past and present.
Dogen redefines "ko" or "old" as not just a matter of what has gone before and what comes after, not just the past and present or "kokon", but to indicate instead primordial or always already; that which has always been the case and also always and freshly is.
There is a tradition that there is only one Buddha in any single realm for any single age. This is not because Buddhas have territorial issues and would have to fight it out in a death match to see whose gongfu is stronger but because it is only really necessary for there to be one Buddha to establish the Dharma. Once this is done, people can practise the Buddha's Dharma and realize it for themselves. Over time, the Dharma will evolve in various ways, sometimes becoming corrupt in some places and times and more refined and direct in others. Eventually Sakyamuni Buddha's Dharma will die away as is inevitable with all things. But since what the Dharma expresses is what is always already primordially true and is the nature of all beings and worlds, at some point in time it will arise again.
There is a greater and greater chance every day that as melt off from the arctic enters the oceans, the Gulf Stream will shut down and Northern Europe will be covered in snow and ice as is Labrador. Right now the odds are about 50%. The oceans are rising from the melt off and are also growing more and more acidic. As the oceans rise and cover the coasts and port cities, the salt from the sea will contaminate the fresh water table. Rainfall in southern Africa is expected to decrease by up to 60 per cent in winter and 30 per cent in summer in this century. Each change to the environment in which the numberless beings of this world live has direct and manifold effects and it seems we are approaching a cascade effect with terrible consequences. Amongst the better possibilities might be dark decades of storms, floods and droughts, wars over drinking water, famines, riots in the cities. It might well be that these next decades will be the last opportunities human beings will have to practise and realize the Dharma. It might be that there will be no one left to speak any human language and so even the word "Dharma" will vanish into unread and unknown history. And yet I will continue to speak while I have breath and continue to work on translating the Teachings of the old Buddhas. The Dharma is more precious and fragile than at any point in history and we must keep it as clear and direct and vibrant as is possible so that it is available to any one that will make themselves available to it. The names of my Dharma-heirs or of their heirs might be the last of the Lineage as humanity slides into savagery and perhaps past into silence. But what the Dharma is, what it points to, will always be true for all beings of all worlds. It is that kind of "old" and so what is expressed in the Four Great Vows to liberate all beings will go on in other worlds and other orders of space.
-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing the teisho "Buddhas Loose in the World", Sunday, February 13th, 1990, at Dainen-ji, in the series "The Primordially Awakened Way: commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Kobutsushin: The Old Buddha Mind".
January 22nd is the memorial of the date of death of Daiji Tenku daiosho, who was the Teacher of Joshu Dainen daiosho, both of whom Anzan Hoshin roshi studied with.
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, January 12th at her home in the Berkshires. Thach Huang sat a two-day retreat from Thursday, January 7th to Saturday, January 9th at his home in Laval, Quebec. Elizabeth Eve sat a one-day retreat on Wednesday, January 13th at her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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, January 16th to Saturday, January 23rd
Saturday, January 16th: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Zazen is Zazen” (teisho 8 of 44)
Sunday, January 17th: SAkN "The Anatomy of Awakening" by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi: "Strategies of Transcendence" (8 of 9)
Monday, January 18th: “Every Breath You Take” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei: “When Shaving Their Hair" (Dharma Talk 17)
Thursday, January 21st: “Zen is Not Kidding” by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei
Saturday, January 23rd: “Turning the Wheel of the Way” by Zen Master Anzan Hoshin: “Yaoshan's Chan” (teisho 9 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.
Sravaka (S) “Hearer”. Literally one of the Buddha’s Original students who actually heard his teachings. In the Mahayana the term became to mean one who studies the sutra with little understanding and aims for a conditional liberation; one whose practice is based on hearsay rather than on intimate awareness of things as they are and who struggles against the natures of dharmas. Refer to Awareness Doha.
Posted January 8th, 2021. 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 godo and Saigyo ino offer assistance as tenzo-anja. The following meals were prepared for residents on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings this week:
Thai white and brown rice; roasted spiced tofu (sliced deep fried tofu, bulgogi sauce, five spice powder, garlic powder, shoyu, xiaoxing wine, white pepper); roasted chile daikon (thickly sliced daikon, sweet chile sauce, sesame oil). Sauteed greens with garlic (gailan, dai gai choy, kale, garlic, oyster sauce, corn starch, salt and pepper).
Chilli two ways: Beef chilli (ground beef, red kidney beans, diced yellow onions, red, cubanelle, and poblano peppers, minced garlic, diced tomatoes, passata, tomato paste, Mexican chile pepper, smoked paprika, chipotle, cumin powder, salt,pepper). Vegetarian chilli (red kidney beans, brown lentils, diced yellow onions, celery, carrots, cubanelle, and poblano peppers, minced garlic, diced tomatoes, passata, tomato paste, Mexican chile pepper, smoked paprika, dark cocoa powder, chipotle, cumin powder, salt and pepper. Coleslaw (thinly sliced green cabbage, carrots, and white onions, mayonnaise, horseradish, dijon mustard, lime juice, salt and pepper). Buns.
Salad of red leaf lettuce, radicchio, chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced white onion, radish, and celery. Italian dressing (olive oil, mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice, white vinegar, garlic powder, sugar, black pepper, salt). Pizza from Ricardo's.
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.