Saturday Market Dayz with Ioannis

This is when we usually prepared for the weekly neighbourhood Saturday morning farmer’s market day and our trip out into the cold to gather our fresh veggies for the week and flowers for the altar. Due to lockdown, the Market Day is no longer being held. I am eating old pasta in half-opened boxes out of the cupboards and jars of tomato sauce. Missing so much these Saturday mornings shopping with Ioannis and Yonym after bright practice, our motley international crew among the Bavarian farmers.

Read More »
A New Old Talk

Even after I moved to Europe, I continued travelling back to Korea every year or so to attend the three-month intensive winter retreats (“Kyol Che”). This is one of the last talks that I gave before stopping my travelling there in early 2016. The talk was delivered to a packed audience at Dongguk University, the main Buddhist university in Korea and the alma mater of my Teacher, Zen Master Seung Sahn. It was always an honor to give talks at the school which he graduated from shortly before abandoning the world, entering the mountains, and getting enlightenment. Maybe someday someone will provide English subtitles. But I seriously doubt that the material is of any high level — really, I am not saying this out of any faux-modesty. Often these sorts of talks were attempts to ride the “show” that I got involved in there, trying to encourage people who already had maybe too much Buddhism in the culture, imbalanced with various ancient histories and experiences that caused them to see it more as a religion (or even politics) than the pure practice we receive it in the West. Anyway, I gave my best effort. (Recorded May 16, 2013.)

Read More »
The Genius of Dimitris Papaioannou: “Primal Matter”

This force of nature, the great Greek choreographer/director/experimental dance super-genius Dimitris Papaioannou came across my radar relatively recently. Many know him for his indescribable choreography and design of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Athens Olympics, in 2004. He is someone just so insightful, elemental, and there is not a single movement unnecessary in his pieces. It is true insight into the nature of this dilemma we cannot escape from, called “being human”. He presents raw and true philosophy in movement and gesture. Of course, I am not a connoisseur of modern dance. But I know something when I see it. And this is pure and true and timeless insight into human nature, in dance form. He is a living genius, a groundbreaking and revolutionary visionary of the highest order. In this virtual conversation with Dance Umbrella, London, recorded just yesterday, November 26, he walks you through a performance of his work, “Primal Matter.” What an astounding work, and so great to have his commentary. He describes in the talk how he prepared for his performance in this physically demanding role by standing outside and collecting the tickets from the theatre-goers before the show. He said that, instead of

Read More »
Lockdown-Christmas 2020 in the Regensburg Altstadt

During a “normal” Christmas season in the Regensburg Altstadt, the streets are teeming with people moving between the six or seven traditional Christmas markets, eating sausages and drinking cups of steaming Glühwein. The scent of roasting sausages would waft into the Dharma Room if we opened the windows during Evening Practice, making a unique olfactory combination with the traditional Greek frankincense we burn every day here in the Zen Center. This year, an atmosphere both surreal and also somewhat more preferable, except for the unimaginable burdens being born by health care workers, merchants, and people with children. I don’t miss that scent in the Dharma Room, however! These photos were taken just yesterday by a local photographer who I feature often on this page, Herr Rudolf Rinner. rudolf.rinner@freenet.de

Read More »