Mirror of Zen Blog

On Requests from Korean Media

Recently, there have been a few enquiries from Korean media, requests to appear on talk shows or give interviews. After a long hiatus of my own self-enforced silence (it has been wonderful!), suddenly there are fish nibbling on the hook, out of the blue. My own intuition is that this was because of the recent “return” of the Korean monk Hae Min Sunim to some public role in the media, and so naturally the media are looking for some sort of reactivity which could stimulate some further reactivity and click-bait to distract people and create some false controversy or “noise”. A Korean disciple of mine also had this same immediate intuition, so there must be some truth to that possibility.

This email arrived several days ago in our official ZCR inbox from one of the most popular TV talk shows in Korea — MBC Talk Concert. They interview pop stars and other cultural figures, artists, actors and actresses — wherever the eyeballs are wandering. They are asking if I have any plans to visit Korea in the near future (unless there is a significant funeral or similar requirement to attend, or a significant teaching situation: “No!”) or if I would consent even to providing them an opportunity to do a video interview (ditto). The letter-writer does not introduce themself personally or even give their name — a dead giveaway that this is a “cold call” to be avoided:

During the morning meeting today in the Zen Center, the staff and I discussed how our Director should reply. It seems that her reply is worth sharing here, as it answers any questions people might have about why I don’t wish to appear in Korean media for the last few years:

I think our Team put it as clearly as it can be expressed. If there is ever something important to say (and let’s hope there is not), it will be said with a clear choice and not after having been “invited” by someone wishing for click-bait. Otherwise, it will be said here on the Blog.

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