During the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to turn away from the negativity of the news and Covid isolation and see things from a Buddhist perspective. I’ve been unable to reconnect with my former meditation teacher, Dogong, aka John Barazzuol. I’d love to have another talk. In lieu of that, I’ll repost my report of his last dharma talk before he left Korea for Canada. When he entered the meditation room, he laughed at the sight of seven recorders on the floor in front of his cushion.
In Canada, Dogong removed his monk’s robes and wrote his own … Read More
Laura arrived in Korea several years after I left, but we have quite a few mutual friends and have talked many times online. At the time of this interview, she was at home in Pusan, and I was at home in Antipolo. Thanks to Laura for the photos.
So, how did you end up teaching in Korea, of all places?
In 2008, I was selling business franchises in Los Angeles when the bottom fell out of the economy. I lost my house, sold my car, put my stuff away and gave my two cats and dog to my … Read More
If you met him in person, probably the first impression you’d have of Chris would be of a nice man full of youthful energy who laughs easily and often. Here you see his serious side and his attempt to put into words a feeling that is not easily expressed.
We did this interview on Skype while he was at home in Tacoma, Washington and I was in the Philippines. Then I sent him the transcript for editing. Thanks to Chris for the photos.
Contemplating this manuscript has been an absolutely terrifying experience, which is why I’ve balked at … Read More
I first met Geri in Seoul in 2006 when she was the ASACS (Adolescent Support and Counseling Services) counselor at Seoul American High School on the Army Base, USAG-Yongsan, and I was teaching at Dongguk, the Korean Buddhist University. Since then, she and her husband Christopher have moved from Okinawa, where she was a Behavioral Health Counselor for the Marines at Camp Foster, to Gulf Breeze, Florida in retirement with yearly visits to their property in Teos, Turkey. Currently, they are living in Florida, south of Pensacola in a beautiful spot on an estuary. Geri said she didn’t know … Read More
When I moved to South Korea in 1988, the country was recovering from the dictatorships of Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan. In a week it would host its great coming-out party, the Seoul Olympics, which despite being well organized would be temporarily mired in controversy, with the national inferiority complex exposed.
My first impression of Seoul was that it was as militaristic, as nationalistic, as drab and as prudish as post-revolutionary China could be. and far more misogynistic. Pro-democracy student demonstrators battled with riot police, although it was clear from their own organizations that they didn’t know what democracy meant. … Read More