Zen Walking

shit and clover

Zen Walking.

Oh brother in law!
You teach me
To meditate
On each step I take
Never to look too far ahead
To concentrate
Because oh brother in law
Your dog shits everywhere
Especially out side my door
Turds clustered
Like land mines
Oh brother in law
I guess I’m soon to be
A Zen master
With no shit between my toes
Or under the soles of my feet
Oh brother in law
I thank you!

Remembering Rememerence Day

On Monday, November 15th, our neighbor, a World War Two veteran, died in hospital of a brain hemorrhage. One day, he told me how it was his job to fish out the bodies of his fallen comrades out of the water.  He witnessed many horrific events and lived with these past events quietly. He was 86 when he died on November 15th 2010. A bachelor all his life, he depended on good neighbors to help him with daily tasks that he could not do by himself. He was a strong and independent man with a kind heart. Unfortunately, he didn’t remember those who helped him survive and function in  his civilian years…the good neighbors who were there for him when he needed them most…but that’s a subject for another photo essay and poem.  This photo essay is dedicated to all Veterans who have served our country. Lest We Forget the sacrifices that have been performed on our behalf.

Korean Buddhist Monk Doll with Poppy

Just a note the gray doll with the Poppy is a Korean Buddhist Doll. If you press it in the center it chants the 108 pre-recorded Buddhist mantras. I mention this because to most Westerners it looks like a Nazi Doll. The Swastika predates the meaning it assumed in the early 20th century with the rise of Hitler’s Nazi party. While living in South Korea I traveled to many Buddhist temples to talk with the Korean Monks. When I fist saw the symbol I was confused, and that was when I was taught the earlier meaning of the symbol. One of the explanations I received was that for Buddhism this emblem represents a perfect circle once it spins: hence enlightenment. I included this picture in the photo essay to commemorate all those who lost their lives serving in the Korean War. May peace reign.

For further reading and references concerning the swastika and its association with Eastern Religions please consult Wikipedia.


Historical use in the East

“The swastika is a historical sacred symbol in Indian religions. It rose to importance in Buddhism during the Mauryan Empire and in Hinduism with the decline of Buddhism in India during the Gupta Empire. With the spread of Buddhism, the Buddhist swastika reached Tibet and China.” Quoted from Wikipedia


x ray

x ray


The X-rays are proof
Conclusive evidence
Exposing my nature
Confirming my small heart
And poor circulation
“you’re so cold” you say
but that’s the way I was made
my love is detached
severed from the sentimentality of my mind
I got the X-rays today
So you could see for yourself.

Dog Eye Bone



The city
That butcher
Through meat and bone
And I snap at the pieces
My muzzle gnaws
At another
And another
My dog eye bone
At the presence of other muzzles
Snapping at choice cuts of meat
I growl with savage hunger
Never satisfied
There’s always another
And yet no one
I can swallow
To nourish my soul





chicken coop

chicken coop

Audio version in-this-chicken-coop


In this chicken coop
We are
Economic transactions
Paying prices
Set and stamped
Pecking at bar codes
Like chickens
Willingly we enter
Massive barns
Like warehouses
And we con con constantly
The lowest price
Which dictates law
The selection has been made
A fat little finger with a gold diamond ring
Pointing either to the right or the left
On the shelf the result
Products strong enough to be made use of
All standing at attention
Ready for our inspection
Well placed at eye level
Yes the lucky ones
With bar codes tattooed upon their backs.
Outside the sky is blackened
By the chimneys
Busy recycling
The feeble independents
And the cremated labeled outlaws
Are repackaged, and sold as compost
Aisle 4
We continue
Con con consuming
Fattening ourselves
While breeders record statistics
And the grease of maximum efficiency
Keeps the d-boning machine
Well lubricated.

The Chicken Grinder

The Chicken Grinder



Surviours For Now

Survivors For Now





The radio was playing
And we were communicating
But I thought I could do better
So I tried to say more
From the frequency stationed in my mind
With an adjustment
I thought I could
get my voice
and message clearer
And so I moved the dial
Raised the antenna
And my tongue fumbled
Now there’s static
And garbled words
A multitude of voices
Struggling to say something
Nothing makes sense
And I’m sorry to have touched the dial
But I had to try
To tune in with you.

To the Candy Princess

Glow With Me

Glow With Me

To the Candy Princess

From This Field
From this poppy field
I confess
I’m comfortable
From here I contemplate
Listening to echo’s
With my minds memory playing out
The Symphonie Fantastique
Re-remembering the dance I danced
From this field
I can see and hear them
Busy busy bees
Busy body bees
Buzzing around your flower
And some of them old pricks
Peckers ready to penetrate and pollinate
And even the wasps and horny hornets seem to smell your candy
Annoying, persistent buggers
Wanting to suck
Your sugary sweet secretions in the sun
Always at the ready with their sting-hers’
From here I can see
It’s best not to get too close
Pick no flowers
Roll in the weed
And stare at the stars in silence

Night Sky


llw6 258


I stand in the empty
Teachers room
By the window
Behind the flag
Pubescent boys
Ordered into formation
Looking up
To the structurally elevated authority
The principals harsh face
Stares down from the podium
His mouth contorts
Shouting into the microphone
That amplifies
And distorts his words
On either side
Teachers form
A barrier
Like generals
Reviewing parades
From up top of mausoleums
But from here
I can see the fidgeting
Restless shifting from foot to foot
And the Ethics teacher
The persistent



Fyodor Dostoevsky:excerpt from The Idiot

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Reading Fyodor Dostoevsky has had a strong impact on me. I felt compelled to make a pilgrimage to his gravesite in St.Petersburg, Russia. I did so on several occasions, just so I could have a have a little chat with my mentor. Here is one of the Photographs I took the last time I was there, and also one of my favorite quotes from the novel The Idiot. This is Prince Myshkin recounting an encounter with a man that was once led to a scaffold for a public execution…

“He was dying at the age of twenty-seven, healthy and strong; bidding farewell to his comrades, … There was a church nearby, and the top of the cathedral with its gilded dome shone in the bright sun. He remembered gazing with terrible fixity at that dome and the rays shinning from it: it seemed to him that those rays were his new nature and in three minutes he would somehow merge with them…The ignorance of and loathing for this new thing that would be and would come presently were terrible; yet he said nothing was more oppressive than for him than the constant thought: “What if I were not to die! What if life were given back to me – what infinity! And it would all be mine! Then I’d turn each I’d turn each minute into a whole age, lose nothing, I’d reckon up every minute separately, I’d let nothing be wasted! He said that in the end this thought turned into such anger in him that he wished they would hurry up and shoot him.” (P.60-1)

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot.

Part one chapter 5

Translated by: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

First Vintage Classics edition July 2003


Squid Drying

Squid Drying


I ate dried squid
Feasted on it’s tentacles
Burnt them over my gas range stove
Then dipped them in mayonnaise
And I thought
As I chewed and chewed
How stupid the squid is
To jump into traps
Light being the only bait
Just like moths that burn themselves in the flame
The squid are caught and eaten
Must be retribution
For past life crimes
I thought
As I chewed and chewed
The stupid squid
Until the next morning
When I awoke
With sore gum’s
And teeth
Unable to move my mouth
Then I realized
And bowed to the squid
My teacher!

Run Young Heart Run

Turtle at Heart

Turtle at Heart

Run Young Heart Run

I’m wiser
Though I may feel my pulse race
I run not
Run young heart
From where I stand
It’s a chess game
Strategic, calculated moves
So let the rabbit run the race
Run young heart run
There’s lots to chase
But only one to catch


Fishing for Love

no fishing for me

Small Mouth Bass

In shallow water
Warmed by the sun
In a tranquil part of the stream
A shinny lure
Caught my eye
And I struck with force
And the lure lurched back
Ripping my lips
But it could have been worse
Had the hook set properly
The vicious fight for freedom
Frying pan
I escaped this angle-her
Who has already caught her limit
They’re by her boots
A strand of blond hair
Threaded through their gills
Awaiting her recipes
I’m the lucky one
This time
And so I wait
For this season to pass
And her fishing license
To expire.

The Fishing Lodge

You told me
About the northern lodge
Where you worked for a summer
In the season of your beauty
As a fishing guild
Leading men
How you bated them all
Into falling in love with you?
And how angry you got
At the one
Who didn’t strike
At your charming lures
remember how he said
you were angling the shallow waters of attention
and all stops shinning
when the seasonal sun sets

Here in Time


Here in Time

There is no escape

Stairs yes

Sometimes a chute

Another way

Yes, sure

Why not

But there is no escape

Everything is slipping from me my friend

The end?


Either way

There is no escape

Its just you

Here in time

Doing time

It’s time’s doing

And I drop some

And some more

I can’t carry anymore

Why and how I did

I wonder still

And when I’m still

The wind speaks and says

There is no escape

We just find ourselves

Here in time

And if we’re lucky

We discover why we’re here

Here, in time.

The Live Like Water Story: The Chinatown Years

These are pictures from the Chinatown years in Vancouver BC. Taken during the time I had no Camera.Well my Nikon Fm was out of commission and I couldn’t afford to have it fixed.These shots were taken by Al Roy, Arthur and myself using their cameras. As long as I had my typerwriters and paper I was fine. I, in those days I wrote instead of photographing. Only towards the end of my stay I did some shooting and self portraits using Tri X.But you’ll see those pictures in due time; I’m a tea turtle after all! The Last two pictures are from when I went dark and atmospheric! I’ve never returned to the light since… well and update I can share the Live Like Water web site … steep on by www.livelikewater.com


Golden Gate Center,Chinatown Vancouver

Golden Gate Center,Chinatown Vancouver

Tea Shop From No-Where

Tea Shop From No-Where

And From No-Where A Polish Freak Dressed Like a Korean Selling Tea to The Chinese!

And From No-Where A Polish Freak Dressed Like a Korean Selling Tea to The Chinese!

Steep This Way

Steep This Way

Sales Pitch

Sales Pitch

Life's More Than Tea Bags!

Life’s More Than Tea Bags!

First 5 Bucks

First 5 Bucks



self portrait

self portrait

Korean Tea Pot Types and the Breaking in Process

Korean Tea Set

Korean Tea Set

Before you begin using your tea set it is important to determine what type of tea you will be using it for. The reason for this is because whatever tea you will use will be absorbed into the cracks of the pottery. Generally potters and connoisseurs suggest one teapot for one type of tea. For example one for green tea, another for Oolong and a third for black or red teas.

Over time the teapot that you use will take on the particular character of the teas that you drink. This is especially true for Chinese, clay pots. Because they are not glazed and the tea seeps into the tea pot. A gummy residue forms and leaves its deposits. They say that after extended use you will be able to pour in water and get tea without using any leaves!

There two distant types of Korean pottery; Bek Ja and Boon Chung. “The former” is the older style and it is generally characterized by its rough texture and intricate crack lines. Usually the glaze that covers it’s surface is either thinly or partially applied to expose its true character. However potters can manipulate its appearance and make it look as if it were in the Bek Ja style and vice versa. The Bek Ja style is smoother in texture and is closer to the ideal of perfection. They prefer to make this type of pottery in the north. There are not so many crack lines that are visible in this type of pottery. Also because of it’s glazing it can be used to serve different kinds of tea. Personally I, and the potters that I have met prefer to make Boon Chung pottery because it is more interesting in design and texture; through it the Master Potters express the warmth of being human; and being human means to be imperfect.

Before you start to use the tea set I suggest you cook it! Immerse the set into a pot of boiling water, add some green tea, or which ever you will be using, and simmer for a few hours. Then let it soak over night. This will break in your tea set and also bring out the natural crack lines.

Once you start using your tea set, here are practical ways for cleansing. I recommend just rinsing the pottery in hot water after using. Over time, residue may start to build up. These tea stains are easy to get rid of, just use a clean cloth to rub the cups, pouring bowl and the outside of the teapot. Personally I don’t think it is necessary to clean the inside of the pot. But you may if you wish. The other option, that some potters have suggested is to use natural detergents, even coffee grinds are good. What ever you do not use commercial detergents. They will seep into the pottery; and with the delicacy of green tea you don’t want a soapy taste.

Vipassana Meditation As Taught By S.N. Goenka, in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin

Along the journey I have had the privilege to have been introduced to Vipassana Meditation by a dear friend, Richard Honsberger. If it were not for his insight, I might still be blind. When I was ready, I made the time to do a ten day meditation retreat. It was a great opportunity to sit and face myself; and once I had completed the ten day retreat, I came out beaming, full of energy, and healthy; due to the generosity and loving hands of the volunteers who prepared the delicious vegetarian meals to sustain us all while we did the real work we were meant to do. I have done several sits since, and for those who are interested in experiencing meditation in a secure environment, and do not know where to start I suggest Vipassana Meditation. Here is some information from their site. Do visit them at http://www.dhamma.org/

For those of you out in my neck of the woods there is a centre in Sutton, Quebec.

Quebec Vipassana Meditation Centre

Dhamma Suttama

Sutton, QC, Canada


Vipassana Meditation As Taught By S.N. Goenka

in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin

This is the international home page of the organizations which offer courses in Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka and his assistant teachers in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin

Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was taught in India more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art of Living. For those who are not familiar with Vipassana Meditation, an Introduction to Vipassana by Mr. Goenka and Questions & Answers about Vipassana are available.

The technique of Vipassana Meditation is taught at ten-day residential courses during which participants learn the basics of the method, and practice sufficiently to experience its beneficial results.

There are no charges for the courses – not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from people who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the opportunity to also benefit.

Courses are given in numerous Meditation Centers and at non-center course locations at rented sites. Each location has its own schedule of courses. In most cases, an application for admission to each of these courses can be made online.

Traditional Korean wood kiln fired pottery

When our eye’s first encounter traditional Korean tea sets they might think that they are defective in some way. The cups are not perfectly round. In fact they’re lopsided, and the hand painted sets seem to have been thinly and sloppily applied, with runs dried into place. But all this is done Intentionally.So what does all this mean? In many respects we have been brought up with cookie cutter standards of perfection; at the first sign of imperfection we say: “hey how about a discount!” Most of the products we buy are exactly that: products, identical and devoid of any humanness. We cannot see or feel the artists uniqueness or the energy they put into creation. If we feel anything at all it’s the fragmented process of the assembly line.

The Korean potters that I have met and spoken with have told me that it is their intention to draw our attention the imperfections so that we may reflect upon them. Life is imperfection. A bump for example, may remind us of a beauty mark; it’s a apart of us. However, for some a beauty mark is a defect, and they seek surgical solutions.

Korean potters reconnect us with our own nature through the use of simple, familiar shapes and the elements that are used; through earth, water, wind, and fire we can identify and contemplate our own humanity. For that reason potters are special artists, because they create functional art from which we can sense ourselves and our relationship with the world we live in.

Decanting tea

Decanting tea

Design, color, texture, and the energy I feel in a tea set reflects mood, mind and personality of the potter; but more than that the tea set represents and connects me to the universe. When I examine the delicate and intricate crack lines in the pouring bowl, or the cups, it is like looking at the lines in the palms of my hands, or like looking up at the constellation in the night sky and seeing the connections. And this reminds me of the phrase ” a butterfly in Hong Kong affects the weather in New York.”

The tea sets that these Master potters make are not destined for museums. Museums are like the catacombs. They displayed dead objects under glass for spectators who pay an admission fee. It is only by using the pottery, by holding it in our hands that we can feel it’s energy, and gain introspection into our own lives and existence.

Tea Bowl

Tea Bowl

traditional tea sets are our teachers. They are vessels that instruct us in the meditative process of drinking a single cup of green tea. Tea is not about consumption, it’s about the process; that links us to the moment, to our true being, and the universe in which we live.

Detoxification In The Pursuit For Better Health:By Frank Pridham



Medicine is the study of DISEASE, and as such, has nothing to do with your health. It deals with Disease, and has a protocol CURE for that disease … either Cut, Burn or Poison, depending on the type of disease and its severity and that basic approach has not changed over the last 100 years. Medicine´s idea of prevention is early detection. “Do your tests more often”. True prevention would be counter – productive to good business practice. No one would need them. Medicine is a business. It is a BIG business and it is fighting hard to stay that way. The recent practice of labeling doctors, as “Health Care Practitioners”, is a very misleading misnomer. Medicine has nothing to do with your health. I am not anti-medical in my approach and I do believe that if you are Sick, or in Crisis, you do need the plumber. Call the doctor.

However, you were not born sick. You became sick for one reason or another over time. There is a way back. We are all as strong as our weakest genetic link. And if you are sick and undergoing a mainstream Medical Cure, you also need the best quality food, nutrition, and all the help you can get to HEAL your body, build it up to counter the toxic onslaught of the drugs you may be taking to affect that cure and minimize the side effects on your body. If you are undergoing a medical procedure, you need to consult with your Doctor to see if a strong immune system may be counter productive to any procedure he may have you on. Medicine is an illogical art, and in many cases such as a Bone Marrow Transplant, or any other transplant, a high immune system that may have kept you Healthy, is counterproductive to a procedure like a Transplant, and will only acerbate a situation by bringing on Graft Verses Host Disease. Only one example where a strong constitution may be ill advised. Consult with your Doctor, times are changing, and if he is not willing to take the time to explain things to you, you have the wrong Doctor. Take charge of your life and your health. No one else has your interests at heart, and above all if you are not sick, take the following steps now to keep yourself healthy and free of disease. This is true PREVENTION.

HEALTH: The world has changed in the last 50 years more dramatically than in the previous 50, and that was considered a revolution. Our bodies are under stress, like never before, our planet is under stress, and we are our own worst enemy. When we feel a pain and go to our doctor, and he can’t find anything wrong with us, we feel elated, with a clean bill of health. Not so. It only means we are not sick enough for modern diagnostic technology to find it. Your body is speaking to you. Listen carefully, act on it and do something good for your body. Accept the responsibility for your own health. No one else is going to. Until values change, and we realize “en mass” that we are doomed, traveling in the direction of a profit-motive economy with no moral values and consumer-rampage driven, we have no hope either for survival or good Health. The writing is on the wall. We have no place to go. We must clean up our nest (the planet) and our act (get healthy) if we wish to thrive here. That is if we want to Live! There are now more people alive on our planet than have ever walked its face since the beginning of time and humans continue to damage our environment at an unprecedented rate.

THE FOUR MAJOR STEPS TO BETTER HEALTH: Get off the North American Diet: don’t put in the additives, preservatives, chemicals, dyes, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, irradiated foods, genetically modified foods, simulated flavorings, aspartame, fillers, and what-have-you that are added to our food chain to enhance the profit-motive, and certainly never for nutritional purposes.There is a lot of work done by the FDA, on each individual additive, but no one is working on the chemical cocktail that we are consuming every day, three times a day. No one is doing any studies on the interaction of all of these chemicals, and how they may affect the human body. There is no money out there for anything that may not bring a profit…. Remember that! The body has to eliminate those foreign additives. They do not exist in nature. Over time the eliminating organs become overwhelmed. What to do with it now? We can’t get rid of it, we have to store it somewhere. This is when disease begins and our weakest genetic link is under siege.Don’t put it in, and your body doesn’t have to use up energy to get rid of it, and you won’t clog up your eliminating organs. DON’T PANIC GO ORGANIC.However, you were not born sick. You became sick for one reason or another over time. There is a way back. We are all as strong as our weakest genetic link. And if you are sick and undergoing a mainstream Medical Cure, you also need the best quality food, nutrition, and all the help you can get to HEAL your body, build it up to counter the toxic onslaught of the drugs you may be taking to affect that cure and minimize the side effects on your body. If you are undergoing a medical procedure, you need to consult with your Doctor to see if a strong immune system may be counter productive to any procedure he may have you on. Medicine is an illogical art, and in many cases such as a Bone Marrow Transplant, or any other transplant, a high immune system that may have kept you Healthy, is counterproductive to a procedure like a Transplant, and will only acerbate a situation by bringing on Graft Verses Host Disease. Only one example where a strong constitution may be ill advised. Consult with your Doctor, times are changing, and if he is not willing to take the time to explain things to you, you have the wrong Doctor. Take charge of your life and your health. No one else has your interests at heart, and above all if you are not sick, take the following steps now to keep yourself healthy and free of disease. This is true PREVENTION.#2: Detox: Clean out those eliminating organs. Get rid of the past history, and get those eliminating organs functioning efficiently so they can get rid of future toxins and better assimilate your nutrition and keep you healthy. There are many so called Detox supplements, and procedures out there, one for the liver another for the kidneys, one for the gallbladder another for the bowels, etc. Do it right. Clean out the complete body all at the same time, save money and get the job done so you can get on to better health quickly. Your body will thank you and you will feel the difference in just 7 days. Changing your diet without a Detox procedure, will take you 12 years to clean out all the debris accumulated. Get the job done now, and the healing over with, so you can get on with life, and put your energies towards the purpose you were sent here for. Health and good energy, along with a clean body, will free up your preoccupation and let you get on with the job of discovering your meaningful purpose in life. Do it now. The only contra indications are for pregnant mothers, and nursing mothers. You will have to wait. It would have been best to do this before you got pregnant, and experience a very different, vibrant, healthy and calm baby. Detailed procedures on Detox are at the end of this section.#3: Get on to real food that provides optimum nutrition. This is hard to find today. It is as close to the garden to the table as possible, and Organic if possible. If it doesn’t grow, don’t eat it. It isn’t food. If this planet promotes life, and our existence is proof that it does, then we are meant to eat what it has provided over the millennium as close to how it has provided it as possible, and fresh (picked from the garden) raw food maximizes the nutritional content, vitamins and minerals, fiber, oxygen, and live enzymes. Your body will thrive on it. Haven’t times changed? Who has a garden anymore? How to get back is a whole other book. Boost your immune system. There are many approaches to this depending on your situation. If you are sick, or if you are just looking for prevention, the approach will be different. See a naturopath for a personalized plan depending on your present state of health. It will involve supplements, minerals, antioxidants, eliminating bad habits, replacing them with healthy ones, changing life styles, etc.This is where we are all going on our road to better Health. How you get there is your own journey. If you are coming from a crisis situation you are more determined in this process. At the same time it is a process of the elimination of bad habits that destroy your health, and replacing them with ones that improve your health.Focused on nutrition, your body will reward you with glowing health and boundless energy, long life, and a purpose to it.

DETOXIFICATION:Basic instructions to aid in detoxification and increase the elimination of toxins from the body during a seven-day, fresh juice fast.All juices must be passed through a fine mesh sieve before ingesting, to remove the pulp-residue, which may pass through your juice extractor. This procedure will ensure that only liquid, and no pulp is entering the digestive tract. If some pulp is getting into the system, the body will try to digest it and the detox will not be as complete.On average, one should consume a minimum of 6 to 8, (10oz.) glasses of juice per day to maintain normal energy levels. Each person is different and should you feel a lack of energy or tiredness setting in, have an additional juice. Your energy requirements will vary from day to day and therefore, so also, should your number of juices. Fruit juices will give quick energy but do not last long. They are good for the morning to get you up and going. Vegetable juices contain more sustaining vitamins, minerals and less sugar to get you through the rest of the day.When switching from a vegetable to a fruit juice or, vice versa, let one hour pass between, so as not to mix fruit and vegetable juices together in the stomach. This combination will create gas and /or cramping.It is better to err on the side of having too many juices than not enough. All juices must be fresh from your juice extractor and nothing out of a bottle or a can, to maximize vitamin and mineral content. All fruit and vegetables must be well washed before juicing and organic if possible.When beginning a juice fast, the body takes one day to rest then changes its function from digestion to elimination. It begins to eliminate the toxins from the digestive organs themselves. These toxins, accumulated over the years, are then thrown out into the eliminating organs of the body. Therefore, it is important during your juice fast that you begin a daily elimination procedure.BASIC DAILY ELIMINATION PROCEDURE DURING A JUICE FASTA juice fast without a daily elimination program is of much less value. Get the toxins out of the body. Do it right.

The six major eliminating organs of the body are, the skin, the lungs, the liver, the kidneys, the colon, and the lymphatic system.

THE SKIN:Begin each morning with 3 to 5 minutes of dry skin brushing. Only a natural bristle brush will do. No synthetics, which may tear the delicate, skin mantle. Begin with the bottom of the feet; they can take a beating. Then in long hard strokes, move up the body. We have major lymph nodes, behind the knees, in the groin, under the arms (the sweat glands), behind the ears. Brush upwards towards these lymph nodes; women, just to the breasts. Above the breasts and chest, move outward towards each armpit respectively, opening the chest. The hands and arms, upwards toward the body trunk and sweat glands. Brush the top of the shoulders and neck upwards towards the ears, the face, up the cheeks to the ears, the eyes, straight across on each side towards the respective ear, and the forehead up. Massage the scalp with the fingertips held stationary, moving the scalp on its base to increase blood circulation. The back, upwards however you can reach. A long handled skin-brush is best for this.You may want two types of brushes, one harder bristle for under the feet and the hands and a softer bristle for the body and face. Three to five minutes is enough each morning to feel a tingling sensation as the circulation increases and moves to the surface of the epidermal layer, giving your body a pink, healthy glow.Dry skin-brushing, increases the blood flow, removes the dead skin cells and helps to move the lymphatic fluids. It should always be done before your shower or bath. Most books on skin brushing say, “move in a circular motion towards the heart” this is for circulation only. This week we want also to move the body’s lymphatic fluids. The upward motion will do both. Every second night during the fast, take a hot salt bath. Do your skin brushing first. Get into the tub; heat the water up, warmer than normal and add a one pound box of salt. Ordinary table salt will do. Relax in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes, no more. You may become dizzy if you stay in longer. Then, take a tepid shower, cooler than the bath water, but not a cold one, to wash the salt off and close the pores.The skin brushing brings the toxins to the surface, the hot bath opens the pores, the salt draws the toxins out, and the shower washes off the salt and closes the pores. You will sleep well! This routine helps to get your skin working to eliminate toxins, soften and freshen skin texture, to feel super clean.

THE LUNGS:Each day, during your fast, take a 20-minute to 1 or 2 hour walk, away from the traffic, in a park, or on a residential street. Walk with determination, moving your arms in rhythm and breathing in through the nose, long breaths of fresh oxygen deep into your lungs and exhaling through the mouth. Visualize breathing in fresh clean air and exhaling impurities. In the winter cover the nose and mouth with a warm scarf so as not to inhale any frigid air directly into the lungs.The fast walking and arm movements stimulate the pumping of blood through the lungs and inhaling oxygen deeply helps to purify and oxygenate the blood supply. Exhaling eliminates the mucus and toxins from the lungs to free up the delicate alveoli hairs deep within the chambers of the lungs.This week, as the fast progresses you will experience more and more mucus being eliminated from the lungs. Should this become excessive, postural drainage may help to eliminate it more easily. While lying, prostrate on your bed, dangle the upper torso over the side towards the floor and feel the force of gravity loosening and forcing the mucus downward into the back of your throat for easy elimination.The skin and lungs take active participation on your part to initiate a regular routine to facilitate elimination of toxins from their systems and out of the body. This is a cooperative effort.There is no use doing a juice fast to clean out our bodies unless we get the toxins out. Help your body in every way you can to serve you better. It will repay your regular efforts with glowing health and energy.Beginning an early morning stretching exercise routine such as Tai Chi or limbering up exercises will help to support your program. However, no violent or high impact exercises such as jogging or impact aerobics.

THE KIDNEYS:The fruit juices: water melon, cantaloupe, apple, etc. are a natural diuretic and will help to eliminate any water retention in the body. The first urine of the day will be colored and the remainder of the day should be clear. Fruit juices are a lavage for the kidneys and you will be urinating a lot.By the end of the weeks fast, if you are tuned in to your body, you should feel your skin less puffy and see your skeletal structure reappearing. The more toxic your body and the more clogged your eliminating systems are the more water retention you will have. When the body is unable to eliminate toxins rapidly due to a clogged elimination system it will keep them in suspension until such time as it can eliminate them.Salt, also, contributes to water retention. The body doesn’t know what to do with it. It has no nutritional value. Elimination of salt from your daily diet will help rid your body of excess water, but you do need to find another source for iodine for your thyroid, like kelp, dulse, wakami or nori (sea vegetation).

THE LIVER:The carrot juice, which comprises 3 or 4 of each vegetable juice, stimulates the production of bile by the liver, which is in turn, thrown into the duodenum via the common bile duct. This bile is removed daily during the fast by the colon irrigation procedures. Bile is the waste product of normal body metabolism and is responsible for the color of your stool. The food we eat is multicolored and passes out of the body, after digestion, unrecognizable.The use of wheat grass, chlorophyll implants, into a clean colon to stimulate a sluggish liver is beneficial during a juice fast. From up to 3 hours after the colon irrigation, 2 1 or 2 oz. of fresh, sieved, wheat-grass juice may be implanted approximately 4 to 5 inches into the rectum by means of a syringe into the area of the hemorrhoidal vein where the chlorophyll is absorbed through the colon wall directly into the hemorrhoidal vein and transported by way of the portal vein to the liver where it stimulates the production of bile. This bile is eliminated the next day by way of the colonic irrigation.A diluted enema of wheat grass can also be used to stimulate bile production and increase energy in a weak system.Some colon therapists use coffee enemas to achieve this same result. However, I am loath to introduce caffeine back into a clean system, via the colon, when the wheat grass avoids caffeine and works as well. This is a matter of better choices.

GALLBLADDER FLUSH:Our North American diet, with it’s fried foods, rich sauces and high cholesterol content, contributes to the build up of cholesterol, gravel and eventual stones in the gallbladder. The prime candidate is “fat, feminine, and forty”. However, no one is exempt, unless your gallbladder has been surgically removed.By the 3rd or 4th day of your juice fast the body is in Detox mode and the peristaltic action of the common bile duct is much stronger than usual. The duodenum will have been emptied by the two or three days of irrigations and the way cleared for easy elimination of any gravel, which may be in the gallbladder. To aid the elimination of stones and gravel the following procedure is important on the 3rd and 4th evenings.Just before bedtime in place of your Bentonite & Psyllium mixture, peel and eat an average size orange. Chew it well. Follow with 3 and a half oz. of pure virgin olive oil. Eat another orange and go to bed sleeping on the right side in the fetal position for at least 2 hrs. Repeat this procedure the next night. (If you change positions after 2 hrs on the right side, it is fine.)The body by the 3rd day is in complete Detox and the liver will not even try to digest the oil, hence the smaller amount of oil required than the usual gallbladder flush. The oil will act as a lubrication draining into the common bile duct via gravity on the right side. The peristaltic action will force any gravel out into the duodenum and via colon irrigation, out of the body the next day. The oranges are to cut the oil and help keep it down.If a bowel movement occurs the next morning, check the toilet bowl for brilliant green, pea-like stones. Some floating, and the older more dense ones will sink to the bottom of the bowl. Usually they are separate from the stool itself and not imbedded in it.Should you have had problems with the liver in the past, such as hepatitis, mono, or jaundice the stones tend to be a metallic yellow in color and not the brilliant green. They are unmistakable and can be any size, usually like small green peas or yellow corn.Some nausea, perhaps sweating during the night are indications that the procedure is working.

THE COLON:The psyllium seed and bentonite mixture, (one and a half TSP liquid bentonite, plus 1 heaping teaspoon of psyllium seed & husks, mixed together, in 8 to 10 oz. of tepid water) 4 times per day, breakfast, lunch, supper and before bedtime works to clean out the colon and the whole digestive tract. (Do not try making the mixture in only 6 oz of water. It will be too thick.)Just as the mixture swells in the glass, so also it swells in the intestines. It helps to provide bulk in the stomach to keep you from getting hungry and as it passes through the complete digestive system, stomach, duodenum, small intestines and finally the colon, it pushes the bentonite and granulated psyllium seeds up against the walls of the intestines acting like a gentle sand paper as it moves throughout the system, four times a day, gently scraping off any layer of fecal mater or mucus lodged on the walls of the intestinal tract. The psyllium husks form a slippery agent to absorb the residue and move it out of the colon.Each day this is removed by means of the irrigation procedure. For the first 2 days the fecal matter moving out is the most recent and looks like a normal bowel movement. By the 3rd day (each person is different) there is a dramatic change in the color and texture. The stool becomes darker and darker, sometimes black and rubbery with threads of mucus wrapped around it. The darker it is, the older it is. The longer it has been in there.Hopefully, by the end of the week there is another dramatic change in the color. The psyllium and bentonite mixture goes in, and comes out the same color. A light tan color which indicates it is not picking up anymore waste on its route through the system. The digestive tract is clean.In not all cases does this change of color take place on the 1st set of colonics and during the 1st 7-day juice fast.

RUBBER:In the case of heavy peanut butter eaters and pasta lovers the mucosa layer may become so coated that it begins to putrefy over time and turn into a rubber like substance that lines the colon walls. The colon can no longer do its proper job of absorbing efficiently the water-soluble vitamins and minerals.An experienced colon therapist can detect the presence of “rubber” in the colon by his abdominal massage taking the clients past nutritional history into account and the lack of regularity. All are suspect to the existence of rubber in the colon.The 1st 7-day juice fast and series of colonics will eliminate the loose debris back to the rubber if it exists. A good nutritional diet high in natural fiber, raw foods and living foods will stop any further build up of accumulated matter on the colon walls and allow the mucosa layer to shrink away from the walls of the colon over a 3 month period. Then, on the 2nd 7-day juice fast and colon irrigations the rubber should move out of the colon. Sometimes, it moves out dramatically, in 3 to 4 foot lengths of metallic gray or black substance. Should this happen at home while on the toilet the peristaltic action will move approximately one foot of fecal debris and then stop. The “rubber” will be hanging from the rectum and no further movement. Take a piece of tissue latch on to it and pull gently to remove from the colon. It doesn´t hurt. It only needs a gentle pull to remove what is already loosened up. You may be surprised at the amount that comes away. It is clean. You can pick it up out of the bowl, lay it out on a serviette and check the shape of it. It will contain the fingerprints of your colon and any existence of strictures (narrowing of the colon) diverticulae or ballooning. It is an instantaneous relief to your system. You will feel a surge of wellness as your circulation begins to improve and the colon can begin its proper function of absorbing vitamins and minerals more efficiently. Your body will thank you.Remember, not everyone has this specific problem. It tends to exist more in the younger generation of junk-food eaters, peanut butter freaks and McDonald´s generation of low fiber diets.

TRANSITIONAL DAY:Coming off the juice fast is more important than maintaining the fast. The longer the fast the longer the transitional period back to your regular eating program. A 7 day juice fast requires only 2 transitional days.On the 1st day eating is just an exercise in changing the function of the digestive organs back from detox to digestion. It is important to do this simply, lightly and as easy as possible. If you have melon juice as your 1st morning drink during the fast, then have a piece of melon with it. Chew everything you eat, well, until it is a juice in the mouth before swallowing. At noon you may introduce a mono salad, one vegetable only, either raw spinach or romaine lettuce with the juice of half a lemon for vinaigrette. In the evening you may have a 5ingredient salad. Keep it light, grated carrots, thinly sliced cucumber, cauliflower, sprouts and spinach with the juice of half a lemon for dressing. Maintain your juices as normal between these meals. No oils, no vinaigrette, no salad dressings, no nuts, no seeds, no avocado for the 1st transitional day. Protein and heavier foods are always the last to introduce to your system when coming off a fast.On the second day, introduce larger quantities of salad with more seasoning and cut back on your juices to 3 per day (fruit in the morning and carrot and apple at noon and a vegetable juice in the late afternoon). It is a good idea to maintain these 3 juices a day from your juicer, along with your normal eating regime. (Think of them as your vitamin drink rather than a vitamin pill.)On the 3rd day you may begin your nutritional regime. Hopefully, it will be high in natural fiber, raw fruits and vegetables with the addition of raw nuts and seeds in the form of sprouts. A living food diet is closest to the garden and is high in natural fiber, to aid elimination and maximize nutritional content to give your body the boost it needs. The colonic irrigation process removes both the detrimental and the beneficial bacteria. It is necessary to begin at least a three-week program of acidophilus capsules to restore the beneficial bacteria in the colon. Dairy free, capsules, of at least 2.5 billion strength, enterin coated, without FOS matrix, are best as they are designed to dissolve in the small intestines and put the bacteria exactly where it belongs. One capsule after each meal, especially the protein meal for a period of 3 weeks will do the job. There are other ways to restore this bacteria but the capsules are the easiest to use.Don´t anticipate a bowel movement the next day after a series of colonics. It may take some time, one or two days for the food to move through the system. If you are changing your eating habits, as I hope you will, to a more raw and living food program you will experience some gas over the next couple of weeks as your system further detoxes and adjusts to the changes. The 7day juice fast, with colonics may be repeated 2 to 3 months after your first series to ensure most of the garbage has been eliminated. It takes years to accumulate. All of it won´t be eliminated in just 7 days.Afterwards, at least once a year is a good maintenance program. It will add years to your life enhance your vitality and keep your body functioning at optimum health.The preceding instructions are the very basic procedures of elimination and many additional ones, plus products, such as pancreatin, cascara sagrada, super ´D´ tea, warm caster oil packs for the liver, wheat grass therapy, urine therapy, reflexology, lymphatic drainage massages, fresh air baths, implants, spirulina, chlorella, dunaliella, flax seed, lower bowel conditioners may all be added to this basic program to enhance the elimination of toxins from your internal organs.As you begin to accept the responsibility for your own health and initiate a more natural way of eating and living you will find yourself on a journey. I have given you only the very basic procedures of internal hygiene for your physical body. Your mind and spirit will follow.

You may just find yourself changing values; sorting out importance; eliminating the garbage that clutters so much of our modern lives and, searching for a more meaningful existence. As you turn on to life and move towards a more loving existence with your fellow man and the environment in which we live, you will find yourself on a rewarding journey of growth which has no end.


2nd Day

3rd Day

4th Day

5th Day

6th Day

7th DayYour appointment for your 2-week meal plan diet: ________________________Juice fast programWe recommend a minimum of 10 ounces for each juice, and more would be better!

The day before your first appointment:

Last meal at 7:00 o´clock

Evening: a carrot juice

Before bedtime: In 10 oz. of water add 1 tablespoon of liquid bentonite and 1 heaping

teaspoon of psyllium powder together in the same glass, and mix. (Drink Quickly)

Daily juice program:

First thing in the morning repeat: bentonite & psyllium (breakfast)

1st juice: Any melon or apple or pink grapefruit (Sip all your juices SLOWLY.)

2nd juice: half carrot half apple

3rd juice: carrot

Bentonite & psyllium (Lunch)

4th juice: half carrot, quarter combination of (spinach, celery, cucumber, cauliflower)

5th juice: melon

6th juice: ¾ carrot, ¼ combination of (cauliflower, red cabbage, spinach)

Bentonite & psyllium (Supper)

7th juice: ¾ carrot, ¼ combination of (spinach, Chinese lettuce, green pepper, celery)

8th juice: carrot

bedtime: Bentonite & psyllium (Later in the evening)

To your vegetable juice you can add: cayenne pepper, lemon juice, herbs (garlic, shallots,

dill), tamari sauce or ginger root.

To your fruit juice you can add: lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg

Each person is different. Should you lack energy have another juice. Some days on your fast you will require more than others. Remember your body uses energy to detox and if you are missing energy, you need more Juice.

The above are a suggested list of fruits and vegetable juices only. Experiment using those vegetables and fruits, which are in season at the time of your fast, but at least 75% of your vegetable juice, has to be carrot. ***

From Liberal Arts to Selling Tea in Chinatown

During my years at Liberal Arts College I became an educated consumer of Western ideas, art and culture. There was so much on the table, and I, hungry, spooned in as much as I could from that intellectual buffet. It has taken so much time and experience to digest what I had learned. Eventually, I found myself in Korea completely unprepared. Everything rational was useless. And so, like the Futurists, I too had to throw overboard all the old perceptions I carried in my suitcase. I dove right in and learned to swim with the currents of people and cultural traditions. In the course of my time spent there I must have had just a little too much green tea to drink, because I found myself transforming. When the current brought me back to these shores it was in the form of a Tea Master, and I found myself a cultural cross dresser. I had traded in my Polish folkloric costumes for a Korean one and set up a traditional tearoom in Vancouver’s Historic Chinatown (also known as the down town East side). So now with my background in Liberal Arts: Western Society and Culture and Russian Studies, I sell tea to the Chinese!

As I continue to bridge East and West I realize that the tea room, and the process of drinking tea in communion, serves to bring together idea’s and dialogue, something we all enjoyed at the college; in the classrooms, in our own small personalized “study” groups and on Thursdays during coffee hour. Upon graduation I felt somewhat isolated and actively sought out other “intellectual consumers”. And so I decided to create an environment where the intellect can grow and blossom, my cross-cultural “Tea Womb” a place to nurture thinking articulate minds. These days I strive to live like water and to create cultural waterways of understanding between East and West, keeping the dialogue and ideas flowing. It is with fondness that I look back at the people and the time I spent at the college. And one day I’ll probably enroll and start it all over again.


Michael Cichon


– Michael the Teaman

China’s Long Jin Green Tea

fuji-digital-pictures-805Finding and buying some of the best tea depends on relationships and introductions. Last year when my partner and I were purchasing tea in China, we were fortunate enough to have been introduced to the West Lake region and where the real Long Jin / Dragons Well Green Tea is grown, harvested and produced. Here we met a fantastic tea farmer and his family who indeed had some of the best quality Long Jin Green Tea. Timing is everything during harvest time as the tea quality changes quickly. We were able to buy the 1st and 2nd flush / picking and it was a real treat. Human hands mean love, and we could taste the hard work and pride in his superior green tea.

Tea farmers hand.

Tea farmers hand.

After the tea is picked and shade dried, the leaves are baked using this cauldron. Here lies the art of baking the leaves to bring out the full character of this delicious green tea.

Korean Zen Master Doe Sung Se Nim

We all find teachers when we need them.Lessons are all around us, but we have to know where and how to look. I used to think how the teachers in the school system failed me terribly, but really they taught me very well, only not in the way I expected. Traveling through this world I have met many true teachers living according to their truths. I have been really blessed in my journey, and have met some wonderful mentors. While living in Korea my Korean older brother Lee Jae Young introduced to his Master, a Buddhist Monk by the name of Doe Sung Se Nim. Doe Sung Se Nim is a very special man for me. Just by looking into his eyes he could confirm the truth I carried inside myself. I would travel a long way to his temple with my head full of questions, but the moment I sat before him they all evaporated. I realized there was nothing to ask. His presence comforted and explained without the use of words, and to this day his warm eyes and happy face shine still for me. Deep down inside i know the path i must take, yet I resist still: like when I would listen to the sound of his Mok Tak and chanting at 2.45am, still laying on the warm floor under the blankets in the cold mountain air,conscious, awake, but still sleepy, clutching at every minute of comfort and warmth. Every thing in its own time. Anyways, here is a portrait I took of him for our Tea Zen label. I hope his picture inspires you daily as you drink your delicious tea .

Hopkins Landing

After spending time with Do Sung Si Nim, a Korean Zen Master, I returned to British Columbia and landed on the shores of the Sun Shine Coast. I soon found a little cabin in Hopkins Landing, and set up the Live Like Water Tea Room. Steep by steep I met the locals, and many wonderful relationships blossomed.

How Korean Green Tea is Processed

Korean Tea Leaf: 2nd flush

How Korean Green Tea is Processed.

It all stems from here; this leaf called Camellia Sinensis, whether you drink Green, Oolong or Black Tea. It is just that the leaves are non fermented for green tea, semi fermented for Oolong tea and 100% fermented for Black or Red tea. And once the leaves are picked it doesn’t take much time for them to begin to wither and ferment, so to make green tea they are processed quickly.

Baking the tea

Korean green teas are usually  baked, whereas Japanese green teas tend to be steamed. The tea leaves are put into a large metal cauldron and gently tossed and turned.

rolling the tea

tea ready for drying

From there they are placed on a mat and rolled by hand. This process is repeated over and over. Approximately 3 times before the leaves are ready to be sorted and then packaged.The whole process is done by hand: picking, rolling, sorting and sifting.

Work for the Village

By using human hands the tea industry provides work for the villagers and helps to support healthy relationships amongst it’s community members. The tea industry provides and sustains a viable eco-economy and a stronger identity. Unlike factory work, the work they do is part of the natural environment that surrounds them.When harvesting tea there is a different relationship to time and the perspective of time. By following the seasons they live closer to nature and the earth. Time is not dictated by watches. There is no need. Day is day. Night is night. When it’s time to harvest they work until the job is done. It’s the task that’s important. There is not need for a punch clock to dehumanize and regulate their labor and production.

Human hands means love and sacrifice.The fact that they do this work allows us to take pleasure and enjoy the distinct flavor of hand processed teas: and our enjoyment helps to support and maintain their traditional way of life: this way we all remain connected to the earth.

Naked for Art

• Life Drawing: The naked Truth about Your TeaMan! Yes this is me turning the other cheek so to speak. When I moved to Vancouver and opened my tea shop in Chinatown, these bohemian artists would drop by, and one named Lane…he was a dodgy type you know…

Modeling services,can I help you?

Modeling services,can I help you?

Anyways he calls me and say’s…”hey man if you drop your drawers for art you can make groovy money man, and you get to strike poses for lots of art girls man….I know this man with a van…he teaches the gaming kids…lots of gigs…good money….hmmmm I hummed. “You know there’s that whole arty thing going on there at Basic Enquiry…might be more your cup of tea… just down the street from your shop. Just past that old titty bar … Why don’t you come by and I’ll introduce you.” Well the next thing you know I was enrolled in Mr. Lanes course entitled “So You What To Be A Life Model Eh?”, given by the great one himself, David J. Lane; super star of those long hard poses. His resume included Emily Carr School of Art and Design, Vancouver Film School, Capilano College, and so many other meat on the podium art places. And so after extensive “pose training” on his very public purple porch facing the Adanac bike route at Semlin, I graduated and made my debut at Basic Inquiry: slipping into my skin and onto the podium to the soothing voice of Daniel Charbonneau, playing a little music for awhile.

The Polish Poser

The Polish Poser

Ahhh, the poses, the memories; when the CBC allowed to Pied Piper to capture our imaginations, instead of forcing us to drink tonic. From that moment on I was hooked to exposing for art, and I followed in the foot steps of my mentor. Soon I too hit the posing circuit. So if I look somewhat familiar, and you think you’ve seen me somewhere before, but can’t just place it, perhaps you’ve seen me doing a tea demonstration, or on the podium, or just hanging in a gallery: and that’s the naked truth about your TeaMan!

Stay tuned, perhaps I’ll reveal more tales from the podium. And if you need a model for your group/school here in Montreal, feel free to contact me; the pay per view starts from the podium!

• Life Drawing

If you’re an artist looking to sharpen you’re life drawing skills or just curious to explore the medium, then Basic Inquiry is the place to go. This is a great little studio in our neighborhood that brings the artistically minded together. Be sure not to miss the annual find raiser entitled “In The Nude For Love”. A fun evening where many Life Models volunteer their time, giving artists lots of figures and combinations to draw in the three main posing corners; offering a variation of 2 minute, 10 minute and 30 minute poses. And when the bell rings everybody rotates. Last year all this was done to the glorious sounds of the cello playing Bach. A real treat!

Basic Inquiry. The Vancouver life drawing society encourages the appreciation and production of figurative art. We provide a friendly and positive place to practice figure drawing and painting at reasonable rates.

Stumbling Along The Path to Buddhism

Stumbling Towards Enlightenment.

Like children we spend a whole life time crawling…stumbling towards enlightenment…we try to stand…to move instinctively in the direction…in tune with the music…the melody that resonates within us…and we struggle to learn the steps of our particular dance…falling because we have not learned to master our own awkward push pull rhythms… because we don’t know how to listen…we’re not able to focus on the true tempo…and so we continue…falling…crawling…stumbling… towards enlightenment.


I arrived exhausted
Needing to unload
My heavy restless mind
That caused my feet to swell
At the center
The woman was kind
Her smile sympathetic.
She sold me
A basic book
And music to sooth the thinking mind
No longer tired
I hurried home
Hoarding my answer
At once
I unwrapped the cellophane to wisdom
Put the tape
Pressed play
And flipped through the pages
Waiting for the music…
Press fast forward
And I shout shit!!!
The Buddhists’ ripped me off
Took my money
Then I suddenly realized
Closed the book
And listened to the silence.


A name
My name
My name?
A guiding star
I try to wrestle to the ground
Words slippery as eels
The alphabet
Cemented with seminal fluid
Gestures premeditated?
An equation?
What’s the answer?
Dirt over a corpus
Finally silence
When breath ceases
Lies sleep.


I try to sit
An hour
A year
It does not matter
Where I go
I soon start to fidget
Wanting to get up and leave
There is no where I want to be
I’m tried of traveling
But restlessness keeps pushing these feet forward
Babcia said
I was born with pepper
In my underwear
An hour
A year
I keep trying to sit
Longer and longer


On the window
A fly struggling
Longing for the freedom of the light
It sees but cannot attain
I gently usher it towards the opening
Because I see
But the fly stupidly resists
Thinking it knows better
Buzzing further from its goal
I try several times
Then swat it
Maybe you’ll figure it out in the next life
And I sense
I’m being watched in the same way.


Because I’m not enlightened
I approach Buddhism from the outside in
I shave my head
And dress like a monk
Because it helps contain me
Within the reinforced conception of behavior
I hold in my mind
I never see them
Ranting and raving
Or staggering drunk
At least not in uniform
Not that they don’t
It’s just I haven’t seen it
And that contains my content
for ideals.


I took it everywhere
I went
Wrapped in my underwear and socks
Time chipped the cup
And I continued to drink
Seeing the clay beneath the enamel
Every time my lips touched the brim
I was reminded
Of the duality of this world
My illusions began to crumble
Piece by piece
And I knew
But instead of smashing the cup on a rock
It became my favorite
I was attached
To that daily reminder
Not able to step over and beyond
Though I drank green tea clarity
Then one day
Seeking a teacher
And guidance
I gave it to Hung gak se nim while he was on his book tour
But he thanked me for the gift
Perhaps it will serve as his hwado

My Korean Jazz Family, Pusan, South Korea

It all started when I stepped off the main street. I had just moved into Pusan to start my new life as English teacher for Dong Dae Shing Dong Boy’s Middle School. Between classes I’d escape from the teacher’s room and go off exploring. I saw an interesting looking door on one of the side streets with a Jazz sign above. It piqued my curiosity. I had walked by it several times, and then one day I tried the door; it opened. The interior was dark and cool. After standing in the small room in silence for a while, I raised my voice to announce my presence. The walls absorbed them like a heavy blanket. The atmosphere was comfortable: a blend of the familiar and unfamiliar. I sat down in the dark and lit a candle. I helped myself to some cigarettes on one of the tables and smoked in silence until it time to go. The next afternoon the same thing happened, only this time after a few minutes I encountered Dong Bum, and ordered some coffee. He looked a little surprised, but made me some instant coffee. Slowly we communicated and I learned that this was his bar, and he lived upstairs. He ran the bar by night and slept by day, and they never locked the door because there was no need; a Jazz family came and went. He invited me to come in the evening. That night I met Lee Jae Yong and my Korea Journey began. He was/is an actor and teacher, a mad man and a silent Buddha, and it is to him that I bow as a teacher and cultural interpreter. The nights I spent in Jazz Bar I became acquainted with my Korean Jazz Family. That unlocked door was my gate way into Korea. And the Faces I met became the faces of my new brothers and sisters: my teachers.