ZenKimchi Seoul Restaurant Expat Guide 2015

Hello makgeolli lovers ~ For those of you who live in Seoul we have a special treat for you… Joe McPherson is the founding editor of ZenKimchi, Korea’s longest running […]

A Rewritten Zen Koan

23. Eshun’s Departure

When Eshun, the Zen nun, was past sixty and about to leave this world, she asked some monks to pull up wood in the yard.

Seating herself firmly in the center of the funeral pyre, she had it set fire around the edges.

“O nun!” shouted one monk, “is it hot in there?”

“Such a matter would concern only a stupid person like yourself,” answered Eshun.

[“Go fuck yourself, then, you stupid fucking asshole!" screamed the monk, picking up a burning piece of wood and throwing it at his master before the other monks could restrain him. "Burn in hell for all I care! I hope the flames are hot! I hope they're scalding hot!"

Fukuoka, Japan


Now before you point out the obvious about the fact that this is a “Korean photography blog” and  how dare I bring up Japan, just let me point out that a lot of people I know have been asking about Fukuoka…. Japan, for a while now and I thought that I would share some thoughts, tips and tricks.

7th Busan International Tea Cultural Festival

This coming Friday I'm pleased to be covering the 7th Busan International Tea Cultural Festival.
It will be held at the Busan Cultural Center (Busan Moonhwa Waygwan) This August 31st to September 2nd. A fine way for celebrating and taking the edge off after the typhoon that is hitting here rather quite soon.

Among many other things there will be booths covering Tea Incense, Tea Savories, Tea Art, Japanese Matcha Tea Ceremony, Flower Arrangements for Tea Services, Buddhist Tea Offering Ceremony...

Meditation talk in English at Si Seon Won Temple in Haeundae

Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 10:30


The biggest benefit of meditation is to learn how to live in the moment, worry less, manage stress and, with the right practice, attain peace within ourselves that will allow us to enjoy life fully and with mindfullness.

An instant of Peace in L.A.

Tea Books Reviewed

 It's a busy week. On Sunday I went into the countryside outside of Busan to visit a real Japanese teahouse for some 말차or Matcha in English/Japanese otherwise known as powdered green tea served in the ancient way : mixed with water and you consume both powder and tea.  Much stronger taste than if infused. I'll do a blog post on it by Friday.
On Wednesday I'll be dropping by a teahouse in Someyeon that serves tea that way and also with ice cream in Affogato form. I'll be reviewing that one as well later this week.

The Rise and Fall of Green Tea in Powdered Form.

If you go far back enough in history, most of the tea was green, ground down into powder form, with small amounts tapped into a bowl and with warm water, wisked into a fine froth . Old school. This was how it was done.
Tea was served in bowls and not cups. Here in Busan it is possible to take your tea this way. Later this week I'll review the main teahouse for a bowl of powdered green located in Someyeon.
In most teastores here, powdered tea goes for about 20,000 won for a small tin. One tin will last you for a few months as you take it in small amounts. Many shops here sell the tiny scoops for the Malcha (말차) in Korean. In Japanese it is called Matcha. Many shops here also sell the bamboo wisks. I'll report on the shopping business later next month... Suffice here's the history :

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