Buddhist funerals for… robot dogs? In Japan, yes.

Japan Robot Buddhist Funerals

When we think of weird new robots and robot-human relations, what place comes to mind? Probably Japan.In a story first posted by the AFP in February of this year and again just this week in the New York Times, it seems that robot dogs, first introduced in 1999, are beginning to die. Up until last March, Sony, the creator of the Aibo robot dogs had been repairing them, effectively bestowing immortality on the family robotic pets.The pets, equipped with Artificial Intelligence, developed … [Read more...]

Buddhism and Modernity: Conversations at the Edge, all three panels [Video]

Today the Mangalam Research Center posted video of a post-conference seminar following the June 3-7 Mindfulness & Compassion conference at San Francisco State University. The topic, "Buddhism and Modernity: Conversations at the Edge" drew a variety of responses from top academics in Buddhist studies and philosophy, psychologists, practitioners, and others. Below are the videos with brief notes and impressions. Panel 1: Buddhist Philosophy and the perennial concerns of Western p … [Read more...]

Understanding Buddhist-Muslim relations in Burma (Myanmar)

Bhikkhu_Subhuti_Myanmar2

This post is part of the Interfaith Ramadan: Shared Vision of Inclusion & Co-Existence series, cross-posted there at Interfaith Ramadan here. As our series host Sara Ager writes: Ramadan is a time when Muslim communities traditionally come together – to fast, to pray, to reflect, and to encourage one another. In that spirit, the Interfaith Ramadan blog series aims to extend that sense of community to people of all faiths and none. The series provides an inclusive platform where people from a … [Read more...]

UK Tibetan Community issues a statement on Shugden

shugden false dalai lama poster 2015

Partially in response to increasingly vocal protests by Shudgen practitioners, the Tibetan Community UK has issued a statement on what they call the "Cult of Dolgyal Shugden." You can read more about members of this group, who are currently protesting the Dalai Lama in Australia here and via links below. STATEMENT CONCERNING THE CULT OF DOLGYAL SHUGDEN (Issued by Tibetan Community in Britain on 12 June 2015)Since early 2014, a sectarian group, the International Shugden Community (ISC), … [Read more...]

The philosopher Kant might have been skeptical of modern Mindfulness

Kant and the Buddha

One of the great joys of doing philosophy is drawing the great minds of the past into contemporary conversations. As we do this we attempt to step outside ourselves, in a sense, to broaden our perspective. As a student of the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), I have also been amazed by the ways in which his ideas have been brought into contemporary conversations over the past 200 years. Kant Scholarship Scholarship on Kant has taken an exciting turn over the last decade or … [Read more...]

Daniel Clarkson Fisher interviews Brent E. Huffman, director of Saving Mes Aynak [Video]

daniel clarkson fisher and brent e huffman

Mes Aynak (meaning “little copper well”) is a desert region 25 kilometers southeast of Kabul. It is an enormous archaeological treasure trove 400,000 square feet in size. Found there are an ancient Buddhist monastery complex, extensive wall frescos, massive devotional temples, and more than 200 life-sized Buddha statues. It is a discovery of immense global importance. Mes Aynak is also home to the second largest copper reserve in the world. Directly beneath the Buddhist site are mineral deposits … [Read more...]

Dalai Lama biography: “Man of Peace” seeks crowdfunding

Man of Peace - dalai lama graphic biography

The Dalai Lama is the subject of a five-part illustrated biography, currently seeking funding. As scholar Robert Thurman describes him:The Dalai Lama is the world's leader of the win-win solution of hte non-violent response to violence. Of non-violent dialogue instead of war. And this is his story. And this is his battle with the great giants of the military industrial complexes of China and other countries. And his battle is a battle of peace.Speaking of the illustrated biography … [Read more...]

Happy Saga Dawa Düchen – Tibetan Buddhism’s holiest day

Theravadin monks at Pragbodhi Cave, Bihar, India (2014)

[updated and reposted from June 2014] Saga Dawa is the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, this year falling between May 18 and June 16. It is the holiest time of the year for Tibetan Buddhists.  The middle of the month, the full moon day, is the most important. On that day the fruits of one’s karma (actions) are said to increase one billion (1,000,000,000) times or more. It is the day that Tibetan Buddhists celebrate the birth, awakening, and death of the Buddha.That day, known as … [Read more...]


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