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...]

Zen is Not Buddhism

Tonight I've taken on the task of "talking about Zen" for our campus Sangha. Not an enviable task for someone who is admittedly very ignorant about the subject. But what is the saying, "fools walk where angels dare not tread"?There are, I think, four ways to "talk about Zen." Or perhaps 4000, or 84,000, or whatever. I like to keep things simple.First, there is a scholarly history of Zen: very textual, lots of dates and names, fancy words with arrows like Zen <-- Ch'an <-- Dhyāna … [Read more...]