In Japan, robots run hotels, get married and even have their own funerals. Now they can add Buddhist teacher to the list. A new humanoid robot is offering lessons in Buddhist teachings, and delivering sermons in Buddhist philosophy, at the Kodaiji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, through May 6. The robot named Mindar gives a "futuristic vision of the Bodhisattva Kannon also known as the Goddess of Mercy," according to South China Morning Post. The robot not only chants and teaches, but uses hand gestures and eye contact to connect with students, according to EuroNews. The robot was built by a team from Osaka University led by famed roboticist Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro. Ishiguro is best known for his humanoid robots and androids that creepily resemble humans. His robots can interact with people and even be hired as TV news anchors. More robots Smart, agile MIT robot plays a mean game of Jenga Hotel fires half its robot staff for sucking at their jobs See a … [Read more...] about This robot wants to teach you Buddhist chants
Chinese Buddhist temple disseminates wisdom with robot monk Reuters A Buddhist monastery in Beijing has found a new way to introduce its faith to the public, by building and programming a robotic monk named Xian'er. Created by the monk Master Xianfan, the robot's goal is to spread awareness of Buddhism and engage the public. The monastery collaborated with a tech company and artificial intelligence (AI) experts from nearby universities to build Xian'er. The cute robot stands 2 feet (61 centimeters) tall, wears the yellow robes of a novice monk and has already become popular on Chinese social media. It can respond to about two dozen simple questions about Buddhism, life and religious concepts, and move independently in a number of different ways on its wheels, as the video above shows. Xian'er was inspired by Xianfan's 2013 cartoon creation of the same name. The temple has produced cartoon animations, published comic anthologies, and even merchandise featuring the cartoon monk. … [Read more...] about Tiny Robot Monk Joins the Fold at Beijing Buddhist Temple
Reasons for Vegetarianism Vegetarianism is a choice for many people because of health, ethical, environmental, and moral reasons. Find out why vegetarianism is a choice for many people. © Photographer: Ronald Van Der Beek | Agency: Dreamstime.com Even with vegetarianism's various degrees of strictness, the core diet is simply abstention from meat. But that one decision -- the decision not to eat meat -- can have a lot behind it. Vegetarians choose their diet for many reasons. Some are health-conscious, some believe animal agriculture hurts the environment and others have moral or religious objections to meat. Health Vegetarianism has become a popular health diet. Vegetarian favorites like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are low in fat and cholesterol and rich in fiber, vitamins C and E, potassium, folate and magnesium. The American Dietetic Association even reports that vegetarians have lower blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass indexes than … [Read more...] about What is a vegetarian diet?
Meditation is a known technique in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that increases calmness and physical relaxation, enhancing overall health and well-being. You learn to focus your attention, become mindful of your own thoughts and sensations, and observe them non-judgmentally. Meditation can refer to Zen Buddhist meditation, relaxation response meditation, mindfulness meditation and mantra meditation. Most types of meditation: Require a quiet place with few distractionsRequire a comfortable postureRequire you to focus your attention either on your breathing, a mantra or an objectRequire you to have a non-judgmental attitude -- you must stay focused, observe your thoughts and not judge them [source: NCCAM] Meditation is said to alleviate stress, help your breathing and create balance in your thoughts. It can help you overcome negativity and find inner peace. When practicing Buddhist meditation, you make your mind peaceful and hope to experience greater happiness. Start … [Read more...] about How to Meditate Properly
This portrait of a Budai was taken at a public shrine in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In Thailand, the 'Laughing Monk' is believed to represent a god of happiness and plenty. Gabriel Perez/Getty Images There he is, seated next to the cash register at your local Chinese restaurant. A shiny bronze statue of a pot-bellied, bald man with a laughing grin on his face, the same jolly fella immortalized in keychains, paperweights and other trinkets sold in Chinatown tourist shops. That's the Buddha, right? Nope, but you're in the right religious ballpark. Westerners can be forgiven for mistaking the ubiquitous chubby figure as the Buddha, since he's also called "the Laughing Buddha." But the true story behind the Laughing Buddha is nearly as complicated as Buddhism itself. Denise Leidy is curator of Asian art at the Yale University Art Gallery and held the same position at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for 22 years. She's no stranger to the confusion over the Laughing Buddha statue. "In … [Read more...] about That Fat, Jolly Fella Isn’t Buddha