Monday, September 19, 2005

Buddhist dog!

UPDATE: Welcome, users! A sudden spike in my normally low site traffic led me to consult my SiteMeter, and I discovered that this blog post had been linked in's Buddhist Humor section. Thanks for visiting. If you're interested in religious topics, scroll down to the bottom of my sidebar ("Sacred and Profane" section) and browse the links I have there. Many links lead to posts I've written on topics like Zen, interreligious dialogue, and religious pluralism. Quite a few links lead to posts featuring gross, scatological humor, so tread carefully if you're easily offended. (Personally, I consider it ironic that so many self-described "religious" folks are easily offended. In my book such people suffer from puckered assholes. Nothing a splintery broomstick can't fix, eh?)

Hats off to Reuters and to my buddy Mike for finding the "Buddhist dog" article. Enjoy your tour of my blog, and feel free to comment (civilly) or email me.

The Maximum Leader sends me a link to this amusing Reuters article about a very Buddhist dog. I'll quote the article in full:


Fri Sep 16,10:31 AM ET

The newest acolyte at a temple on an outlying South Korea island is a dog who has learned to sit, stay and perform Buddhist prayer rituals alongside the monks.

Monks at Buljang Temple on Chindo island off the southwest coast said the stray called "Hama" now joined them at prayer.

Hama -- Korean for hippopotamus -- follows monks into the temple and bows in the same manner for prayer, a temple official said. Some local Buddhists, who believe in reincarnation, are wondering what Hama may have been in a past life.

"Since about a month ago, when the monks were performing a ceremony paying respect to Buddha, they were joined by this one-year-old dog," the official said by telephone.

Hama is one of a traditional Korean breed called chindo, which originated on the island.

Hama's exploits have made the national news in South Korea and attracted a lot of curious onlookers to the temple, where about 30 other stray dogs live.

"The dog bows just like a monk," said college student Park Sang-jin, who visited the temple after hearing about Hama.

The Korean jindo-gae (Jin Island dog) looks like this:

They can be adorable, but they're usually loud and quick-tempered. One of my relatives owned a Jindo dog who'd gone insane. I didn't approve of its treatment: it'd been stuck on a one-meter leash for almost its entire life (eleven years, at that point). The dog was a mess. At the same time, I suspect that Jindo dogs are more prone to insanity than, say, black Labrador retrievers, which are among my favorite dogs.



Anonymous said...

혹시 전생에 땡중이 죽었다가 개 형상으로 바꾸어 다시 태어난거 아닌가요?

Kevin Kim said...


So I guess his (her?) punishment was to come back as a dog and bow and scrape for another (albeit shorter-than-human) lifetime.

Gonna be hard to follow some precepts if you have an overwhelming desire to lick your own balls.


Kevin Kim said...

Of course, technically speaking, there's no "punishment," per se, in the cosmic cycle-- only actions and consequences. Though there are hells in Buddhism, they operate more like purgatory-- burning off bad karma before you try again.