Thursday, June 19, 2008

Zen (Dog) Master

Attendance at a Zen temple has increased since its two-year-old pet joined in daily prayers.

(3/24/08) Japan—Conan the Chihuahua sits on his hind legs, raises his paws, and puts them together at the tip of his nose. “He may be showing his thanks for treats and walks,” explains a Zen priest at Jigenin Temple on Okinawa Island. The priest, Joei Yoshikuni, would like Conan to meditate.

But “it’s not like we can make him cross his legs,” he says. “Basically, I am just trying to get him to sit still while I meditate,” he told the Associated Press.

Mr. Yoshikuni said it only took Conan a few days to imitate the motions of praying. “I think he saw me doing it all the time and got the idea to do it too,” he said.

Jigenin Temple now gets 30% more visitors than it did before Conan joined in, Mr. Yoshikuni said. 

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