This is from the Kannonji second life blog thing:
Zen is not a belief system as we might understand it. One needn’t reject professed religious leanings in order to benefit from the practice of meditation at all. Sitting quietly in reflection is something anyone can do, allowing the one meditating to see the nature of their own thoughts and desires without feeling a need to identify with them or follow them blindly. Zen meditation, also known as zazen, is a simple body practice that allows us to see the world more clearly, without the DVD commentary imposed on us by our monkey mind.
What does any of this have to do with Buddhism in virtual reality? I’m sure some of you might be wondering about that. If, as has been argued, meditation is above all else a body practice, how then can having a pixelated version of ourselves sitting down on a meditation cushion that exists only on a computer monitor be of any real benefit to people? It’s an important question. The short answer is community. We invite people from all over the world to come take a moment out of their day to sit with others, all in an atmosphere that helps symbolize what we’re all doing at that moment in our homes.
The bolded bit is the counterargument to my speculation above. This is intended as a way to build community among isolated meditators
. There must be value in that if it works.
You can deduce what sort of practice is promoted in this context: meditation, Zen, and Buddhism are conflated as identical.
We even have a Christian church located on the sim inspired by the Christian contemplative and monastic traditions, traditions which have meditation exercises similar to those found in Buddhism
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