Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

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TharpaChodron
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Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by TharpaChodron » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:44 am

I just got back from Las Vegas. ;) and so, I was on the Strip and noticed some monks and nuns, in grey robes. One came up to me and, in lightning speed, somehow put a mala bead bracelet on my wrist. I gave him a donation, and then he gave me a Kuan Yin amulet card. Being Buddhist minded, I wasn't concerned if it was all a scam, but I am curious who these roving monks who engage in this practice are. Anyone know anything about their actual school or encountered them in other large tourist sites?

I like the mala bracelet and oh btw, Vegas had a huge Year of the Dog thing going on. The Bellagio's display was astounding - an art installation of a surreal doggie paradise with a giant husky overlooking a magical land of dogs playing, giant incense urns burning huge sticks of incense, temples, etc.
As a dog lover, I felt transported to my idea of heaven. :D

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by Fortyeightvows » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:47 am

It was probably a scam.

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by TharpaChodron » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:58 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:47 am
It was probably a scam.
So you think there are Buddhist monks/temples engaging in scams? I tried to ask him about their practice and where they are from, but he was quite old and appeared not to speak much English.

I'd love to have followed them to where they go and find out their real story. I think they are possibly legit, but from a school way different than mine, where guerilla donation seeking is acceptable.

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by DGA » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:01 am

I don't know about those monks & nuns. The clothing sounds Chinese, and it would make sense for Chinese Buddhists to ask for alms at an event celebrating the Chinese new year.

But what caught my eye in your post is dogs.

Dogs are great.

We should have a dog discussion.

My daughter's first word was "Uma." That's the name of one of our dogs.

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by Norwegian » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:03 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:58 am
Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:47 am
It was probably a scam.
So you think there are Buddhist monks/temples engaging in scams? I tried to ask him about their practice and where they are from, but he was quite old and appeared not to speak much English.

I'd love to have followed them to where they go and find out their real story. I think they are possibly legit, but from a school way different than mine, where guerilla donation seeking is acceptable.
This is a very common scam. And the way you describe it, is exactly how this scam goes, as reported by many others.

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TharpaChodron
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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by TharpaChodron » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:16 am

DGA wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:01 am
I don't know about those monks & nuns. The clothing sounds Chinese, and it would make sense for Chinese Buddhists to ask for alms at an event celebrating the Chinese new year.

But what caught my eye in your post is dogs.

Dogs are great.

We should have a dog discussion.

My daughter's first word was "Uma." That's the name of one of our dogs.
I think they were Chinese and I like your theory best. Maybe it is a scam, and they all throw off their grey robes and go gamble with the money they took later. Hey, that's their karma then. Strange scam, though.

The Year of the Dog display was astounding... it brought the kid out of so many people. I'll see if I can post a couple pics.

It made me wonder what the celebration will be like in that Year of the Rat (my year). A giant rat with rats running everywhere in Caesars Palace, not so cute lol.

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by Fortyeightvows » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:32 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:58 am
So you think there are Buddhist monks/temples engaging in scams? I tried to ask him about their practice and where they are from, but he was quite old and appeared not to speak much English.

I'd love to have followed them to where they go and find out their real story. I think they are possibly legit, but from a school way different than mine, where guerilla donation seeking is acceptable.
No I don't think they are buddhist monks, because they aren't monks at all. (they probably don't even have their jieba) and they aren't with any temple. People do this in alot of places, I've even had a guy try this with me outside a grocery store. That being said sometimes real monastics will simply stand out side the store and quietly recite some mantra or sutra, but anyone who approaches a person, much less a woman, I am 100 percent sure is not a monk.

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by DGA » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:35 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:16 am
DGA wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:01 am
I don't know about those monks & nuns. The clothing sounds Chinese, and it would make sense for Chinese Buddhists to ask for alms at an event celebrating the Chinese new year.

But what caught my eye in your post is dogs.

Dogs are great.

We should have a dog discussion.

My daughter's first word was "Uma." That's the name of one of our dogs.
I think they were Chinese and I like your theory best. Maybe it is a scam, and they all throw off their grey robes and go gamble with the money they took later. Hey, that's their karma then. Strange scam, though.

The Year of the Dog display was astounding... it brought the kid out of so many people. I'll see if I can post a couple pics.

It made me wonder what the celebration will be like in that Year of the Rat (my year). A giant rat with rats running everywhere in Caesars Palace, not so cute lol.
:lol: Now I kind of want to go see that display

My spouse is a fire snake. I can only imagine what the set designers of the Strip would come up with for that one...

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by SunWuKong » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:56 am

The idea that being s fake monk for spare change is intriguing
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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TharpaChodron
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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by TharpaChodron » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:04 am

DGA wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:35 am
TharpaChodron wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:16 am
DGA wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:01 am
I don't know about those monks & nuns. The clothing sounds Chinese, and it would make sense for Chinese Buddhists to ask for alms at an event celebrating the Chinese new year.

But what caught my eye in your post is dogs.

Dogs are great.

We should have a dog discussion.

My daughter's first word was "Uma." That's the name of one of our dogs.
I think they were Chinese and I like your theory best. Maybe it is a scam, and they all throw off their grey robes and go gamble with the money they took later. Hey, that's their karma then. Strange scam, though.

The Year of the Dog display was astounding... it brought the kid out of so many people. I'll see if I can post a couple pics.

It made me wonder what the celebration will be like in that Year of the Rat (my year). A giant rat with rats running everywhere in Caesars Palace, not so cute lol.
:lol: Now I kind of want to go see that display

My spouse is a fire snake. I can only imagine what the set designers of the Strip would come up with for that one...
There was an amazing fire dragon made of lights at Caesars Palace, so I think I've seen what it looks like. Quite impressive. :)

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by DNS » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:32 am

I live in Vegas, but not sure if those monks were real or not. I know some come here to give talks or for some programs and then while here some want to see what all the excitement is at the Strip (Las Vegas Blvd). I have heard that some have been seen gambling on the slots. I know in Asia there have been many fake monks caught, pretending to be monks to get money donations from tourists and locals. I remember in India seeing a bunch of what looked like monks running after a tour bus and thought that was odd, but then heard that they were most likely not real monks. The robes can be purchased and it is of course easy to shave one's head.

In front of Caesars Palace is a Brahma statue, with the throne about 10 to 15 feet high.

Image

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by jake » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:35 am

I don't know about Las Vegas but there are a number of cities struggling with fake "monks." In Europe and the US.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/02/nyre ... 48&gwt=pay

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -wary.html

I believe there is even a FB group documenting some of the "monks".
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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by Grigoris » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:01 am

I had the same scam pulled on me in Prague. They are probably fake.

As for the year of the rat... I have heard that it is actually a type of squirrel and not a sewer rat.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
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Simon E.
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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by Simon E. » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:20 am

It does sound like the fake monks that turn up in London too...

There was an expose of the scam on BBC TV a couple of years ago..they apparently pull in enough money to make it worthwhile financially.
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by Knotty Veneer » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:47 pm

I encountered these guys on the High Line in New York a while back.

It's a well-known scam outta China, They are not monks. They buy the robes. Sell the trinkets or whatever for "donations".

Don't give to them. See this report: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/N ... 82021.html
“If you are going to put people on pedestals, at least wear a big hat” - Jake Thackray.

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by fuki » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:51 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:56 am
The idea that being s fake monk for spare change is intriguing
It's at least a creative change from the fake blinds and fake disabled.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by boda » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:33 pm

Who knew that you could make a living by being a monk. :meditate:

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by DGA » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:33 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:04 am
DGA wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:35 am
:lol: Now I kind of want to go see that display

My spouse is a fire snake. I can only imagine what the set designers of the Strip would come up with for that one...
There was an amazing fire dragon made of lights at Caesars Palace, so I think I've seen what it looks like. Quite impressive. :)
That's funny, I'm a fire dragon. Now I'm really curious about this.

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by TharpaChodron » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:59 am

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:01 am
I had the same scam pulled on me in Prague. They are probably fake.

As for the year of the rat... I have heard that it is actually a type of squirrel and not a sewer rat.
The rat is actually a squirrel? I feel so much better now. :)

It would just figure those monks were fake, being in Vegas and all. And the quick slight of hand act with the mala bracelet, they might be stopping by David Copperfield's show to learn some tricks.

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Re: Buddhist Monks on the Las Vegas Strip

Post by TharpaChodron » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:02 am

DGA wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:33 am
TharpaChodron wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:04 am
DGA wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:35 am
:lol: Now I kind of want to go see that display

My spouse is a fire snake. I can only imagine what the set designers of the Strip would come up with for that one...
There was an amazing fire dragon made of lights at Caesars Palace, so I think I've seen what it looks like. Quite impressive. :)
That's funny, I'm a fire dragon. Now I'm really curious about this.

You can see it here:

https://www.vegasnews.com/126105/giant- ... -year.html

Nice, eh?

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