Dear Readers,

I received a good comment from a person who calls himself/herself Moo. I believe he/she is from San Francisco. Here’s his/her comment:

“A monk was in downtown SF and stopped me to donate money.  I told him i didn’t have cash and he suggested a bank machine.  I told him i needed to get something from a store and be right back.  after i got my  needed item, I left in the opposite direction to avoid him!  I felt bad but was suspicious and just looked up the info here if monks could beg for money!”

Here’s my quick reply:

Dear Moo,

Monks are not supposed to be traipsing around town asking for donations. In Asian Buddhism, especially REAL monks from Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand – they are even prohibited from touching money. So don’t be taken in by these fake monks. I know they dress like the real McCoy – but go ahead, ask them to recite a sutra and see if they can.

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