Monks Robbed In Toronto
June 30th, 2005
by Isa Tousignant
Boy, I wouldn't like to have this dude's karma.
With celebrations preparing around the globe in honour of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 70th birthday this July 6, Montreal is left to bow its head in shame before the Tibetan community.
Last week, the Plateau's Église St-Jean-Baptiste had the honour of hosting monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery, who came to Montreal as part of a cross-Canada tour to present the lecture "The Ancient Art of Healing: The Tibetan Buddhist Approach," and to perform ancient temple music and a dance for world healing. Organized by Toronto's The Learning Centre and co-sponsored by Halifax's Shambhala Sun magazine, the tour - which stopped in Edmonton, Calgary, Fredericton and Halifax before coming here - was designed to share the troupe's healing abilities with the country.
What the monks shared, however, were the funds they'd collected to date.
"My duffle bag was stolen from inside the Montreal church while I was out having lunch with the monks," says Marie Anne McRae, who accompanied the monks throughout the tour. "Apparently a homeless man came inside and asked for money and was told by the caretaker to leave the premises. He didn't leave through the front doors, and left through a side entrance and went to the area where the monks' and my belongings were, and took my bag."
The bag contained the door sales for the Halifax stop, cash and rolled coins, a receipt book, files, a new camcorder, a phone charger, a day timer, clothes, shoes and toiletries, and, worst of all, a Fed Ex envelope containing the credit card slips for all of the monks' product sales from the four previous venues.
"All the monks gathered around me to console me throughout the evening," says McRae. "They told me we had a group karma - this obstacle occurred because it alleviated or deterred a harsher karma such as an accident or death. We gave our 'generosity' to this homeless man."
A police report was made but no news has come of it yet. If anyone has any information about the event or the whereabouts of the belongings - the contents of the Fed Ex envelope particularly - please contact the Canada Tibet Committee at 487-0665 or via their website, www.tibet.ca.