Fake Buddhist monks at New York

Beware!  Fake Buddhist monks at New York are demanding money from tourists.

In Buddhism, monks and nuns do not go on the street begging for money.  When monastics go on alms round, they receive mainly food, but can receive basic requisites like robes, medicine as well.

They do not solicit for or beg for money, nor sell things.  If you encounter any of them, they are probably fake monks masquerading as real ones and taking advantage of the kindness of visitors and tourists.

Photo: Angel Chevrestt – New York Post

What can you do?

You do not have to feel oblige to give if you encounter them on the streets or in the malls.  In Singapore, you can call and report to the local police of their activities as it is illegal to solicit or beg in the street.

If you are interested to know more about Buddhism, you can go to your nearest temple or monastery to attend a chanting (puja) session, talk to a monk or nun today!


Fake Buddhist monks are the new squeegee men of New York

What Wisdom is Not


Had an interesting chat today with  Elvin​ Seah after lunch. He mentioned that there was someone who claims to have wisdom so high that he can suppress 压 all the Buddhist monastics in Singapore.

Here are some thoughts.

Wisdom is not for suppressing others. It is for liberating oneself and others, from wrong views, from ignorance, from agitations in our mind, from grief, from pain, from worry, from fear, from suffering.

Whatever above said person has which is so high that he can suppress others, that cannot be wisdom.


A Vietnamese nun lives out her dream to help the destitute in India

Sadhu!  Sadhu!  Sadhu!  ^_^

An amazing Buddhist nun, Venerable Tri Thuan, who left Vietnam for the US in 1971, and in 1985 left the United States and went to France to study Buddhism under her Vietnamese master, the late Most Venerable Thich Huyen VI.

In 1989, under the advice of her late master, headed for India and has been there ever since and made India the base of her humanitarian work.


Of Rebirth, Karma, and a Cockcroach



A few days ago I saw a post in a facebook group about this article by an ex-catholic-buddhist Paul Williams, who was born a Catholic, converted to Buddhism for 30 years and converted back after 30 years of Buddhist studies, practices and learning in the Tibetan tradition.*

The post drew 100+ comments and quickly went past 200 within a few days.  After reading through some of the comments which escalated to name callings and several links to other articles, including one by Ajahn Sujato, I decided to leave a note.

Below is my comment in the thread. Read More …

Who am I – The Buddha’s Teachings on No-Self


There is no independent, permanent, unchanging “I” or “You” or “Ven. Chuan Guan”, but our existence in the various roles that we play.  That exist.

No One Role Defines Us

Given conditions, “you” exist, and as a son or daughter wrt to your parents, as a niece or newphew to your uncle and aunts, as a friend to your peers, as a colleague at work, etc. These roles collectively is who you are, yet none of it totally define you.

Sometimes we forget and overemphasis one over the other, or totally neglect this or that role. Other times, we forget to stop playing certain roles even when that role is no longer needed or relevant.  It is almost like the music that continues to play in our mind even when we stop listening to it. We continue to play some roles even when the conditions and situations have changed. Read More …

Honesty is the Best Policy: In Life and in Business

Often times, people struggle with the precept (training rule) of “Abstaining from Lying”.

“I am trying to protect others and their feelings”, they say.  “That’s considered a white lie right?”

The kind of scenarios that is often brought up involves saving people’s life from hunters, burglars etc (or terrorists in today’s context?), but in our day to day interaction, how many of us really have to face a gun or knife wielding person? Read More …