From The Scotsman – SNEAK-thieves have stolen a golden statue from a holy shrine at a secluded Buddhist retreat.
But residents of Shambala – Sanskrit for “Paradise” – last night revealed that their main concern was for the karma of the culprits who took the 3ft statue of the Buddha of Compassion.
Made of metal and ornately covered in gold leaf, the Green Tara was made by craftsmen in Nepal and was only recently donated to the centre.
Detectives suspect it was stolen to order from the retreat at Findhorn, Moray. The statue adorned a Tibetan Buddhist altar in a meditation hall.
Investigators believe its sheer weight means that at least two thieves and a vehicle would have been required to carry out the crime. Constable Barry Corbett, of Grampian Police, said: “This theft of an important religious artefact has caused great distress to the owners and users of the retreat.”
But Thomas Warrior, the director of Shambala, last night insisted that his main concern was for the perpetrators of the crime. He said: “Most people would expect that we are outraged and very angry about the theft of the statue.
“However, I would like to stress that we are taking a different approach with this.
“According to Buddhist belief, any actions we do, whether they are positive or negative, will have a similar result.
“Generally speaking, positive actions, done with a motivation of bringing benefit and happiness to others, will have a happy and positive result, whereas negative actions, done with a motivation to cause harm to others, will have a suffering result.
“The action of stealing will bring some kind of negative result to the perpetrators. And the theft of a holy object from a holy shrine is considered to be particularly serious.
“So, while we are feeling sad about the loss of our precious statue, our concerns at this time are mainly for those who stole it and any potential buyers.”
The theft occurred at some point between 11pm on Wednesday and 8:30am on Thursday. Grampian Police said the stolen statue was worth more than £1,000.
But Mr Warrior added: “While we appreciate the monetary value of the statue, it is its spiritual significance that is
the real loss for the centre.
“We would like to make a strong appeal to the thieves to please return the statue to the Shambala Retreat Centre.”
Mr Warrior said the facility had always operated with an open-doors’ policy and locks were not used at night. However, he admitted that policy was now being reviewed.
THE Shambala Retreat Centre for Healing and Universal Compassion is located in a renovated country house. Set in six acres of secluded ground in Moray, it is part of the world-famous Findhorn Foundation Community.
The centre’s website states: “Shambala has a spiritually supportive environment and welcomes people from all spiritual traditions to join their meditations, retreats and courses. “Shambala also affords an ideal space for individual reflection and contemplation, and people come to stay for personal retreat all year round.”