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Rime Buddhist Center

Monastery & Tibetan Institute of Studies
"Achieving Peace Through Compassion"
700 West Pennway
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
(816) 471-7073
Lama Chuck Stanford

The following is Lama Chuck's monthly column that appeared in the Kansas City Star
newspaper on Saturday, January 1, 2005.

QUESTION: "Is it right for people of faith to make New Year's resolutions?"

ANSWER: The desire to make a New Year's resolution implies there is something you want to change about yourself. Most resolutions are concerned with losing weight or starting an exercise program or some other personal improvement change in the new year. However, these are rarely kept because they are made without any real conviction.

All of us want a fresh start from time to time. What most of us don't realize is that a fresh start is available to us in every moment. A fresh start is accessible to us in every breath. So, we don't have to wait until the new year to begin anew.

From the Buddhist perspective, the type of change most of us need isn't some sort of physical self improvement but rather what we need to change most are the negative mental states in our mind. Nearly all of us suffer from the afflictive emotions of anger, greed, envy and delusion. In the famous
" Fire Sutra" the Buddha talks about putting out the fires of anger, hatred, envy and delusion.

So if you are going to make a New Year's resolution why not let it be to be of benefit to others? One year before he died, a young African boy with AIDs, speaking at a conference, said it best, when he said, "Do what you can, with what you have, with the time you have, where you are at."

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