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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, F
ebruary 26, 2005.

QUESTION: "Why do I make morally wrong decisions when I know better? "

ANSWER: The root of the word "sin" originally was an archery term that meant "falling short of the mark." All of us fall short of the mark from time to time. I think your question is a good one, "If we know better, why would we make morally wrong decisions?"

From the Buddhist perspective all actions begin first with a thought in your mind. As Emerson said, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you, you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” Meditation can be very helpful in gaining control of our thoughts. It is through meditation that we gain the insight to see how our actions may be harming ourselves or others. We can begin to understand some of the reasons or patterns that cause us to keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

If you truly want to change your actions, you must first start by changing your mind. In the ancient Hindu scripture, the Upanishads, tells us, "As a man's desire is, so is his destiny. For as his desire is, so is his will; and as his will is, so is his deed; and as his deed is, so is his reward, whether good or bad." If we could see the nature of reality, as it really is, we would realize that when we harm others we are ultimately only harming ourselves.


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