Rime Buddhist Center
Monastery & Tibetan Institute of Studies
"Achieving Peace Through Compassion"
700 West Pennway
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
Lama Chuck Stanford
The following is Lama Chuck's monthly
column that appeared in the Kansas City Star
newspaper on Saturday, February 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
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
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