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 May 29th.
QUESTION: "Is it possible to live
a good life without involvement in any
ANSWER: We all know "good" people who are
not religious. So, I think it
obvious that involvement in religion is not the only
prerequisite to being
good person. But does that mean religion is irrelevant?
Of course not.
Religions provide us with methods for cultivating virtues
From the Buddhist perspective basic goodness is our fundamental
don't have to join any particular religion or group to
manifest it. Tenderness, fearlessness and intelligence
are basic to who we are
regardless of our
religion. Many people and religions believe that this
separate from us. They believe goodness comes from some
However the truth is that these qualities are available
to us in every
In Buddhism this fundamental quality is
called bodhicitta, which means "awakened heart". It is the experience of feeling
we actually feel like our heart will break This tenderness
of heart is
available to all of us, all of the time. As difficult
as it is to believe
people who commit the most unspeakable atrocities possess
There is something they care about. There is some chink
in their external
armor. So there is hope for everyone.
So, while spiritual practices are not a prerequisite
to goodness, I believe
they strengthen the depth of our compassion -- just as
strengthens our body.
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