Lama Chuck Stanford Passed Away

Daniel Scharpenburg
3 min readOct 8, 2021

I learned that Lama Chuck Stanford has passed away.

I was not close with Chuck Stanford but his death has affected me.

I’m not writing this because my friend died. He wasn’t my friend.

He was my first Buddhist teacher. He was the first Buddhist teacher of many people in Kansas City. I took Refuge, Pratimoksha, and Bodhisattva Vows from him. Those are vows that express our level of commitment as lay Buddhist practitioners. And he stressed to me how important it is to be committed to these principles.

He gave me my Buddhist name, Kalsang Dakpa, which means fortune and fame. I took his Meditation Instructor Training class too and it meant a lot to me.

And he gave me the opportunity to run the Youth Program at the Rime Center, which I did for several years, which is something I hope to do again soon.

I would not be the person I am right now without the influence of Lama Chuck.

And I’m not the only one.

He started teaching Buddhism in Kansas City at the end of the 1990s. There were not several Buddhist groups to choose from back then. People that were interested in Buddhism simply didn’t have many options. He, along with his wife Mary, had a dream of building a Buddhist Community here. They wanted to build a non-sectarian Buddhist community. The idea was a community where all different traditions of Buddhism could be explored and celebrated.