About Lama Chuck

Lama Chuck Stanford is an ordained Tibetan Buddhist Lama who has worked tirelessly over the past several decades to transform the lives of those in his community in the greater Kansas City area. Lama Chuck discovered Buddhism in the 1980s when he began meditating with Buddhists in the area. He truly felt fulfilled through his meditation and it inspired him to continue on this path of fulfillment. Lama Chuck started a non-sectarian Buddhist center and eventually began the Rime Center in 1995 with his wife.

Lama Chuck serves as the spiritual leader and Executive Director of the Rime Buddhist Center, which he founded 20 years ago. The organization, which began in rented rooms with few people in attendance, has grown into a group with around 400 members. In 2000, Lama Chuck and his wife sold their other business to commit full time to their work at the center and converted a 7,000-square foot old church building into the present day Rime Buddhist Center. Lama Chuck teaches classes on meditation and the teachings of Buddhism and also performs Buddhist ceremonies, including weddings and funerals. He has traveled to hear Buddhist teachings and has met the his Holiness, the Dalai Lama, on a few occasions. He has also visited ancient temples in India, Nepal, and Tibet.

Lama Chuck in the Community

In addition to his work at the Rime Buddhist Center, Lama Chuck is also proud to serve as a liaison for interfaith dialogue. He is passionate about promoting diversity and conversation between faiths, especially given the polarization that’s occurred not only between faiths but within faiths in the present day. For Lama Chuck, it is more than just practicing Buddhism. He enjoys the opportunity to open and further a dialogue between different people and sets of beliefs to help instill compassion and understanding throughout the community. Lama Chuck has been recruited to deliver Dharma teachings at Buddhist Centers in other cities as well.

Outside of the Rime Buddhist Center, Lama Chuck Stanford serves on the following boards:

  • Buddhist Director on The Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council
  • Friends of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas
  • Honorary Board Member of Inside Dharma
  • Board Member of Bioethics for the Kansas City University of Medicine & Bioethics


Known for his great success and unique approach, Lama Chuck is counted on by those in the community and across the country for his thoughts and advice. He is a published author, penning The Basics of Buddhismwhich explores the 2,500-year old Buddhist tradition. In addition, he writes a monthly column on Buddhism for the religion section of the Kansas City Star and has written numerous freelance articles on Buddhism and Tibetan culture.

Prison Outreach

Lama Chuck Stanford has also been heavily involved in prison outreach and deeply enjoys the positive impact that he is able to have on those that he works with. Over the past 15 years, Lama Chuck has volunteered at many state prisons, worked as a part time chaplain at Leavenworth Federal Prison, and currently serves as a part time chaplain at the United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) at Ft. Leavenworth (a military prison). Lama Chuck has witnessed incredible transformations and changes of inmates through the power of meditation and compassion. Through meditation, troubled and violent prisoners have transitioned to states of understanding and peace. Most notably, one of his most rewarding experience was when one of the prisoners he worked with hold him that through his help he came to understand that “compassion is cool.” The prison work continually reaffirms the importance of mindfulness in one’s daily life and the positive impact that it has on one’s mind and society as a whole.

Lama Chuck Stanford has been recognized for his success with the following awards:

  • 2007 Peace Award presented by the Crescent Peace Society on Oct. 26, 2007
  • 2009 Heroes of Humanity Award presented by the Art of Living and the International Association for Human Values (IAHV)
  • 2013 Peace Builder Award presented by the Global and Multicultural Education Center