Fundamentals of the Dharma: Faith
Faith means "to place our heart upon." It encompasses trust, clarity, confidence, and devotion and is the opposite of spiritual despair. Faith is not faith in something; it is the willingness to allow something new and unknown to enter our consciousness. Faith is the willingness to explore a new perception of life beyond what we have known life to be and provides no guarantees that the search will lead to a better outcome. Why do we offer ourselves to the unknown without any assurance? Because it becomes intolerable to our hearts to stay where we are.
For Your ContemplationDoes your faith extend beyond your own empowerment? Is the sacred within your control? What uplifts your spirit, and how do you know it is true? What keeps you coming back to meditation after a particularly difficult sitting? See if you can get a sense of what keeps you on your spiritual path. Is it belief or a confidence beyond knowing? Practice the phrase, “Just surrender to the dharma,” when a difficulty arises in your life or practice. Your job is to be mindful and know what is happening, let the dharma take care of the rest. See if inspiration and confidence come from repeating this phrase.