“The offering of one’s heart happens in stages, with shadings of hesitation and bursts of freedom. Faith evolves from the first intoxicating blush of bright faith to a faith that is verified through our doubting, questioning, and sincere effort to see the truth for ourselves.
Bright faith steeps us in a sense of possibility; verified faith confirms our ability to make that possibility real. Then, as we come to deeply know the underlying truths of who we are and what are lives are about, abiding faith, or unwavering faith as it is traditionally called, arises.
Abiding faith does not depend on borrowed concepts. Rather, it is the magnetic force of a bone-deep, lived understanding, one that draws us to realize our ideals, walk our talk, and act in accord with what we know to be true.”
~Sharon Salzberg, “Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience”
“For faith to be alive and to deepen we need to use our power to inquire, to wonder, to explore our experience to see what is true for ourselves. This requires us to approach life with an inquisitive, eager, self-confident capacity to probe and question. It requires us to examine where we place our faith, and why, to see if it makes us more aware and loving people.
To develop VERIFIED FAITH* we need to open to the messiness, the discordance, the ambivalence, and, above all, the vital life-force of questioning.
If we don’t, our faith can wither. If we don’t, our faith will always remain in the hands of someone else, as something we borrow or abjure, but not as something we can claim fully as our own.”
~ Sharon Salzberg, “Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience”
THE DHARMA FOR REAL
It’s been a tough season for so many of us navigating illness, loss, uncertainty, and atrocious acts of injustice that get closer and closer to home. Anger, fear and doubt easily arise. It presses on the soul and depletes our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual resources.
So grateful to many, many loved ones who bolster me with laughter, inspiration, and perspective. Offering special appreciation to a dear friend + interspiritual minister, Holly Makimaa, for immediately suggesting and sharing her copy of Salzberg’s book on faith when I spoke with her about sangha’s study and practice of the 5 Spiritual Faculties.
FAITH(Pali: “Saddha” with TRUST or CONFIDENCE offered as surrogates for those who are less comfortable with the deeply religious connotations of faith) can feel the heaviest and most complicated — as frustrating and elusive as any attempt to meditate when the mind feels restless and foggy!
Last Sunday, we contemplated CONCENTRATION + DILIGENCE with a fresh understanding that the root meaning of the latter is “love, take delight in.”
Calling on the energy of delight how might we “brighten” and “verify” faith (a trajectory that Salzberg delineates in her book) and sharpen discernment through our practice of mindfulness?
Join us this Sunday, 11 – 12:30 PM, at Heartdance Studio for 3 Jewels Yoga Sangha’s final dharma discussion on the 5 Spiritual Faculties as we explore the relationship between DISCERNMENT + FAITH.