2004-05-10: Faith / Confidence
2:54PM Jun 7, 2020
One of the very important supports and expressions and fruits of Buddhist practice is expressed in a Pali word Saddhā. In Sanskrit, it's śraddhā, I think it's pronounced that way. And it's usually translated into English as faith. And when it's translated as faith, there is at least the good percentage of the audience in the West, who are troubled by the word would rather not use it, and would rather not see faith as a part of their Buddhist practice. That's when they kind of got away from a faith based spirituality or religion. In coming to Buddhist practice, which is much more practical, pragmatic down to earth. Kind of your immediate experience, how it is for you, finding your own way. And faith sometimes has people Another kind of reaction often associated with, I think, with certain kind of faith based kind of religions where there's a creed or belief system that you're supposed to have faith in which is equated to believing it you're supposed to believe in completely. And so something external from you belief system, a creed and and many people have been troubled from troubled by creeds and beliefs and you know how to what basis do you believe certain things which are passed down through Scripture and not verifiable in your direct experience perhaps. And so, the Translate translate is faith causes some difficulties for people. What I'd like to suggest this evening is that this very important word sada might be best translated into English by three English words and depending on the context, different words words were better. And three words are faith. And then trust and confidence. And and to get a sense of kind of how this Sadow or this faith plays out in practice in our lives, it's important to recognize that it's understood to be a capacity that we have. It's a subjective capacity. So it Buddhists tend to focus a little more on the subjective side of what we do call faith, rather than the objective side, in the sense that it's a faculty. It's a potential, and as a faculty that we carry with us in our psyche. It's a faculty that can be developed and strengthened. Just like you'd strengthen a muscle just like us could strengthen your faculty, your capacity for concentration, you can develop your capacity, your faculty for faith, and as a faculty, it's something which is understood to be very supportive of spiritual practice is very supportive of mindfulness practice or meditation practice. And without some Sunda without some faith or trust or confidence, it's very hard to really engage wholeheartedly and fully in a regular spiritual practice and ongoing basis. And I suspect there's a fair number of people here in this room, you know, who practice meditation or want would like to practice meditation, and find it hard to do it every day, for many reasons. And there's many reasons why it's hard in our daily life. But one of the elements of supportive of doing it on a regular basis to have that sense of dedication and inspiration to do it is this element of saddhā of faith or confidence or trust. And in the stronger that capacity is developed in us, the more and more inspired the easier it is then to follow through on whatever we're trying to do. As a capacity as a faculty that we have this Faith is often associated with the emotional aspect of our being. It's an emotional expression of quality. And so it's best expressed in the English English expression to put your heart into something, or to be wholehearted, and what you're doing, you don't want to just kind of do your practice, you know, half heartedly. You won't do it wholeheartedly. And when you do it wholeheartedly, it's more than just kind of you do it vigorously. Can you put yourself into it a little bit more emotionally or kind of fully, or with some kind of devotion perhaps, or something? Doodle, put your heart into what you're doing. And you see it, I certainly see it at times when my faith is strong. And there's a kind of uplifting feeling that comes with faith. Both both kind of all kinds of faith even the kind of the unhealthy kinds perhaps, but it kind of has uplifts us uplifts the heart uplifts us we feel more Boyd or inspired or happy happiness and come with faith.
I've been I've been around teachers I've read certain teachings, I've been around a practice centers, where I've encountered that kind of palpable sense of someone's practice or a sense of a practice place when people are sitting on retreat or, or some very key, some teachings which have been going right to the heart for me. And I've been filled with inspiration or faith by this encounter, one one teeny story that I remember as you're sitting here is once hearing a Dharma talk, and I was so moved by Dharma talk, it was the evening, I went right down to the meditation hall. Earlier, everybody else went to bed because it was late. And I went and stayed up late sitting, because the talk was so inspiring for me. So this time it to be inspired, is a often a very helpful part of our spiritual life. The important thing though, is that the inspiration be well based. That it be you're inspired by something, it's worthy to be Inspired by, or inspired in such a way that it serves you, in your practice rather than distracts you, in some fight, sometimes faith can be a distraction, if it gets too, too energetic or too gushy, or too blind in various ways. One of the associations in Buddhism with this idea of faith or saddhā. is that it's a tranquil, it's a tranquil thing. So it's feeling a tranquility as part of it. So you wouldn't have the fervor of a true believer if you have your Buddhist faith, you'd be tranquil about it, you'd leave your neighbors alone. So so it's called a faculty we have it's something it kind of associates some of us at least with kind of more the emotional side of life rather intellectual side so we get moves our hearts moves us. And at times when we're discouraged in practice, sometimes inspiration is very important to arousing your faith in this in almost all Buddhist traditions, at No, in their classic practice, plastic wave, they're that they're done. Faith practices are integral to the practices people do. So you'd go to Tera vaada temple in Thailand or Thai temple here in this country or you go to Zen monastery or very many places, and people would bow to the Buddha. And many Westerners don't like to bow. So it can Zen monastery, the beginning of certain services you bought three times to the Buddha. Americans didn't like doing that Suzuki Roshi had to bow down nine times. And I thought it was just part of the ancient tradition. You bought nine times Zen center. And then after being a few years, I found out No, no, in Japan to do with three times. The just bowing, there's chanting, there is making offerings. There is listening to Dharma talks, which was meant to be kind of inspiring, also as part of that devotional cycle. Some people, some settings, and, and sometimes a chanting could be quite extensive. And if you understand what your chanting is done in English or understand the Pali it's often for some people very uplifting the very words you're chanting because they're often chanting the teachings of the Buddha, or you're chanting the description of what a Buddha is like or what the Dharma was like what the sun was like. And for people who really kind of focused on Buddhist teachings or Buddhist kind of understanding what it's all about, that Buddhist description is very uplifting and inspiring. And you might do that every day. You wouldn't you do a retreat, for example. And part of that retreat would be the chanting and the bowing. And that would be strengthening your faith and your involvement. There are some people for whom the primary thing and needs to be developed at a phase of their personal growth and spiritual tradition, is the element of faith and sometimes a teacher who recognizes that point. Courage them to do practices or do things that inspire faith. And sometimes the teacher recognizes they don't have to do anything in particular, but they just have to hang out, hang around. And, and so like in Thailand, you see people hang around the monastery, and they're not taught to meditate right away. They might hang out for many years. They work in a kitchen, they work around the health here and there. They, you know, they're kind of doing something based on their faith and letting their faith grow, and grow and grow. Until at some point, their faith is strong enough that it makes sense to them for them to do a meditation practice, and then they get a different instruction.
It's a little bit strange idea perhaps for us in the West, we don't have that that kind of idea so strongly in our kind of Western Vipassana tradition. But I'm just kind of laying out the background of how the tradition looks at the issue of faith, to give you a sense of how important it seen it seen, and that, again, it's a faculty that can be developed and cultivated. So I've talked a little bit about faith using the word faith. in a positive way is going to uplift of the heart. as inspiration that fuels our practices encouraged us to go along. without some of that I think it'd be impossible to practice at least I would feel it for myself, it would have been impossible for me to practice as much as I did, unless I had, I had faith and inspiration in what I was doing, from my teachers and fellow practitioners and, and the teachings and different things. One of the things that gave me faith and inspiration was when I got to kind of when I started getting a sense of what was possible. And having sense of possibility is can arouse great faith, great inspiration or this can be done. The Buddha once said, if this if this can't be done, I wouldn't I wouldn't have I wouldn't be teaching you. You know, I teach you because it can't be done. And so they so people are inspired in different ways and different goals. But even the goal of learning to be completely present doesn't go that possibility that go can Rouse a lot of inspiration people it's possible to do that or not to be trapped by my mind, which is always rushing around forward and backwards into the past in the future, I can discover what it's like to rest in the present moment, and not need to go any anywhere, at all with just to be here content and at peace. So sense of possibility can arouse faith in people. Part of the difficulty with faith can be that when people have faith in something outside of themselves, even even the idea of faith in it possibilities, it can be a little bit outside of yourself into the future. It can be a little bit risky to have that because there's expectation and disappointment that's possible then. But part but to have some faith in something outside of ourselves, to trust something outside of ourselves, rather than to trust something deep inside. So I'd like to distinct I'd like to distinguish between two kinds of trust. Or two kinds of faith to switching out to the word using with more trust. And that is trust which is more relational, perhaps, or external or externalized. We trust something outside of ourselves. And then versus trust, which is internal or innate or something that is not not found by searching outside of ourselves. And I think all of us have trust in things outside of ourselves. We, human society can't function without a very high level of trust in people around us who do things. We trusted, the drivers are going to stop for the red light. We trust that you know, all kinds of things we trust. We sign up for a class at the local junior college. And we trust that the colleges chosen good teachers, we trust that it's worthwhile take this class. The trust might be provisional but You know, we might be ready to kind of doubt it or question it. Or we could become, you know, some kind of trust that this is worthwhile to do and what we're going to do so, but some of the trust, we find it's kind of provisional relational in society, is something that we learn in relationship. And it's developed in relationship. So for example, with trusting a friend, you might meet someone, and you don't know how trustable that person is, at first, he trusted maybe a little bit like a decent person, initially, but because you get to know them for a while, you can know you know, the degree to which are trusted by how much you can trust them what you can say to them and know that they're not going to tell other people for example, or whatever. And after a while, you get a sense of where you could trust this person. Maybe it's the cross grows, trust can grow and grow and grow. And it's something that's learned through experience, or you go to a mechanic your car is in trouble. And, and, and then the question is, can you trust this mechanic? You don't know anything about cars. So it's kind of like, you know, Greek to you. So, you know, it's kind of like you feel an attendant But what this person says when it comes with $1,000 bill, or you know, our thousand dollar estimate, can you trust this person, and then not only the price but also the person do a good job. And then it turns out that the person did a great job and turned out actually was very cheap for what he had to do. And you know, I can trust this person, that's great. And so you learn in the relationship, that trust is possible is built and, and so it's kind of verified trust that way. Some people whoever will trust things external to themselves, which are not reliable or they put too much trust
and putting all their eggs in one basket, they trust you know, so for example, and so many of us will have that kind of thing. So for example, some people trust money, and some people are quite, some people are quite neurotic around money, wanting it and feeling they don't have enough and And, and it can be a real difficulty for some people. I've met one person today who talked about tremendous anxiety that this person has around money, money issues, even though the person is you know, seemingly relatively, relatively well off. But when people have tremendous trust, that money will kind of make a safe offer security offers happiness or something. And some people go on the money route, that's where they put their trust for their happiness is in the money just as bad get enough money. Other people put trust in relationship. If I can just get the right partner, then everything will work out. That's it, where they really trust that's where they put their trust in. In relationship, that's where it's going to my happiness, my security, wealthy is going to be or they're perfect people might be in status, or it might be in a belief system, or in political view or something. There's something externally put on trusted. There's a story that I'm fond of telling because it's America, we say In God we trust on our money. When I went to Burma when I was there, when I was there overnight, the government canceled the value of almost every paper currency that it issued. And that was kind of unbelievable to me. I mean money you can rely on money. I mean, it's like, you know, money is money, right? It's some people rely on their telephones. They trust they trust them. They trust that connection, they will trust the connection. This is a must be connected all the time. And so the but you know, I kind of assumed growing up money is money, you know, it's pretty, you know, what it is, it's absolute, you know, just little bit inflation and change a little over time. But, you know, you could give money, you know, it's like, that's more reliable than, you know, then the weather for sure. And then wake up one morning and find doubt that your currency had absolutely no value is less valuable than toilet paper because it was kind of, you know, the texture wasn't right.
You know, that was a big surprise to me. So many people will find that they put trust in certain things, and then find that that trust was maybe didn't really live up to what they were expecting would do for them. Perhaps they got fulfilled, they'd been in the making a lot of money. And they found out the money didn't make them happy. Or they ended up having a wonderful relationship. But somehow it was a wonderful relationship. But you know, it's not making them as happy as they thought there was going to be the problems are still there. They're still a bit anxious and worrying about things and you know, it's still and I did this wonderful panel, some years ago had all discussion with inter Buddhists, this panel and they're supposed to be The Tibetan tradition, the big passionate tradition and or the tera, vaada tradition and the Zen tradition represented. There's supposed to be one representative from who is a Western teacher. And one representative who was Asian teacher would come from Asia. And there were these two, Representative Tibetan Buddhism. And there was the western woman who was at Tibet and teacher, lovely woman. Many of you might know her at Lama, Paulding, Carolyn Paulding. And when she came dressed in, you know, in a Tibetan kind of monastic kind of robe and with beads and you know, and she talked about how wonderful the ancient tradition was, and, and then this other I forget his name, another wonderful Tibetan teacher from Tibet came and he wore a business suit. And, and when middle of Lama Paulding it's a beautiful guided meditation and met him visualizing Tara, his cell phone rang. Meeting of the East in the West So sorry. So trust. So when we put when we put our trust in, and some people will have things they trust, and they even accomplish or fulfill that we're hoping. And they find out what they were trusting didn't really cut the mustard really didn't do it for them and the way they were hoping it would do it. And sometimes it happens in a kind of nice way. We just realized something wonderful and realize it doesn't really make us happy as we hoped. And sometimes we realize what we put our trust in was, was unwarranted and we put trust in a trust was betrayed. And there was a whole time in the 1980s, where a lot of Buddhist practitioners felt betrayed by their teachers. They put a lot of trust in their teachers. And sometimes they put kind of unreasonable trust in the teachers. They can't trust the teacher is kind of like they would be like a paternal figure, great authority figure who they relied on for everything. And then the teachers betrayed them in some way by their scandals. So they're just External kind of trust or relational trust that builds over time that society is built on this very important. And then there's a different kind of trust. I'd like to suggest, and I don't quite know their word for it. But we could maybe call the innate trust or trust and just being some sense as a core sense of well being, or peace or perfection or completeness, in our deep in our hearts deep in our psyche, some trust in our innate goodness, or innate perfection or innate beauty, or innate preciousness, or innate radiance, some other kind of ways as described. So we're not looking for something external to us, we realize that something is right here. And rather than looking externally for something's going to fulfill us, we find that fulfillment inside and something that's here. And some people think if you have a sense of that even intuitive sense, that's there. life becomes a very different game. Because you have this place of being of resting, then you have this place kind of ballast for your life that can make a lot of the difficulty ups and downs of life a lot easier. But if you don't have this ballast, you don't have this, this core of you that feels complete and feels good and well then, is locked, persons much more likely to look externally for something to fulfill them, to fill them up to make them complete.
Part of the function of Buddhist practice, hopefully, is to begin by paying attention by settling down getting concentrated is the beginning getting a sense of some deep place inside of us, that can be a refuge, a place of safety, a place of beauty, a place of feeling complete and feeling at peace, with nothing else needs to happen in order to make us feel complete. So there's no one ordering this anymore. I need X, Y and Z in order to feel good. X, Y and Z doesn't have to happen. The US dollar, the greenback can be canceled tonight while we, you know, and it might be unfortunate and causing difficulties, but that doesn't seem to ruffle your basic sense of peace inside your connection to that kind of sense of trust, deep trust, trusting yourself trusting internal trust, that kind of, there's a number of things we can trust. You know, in Buddhist practice, one is ourselves or any goodness, in other thing that Buddhists learn to trust is the goodness of their intentions. Buddhism puts a lot of emphasis on we should pay attention, pay attention to our intentions, what motivates us with different acts like we're going to say something Why are you going to say that, that have a cutting remark or do do one upmanship? Or is that you know, to be, you know, kind and, you know, caring for someone, what's the impulse that drives what you say and what you act on even what you think? The intention, we call it And Buddha's in you're encouraged to look at the quality of that intention and see is that intention skillful or unskillful? Is it helpful or unhelpful? Is it good or not good? Is it kind? Or is it malicious? What is the quality of that intention? And if you pay attention to it, then the opportunity arises that you can only act or try to own the act of those intentions, which are in shorthand, good, which are skillful, which are helpful. If you begin to act on intentions which are good, then that gives a person can give a person a lot of confidence in themselves in their capacity to live in a good way. But also the kind of confidence that comes when you know that you're blameless. You go into a situation and you track your intentions. And you see all my intentions were good. I might have made a mistake. I might have done a full power or did something and I might someone might have gotten hurt before. Because of it, but there's a kind of confidence or trust in ourselves that comes, we know Oh, even though I regret what happened, I know in my heart that my intentions were good. The Buddha expression that Buddha used for this gives you the ability to go into any assembly, without any shame, you know, if you're standing upright. So there's a kind of trust in ourselves when we, when we learn to work with our intentions, and learn to kind of, you know, know how to respond to them in ways that are healthy and good. Another kind of trust in ourselves as possible, is honesty, trust in the practice we're doing. And, in particular, I find the trust and mindfulness to be very important for me. One of the really wonderful things that I've kind of received from my years of practice is a very, very deep trust in mindfulness practice itself. And I like the word trust or faith because It doesn't give me unequivocal proof that in every situation I'm going to find myself in, that mindfulness is going to be useful, the right thing. I mean, how could I have that kind of proof that you know, all the all the possible situation in the future, that mindfulness is going to be the key? I can't. But I have this deep faith, that that's the case or trust. That's the case, based on many years experience, in many situations, difficult situations, wonderful situations, seeing the power over and over again, of what it's like, simply to be present, to be honestly present in that moment right now to what's going on. And seen that presence, relax presence being here for this situation right now. And really showing up not being distracted or rushing off and just being here opens up possibilities. That would not be possible. If I wasn't present, if it wasn't mindful.
It's kind of like mindfulness or praise. is kind of mixed room or opens, opens doors through which new things can walk through, or new things can occur. If we're writing our experience really types as an example, if someone's talking to you, and you have something very important to say, and you interrupt them, that's very nice to me, you know, especially if you have something important to say. But you might have interrupt you might have, by by interrupting that person, you might have interrupted a whole range of other possible outcomes. That and so for example, if you hadn't interrupted the person, instead, what you felt was so important, but just listen to the person out and offered listening and presence. That person maybe perhaps feels listened to in a deep way, and then is willing to kind of relax and share in a deeper place. And it's amazing what comes out of the person with their wisdom or their sharing or the depth of their feeling. And you're really glad you didn't say anything because you've got all this. They presented themselves in a much deeper way because Because they felt they could trust you because you were such a good listener perhaps, or perhaps because you don't rush into the conversation, but you pause before you speak. And so that you offer presence instead of you know your opinion. And in that pause, you have a chance to digest what they say a little bit more and to reflect and to think and to let something percolating something whole new thing comes out of your mouth. Or perhaps they had a chance to do that. And then they have a chance to come up with something new. What I'm pointing to is or trying to point to is that presents calm space, allows for new possibilities to happen, or not possible to write or experience really tight and close. One of the things that happens when we're mindful, instead of reactive is that the ways in which we're wound up tight, has a better chance to begin to unwind and relax. And as we unwind, that also opens up new possibilities. Mindfulness has a way of just stay mindful rather than reactive, just staying staying, be honest, what's happening now now know, my experience over and over again is that something unknown is more likely to happen. If you're open to possibilities, then you know, have a door that's open open to what's happened, you're also going to be open to something unknown, unknowable. And you can't be in control anymore. And some people, that's why they don't like to be present so much, because presence requires some willingness to be in the edge of some unknown possibility that will arise in that in that mindfulness. But I've seen over and over again, situations that seemed where I had no clue how to deal with or what to do. And, but my commitment was to stay there in the situation, stay in the difficulty and keep being mindful. And then miraculously, somehow, I don't know substitute, we find our way the situation finds itself find its way and something happens there. And what was primarily what are attributed to is what allowed that finding our way, which is staying in there and being present, being present being present, sometimes in great people great, no all kinds of great, very difficult situations. I find it so useful. So it gives me a lot of faith in the practice itself or confidence. So the other word that I liked for the word sada is confidence. So there's faith, there's trust, there's confidence. And confidence is very important. Because without confidence, we might not have the inner strength, to want to pursue what we have to do or take the next step that needs to be taken. And confidence. One of the key confidence is that, imagine there's confidence in ourselves, to have confidence that we can do it, that we can walk the path that we can engage in this practice that we can be present, we can develop our compassion or whatever the practices you're going to do to have confidence. I can do this Confidence if I can do this can vary, it can be a wide range of how confident we can be. and confidence can grow and develop over time. For can be squashed it can you can get discouraged and feel lack of confidence. You know little bit of little, little bit discouragement happens and you don't feel so confident anymore and you can't go go to the next situation and you not so confident with yourself and you feel kind of wobbly. But confidence is something can be developed. partly by acting partly partly by not by kind of, you know, building self esteem in the abstract, but by actually engaging in the world and learning from our mistakes and learning from our successes and learning what we can do and can't do, and developing confidence in our ability to actually do so my opinion My feeling is that good confidence comes from actually acting in the world.
People who lack a lot of confidence, I often recommend They develop their confidence in small pieces, small steps, do some really small things that you can feel, oh, I did that, I can do that. And then take didn't take one step further, just a little bit more, I can do that, you know, I can go shopping, you know, I can go buy my groceries and feel confident I can do that I can no, I can do that. And then, you know, take a bit further and a bit further. I can get a meditation practice, maybe to do the practice in short chunks. Rather than saying, I'm going to sit every day for the next year. That might be too much too much. But you might say, I'm gonna sit every day for the next three days. And then three days you've done it, wow, I can do it. And then you feel some confidence in yourself. But if you say, I'm going to sit every day for a year, and you sit only three days, that's discouraging. So set your set your sights low at first just to match who you are. So you can slowly build your confidence. It's kind of realistic So I can do that I can do it. It builds on itself if you leave too far forward, doesn't work. My son, my six year old son is really into baseball. No. And I just play I play, we play a lot of catch. And back and forth. And so about four months ago is when he started. And now we got a glove and a ball and inside throw in four months ago, he was what to say. He couldn't throw very well, it couldn't catch very well. We hit we had a lot of enthusiasm, not to be very careful just to throw to throw it to him so that he would keep this his joy and appreciation of it, which just controls right it's just the right speed and, and just the right gland, the right basically, you know, I think hold his glove like this and I try really hard to land in the glove. And he you know, he loved it. And, and, and then at some point, I wanted to try to teach him that you know, you'll also need to learn how to catch the ball by having a whole new glove upright like this. Not always They're like this. So I try to hold his hand up like this, I showed him and he was, you know, really upset. And, you know, I can't do that it's impossible. I don't want to do I can't do it just like, this is what you do like this, and I'm getting really close to throw the ball really close this that particular way. And he didn't want to hear of it was really hard for him. So I had to back off, you know, this way the parents, you know, can be kind of ahead of the curve ahead of the development of a kid, right. And, and so, but now he's, you know, after four months of dreams I've read almost every day. Now he's getting it he's on his own, somehow just seems to just grow naturally, you know, just, you know, the teach the kids they see certain things, they just kind of just happens developmentally when they're ready. So one of the things that in terms of confidence, it's very important to have some deep respect appreciation for how things are developed how, how things evolved developmentally, not to be ahead of ourselves and think oh, I'm supposed to be You know, some like, like some monk who has been meditating for 30 years in a cave, when I sit down, that's not realistic, but to do with your own with your own stuff, and my practice, my son practiced every day almost. So he knew about the regularity. And then in the regularity, his own developmental kind of growth happened organically. If you do meditation practice every day, then do it diligently and carefully in some faith, and then your own developmental process will unfold in its own way, in its own right way. And there shouldn't there should be no one out there kind of pushing your head further than you are. And you shouldn't be holding yourself back by your own lack of confidence. But to have confidence in the practice and the confidence the practice evolves, in its own pace in its own way, each each person different way, but to have some experience of how it works for you and how it evolves, can give you a lot of confidence, both in yourself, but also in the practice. So one of the things I've learned for example, in practice practices, like when I go on retreat is when I first went on retreat, I thought, you know, it was all up to me and I make a terrible effort, you know, really try hard. And after a while, I realized that what was really needed when retreat is just calm, steady effort of showing up being mindful, calm and steady, being mindful, being mindful, mindful, and its own developmental time. The practice matures and deepens. And I doesn't make any sense for me to be riding the practice judging evaluating it. And, you know, it's like a farmer who goes out and pulls, you know, planting corn and so she goes out and looks at her corn seedlings coming onto the ground and pulls them out of the ground. How's it growing? And, you know, often we do in our practice, you know, you sit down to meditate, we follow three breaths and you know, how well Am I concentrated but it kind of takes you know, its own time, and you have to kind of respect that
and have some confidence in the time that it takes and the way that evolves I think is very helpful support for the practice. And it said in the tuition, it's helpful to have confidence in your teachers or your fellow practitioners or people who are a bit further along on the path and you you are sometimes it can be a little bit discouraging or to do practice sometimes we faced great difficulties in practice. And then to know some people who've gone through it or know that phase of practice, and you have confidence in them. Oh, yeah, they know and they've been through it then it's easy for us to go through it because our confidence in them. So I believe that mature spiritual practice has faith as one of its foundations. And some of you might prefer the word trust and some of them might prefer the word confidence. And I'm happy with any choice of vocabulary around this that you like. But this quality is very important without it, I don't think that spiritual life can mature very well. And faith is something that we can develop. So you might look at your faith. Look at what you have faith in and when you have trust and confidence in look at the degree of it, how strong is it? Is it really strong? Or is it a weak? Or is it kind of a little bit you know, you have some enough to get you going, but actually, you think the practice is really great. Those teachers are really great, thank you. And, and you think that but you know, you know, and so you're going to do it for sure. But you know, you won't you have to wonder whether you can really you have a what it takes you know, you no doubt yourself like this. So deflating is like having a carrot. Having down on yourselves like practicing with wind drag is not very, very good. So look at your face, spend some time reflecting on it and thinking about what you have faith in what you have trust in is what you have trust in reliable and And what is really talked to friends about this question? What do your friends think is really reliable thing to trust? What's the most trustful thing that you could have in your life? And see what they say is an answer and explore it with friends and, and offer your ideas to your friends and see what they say. explore that. And then think about, you know, reflect on how strong your faith is. And if it's strong, or if it's a weak, Miss, oh, it's a weak are there ways healthy ways of strengthening it and developing it. So the last thing I want to say, as little bit of a challenge for you around this issue of faith, that one of the things that get can give the most reliable faith or confidence or trust in Buddhist practice. If you really understand this, well, understand how it applies to your life can give you a kind of ad in mind. adamantine faith, very deep, unshakable faith. You understand this one thing really well. And that is if you really understand well, the Four Noble Truths. Some of you don't know what it is. But for those of you who know, the Four Noble Truth is not kind of just simple Buddhism, it's the core of it. If you understand that one thing that will probably give you more confidence in faith than anything else. Don't have faith in the Four Noble Truths. Understand it, how it works, how it is applied. So how's that for? fire and brimstone? sermon? Yes, Mark.
I guess the thing that comes up around This nature in my field, biologic principles, these of these teachers passed down over the years that cause people suffering. Yes they were applying these principles, these rules, right. Right. Right.
Face we have such a strong biological makeup to be tribal. Distinguish separation. Guess the other issue is that yes
so verified faith it's very important what you're pointing to. And in in, you know talks about the faith being a faculty capacity we have it's it's, it's belongs to a list called the five faculties or five capacities that can be developed. And in the tradition that talks about this, it makes it very clear that faith needs to be balanced with wisdom or discernment. And the the image is that faith is a is like a blind giant. And wisdom is like a lame person can walk who has very clear sight. And so what has to happen is that the giant has to carry the Seeing person on top of the shoulders. And together they can find their way. And so without without some really good discernment and faith can be very dangerous. Let's face not sitting at a chair. Faith is not sitting on a chair that's not there. Yeah. So, hopefully, you know, so faith is a dangerous animal. But it's also very important. Don't hold back from it because it's, it's dangerous, but do it wisely and carefully. And also kind of Carlos tronic trying to point away from that kind of dangerous kind of faith in talking about the importance of finding the faith inside of yourself, that trust inside of yourself. So, I hope this has been helpful. And maybe maybe we can spend a few weeks talking about those other five factors. Another factor for faculties are the five might be interesting to go through them and talk about them and how they work together. So many thanks