2021-08-18-Faith (3 of 5) Faith as Love
3:19PM Aug 18, 2021
So for this third talk on faith, I'd like to attempt to talk about the quality of faith that is akin to love, or related to something we might call for. That when we have faith in Dharma faith, it's because something inside of us resonates. With the Dharma, something inside of us, we recognize something inside of us. That is, maybe Akin, or represents the Buddha Dharma and the Sangha, the key objects of faith in Buddhism. There's an intimacy that we develop with ourselves, and or an intimacy we develop with the world with the sensitive, tender awareness that we might have. And that intimacy, can come with a feeling of warmth, of joy, of deep sense of satisfaction. And
Excuse me, excuse me, and, and so to and if it's a love or joy, or a kind of desire, even, it's a version of ancient time misunderstood that faith is a kind of desire, and to desire to be close to something, it's a desire to live in close to something that's we have faith in something that we find valuable. And if the Dharma is found, or this intimacy with the Dharma is found, through meditation, then there's something about the desire to stay close to that. That tenderness, the intimacy, the warmth, the joy, the the sense of, well being, that seems to be somehow related to this. It's, the faith is more than just a knowing. It's an knowing him through experience, we know something because we experience it. And, and so to love, the practice and to love, in a sense, the Dharma know that one way that this expresses itself, that faith sometimes takes the form of devotion, devotional practices, a certain kind of heartfelt. You're emotive, wanting to serve, wanting to be close to wanting to offer ourselves in some kind of way to the Dharma or to the practice. In our Vipassana insight tradition, there's no variable chatting and very little ritual. And people have asked sometimes where's the devotion in this practice? And a common answer that is it's given is that mindfulness itself is devotional activity. And of course, it isn't automatically. But as we develop this practice, we start feeling that, that there's something really religiously or spiritually or sacredly vital or enhanced through mindfulness, that mindfulness awareness itself is something to be devoted to something to be, to love to serve, to, to, to, to dedicate ourselves to with love, or care or generosity. And, and so faith has so many different qualities, so many different aspects. And, and, but for some people, or some people, sometimes there is a quality that's akin to what I'd like to call love today. And I think we all know that the word love is very vague and covers a wide range spectrum of what of emotions or feelings. And so maybe it's more like a koan more Like a question that I'm offering you, that if faith has a quality of love in it or characteristic of love, and love is a very, it's very personal how this is, is experienced, what it corresponds in you to what I'm calling love, this warmth, this intimacy, this is the kind of place where we have feel like yes, this is home or this is desirable, this is satisfying. This is something that feels like the warm, warmest and tenderness and forms of dedication, love, wanting to serve, wanting to be generous when they care for maybe it's kind of a caring, kind of love, want to care for this thing. So somewhat, how does it what what do you have in yourself? What do you find yourself and my correspondent to this to this, you might use very different words, but maybe, if I'm using very broad terms, what specifically works for you, or if I'm just giving you kind of a rough idea, maybe you have something that's somewhat corresponds, and you'd have other words for it.
And so and so, it's the kind of love or faith or dedication devotion, where the pool or the desire to practice to live the Dharma, to live with the precepts and ethically, it just seems like a love affair seems like more of an expression of something that feels really good and write a rightness to it. And and that seems to be embodied or seems to be heartfelt. It's not so much a cognitive belief or thought or idea that this was good. And it's something that comes from feeling at home in oneself or settled here, the heart, and then the the goodness of the heart begins to shine and move forward. And for some Buddhist, this expression of what I'm calling today, love, really in relationship to faith is most actively expressed in the refuges in what's called going for refuge. And, and I love this expression, the Pali word is to walk to refuge, but it can mean going as well, in send me like in English, but going for refuge is kind of like entering into being willing out of one's own free will, in a sense, to go somewhere to go in a direction, and this is the direction to go. It goes in that which is most meaningful, most warm hearted, most something that we just feel so delighted by or pleased by or inspired by. So what I'm pointing to here is that faith sometimes has a very strong, very strong, heartfelt qualities to it. And, and it's an academy, an aspect of the heart. And so what is it? What does it take to be close to this through allow for this to happen? And I think that one of the accesses to it is through being settled enough, having quiet enough, not not less and less distracted, less caught up in desires and aversions, and really settled down and so that they were really intimate and present with our direct experience. So that maybe this word Yes, that we use for the meditation is an expression of that love. Yes, to be here and awareness to be here, practicing the Dharma to be here in this ethical goodness, that we feel not that we have not that we impose external ethics, moral rules on top of us, but we recognize the ethics that comes from a settled clear, peaceful heart. And a yes, this is right, this is good. This is what I love. This is where I want to center my life base my life on this this is a source from which to live my life. And what would it would it be like for you to live your life with a source for that life is love. Dharma love, not erotic, love this. Not not even our love for friends, but some kind of deeper ex substantial love, some way in which we're not afraid. We're not troubled or not anguished by anything, but are when all those things that cause anguish and trouble, are held in a wonderful capacity, growing capacity of the heart to hold everything. And there's an expression nursey in our in our insight tradition that ended up a title that Sharon Salzberg book called, having a heart as wide as the world. So maybe that is one of the purposes of this deep, heartfelt faith is to have a heart that can hold all things that as wide as the world and then to care for the world as a, as a to care for the world we live in as a natural expression of that. So thank you. And
and we'll continue two more talks on the word faith concept of faith. And then I thought that on Friday, at the this ending time, we could switch over to zoom those of you would like, and we could have more of a meeting, I can maybe answer some questions. Maybe we can have some small breakout groups as some of you can meet. You've seen each other's names. And it's been a while since we had this. And so at an outpost right, he places the zoom link so we can have that meeting. So thank you all