2021-08-17-Faith (2 of 5) Trust and Safety
3:02PM Aug 17, 2021
So good morning and good day. We'll continue today with a second talk on faith in Buddhism, Buddhist practice. And so often that's a common translation of saddha, saddha. And one word, one translation I like for that Pali word is trust. And it's a word with the word trust is the concept of trust is one, that I feel very, feels very, something very deep inside of me are very rich and valuable. And in some ways, I feel more connected to trust than I do to the word faith, both words I love and, and, and I feel like it's the trust speaks a bit more, to me, to a capacity, an inner kind of quality of heart, that we're evoking in practice, that the word faith is a little bit still residual Association, I haven't English, that it has little to do with a belief system that we have, and maybe a little bit more intellectual than something that's more embodied and more, you know, connected maybe to our emotional life. And so trust, and to be able to live in trust, of we trust someone else, or trust something that I associate that with living without fear, this thing that I trust, I don't have to be afraid of. And, and so have faith, a trust, that is, that is felt as an as a deep sense of safety, or an absence of fear, at least. And a kind of an assurance, a deep assurance. And some of this is a capacity, we can develop the capacity to be without fear, the capacity to feel safe. And that's an important thing to appreciate. Because if we're only know how to be safe, by rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, then you know, it's not going to make us so safe. And some people feel like they have to just arrange everyone else and arrange every thing and system and everything. So it's all everything is lined up, so then they can feel safe. But the problem with that is it might work for a moment, but things are always shifting and changing. And then we have to do it more again, or the The other thing that sometimes happens, the very effort to control other people or get other people to behave a certain way. So I can feel safe, creates a kind of alienation is separation, that can't do that, that actually doesn't really work, when we can't really become safe, when we're kind of forcing or requiring other people to be a certain way for our sake. And, and maybe that's not the best way to, you know, find safety and relationship. And one of the one of the things we human beings are capable of, is developing and growing the inner feeling of trust, the inner capacity for being without anxiety and fear, with the inner capacity to not to be free, in a way that we're not as affected by the things of the world. Maybe we're more porous, and things don't hit our identity or the hood we're holding on to a as my ego is me and myself and mine. Or maybe there's not the contraction of fear that world events, hits inside of us. And, and so, we're not impacted as much by those in some heartway. So, we develop a capacity of trust, the capacity of safety inside and, and so, some of that has to do with the Buddhist idea of cultivation. A very important part of Buddhism is to develop, cultivate all kinds of inner strengths. One of those strengths is faith. And other is our strength of engagement of practice of, of F efforting. To be able to do and engage.
The other is mindfulness itself can become a strength. Our ability for a concentration for stability for steadiness can become stronger and stronger. And our capacity for wisdom for discernment for seeing clearly what's going on. Can be developed. And as these inner strengths grow, that that reinforces faith reinforces trust reinforces our capacity to feel like we're capable of holding and being with what's there. I love the word capacity, developing our capacity, because it has two meanings in English for me. One is that it's an ability to do something. And some people they say that they have great capacity means they have a great ability to do do certain things. But another meaning of capacity is that is like the capacity of a, of a container to hold liquid water, a little teaspoon hope can hold a little bit of water, contain a little bit of water, a cup holds, can contain more water, a gallon, jug contains more, a lake will contain much more water, and an ocean contains even more. So the capacity to hold. Something can grow and develop. And so our capacity for our awareness, our mind, to our heart, to be aware of things without contracting without reacting without getting a fear afraid, but to be able to hold it with some freedom or some equanimity, that can grow as these inner qualities develop and get stronger. And the advantage of that is that then we're bringing our safety with us. Because the shirt, certainly there's dangers in the world. But we have this, we develop something powerful inside, we were less affected by it, we're less fragile, and what's goes around goes on around us. And some of that is faith developing faith as a power, that trust is a power that that we have is deep reassurance that our life is supported in a way that is is significant, helpful, valuable. So that that would be assurance, that trust means that we're not so caught up and concerned with the details of what happens that the recently, I lost something. And something that was kind of important to it was I had hearing aids, so I thought I lost my hearing aids. And I think years ago, when I would have lost something like this, I would have gotten quite anxious and afraid. And now I lost them, I looked for them. And and I had this reassurance, simple reassurance and trust, that I can figure out what to do from there, I can find my way. And, you know, half the half after I'll get new ones. I did find them eventually. But But you know, it's a simple, maybe silly example of developing a capacity to be able to deal with some difficulty that in the past, I wouldn't have been so easy. But now I have this equanimity and peace around it. And so and so this faith, quality, this trust is one of the really valuable things in Buddhism is to trust, the Dharma, the practice, that the practice of mindfulness, the practice of meditation, the practice of
kindness, compassion, these practices are powerful and valuable. And they are and to have enough experience of practicing with them to feel confident, these work. But confident they work. They support us in in many ways, but one of the ways is that we know we had enough experiences with them, that we're confident, even if I don't know what needs to happen here, even if I don't know how to find my way, I have these practices that can keep me safe, keep me without fear keeps me at ease. It can support the situation to unfold in a healthy and good way that somehow the situation will find itself the way forward and the way out of the challenge that exists. And so that this is deep trust in the practice. And maybe eventually the trust in practice is greater than a trust than anything else. Certainly greater than the trust that it says no US dollar bills were In God We Trust, you know, how many of you to trust, you know, money more than, you know, anything else. But to trust yourself more than anything, the trust the practice, I mean, that's yourself so much, but the practice in fact, At some point, there's a shift, where the practice helps us not to be so caught in me, myself and mine. And we no longer kind of, we're no longer at the center of the play of our life, the drama of our life, because now the practice is at the center. And that's such a liberating thing to have happen. related to the practice is trusting the Dharma, not the Dharma as teaching so much, but that there's some something that's transpersonal operating here, something that's not about me myself in mind, maybe it's within us. But there's a inner wisdom and inner process and unfolding and movement towards freedom that operates that is natural, and operates independent of the ego, independent of my self preoccupation and self concern in a certain way. That it so some people might call a transpersonal, even though it may be within this psychophysical body. And so, to begin having faith or trust in something which is within us, but it's not what you identify with as yourself, this is a great freedom. And to know that and develop it gives a lot of assurance. So faith as trust, and trust as a power that we carry with us. And, and it's the power of being without fear. And certainly, we want it to be together with wisdom, the power of wisdom. So we don't do foolish things without the absence of fear. But to feel safe, to have this deep abiding feeling of safety that we carry with us. That's not easily threatened by what happens around us, allows us to then offer the gift of safety, the gift of fearlessness to others, that they have nothing to fear from us. And perhaps we can be reassuring presence in this world. And finally, I'll say that the word for being of wish for assurance for reassurance in the ancient Pali language, is the literal meaning of it, is to breathe easily. And so May we all find the ability to trust in such a way to have faith in such a way that we can breathe easily going through our lives. Thank you.