Napa Valley Insight Meditation Message Board › Experiencing Faith: Reading for April 29th NVMG
With Forrest having shared Ezra Bayda's teachings on the quality of perseverance last week, this Tuesday (April 29th) I thought it might be beneficial to explore the concept of faith through the window of a short except from Sharon Salzberg's book Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience (2002).
You can download a copy of the reading by clicking on the link below. Please bring a copy with you on Tuesday:
The faith that Sharon speaks of is a verb, not a noun-- "the willingness to take the next step, to see the unknown as an adventure, to launch a journey" (p.12) through recognizing "that everything is moving onward to something else, inside us and outside" (p. 13) in every moment. This faith doesn't promise that everything is going to turn out well or deny life's difficult experiences but points to our own inner strength and capacity to persevere, despite the fact that we cannot know or control how things are going to unfold from moment to moment. From my experience, the energy of faith can help us to follow through on our daily values (such as taking time for daily sitting practice) as well as help us to get through the most difficult times of our lives.
My invitation to the sangha this week is to explore your own direct experience of faith and bring your discoveries with you on Tuesday (whether you feel called to speak or to just to hold your knowings in your own heart). What is it that has you come and sit with the meditation group on Tuesday nights? How does faith play a role in supporting you in following through on beginning or sustaining a daily meditation practice? Where do you experience the energy of faith in your body? Your mind? Your heart? How does the energy of faith support your life in small ways and in the crucial, difficult moments?
In my own life, faith is what arises as a kind of inner fierceness in me-- a warrior-like determination to see clearly the truth of change and to keep going, keep practicing, keep intending to keep my mind clear and my heart open-- no matter what. This energy seems to arise precisely when I need it the most and helps transform whatever it is that is in the process of changing within me at that particular time.
How do you experience the energy of faith in your own life and practice?
Looking forward to our time together,