Author Topic: A matter of faith  (Read 24609 times)

hope rainbow

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2011, 05:03:59 PM »
Faith is the only thing keeping me up when all my guards are down and when what I seem to perceive should lead me to give up.

Example:
My football team is loosing the match, all my fellow supporters already think it is lost, we are at 10 minutes from the end but I have faith they are going to make it! That's faith.
Maybe we loose the match anyway, but that was kind of a stupid faith to entertain, right? The basis was faulty.
Here we are talking about having faith that I can achieve Buddhahood, that is far from being a stupid faith.
The best way to keep this faith up is through Guru Devotion, by having faith that one's guru is a Buddha. For if I can't see Buddhahood in my Teacher, I can't see it in me.
One's Spiritual Teacher will push that faith to the limit so that it becomes stronger. This exercise sometimes backfires when faith decreases instead, but this "tension" is necessary for one to progress, it is a calculated risk that every guru has to take with his students.

Positive Change

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2011, 07:28:32 AM »
Quote
My football team is loosing the match, all my fellow supporters already think it is lost, we are at 10 minutes from the end but I have faith they are going to make it! That's faith.
Maybe we loose the match anyway, but that was kind of a stupid faith to entertain, right? The basis was faulty.
Here we are talking about having faith that I can achieve Buddhahood, that is far from being a stupid faith.
The best way to keep this faith up is through Guru Devotion, by having faith that one's guru is a Buddha. For if I can't see Buddhahood in my Teacher, I can't see it in me.
One's Spiritual Teacher will push that faith to the limit so that it becomes stronger. This exercise sometimes backfires when faith decreases instead, but this "tension" is necessary for one to progress, it is a calculated risk that every guru has to take with his students.

Thank you hope rainbow for a relevant sharing.

It is true sometimes we need to be constantly pushed beyond our limits to progress. We cannot remain 'stagnant' as that is NOT growth. if we choose to say we have learnt enough and stay where we are, it really is NOT a spiritual journey is it? It sounds more like a spiritual destination! Faith is a funny (as in strange and not Ha Ha) thing as it is something that is not physically tangible but yet very 'real' and needed in our spiritual practice. And sometimes when one thinks one has faith, a situation comes along which turns one on one's head and whatever faith we have seems to disintegrate. However I do not think it does... it just seems that way because doubt creeps in and we use our so called logical mind to counter that very faith!

WoselTenzin

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2011, 01:02:54 PM »

The question perhaps, then, is not whether we have faith in ourselves to practice, but whether we really WANT TO PRACTICE?

Is it really a lack of faith? Or just pure laziness and attachment?

For us to engage in any type of Dharma practice whether Buddhist or not, first and foremost we would have at least some faith.  If we do not have faith, we would not even embark on it in the first place. 

Given that we have faith and we don't practice and give all sorts of excuses such as we are not good enough or don't know enough, then it becomes an excuse not to practice because we are lazy and not willing to breach our comfort zone. 

It could also be there are other competing factors that we are attached to and we are not willing to give up to fully engage in our Dharma practice.  However at a deeper level, either way we can say that our faith is not strong enough and therefore not motivated to go beyond what we are comfortable with.  Lack of faith is the substantial cause, our laziness and attachment are just by product of our lack of faith.

One way to increase our faith in our Dharma practice is to contemplate on the great works and example of our Lama and to read biographies of other great Buddhist masters and practitioners.  When we contemplate and read about their success in their practice and their great deeds, it will inspire us to be more serious in our practice. 

When our faith becomes stronger, our laziness towards our practice and attachment to mundane things will gradually fade away. 




vajrastorm

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2011, 05:49:32 PM »
It may be our ego playing mind games with us or our laziness that is causing us to lack faith in our Dharma practice. Whatever it is, I believe that if we apply ourselves to our Practice with a strong sense of responsibility and commitment, we will see results of progress. This will surely lead us to grow faith in ourselves regarding our Dharma practice.

hope rainbow

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2011, 03:46:39 PM »
For us to engage in any type of Dharma practice whether Buddhist or not, first and foremost we would have at least some faith. 
If we do not have faith, we would not even embark on it in the first place. 

WT, when it comes to Dharma of other beliefs, what is faith?
Do you think it is the same essentially?

And what is faith in Buddhism?

The reason I am asking is that there may be a possibility to engage in Dharma without the faith as defined by the religious system.
EX: Mother Theresa in a crisis of faith towards God, but not towards compassion.
??

shugdentruth

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2011, 06:49:31 PM »
In my opinion, it is very important what our faith lead us to do. It doesn’t matter what faith we belong to. But essentially, it must lead us to benefit many others and be a better person. Another very important point in faith is the trust that even when things do not work out as it should, it may be even a good thing and that when we try the second time, we may benefit ourselves and others even more. 
Its just like owner of Italian cars, they know the chances are high that the car will fail them and have considerably a lot of trouble. But they will always own one knowing that it will bring them more happiness than not. This is a very worldly example, but it was one that I can relate to.

vajrastorm

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2011, 07:13:42 AM »
As a Mahayana practitioner, my path of Dharma practice is the path to Total Liberation from Suffering, and Full Enlightenment. This is the path that is given to us in the Lamrim. The foundation of this Dharma path is Proper Reliance on one’s Spiritual Guide, that is, properly relying on him, believing that he is a Buddha. This means that to have faith in one’s Dharma practice, one has to begin with having faith in one’s Spiritual Guide as a Buddha.

One has to train oneself to see one’s Spiritual guide as a Buddha. The way to develop faith in Him is to focus on His good qualities, recognize His infinite great compassion and see His skillful and wrathful methods with us as stemming from this infinite love and care for us.

We have to see Him as being even kinder and more compassionate towards us than the Buddha. Why so?  This is because he is not just an image that we can pay homage to and a merit field for us to collect merits. He has manifested His Nirmanakaya form to us,  the same form as us, so that he can teach the Dharma to us directly and guide us directly on our Dharma path. He is our Ego’s assassin and when we finally realize the inner Guru in us, we would be manifesting our own inner inherent Buddha nature already. 

He is the supreme field of merit for us to collect merits and often ‘effects’ our purification of our negative karma for us, before the conditions ripen for that negative karma to manifest in its full-blown form. As the Lamrim prayer of Je Tsongkapa says:
“Well realizing that the root of the Path,
The foundation of every realization
Is to properly rely on my kind Guru
Bless me to do so with great effort and devotion”.

dondrup

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2011, 10:57:58 PM »
The question perhaps, then, is not whether we have faith in ourselves to practice, but whether we really WANT TO PRACTICE?

Is it really a lack of faith? Or just pure laziness and attachment?

Many people underestimate the power of our subsconscious mind.  If we continue to feed the mind with positive affirmations the mind will accomplish positive results.  Likewise the mind will produce only negative results when it is always enveloped by negative thoughts.  This is in line with the Law of Cause and Effect.

If we always find excuses or justifications to cover our lack of confidence or faith to do something new and challenging, our repeated negative conditioning of our mind will cause our mind to become negative.  If this conditioning is not stopped and our negativities purified, the consequences will become bigger when they ripen in the future. The constant negative conditioning of our mind will also trigger negative seeds in our mind to ripen. When the negativities gather momentum, they become very difficult for us to overcome.  One of the effects is that we become lazy.  Laziness will develop until it becomes detrimental to our spiritual practice and growth.

If we are lack of faith, our spirtual practice won't grow either. Instead it will degenerate or we may totally stop practising! Faith is so fundamental that without it, spiritual practitioners cannot accomplish any attainment.

Having developed complete faith to practise, we will be passionate about accomplishing our spiritual goals. There is no question about not to practise. However, laziness does interfere with our practice when we are not alert and we let our lazy mind control us.

diamond girl

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2011, 06:41:45 PM »
The question perhaps, then, is not whether we have faith in ourselves to practice, but whether we really WANT TO PRACTICE?

Is it really a lack of faith? Or just pure laziness and attachment?

Many people underestimate the power of our subsconscious mind.  If we continue to feed the mind with positive affirmations the mind will accomplish positive results.  Likewise the mind will produce only negative results when it is always enveloped by negative thoughts.  This is in line with the Law of Cause and Effect.

If we always find excuses or justifications to cover our lack of confidence or faith to do something new and challenging, our repeated negative conditioning of our mind will cause our mind to become negative.  If this conditioning is not stopped and our negativities purified, the consequences will become bigger when they ripen in the future. The constant negative conditioning of our mind will also trigger negative seeds in our mind to ripen. When the negativities gather momentum, they become very difficult for us to overcome.  One of the effects is that we become lazy.  Laziness will develop until it becomes detrimental to our spiritual practice and growth.

If we are lack of faith, our spirtual practice won't grow either. Instead it will degenerate or we may totally stop practising! Faith is so fundamental that without it, spiritual practitioners cannot accomplish any attainment.

Having developed complete faith to practise, we will be passionate about accomplishing our spiritual goals. There is no question about not to practise. However, laziness does interfere with our practice when we are not alert and we let our lazy mind control us.

Faith is no doubt the basic fundamental foundation for our spiritual growth and practice. Laziness is a just bad habit and attitude. Laziness is at most times an excuse to not do anything. Laziness is the root to irresponsibility. So, laziness will definitely be an obstacle to spiritual growth. In fact it is an obstacle to anything we want to achieve in life.

This then leads to say that if one is lazy does it say they are not spiritual? I have met some people who are really lazy couch potatoes literally, but when it come to prayers and festive periods, they will be on top of things and complete their prayers, etc. I find this quite interesting...

WoselTenzin

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2011, 07:28:47 AM »
For us to engage in any type of Dharma practice whether Buddhist or not, first and foremost we would have at least some faith. 
If we do not have faith, we would not even embark on it in the first place. 

WT, when it comes to Dharma of other beliefs, what is faith?
Do you think it is the same essentially?

And what is faith in Buddhism?

The reason I am asking is that there may be a possibility to engage in Dharma without the faith as defined by the religious system.
EX: Mother Theresa in a crisis of faith towards God, but not towards compassion.
??

Faith is the believe in something that can protect you, whichever religion you may be it. 

In Buddhism, faith means the believe in the teachings of the Buddha which can be summarized in its entirety as the doctrine of cause and effect or karma.  We believe that if we abide by the law of cause and effect and act accordingly to create all the virtuous causes, we will reap good results.  Then not only we will be protected, we will also be able to protect others. 

Faith do not necessarily has to be towards a saviour God. Perhaps, the reason why she was facing a crisis of faith towards God was probably she realized that there is no such thing as a saviour God but the faith that she embraces deem it blasphemous to even have such a thought.  She has a dilemma of whether to trust her own instincts or to trust the Bible which is supposed to be infallible.   

In the case of mother Theresa, it could be simply be based on her instincts that she has faith in the power of compassion, the power of wanting to free others for suffering.  Perhaps she is a Buddhist without even herself realizing it.  Aren't all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas born out of the mind of compassion and therefore has become enlightened or worked to be enlightened so that they are in the best position to free other beings from suffering?

My answer to your question is yes.  Yes it is possible to practice Dharma without the faith as defined by a religious system because Dharma is correct conduct eg kindness, generosity, patience etc that can be practised by anyone and they don't have to be under the umbrella of a religious system. 

diamond girl

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2011, 02:40:14 PM »
For us to engage in any type of Dharma practice whether Buddhist or not, first and foremost we would have at least some faith. 
If we do not have faith, we would not even embark on it in the first place. 

WT, when it comes to Dharma of other beliefs, what is faith?
Do you think it is the same essentially?

And what is faith in Buddhism?

The reason I am asking is that there may be a possibility to engage in Dharma without the faith as defined by the religious system.
EX: Mother Theresa in a crisis of faith towards God, but not towards compassion.
??

Faith is the believe in something that can protect you, whichever religion you may be it. 

In Buddhism, faith means the believe in the teachings of the Buddha which can be summarized in its entirety as the doctrine of cause and effect or karma.  We believe that if we abide by the law of cause and effect and act accordingly to create all the virtuous causes, we will reap good results.  Then not only we will be protected, we will also be able to protect others. 

Faith do not necessarily has to be towards a saviour God. Perhaps, the reason why she was facing a crisis of faith towards God was probably she realized that there is no such thing as a saviour God but the faith that she embraces deem it blasphemous to even have such a thought.  She has a dilemma of whether to trust her own instincts or to trust the Bible which is supposed to be infallible.  

In the case of mother Theresa, it could be simply be based on her instincts that she has faith in the power of compassion, the power of wanting to free others for suffering.  Perhaps she is a Buddhist without even herself realizing it.  Aren't all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas born out of the mind of compassion and therefore has become enlightened or worked to be enlightened so that they are in the best position to free other beings from suffering?

My answer to your question is yes.  Yes it is possible to practice Dharma without the faith as defined by a religious system because Dharma is correct conduct eg kindness, generosity, patience etc that can be practised by anyone and they don't have to be under the umbrella of a religious system. 



What you say here is very appealing and applicable to Life. I have many friends who do not have a specific religion. They call themselves Atheists and they preach to be good and not kill or lie, and do not hurt people.

As much as I can understand that "it is possible to practice Dharma without the faith as defined by a religious system because Dharma is correct conduct eg kindness, generosity, patience etc that can be practised by anyone and they don't have to be under the umbrella of a religious system." 

My question is: Is that enough to generate positive Karma? I understand that we are from previous lives and mindstreams which carry with it the negative and positive Karma into this current life. Is it enough to purify our previous negative karma just to be dormant and be good? How about doing more to accumulate positive Karma in this life?
And if yes we need to do more, then I ask would not it be good that we are part of a religious system in order to do more to benefit others beyond our limitations?

pgdharma

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2011, 02:45:43 PM »
Whatever religion one belongs to, one must have faith. If one does not have faith then why go on a spiritual path?

If one believes that by having faith in a Buddha or God  one will be protected and looked after by the supreme one, then one should not let laziness prevent oneself  from pursuing the spiritual path. One must have a bit of faith to embark on this spiritual path and when one sees the benefit or receives some results then faith will become stronger. In my opinion from the Buddhist point of view, one must have faith and the right motivation to achieve attainment.

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2011, 03:14:28 AM »
Thanks everyone for very good inputs. Faith functions to overcome doubts.  We need to remind ourselves what are we having faith in and what are the doubts we need to overcome? It is  important to know the object of our faith because it is the object that gives us the purpose and basis upon which correct faith is built. Everyone can develop faith. To qualify as a true Buddhist practice,   the object of our faith would necessarily have to be at least Refuge ( in the 3 jewels) , or depending on one's motivation along the Buddhist path , renunciation , bodhicitta and correct view of voidness.  Resistance , laziness  , lack of effort or enthusiasm to   generate the aforementioned qualities of mind are signs that we have doubts as to their benefits , our Spiritual Guide's nature  and his instructions.
 In the context of spiritual practice,  I think it is not so much we lack faith in ourselves when we say we cannot, rather it is the lack of faith in our Spiritual teacher who say we can.

WoselTenzin

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2011, 11:39:58 AM »

My question is: Is that enough to generate positive Karma? I understand that we are from previous lives and mindstreams which carry with it the negative and positive Karma into this current life. Is it enough to purify our previous negative karma just to be dormant and be good? How about doing more to accumulate positive Karma in this life?
And if yes we need to do more, then I ask would not it be good that we are part of a religious system in order to do more to benefit others beyond our limitations?


Dear diamond girl, what you are asking really got me thinking.  I can give you an answer now but I will find out more and answer later.


DSFriend

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Re: A matter of faith
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2011, 03:21:26 PM »
Faith is the only thing keeping me up when all my guards are down and when what I seem to perceive should lead me to give up.


We all have doubts and it  takes control of our body, speech and mind so quickly when we are faced with afflictive emotions.

Since we have yet to get rid of doubts and its stains immediately, recognizing that we do have doubts is important.

I've been caught countless times by my doubts...but am slowly learning to doubt my own deluded perceptions and keep the faith in the three jewels firmly.

From experience, the struggle is because of the ego manifesting it's ugly, self righteousness. Therefore, holding our faith firmly becomes a challenge and struggle because people and circumstances doesn't conform to what we think or expect it should be. Thus, perhaps many are not able to accept the methods of holy lama's manifested thru "crazy wisdom".