Monday, November 18, 2013

The Other F-Word (faith)

Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; Joseph Goldstein (IMS); Wikipedia edit saddha; Ben Griggs (Happy Science Temple, Japan)
(SoundsTrue) Insight Meditation, Tape 10, a talk on faith and wisdom with Joseph Goldstein

Buddha, Gandhara style
FAITH IN BUDDHISM (Pāli saddhā, "to place one's heart on") is an important constituent element of the teachings of the historical Buddha within all Buddhist traditions, although the kind and nature of "faith," confidence, conviction, or devotion varies in different schools.

According to the tradition using the exclusively Buddhist-language of Pali, some of the first words uttered by the Buddha after resolving to teach to the world the Dharma he had rediscovered were: "Wide open is the door of the Deathless to all who have ears to hear! Let them send forth faith [confidence in the enlightenment of the teacher, the teaching, and those successfully taught] to meet it!" (Mahavagga, I, 5,11; Vinaya Texts, T.W. Rhys Davids, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi 1996, p.88).
Treasure, faculty, power of faith
Richard Gere and Lisa Simpson meditate
The Pāli discourses (suttas, sutras) list confidence/faith as one of Seven Treasures (dhanas) (e.g., Collection of Long Discourses III.163, Estlin Carpenter J. (ed.), The Dīgha Nikāya, Pali Text Society, London 1976, p. 163), one of Five Spiritual Faculties (indriyas), one of four "streams of merit," and one of the Five Spiritual Powers (balas).

Gyatrul (b. 1924), in a commentary on the 17th century work of Chagmé, rendered into English by B. Alan Wallace states [Karma Chagmé (author, compiler), Gyatrul Rinpoche (commentary) and B. Alan Wallace (translator), 1998. A Spacious Path to Freedom: Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahamudra and Atiyoga. Ithaca, New York, USA: Snow Lion Publications):
Tibetan lamas, India (Laura Murphy)
By the power of faith, we are able to eliminate the two types of obscurations [i.e., the "obscuration of conflicting emotions" (Sanskrit kleśa-varaṇa) and the "obscuration concerning the knowable" (Sanskrit jñeyāvaraṇa), Jikdrel Yeshe Dorje (Dudjom Rinpoche, author), translated and edited by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (1991). The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History. Boston, USA: Wisdom Publications, p.107]. Through the power of faith both ontological and phenomenological knowledge arises. It is also by the power of faith that both the common and uncommon siddhis [psychic/supernormal powers] arise. More
(Ben Griggs) Happy Science, Japan, international retreat, spring
2011:  Koan seminar exploring "faith," interviews participants.

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