Faith in Buddhism

The idea of faith in Buddhism was very confusing for me until I realized that it was faith in my own ability to awaken. This is the faith that we all have inherent Buddha nature (bodhicitta) – the compassion for ourselves and other beings to live in happiness and avoid suffering.

The Buddha, himself, never required any unconditional demands or faith in the Buddha himself. He advised people,

Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, “This contemplative is our teacher.” When you know for yourselves that “these mental qualities are skillful; these mental qualities are blameless; these mental qualities are praised by the wise; these mental qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness”—then you should enter and remain in them. (Anguttara Nikaya 3.65)

Got to Have Faith

Faith in the Buddha’s own awakening is a requisite strength for anyone else who wants to attain awakening. As it fosters persistence, mindfulness, concentration, and discernment, this faith can take you all the way to the deathless.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, “Faith in Awakening”
Golden Buddha

For the past thirty years or more, I have taken refuge in the Buddha, dharma, and the sangha as a means to awaken and live a happier life. This is not blind faith, as I was taught in Hebrew School and Sunday School, but faith in the many brief moments of awakening that I have been blessed with since I was five years old. The path of the Buddha opened up this possibility to me and I have pursued it with diligence and practice.

What do you have faith in? How does it manifest? Please share.

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