Why a book on faith?

The first time I taught a workshop on faith, my listeners sat for a while in stony silence. Then somebody blurted out, “I came to Buddhism to get away from all this shit.” I was startled! People started talking about their painful experiences with faith. To some of them it meant blindly adhering to a dogma, a lot of negative self-judgment, or the fear of being condemned for not having enough faith or the “right” kind. But that’s not what faith has to imply. Rather than merely replace “faith” with a word people might feel more at ease with, such as “trust,” I hope to reclaim it, and to face the discomfort the word evokes head on.

What’s your understanding of faith?

In Buddhism faith is a verb. It’s the offering of one’s heart. It’s not a commodity we have or don’t have. It’s something we do. Faith is a liberating process that deepens as our wisdom deepens. In fact, wisdom and faith support each other.


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