What Buddhist book has had a significant impact on your practice?

2003 was the start of a difficult meditation period for me. I began practicing meditation about 13 years earlier, when I was looking for a way to feel joy even in the messy, painful, and often enraging life of being a Black middle-aged single mother of two boys. I loved meditation, and I quickly connected to the felt sense of peace and discovered a capacity for kindness I did not know was in me. All that changed in 2003. Every meditation brought anxiety and panic, and this former respite of seclusion turned into an echo chamber of fear. Sharon Salzberg’s book Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience (2002) changed the trajectory of my practice. “Faith” was a word I understood from growing up poor in a big family, meaning learning to trust in a better future and support each other, but the word seemed taboo in the greater Insight Meditation community. The way Sharon’s book demonstrated the necessity of faith in practice enabled my own faith to awaken and emerge as a source of inner strength. My faith in the Buddha, dharma, and sangha became a guiding light that allowed me to find my way through many dark days.

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