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Thread: Faith ?

  1. #1

    Faith ?

    Faith ?

    I keep reading the word 'faith' here, why?
    I have no faith or belief, that is why I sit.
    It is my time where I can be me at the same moment letting go of the 'my' the 'time' and the 'me'.
    If I had faith I would just be creating more 'me' to have to let go, surely?

    I have no faith Buddha (Siddhartha) ever existed, but that does not stop me recognising the wisdom in the teachings.
    I have no faith in teachers but that does not prevent me from treating their knowledge with respect and learning from their knowledge and wisdom.
    Just to qualify the last statement, in my practice of Zen no answer was ever of any value to me unless I had asked (myself)
    the question it answered.

    So do I need faith ? Will I need faith to accept your answer?


    Sat today

  2. #2
    Joyo
    Guest
    These are just some thoughts that came to me while reading your post...I'm not an unsui, or any kind of Buddhist teacher so please read with a grain of salt.


    Do you have faith in yourself? You have faith in this practice, in zazen don't you? If you didn't, you probably wouldn't sit.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  3. #3
    Hiya Stev,

    This is a nice thread on the subject from not too long ago: http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...Faith-in-Zazen

    I think it depends on where you see yourself putting your trust (faith is not necessarily the same as blind faith, it being a synonym for trust). I really liked Jundo's example on how, with a teacher, that we should take their words like we do a doctor's advice with our health. We trust a doctor to know what they're doing--being certified and all, with maybe multiple years of experience--but we should have some amount of doubt. Nobody's perfect, and scammers and quacks do exist. Too trusting, too doubtful, either can leave you in a not-so-good situation.

    (Granted, it might take some time to find a particular teacher or teachers who you feel are worth trusting, given that teachings vary from sector to sector far more than something more standardized like a medical doctor.)

    In that, I think I would modify what I said in that thread with faith in zazen itself. Perhaps I tried it without a level of trust in it, but if I continue to do it because I have found it to be helpful, then perhaps there is some level of believing that it will continue to do so. A trust, at least at some extent.


    Gassho,
    Stacy

    #SatToday
    Last edited by Stacy; 06-14-2015 at 02:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Thank you for linking to that post, Stacy ...

    We do not need faith, just to be here. Yet, one may also say we need faith (or "trust" if that is a better word).

    There are two aspects of "faith" (perhaps "trust" is a less loaded word for many Western people) vital to Shikantaza.

    First is the kind alluded to by several folks above: The "trust" one must have in the doctor and his prescription at the outset of therapy ... The student should have trust in the teacher and teachings, at least for the months or longer until the teachings begin to prove themselves.

    But there is another "trust in Shikantaza" that is ABSOLUTELY VITAL! I describe such as follows: Strange as it may sound at first blush, if one sits with a radical trust that the mere act of sitting Zazen is a complete action ... it is! But on the contrary, if one sits with the feeling "something is missing" ... then it is! So, a thorough trust in the former is vital!
    More here, please have a look:
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...Faith-in-Zazen

    I also agree with the following. I am a pragmatist. I have no need for "faith" in some person, nor care if it is historically true or not, but if it manifests in life here and now that is enough.

    I have no faith Buddha (Siddhartha) ever existed, but that does not stop me recognising the wisdom in the teachings.
    I have no faith in teachers but that does not prevent me from treating their knowledge with respect and learning from their knowledge and wisdom.
    Just to qualify the last statement, in my practice of Zen no answer was ever of any value to me unless I had asked (myself)
    the question it answered.
    As well, our "Grass Hut" reading this week is right on this point, and I recommend it. I will link here shortly.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Hi, so no I have absolutely no faith in Zazen, and I sit twice a day.
    Even if we use the word 'trust' I would say no I have no trust in Zazen.
    But if you were to ask me if it would be wise to continue sitting, then i would say yes because I know it would be, I have no reason to question that.
    But if we were to agree there needs to be trust in Zazen, in sitting, in putting in the work, what is it in which we put our trust??



    thanks for the replies

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Stev View Post
    Hi, so no I have absolutely no faith in Zazen, and I sit twice a day.
    Even if we use the word 'trust' I would say no I have no trust in Zazen.
    But if you were to ask me if it would be wise to continue sitting, then i would say yes because I know it would be, I have no reason to question that.
    But if we were to agree there needs to be trust in Zazen, in sitting, in putting in the work, what is it in which we put our trust??



    thanks for the replies
    Hi Stev,

    It gets to a point were it is all words, semantic, horns on rabbits ... faith or no faith, trust or no trust. Not important then.

    Just keep sitting-non-sitting, and such is enough. Please trust me in believing that!

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-14-2015 at 04:11 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    The book club reading this week on faith/trust is posted ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...521#post155521

    The accompanying reading should be here for those who do not have the book.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=c5...ubt%22&f=false

    Gassho, j
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Stev View Post
    Faith ?

    I keep reading the word 'faith' here, why?
    I have no faith or belief, that is why I sit.
    It is my time where I can be me at the same moment letting go of the 'my' the 'time' and the 'me'.
    If I had faith I would just be creating more 'me' to have to let go, surely?

    I have no faith Buddha (Siddhartha) ever existed, but that does not stop me recognising the wisdom in the teachings.
    I have no faith in teachers but that does not prevent me from treating their knowledge with respect and learning from their knowledge and wisdom.
    Just to qualify the last statement, in my practice of Zen no answer was ever of any value to me unless I had asked (myself)
    the question it answered.

    So do I need faith ? Will I need faith to accept your answer?


    Sat today
    Hi,

    I think you have a lot faith. So much so that you have faith in not having faith. But that's just my opinion.

    Gassho, Jishin

  9. #9
    Does it really matter whether there is trust or no trust? Is it maybe more of a matter of not filling with distrust?

    In my post in the other thread, I had said how I didn't think there was a level of trust in zazen itself, just that it was something I did and continued to do because it worked for me. But in thinking on things and looking back, I can't say that "I know" isn't at least to some extent "I trust". If I walk confidently across the floor, do I trust the floor? I can say I know it won't fall in, but if something beyond my knowledge happened that caused it to falter when I step across it...my "knowing" was more of a trust. (Maybe even trusted that I knew?) But circumstance doesn't seem like it's a factor in what was there all along, regardless of if the floor caved in or not.

    Definitely fun to think about. Here I am with a different perspective today than just couple months back, haha. Right, wrong, whatever. Oh well.

    But if a belief in not having any trust (but not distrust) in zazen hasn't hindered your practice...is there a reason to worry about it? Maybe it's all trust, but we have different perspectives on what is trust. Maybe there's no trust, but we have different perspectives on what is trust. See what it means to the people talking about having faith in their situation, and then find your own understanding from there.


    Gassho,
    Stacy

    #SatToday

  10. #10
    Mp
    Guest
    Hello Stev,

    I have faith in trust, trust in faith, and both faith and trust in just sitting. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday #intrust #infaith

  11. #11
    So years ago my daughter sat down next to me, looked me in the eye and said.
    "Dad, now tell me the truth, does Father Christmas really bring my presents?"

    Thanks for the replies

    sat today

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Stev View Post
    So years ago my daughter sat down next to me, looked me in the eye and said.
    "Dad, now tell me the truth, does Father Christmas really bring my presents?"

    Thanks for the replies

    sat today
    I say yes!

    Here is how I believe in Santa (and all the Bodhisattvas) ...

    Actually, I had a hard time, for many years, incorporating into my practice many figures such as Kannon and Jizo ...

    I have some cautions I would offer both to people who say (a) these things do exist in a concrete way, and those folks who say (b) they do not. While both those extremes may be correct (only the universe knows for sure, and I remain an open minded mystic-skeptic), I have come to see "them" as archtypes, representing real characteristics of human life and (since we are just the universe) thus the universe.

    In other words, in a nutshell: When we feel in our hearts and act upon love and compassion, thereby love and compassion exists as a real, concrete aspect of the world which our hearts and acts create. And since, in our view, there is no "inside" or "outside" ultimately, what is inside you is just as much "the universe" and concrete reality as the moon, gravity and the stars. That is "Kannon", in that way a real and concrete aspect and 'force' of the world.

    I believe in Buddhist Heavens and Hells, Buddhas (apart from the historical Shakyamuni) and Boddhisattvas, and all the rest of the Buddhist cosmology, in much the spirit of that famous essay ... "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus". Did you ever read that? A little girl wrote to a newspaper editor, back in 1897, saying that she'd heard from friends that there is no Santa Claus. "Is it true?", she asked. Part of the response ran like this ...

    What? You don't believe in Santa Claus?

    GassHo Ho Ho, Jundo


    VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

    Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

    http://www.newseum.org/exhibits/online/yes-virginia/
    Gassho, J

    SatToday Ho Ho Ho
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13

  14. #14
    I have faith
    that I may die
    before the sun rises
    Time to sit now

    -satToday
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  15. #15
    Hmmm faith in the possibility of death???
    Trust me, you don't need faith, you will die sometime, it's reality.
    Or not,
    birth, life, death, suffering
    real ?
    or nothing more than change?

    sat today

  16. #16
    Hi guys.

    I am not a man of faith. Actually I'm pretty skeptic. That's why I sit, because I want to see and experience stuff by myself.

    I practice and ordained because the dharma feels natural and I put it to the test in myself all the time.

    But at the end I just sit and let thoughts drift away if only for a few minutes.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  17. #17
    When I first took refuge and felt the Buddha way was my home stream, the word that really evoked faith was Tathagata. As far as I know that is the only term the Buddha used to refer to himself. There was a deep personal and emotional resonance with the name Tathagata.

    In an act of faith I wrote the following on a piece of paper , sealed it with wax, and have kept in a special place for 25 years.

    Perfect Tathagata
    Beautiful Tathagata
    I open my heart to your blessing
    I open my mind to your Dharma
    I have deep faith in your way.
    Now in a way this is mere poetry and mindplay, devotional fantasy, at set-up, make-believe. It is not true like a dollar bill or a punch in the face. But in another way it is truth impossible to know if the heart is covered with armor and vain intelligence. We know despite such vanity that the highest value of the heart, or heart of hearts, is unconditional compassion by any name. That is the realm of "faith", and it is only open to a naked and broken heart. It has nothing to do with belief in a separate entity other than this own mind and heart. It is an opening of the heart to the heart, a bowing down and an aspiring, at the same time. Such "faith" in an essential part of Bodhisattva Zen... faithless zen is just technology.

    Just one view here, not speaking for anyone else.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    sat today
    Last edited by RichardH; 06-16-2015 at 02:22 PM.

  18. #18
    Kyonin

    Who could ever want to slap you?

    For 25 minutes twice a day I sit, that is about 50 minutes every day I can't do anything or anyone any wrong.

    Can't be bad

    Gassho

    sat today

  19. #19
    Sorry to chime in so late -- faith as trust and faith as faith.

    Not much to add about the trust side of faith; I mean I feel it is more trust in practice, trust in the teachers, in the sangha, in yourself to keep going even when the cushion is the last place to be.

    But if you think you live your life without any faith - then you are kidding yourself; there are simply too many things discovered that we have to have faith work, cars, electricity... I don't know how all of it works, but I have faith that it will work. Our progress as humans relies on the discoveries that those made before us are true, or as true as the person could determine at that time. For example, when learning trigonometry, we have faith that pi is what our teachers tell us.

    Or let's say you are crossing a bridge, but you can't see the other side of it; you have faith that it's there, that you will not fall off -- and yes that has happened, here in florida in fact.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday

  20. #20
    I experience faith as a letting go of myself. A letting go of the idea that all I need or can depend on is me, me, me.


    ..sat2day•

  21. #21
    OK I am kind of responding to Risho but also to all of you, though my bunch of questions have not all been asked or answered when Jundo said -

    "It gets to a point were it is all words, semantic, horns on rabbits ... faith or no faith, trust or no trust. Not important then.

    Just keep sitting-non-sitting, and such is enough. Please trust me in believing that!"

    It was obvious that we could voice different opinions for months but we eventually would have to return Jundo's wisdom. That and different folks from different cultures who do not understand the differences it has already got to the point "where it is all words"
    you say potato
    I say potato

    Gassho

    sat twice today

  22. #22
    Yeah I would have to agree with that -- after a while, it becomes an argument over abstractions and then it's helpful to no one

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Stev View Post
    Hmmm faith in the possibility of death???
    Trust me, you don't need faith, you will die sometime, it's reality.
    Or not,
    birth, life, death, suffering
    real ?
    or nothing more than change?

    sat today
    Yes, different definitions of faith. Don't you get it yet? You can ask many people. They think they will live forever. Is it an omelette if it's just the egg whites? Who cares, I just want the protein.
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  24. #24
    Faith is imagination it is not reality, let go of your faith and you might see something real instead of opinion.Faith is just another brick in the wall that hides reality.

    Or keep your faith HO HO HO

    Gassho


    will sit in about 30 minutes
    Last edited by Stev; 06-17-2015 at 05:51 AM.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Stev View Post
    Faith is imagination it is not reality, let go of your faith and you might see something real instead of opinion.Faith is just another brick in the wall that hides reality.
    Saying so is a matter of faith on your part!

    (I couldn't resist to say that)

    Furthermore, I might point out that Buddhism is such a radical statement on the illusory nature of all we take as real, that saying one has uncovered "reality" may not apply. For example, Stev asserting that Stev has experienced some reality overlooks the fact that "Stev" is just himself a matter of faith and supposition, and something of a dream.

    I am not Christian, but I cannot attend the funeral of my best college friend who died in the US this week. So, since his wife is very religious Christian, I said I would like to find a Christian Church here in Japan and go in to say a prayer for my friend and the family. She wrote back, reminding me that I was a Buddhist of Jewish heritage, and had always professed to be very agnostic about such things. I responded that she was right but I would put that all aside, and for my time in the church, say the prayer having total faith in Jesus in honor of my friend and his beliefs. I asked her if that was enough, and if it were okay then. She wrote back that it certainly would be.

    So, true or not, my "faith" seems to help somebody a little, and be real in some way.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-17-2015 at 06:07 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    "Saying so is a matter of faith on your part! "

    surely that is just opinion?

    Stev does not assert he experiences reality he questions the reality of faith,

    "If I had faith I would just be creating more 'me' to have to let go, surely?"


    Just replace the word faith with the word imagination and see if it changes the meaning of anything said in this thread.


    gassho

    sat today
    Last edited by Stev; 06-17-2015 at 07:08 AM.

  27. #27
    In this conversation, we are a bit like a bunch of characters in a fictional novel becoming sentient and (not realizing that they are fictional characters in a fictional novel) debating who is experiencing the "reality" of the fictional chairs and tables and "faith" in the fictional "gods" and such in the the fictional world more clearly!

    Is it the characters who live the fiction with "faith," or the characters who do not?

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-17-2015 at 10:35 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  28. #28
    Just a couple of comments on opinions and personal experience...

    I try to keep an eye out for opinion dressed up as fact, and I also look out for over-generalisations based on individuals' experiences.
    "All of us do both of these a lot"


    Gassho,
    Jeremy
    Sat Today

  29. #29
    But we are not fictional character, we are human beings with all our thoughts and questions and Father Christmas does not exist.
    Laws of physics govern electricity and we need no faith to walk on floors, neither do I need faith to start a car I use a key

    If we have faith why would we need to prove anything for ourselves,
    we can just live in our fictional imaginary dreamworld.

    You may live in a fictional novel Jundo, have fun.
    I thought you were having a joke about Father Christmas but I see you are quite serious so not much left to say I will leave you to your imagination.
    Byeee

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Stev View Post
    If we have faith why would we need to prove anything for ourselves,
    we can just live in our fictional imaginary dreamworld.
    Heya Stev,

    Because the thing with trust is, I think, that it is always put to the test. In that, trust is often based upon something. There is a difference between blindly trusting (which faith is not necessarily, as trust is not necessarily) and then trusting based on evidence or something else.

    Maybe you separate what you "know" or basing things on what you know as not being the same as what you "trust". I see it kind of different.

    At the end of the day, it's all just opinions and perspectives, and maybe adding in some analogies to help get each one's own ideas across. Not something worth getting too caught up in, for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stacy View Post
    But if a belief in not having any trust (but not distrust) in zazen hasn't hindered your practice...is there a reason to worry about it? Maybe it's all trust, but we have different perspectives on what is trust. Maybe there's no trust, but we have different perspectives on what is trust. See what it means to the people talking about having faith in their situation, and then find your own understanding from there.
    If you disagree with what something you read in your practice that says you need faith or trust, I think you should try to put it into your own meaning that makes sense to you and not worry about it too much.


    Gassho,
    Stacy

    #SatToday


    edit: Decided to shorten it up. I think it's nicer this way.
    Last edited by Stacy; 06-17-2015 at 02:55 PM.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    When I first took refuge and felt the Buddha way was my home stream, the word that really evoked faith was Tathagata. As far as I know that is the only term the Buddha used to refer to himself. There was a deep personal and emotional resonance with the name Tathagata.

    In an act of faith I wrote the following on a piece of paper , sealed it with wax, and have kept in a special place for 25 years.



    Now in a way this is mere poetry and mindplay, devotional fantasy, at set-up, make-believe. It is not true like a dollar bill or a punch in the face. But in another way it is truth impossible to know if the heart is covered with armor and vain intelligence. We know despite such vanity that the highest value of the heart, or heart of hearts, is unconditional compassion by any name. That is the realm of "faith", and it is only open to a naked and broken heart. It has nothing to do with belief in a separate entity other than this own mind and heart. It is an opening of the heart to the heart, a bowing down and an aspiring, at the same time. Such "faith" in an essential part of Bodhisattva Zen... faithless zen is just technology.

    Just one view here, not speaking for anyone else.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    sat today
    I love that. Thank you


    ..sat2day•
    合掌

  32. #32
    I am going to stubbornly stick with this a little more. I would not discount too quickly the important of "faith" in Zen Practice and Mahayana Buddhism, although it is not some "blind faith".

    "Great Faith" is, in fact, often called one of the essentials to our Practice.

    I looked for a writing to convey this, and found so many. Teacher Augusto Alcalde speaks of a need for "faith meaning some kind of inner certainty that we are already the Buddha-dharma, that this body is the very body and that we can free the many beings." I believe that this is the same faith in the wholeness of Shikantaza of which I spoke, that when we sit this very sitting body is Buddha sitting.

    We must have faith (until we personally experience so) that what we are being taught has truth to it, even though not so apparent to the eye and our "common sense" assumptions. Dogen Zenji stated in Bendowa ...

    The world of the Buddhas is unthinkable and beyond consciousness, let alone to be known by contention and inferior knowledge. One must have true confidence and capacity to enter into it. Those without faith, even if taught, have trouble grasping it. For example, even when the Buddha was preaching at Vulture Peak, he said, "It is well for them to leave." To bring forth true faith in your heart you must practise and study. If not, you should quit for a while, regretting that you lack the influence of the Dharma from old good roots.
    ...
    But to enter and actualize the Buddha Dharma, we cannot rely on the worldly knowledge of humans and shining beings as a vessel to move past the worldly. ... But through great faith they found the way to free themselves from delusion. Another case is the woman of great faith who saw a senile old monk silently sitting and offered him a meal and so uncovered realization. This did not depend upon
    knowledge or on scholarship, words or speech. She was aided just through right faith. ... All who practise with right faith will all equally attain the Way with no gap between the wise and foolish.

    http://www.wwzc.org/sites/default/fi...ndowa-book.pdf
    There are so many powerful teachings in Buddhism which defy and challenge our ignorant "common sense", and we must trust in their truth until we experience them for our own. For example, I was not kidding that this world that exists before our eyes is largely (perhaps not wholly) a fiction. Things that seem solid and dependable are anything but (modern physics has come to much the same conclusions thru its own methods about seemingly separate, solid objects). The world ... with its objects that we categorize, label, isolate, judge, see as having certain characteristics ... is much more subjectively mind created than we recognize (much like the shapes of animals one might see in the clouds, so with many of the things we take for granted in this world. They are but conventions created by the human mind).

    I do not mean that one must have faith in ridiculous fantasies. All the faith in the world will not make a dragon appear sitting at the kitchen table. On the other hand, faith may be necessary when I tell you that the "kitchen table" is not there as much as you think it is either, and in some respects, is as much a dream as fantasy dragons!

    In this Practice, one must come to doubt and have faith at once.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-17-2015 at 04:13 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  33. #33
    That really resonated with me.

    Gassho, Josh

    Sat today.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Stev View Post
    ...But if we were to agree there needs to be trust in Zazen, in sitting, in putting in the work, what is it in which we put our trust??
    Hi Stev,

    I love your question. When I have a question with no clear answer I go back to the Four Noble Truths, and the 8fold Path, and in walking through them, usually find a place that can give me a little insight.

    So, with the questions “is faith necessary” and if so, "what is it in which we put our trust" in mind:

    First, there is suffering. I don’t need faith to see that, it’s all around. Second, suffering is caused by desire, craving, attachment. Sure, one need only look a little beyond the surface of things to see that this is true, pretty quickly. Third, there is a way to end suffering. Ah! Hold on. Is there? I’ve never known a person who didn’t suffer. How do I know this is true; why should I believe it? The fourth Truth says the 8fold path will end this suffering, but I can’t easily, quickly or intuitively know that that will be true... To find out if it’s true, I have to walk that path and test it out for myself, in my own life, with my own skepticism and doubt. So that Third truth, that’s where a bit of trust and faith are called-for.

    I do have trust/faith that an end to suffering is possible. This faith had me searching for a long time. Now the search has brought me to Buddhism. Ok, I see some happy peaceful people here, and there’s a long history behind it, and the writing makes sense to me. I’ll try it out. I start sitting, studying, I start walking the eightfold path, I start applying the precepts, to see for myself if they really can lessen suffering. Maybe it works (spoiler: it does!), maybe not, maybe there is some other, better way to end suffering, but it is my faith that an end to suffering is possible, that keeps me searching and trying things out.

    Stev, in your writing I think I see a little faith. You seem to have faith in “reality,” that there is an ultimate reality to be discovered, behind the wall of illusion or imagination.

    I think we should not take things on blind faith. We should explore and question and try things out and test them and find the truth as best we are able. It is the idea that we CAN find the truth, the reality, the cure for suffering, the belief that these things exist, that requires a little faith and trust, until we have an actual experience of it for ourselves.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today
    Last edited by Byokan; 06-17-2015 at 05:29 PM.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Stev View Post
    ... I thought you were having a joke about Father Christmas but I see you are quite serious so not much left to say I will leave you to your imagination.
    Byeee
    Hi Stev,

    Not sure if you've really gone or you're still there! Thanks for persisting in this thread - it's much appreciated

    Nelson Goodman has some interesting things to say about fact and fiction, for example here https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...page&q&f=false

    Paraphrasing Goodman, who's contrasting descriptions of you or me, for example, with those of characters like Don Quixote, or Father Christmas:
    Some depictions and descriptions ... do not literally denote anything. Painted or written portrayals of Father Christmas (or Don Quixote), for example, do not denote Father Christmas — who is simply not there to be denoted.
    ...To which some around here might respond "But you or I are not there to be denoted, either".

    Gassho,
    Jeremy
    SatToday
    Last edited by Jeremy; 06-19-2015 at 04:04 PM.

  36. #36
    Maybe, in our context, we could equate "faith" with the context in which we use the word "refuge." I cannot literally seek shelter in the Buddha, the Dharma or the Sangha. They will neither keep me physically warm, offer protection, or keep the rain off my head. But looked at as matters of spirituality, or, if you prefer, the psyche, I say with absolute faith that I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma and I take refuge in the sangha.
    Gassho!
    -Ankai

    Sat Today

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