Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Faith Is a Spark


Faith saved my life. Twice.
To be exact, Sharon Salzberg’s “Faith, Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience,” a slim 176-page treatise (2002) made its way into my hands more than once over the last decade when I needed it most. Each time, I felt adrift in search of an anchor. 
My life of late has resembled a revolving door, as I process a multitude of challenges: loss, grief, a review and release of long-held assumptions, and a shift in livelihood.
Faith is a verb, Sharon reminds us gently.
“Faith is not a singular state that we either have or don’t have, but it is something we do. We ‘faithe.’ Saddha is the willingness to take the next step, to see the unknown as an adventure, to launch a journey.”
She continues, “Faith is not superficial or sentimental. It doesn’t say everything will turn out right. ... Faith entails the understanding that we don’t know how things will unfold. 
“Even so, Faith allows us to claim the possibility that we ourselves might change in ways that will allow us to recognize and trust the helping hands stretched toward us. It enables us to aspire to a better life than the ones we have inherited.” 
Without the force of faith, we repeat old patterns that keep us stuck. “Faith,” Sharon assures, “is the animation of the heart that says, ‘I choose life, I align myself with the potential inherent in life, I give myself over to that potential.’ This spark of faith is ignited the moment we think, I’m going for it, I’m going to try.”
Sharon, I am eternally grateful. You are a goddess. May you be happy, too. And, may all beings benefit.