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More Quotes Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience ....................................................... ....................................................... ........................................................... ..............."Sharon Salzberg has been practicing and studying Buddhism for more than thirty years, and during this time, has trained with some of the foremost masters of India, Burma, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. She is an acclaimed spiritual leader and meditation instructor as well as cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society, a center devoted to meditation training, and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Massachusetts. She is the author of the noted book, Lovingkindness: the Revolutionary Art of Happiness. Sharon Salzberg writes, "No matter what we encounter in life, it is faith that enables us to try again, to trust again, to love again. Even in times of immense suffering, it is faith that enables us to relate to the present moment in such a way that we can go on, we can move forward, instead of becoming lost in resignation or despair." In Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, Salzberg draws on her own spiritual journey and the teachings of the Buddha to offer a new definition of faith as a quality that can heal life's deepest wounds. Salzberg presents a meaningful, intelligent sense of faith that does not require a belief system or a connection to any deity or God, but has an inner quality that unfolds as we learn to trust our own deepest experience. What follows is an edited version of her Bodhi Tree Bookstore August, 2002 presentation. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In meditation practice, the big life lessons are often contained in small packages. The instructions might seem almost simplistic, but in fact they often have a profound and powerful effect. That's what I have discovered. I first went to India to learn how to meditate in 1970. I was a student at the State University of New York at Buffalo and had taken a course in Asian philosophy, which included Buddhism. They also had an independent study program at the school, so I designed a project where I could go to India and study meditation. It was accepted, and off I went. I had a lot of ideas about the fantastic, supernatural, exotic, or esoteric technique I would be given that would cure all my ills and make me a happy person. Now, I had never meditated before for even one moment, and when I entered an intensive 10-day retreat, much to my amazement, the instruction was to sit down and feel your breath. My first thought was that I could have stayed in Buffalo to feel my breath, but then I thought, maybe I'm just like a baby. I'll do it for a while and I'll have the great breakthrough experience, which will be obvious to everybody, especially the teacher. And then he'll take me aside and he'll give me the real stuff. So it's been over 30 years, and when I go to practice in that lineage with those teachers, it's still the same instruction, that same simple, direct, returning to your present experience kind of instruction. There's something powerful about tuning into that kind of simplicity. We need not think of meditation practice as an effort to squeeze our minds down to, say, the breath, while rejecting all thoughts and getting tighter and tighter and tighter. We can think of it as learning how to return. As we meditate, we're with one breath or two breaths or three breaths, and our mind leaps to the past to some situation that we may regret but can no longer change. Or our mind jumps off into the future and we create an entire world that has not happened and may never happen. Mark Twain said something like, "Some of the worse things in my life never happened." But that's what our mind does. And so, to learn how to come back gently with compassion for ourselves, honoring the ability we have -- no matter what -- to always begin again, that's really the art of meditation. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Faith is being in touch with the strengths or powers in this universe that are not defined or crushed by our circumstances. Then we can go forward, even if we're very afraid." - Sharon Salzberg -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When I first told people I wanted to write a book on faith, I was often met with disbelief, chagrin, or alarm -- all kinds of intense reactions. Some people felt they came to Buddhism to get away from faith. But when I looked into my own life, and the lives of my friends and my meditation students, I felt that faith was the one quality that really led us through difficult times, or enlarged our picture of life so that we could go beyond limitation. However, many people think that faith implies losing your ability to question, or to understand for yourself. Nowadays, we live in a molten, volcanic universe where everything changes all of the time. We can't even count on knowing what will happen tonight. I wanted to invite a use of the word "faith" that admitted how much we don't know, and still left room for the courage to go forward. The traditional meaning of the word "faith," or the more literal translation from the Buddhist tradition is "to place your heart upon," "to offer your heart." But we need discernment, care, and intelligence in looking at where the heart's offering is going. It's not antithetical to wisdom at all. For me, faith means connection. It means connecting to the deepest strengths we have within ourselves, while also connecting to a world view where we understand how closely linked we are to one another. No matter how alone we might feel, or disconnected, or separate, that's not actually the truth of the matter. I think we rely on faith all the time anyway, or we'd never get out of bed in the morning. Why do we try? What has us believe that tomorrow doesn't have to look like today? What has us think that the self image that has imprisoned us won't always dominate our minds? What has us willing to take a risk to be different? That's all faith. I think our use of faith, or our treasuring of faith, can be vibrant, alive and fresh and liberating. It doesn't need to carry all of our usual associations. I once taught meditation in a federal women's prison in California. One woman said, "When you're in prison, it's especially important to try to live in the present moment because there's nothing easier than to be completely lost in the past, which you cannot change, or to live in helpless longing for a future, which is not yet here." She added, "If you do that, then it's like you're not really alive." And then she looked at me and said, "I choose life. I choose to be alive." I thought this was a quintessential expression of faith. We can't know what will happen next, but we can be truthful to what is happening right now. And when we do that, we discover strengths within that are different from our normal point of view. Originally I wanted the book to be subtitled "The Journey from Lucy to Lalla," and here is why: Some friends and I once moved into a house to do a retreat and I discovered that someone had left a cartoon in the bedroom that I was going to use. It was a cartoon from the "Peanuts" comic strip. In the first frame, Lucy says to Charlie Brown, "You know, Charlie Brown, the problem with you is that you're you." Then in the second frame, poor Charlie Brown looks at her and says, "Well, what in the world can I do about that?" Then in the third and final frame, Lucy says, "I don't pretend to be able to give advice. I merely point out the problem." And somehow, whenever I was doing walking meditation by that desk, my eye would fall on that line - "The problem with you is that you're you" - which resonated very strongly, as it does for many people. I'm sure Charlie Brown had suspected his entire life that if he really looked deeply inside, it would be bad news. And that's where most of us begin - but, then, something happens. We meet a teacher, read a poem, go to a sacred site, or we imagine how life can be different. That's a stage in Buddhism that is called "bright faith," which is like falling in love. It's as though we've been looking at a door that seems to have been shut forever, and then it opens. And what has seemed like a small, enclosed, limited possibility expands. It blows open and we are lifted out of our ordinary life into this immensity, this glorious, beautiful state. In Buddhist teaching, faith is a process that continually evolves and changes. The first stage of bright faith is only the beginning. The next stage is called "verified faith," where we're no longer so dependent on someone else, since we know the truth inside of ourselves. Verified faith is grounded in our own sense of what's true, in our own experience. Now, strangely enough, the path from bright faith to verified faith is by way of doubt -- doubting and wondering and questioning and exploring. It means we demand to know the truth for ourselves, through our own practice, rather than just admiring it in someone else. We have the famous Buddhist saying, "Don't believe anything just because I say it. Put it into practice. See for yourself what's true." We have the common view that doubt is the enemy of faith, but the right kind of doubt is based on the feeling that we have both the right and the ability to know the truth for ourselves. That kind of doubt will enhance and enrich our faith. If anything is the opposite of faith, it's despair. Faith is that which links us up and connects us to these deepest truths within. It connects us to one another and to a bigger picture of life. The opposite of that is the feeling that we are completely disconnected, alone, or utterly isolated. That's a state of despair, and that's the opposite of faith. And so, that's the journey. It starts more often than not with "Lucy mind." And what it comes to, I think, can be expressed in a saying by Lalla or La Ded, a fourteenth century mystic from Kashmir. This passage is from the epilogue of my book: "At the end of a crazy-moon night the love of God rose I said, 'It's me, Lalla.'" As if renewing her acquaintance with an old friend, Lalla addresses her God casually, sweetly, intimately. Enchanted, I felt inspired by her winsome response, her calm expectation of being remembered. "Hi, you remember me, don't you?" Lalla offers herself completely, no reticence due to feeling a lack of self-worth, no questioning of her absolute right to be there, face-to-face with the vastness of her ultimate truth . . . Like Lalla, we all have that absolute right to reach out, without holding back, toward what we care about more than anything. Whether we describe the recipient as God, or a profound sense of indestructible love, or the dream of a kinder world, it is in the act of offering our hearts in faith that something in us transforms, and what may have been merely a remote abstraction flames into life. "It's me, Lalla," becomes "It's me . . . whoever we are," proclaiming that we no longer stand on the sidelines, but are leaping directly into the center of our lives, our truth, our full potential. No one can take that leap for us; and no one has to. This is our journey of faith. QUESTION: What is the difference between faith and belief? SALZBERG: Beliefs, as I use the word, are constructs that contour our sense of the universe. I might believe in a future life, for example, and therefore, that affects the way I behave in this one. Faith, in contrast, is admitting what we don't know and going forward anyway because of that strength of heart. I don't think beliefs are necessarily bad at all. They may bring not only comfort and solace, but also inspiration and a tremendous articulation of truths that we can't affirm through our own experience. But everything depends on how we hold the belief. QUESTION: It seems that you first need something almost like faith to arrive at verified faith, or some kind of trust in your own self. How does that come about? SALZBERG: You do need trust in your own self, and I think that is a great challenge for many of us. We need to learn to trust our own deepest experience and honor that -- my sense of faith is very much interwoven with that kind of love and respect for oneself. It's like a journey. It's halting, and it happens in fits and starts, but we know where we want to go. There's nothing wrong, or incorrect about finding that we have to begin again and again and again. There are many ways to work with our doubts or uncertainties. The primary tool I've used, of course, is meditation. Rather than the strict, formal sense of meditation, that means having an ability to relate to the various things that come up in one's mind with compassion, wit and some ease rather than spiraling into a negative self-judgment. QUESTION: I heard you say that fear is the opposite of faith. Can you talk about that a little bit? SALZBERG: Fear certainly is different than faith. But one of the things I learned, and one of the things I wrote about, is that we can have faith right alongside our fear. We don't have to vanquish our fear or make it go away. Instead, we can learn to touch something deeper in the face of the fear, which enables us to go on. The chapter I wrote about fear draws on my experience with Ram Dass. He is a very important spiritual teacher and friend for many of us, and as you may know, he had a stroke. From a Buddhist point of view, the fears we experienced about Ram Dass would be called fixated hope, which is similar to attachment. We feared that maybe he'll be able to walk again, but not talk, or maybe he'll be able to talk again, but not walk, or maybe this or that will happen, as though by saying something enough we could make it so. I really wanted him to get better. But I realized at some point that he himself was going into the unknown, and the only way to fully go there with him in love and friendship was to acknowledge that. The fear didn't go away, but in some ways, it was more surrounded with love and care. I saw him not long ago. I was teaching a retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center up North and one night he came to dinner. When he had to leave, he decided he wanted to walk down the stairs instead of using his wheelchair on the ramp. So someone lifted him up out of the wheelchair, and then step by laborious step, leaning on somebody, he went down the stairs. When he got to the bottom of the stairs, we almost dropped him, but we got him into the wheelchair. He wheeled over to the edge of the car door and lifted himself up inside the car. During this whole time my heart was sinking, and I kept thinking, that this was such an ordeal for him and so painful to watch. But then, as I was standing directly in front of him, he looked at me and gave me a beautiful, radiant smile and said, "None of this makes any difference at all, you know that." And I said, "Oh. I guess I do know that." This was a beautiful expression of faith, touching on those deepest truths, those things that will support and sustain us. It is our own power of love, the love that is in the universe and our power of connection, no matter what. Faith is being in touch with the strengths or powers in this universe that are not defined or crushed by our circumstances. Then we can go forward, even if we're very afraid. "
 
 

Winter Has Arrived, Beats For Change, Alexandre Klinke, Michael-louis Ingram
2014-10-01

Hey Family it has been a great 2014 so far..a couple of great jams @ Vinyl with Amalia were epic! ( stay tuned for the next one!) ...more 1990`s shows with Michael-louis Ingram remixed ( what a legacy!)...For The All Latin Show it was very invigorating to discover more killer material .. Alexandre Klinke is getting plays on Kev Beadle`s Show in the UK Mind Fluid ..also Alexandre has made his 1st Soundtrack ( will debut at Toronto Film Fest) ( stay tuned in for David and Alexandre New All Brazill Show) Made 1st Mix for Beats for Change ( a great socially aware and conscious collective here and in Japan and Amsterdam)...and check out the latest radio show...Sep 05 2014 African Rhythms Hip Hop Latin Soul Boogie...and latest Top 10 for October...peace and love David


   


Top 10 Chart - Oct 2014 African Rhythms Radio David Love Jones UBC CITR Vancouve


1. Yasiin Gaye - Intro / Modern Marvel ( DLJ Reedit) ( Self Released 2014 2LP The Return (Side Two) ) '
2. Sheila Jordan - Inchworm ( BlackHawk Records 1988 LP The Crossing)
3. Massiah - Seventh Heaven ( DLJ Remix 2014) ( Quality 1982 LP Seventh Heaven)
4. Pete Rodriguez - Oh Thats Nice ( 7" Allegre Records 1967)
5 Celia Cruz - Bembera Colara ( 1977 Tico LP )
6. Mongo Santamaria - Dirty Willy (Explosion 1968 Riverside LP )
7. Amalia - Black Daylight ( Live @ CITR May 2014)
8. F2D - So Much More ( Seattle USA WC 7" )
9. Moodymann - Nikki-O - U Look Lyk Ice Cream N The Summertime (2014 2LP)
10. Wicked Lester - Gay With An E ( Vancouver Canada 2009 Muto 7")

 
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