If someone were to ask you about your faith, usually you’ll assume they mean what religion you follow. Many people will thus answer something like Catholic or Jewish or New Age or Atheist or even Agnostic (undecided). Kind of like defining yourself by your profession or what sort of car you drive.
For people who have a more deeply considered faith, they may take the original question as one about their beliefs about life and God. This may take a little more time to explain if it doesn’t fit into one of the standard categories. One may ask if the questioner is familiar with a specific teaching and frame it from there.
However, neither of these is what I would consider true faith. This is because beliefs – our own or others we have adopted – are beliefs. They are mental constructs used to frame our experience. While this is natural, mental constructs inherently filter out what life brings us that does not fit the model. In other words, they are a way of trying to control what life brings us and resist some of what arises.
This is not true faith. In fact, it is the opposite of faith. It illustrates a distrust in life. True faith is trust. Trust in what is. Trust in life, trust in God. A deep OKness with what is. A release of control. A surrender to the flow of life. An acceptance of what life has been bringing us.
Faith is the courage to take life as it comes to us. True faith does not depend on belief, only clarity. In fact, faith transcends belief. And pain. And fear.
Faith cannot grow in a bed of fear. It arises naturally when we have that deep inner experience of our absolute core, our true nature. When this is always with us, trust begins to flower as we see through what we’ve been holding back from. And where we’ve been carrying beliefs that have impeded life.
We all know the importance of trust in an intimate relationship. What could be more important than our relationship with life itself? If we do not trust life, we cannot expect to find peace and happiness. But by experiencing what life really is, we find those qualities in life itself. Then all we need do is trust more deeply.
PS- I prepared this post as a podcast but seem to have technical issue that is adding a lot of noise to the recording. Will have to get that sorted out first.