The Aspiration for Enlightenment through the Perfection of Faith

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 7/24/2020

In this talk and the one that follows it, Shugen Roshi takes up a teaching from the Awakening of Faith, a Mahayana text composed in China, which identifies three means by which a bodhisattva cultivates the aspiration for enlightenment: faith, understanding, and insight. Focusing on the first of these three qualities, Shugen Roshi emphasizes the power of the uniquely human quality that is faith, which he characterizes as a spiritual leap that puts us in a more rich and nourishing relationship with whatever it is we have faith in. Although self-doubt and insecurity may never vanish completely, the active practice of faith strengthens our ability to trust ourselves, trust the dharma, and practice with simplicity, straightforwardness, and compassion.

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