How Important is Faith?

Sharon Salzberg

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IN PALI (THE LANGUAGE OF THE ORIGINAL BUDDHIST TEXTS), the word for faith is saddha. While sometimes translated as "confidence" or "trust," the literal meaning of saddha is "to place your heart upon." When we give our hearts over to a spiritual practice, it is a sign of faith or confidence in that practice.

Faith opens us to what is beyond our usual, limited, self-centered concerns. In the Buddhist psychology, it is called the gateway to all good things, because faith sparks our initial inspiration to practice meditation, and also sustains our ongoing efforts.

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