28 April 2014

Contemplation: Four Kinds of Faith

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your object of contemplation:

Question:  What kind of faith should someone have and how should he or she practice it?

Answer:  Briefly, there are four kinds of faith.  The first is the faith in the Ultimate Source.  Because of this faith, someone comes to meditate with joy on the principle of Suchness.  The second is faith in the numberless excellent qualities of the Buddhas.  Because of this faith, someone comes to meditate on them always, to draw near to them in fellowship, to honor them, and to respect them, developing his capacity for goodness and seeking after the all-embracing knowledge.  The third is faith in the great benefits of the Dharma (Teaching).  Because of this faith, someone comes constantly to remember and practice various disciplines leading to enlightenment.  The fourth is faith in the Sangha (Buddhist Community) whose members are able to devote themselves to the practice of benefiting both themselves and others.  Because of this faith, someone comes to approach the assembly of Bodhisattvas constantly and with joy and to seek instruction from them in the correct practice.

The Awakening of Faith (trans. Hakeda), pp.92-93.  Punctuation and diction altered slightly.

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