Ajahn Thiradhammo


In working with the Hindrances, one of the most helpful supporting qualities is faith or trust.

This is two-fold: trust in ourselves and trust in the teachings. If we lack either of these, we don’t have the incentive to try to find a solution to the Hindrances. Trust is one of the spiritual powers (and faculties), together with mindfulness, energy, concentration and wisdom. The commentarial literature details the method of ‘balancing the faculties’, with trust being balanced by wisdom.

Wisdom in its initial form is knowledge or understanding, which should be balanced with the trust that there is more to learn, there is still much which we have not understood. Over-reliance on wisdom can lead to knowledge-conceit, while over-reliance on faith can lead to blindly believing anything. A careful balance knows what is worth trusting in.

Trust can also be the source of many positive qualities. In one important discourse trust is said to be the cause for gladness, leading to rapture, tranquillity, happiness, concentration, knowledge and vision of things as they really are, disenchantment, dispassion and liberation, liberation being a condition for knowledge of the ending of the outflows of selfhood (S.II,32).

Thus trust in what is at least beneficial can be like a magnet for many positive qualities which may have been obscured by the inertia of doubt.

This reflection by Ajahn Thiradhammo is from the book, Working with the Five Hindrances, (pdf) p. 57.