Faith is an essential part of our practice, and it’s not something that magically appears on its own. Rather, the arising of faith takes effort. We need to direct our attention toward it to frequently reflect on the arising of faith as a real possibility for us.
As Westerners, most of us are not on familiar ground when we reflect on faith. But it is an important quality for balancing the different aspects of our practice. In particular, faith comes first among the five spiritual faculties. It is used to balance wisdom, the fifth faculty, and to support energy and effort—the second faculty. How does that work?
Wisdom arises from investigative analysis, and, without faith, investigative analysis becomes dry, and we tend to lose energy. The qualities of faith include confidence and devotion, both of which naturally result in increased energy and effort. Energy and effort need to be nourished, and faith is an important part of that nourishment.
The opposite is true as well: When the wisdom faculty is lacking in faith, it often leads to cleverness and a superficially critical way of evaluating things. Without faith, wisdom can increase our negativity, which in turn can reduce our own energy and the energy of the people we engage with.
For many reasons, it is important to turn our attention toward faith, to reflect on it, so we can recognize faith as an essential part of our practice.
This reflection by Luang Por Pasanno is from the book, Beginning Our Day, Volume One, (pdf) pp. 37-38.