Laypersons Need Faith & Confidence by Steve Lin
“And what is accomplishment in faith?
Katamā ca, byagghapajja, saddhāsampadā?
It’s when a gentleman has faith in the Realized One’s awakening:
Idha, byagghapajja, kulaputto saddho hoti, saddahati tathāgatassa bodhiṃ:
‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.’
‘itipi so bhagavā … pe … satthā devamanussānaṃ buddho bhagavā’ti.
This is called accomplishment in faith.
Ayaṃ vuccati, byagghapajja, saddhāsampadā. (1: 5)
INSIGHTS FOR MEDITATION
To have success and welfare in future lives, The Buddha teaches to have faith or confidence in him and his teachings.
Faith and confidence comes when we try, test, and practice his teachings.
When “positive results” begin to happen due to practicing his teachings, faith and confidence grows.
Cultivating faith means trying things we don’t fully understand.
We might fully understand everything about the mind or meditation, but by practicing things we do understand, the mind gains insights that lead to further understanding.
Faith arises during our meditation when insights begin to arise. After reading the dhamma sutta teachings of The Buddha, we need to practice and apply those teachings soon. As we continue to try them and practice them, results will happen.
MEDITATION TIPS FROM THE SUTTA
After reading sutta teachings, identify things that can be helpful in your practice or meditation.
Faith and practice have great effects on the future. Faith is a type of kamma of the mind.
To grow faith, reaffirm what success and confidence you already have from past results in your practice. Faith builds upon faith.* If having doubts, review what confidence and faith you already have. Contemplate the positive results already achieved from past study and practice.
PREPARATION FOR GUIDED MEDITATION
🔆 MEDITATION PLACE
Find a comfortable place that is quiet to sit and meditate with few interruptions and distractions to the senses.
After sitting comfortably on a cushion or pillow or floor, place hands in lap and close the eyes.
🧘🏽♀ TRIPLE GEM (1-2 min)
Prepare the mind and concentration by taking “Refuge in the Triple Gem”. Visualize each one in the mind (as an object) and generate faith and warm feelings with each one. Don’t rush this.
I take refuge in The Buddha.
I take refuge in The Dhamma.
I take refuge in The Sangha.
🧘🏽♀ SATIPATTHĀNA WARM UP (3-5 min)
Begin to focus in the breathing without attaching or stressing about it. Just relax and observe the breath.
As you breath in… observe it and release.
As you breath out… observe it and release.
Observing the rhythm of the breath is essential to relax the body and to practice releasing.
Use the out breath to practice releasing.
Relaxed smiling is good to use to help relax.
I often will use the phrase “Peace” (in breath)
“Release” (our breath)
Continue observing breathing until it becomes very subtle or almost unnoticeable.
🧘🏽♀ SATIPATTHĀNA WARM UP (3-5 min)
As the breath fades, the mind relaxes, the body also begins to relax.
Observe the body as a (body) form. It’s not self, but only a shell, a rupa, that temporarily supports consciousness.
As observing, the body, let the breath and body fade.
🧘🏽♂ SATIPATTHĀNA WARM UP (3-5 min)
As the breath fades and the body relaxes, the mind tends to become active or stay busy.
As thoughts arise, don’t engage with them. Observe them and then let them fade.
They will rise and they will fall unless there is engagement to feed the thoughts.
Contemplate the blessings and results due to your practice of The Buddha’s teachings.
Be grateful to The Buddha for the teachings and the results from your practice.
Affirm your confidence of past results and commit to carry on with future practice.
Contemplate that your faith and practice determines the future results in this life and the next.
Finish with metta to yourself and to all sentient beings.
Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu