Blind Faith

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Blind Faith

Postby MalaBeads » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:16 am

In another thread, the topic of blind faith has been mentioned.

Not only does this happen, but it happens to everyone, everywhere concerning just about everything. Whenever you take someone else's word for something that you have not experienced yourself, you are practicing blind faith.

It happens to teachers all the time. Teachers become "too busy". They have too,many students, in too many places, people they don't know. They rely on what their close students tell them about the prevailing circumstances of the sangha, about other students. They forget that what they are being told is through the filters of these students. Or maybe they don't forget but just accept these reports. Very slowly, these teachers lose sight of how things actually are in their sangha. Very sad.

It happens to students all the time. They rely on the perception of other students for their interpretations of the teachers words and behavior, of their interpretations of other students. Often a student has never met or seen or spoken to these teachers or these other students. The student has no direct experience. Very sad.

It happens to all ordinary people constantly. We all rely on the media, on newspapers, on TV, to tell us what has happened in the world. We rely on their filters instead of our own experience because the world is too big, too complex and we have no access to it all to even form our own experience. Very sad.

All situations of blind faith. All very sad.

This is samsara. Very sad.
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby muni » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:08 pm

To have blind faith in fleeting experiences, whether called mine or not, are clinging of suffering mind. Suffering itself is the teacher regarding this.

We must awaken ourselves in order to help, open our very heart, not cover it by believing ours/others opinions/experiences.
A spiritual guide percieves only nondual nature and guides like that by compassion in order to show all are same nature, while no any (suffer) theatre remains hidden. There is just guidance to wake up, out of the theatre. Nature/Spiritual Guide/Master is not fooled by our clevernesses, really not fooled. I am sure of that, but maybe that is my blind faith, that is okay.

But then without faith in ones own nature, nature like it is remains hidden.
Lets say blind faith is clinging mind, faith or devotion is the surrender of grasping to a self, or faith in the very nondual nature.

These are my opinions.

Namaskar.
Last edited by muni on Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:12 pm

Malabeads, this is true, and sad as you say.
I've never had the experience of having a teacher or group to practice with. So some of what you mention is "foreign" to me.
But in a talk by Gelek Rimpoche of Jewel Heart this last Sunday, which is streamed live, he mentioned blind faith.
He said that we must investigate everything and find our own true answers to the things we have faith in.
An example he gave was that Buddha lived in our world and experienced the things we experience. He also gave us the way to end the sufferings we experience, so we know this to be true.
I am not refuting what you have said about the way the world "broadcasts" the things going on and many accept this as true.
And there are things that we may believe and others we toss aside as they're not important or have anything to do with our lives. But in our seeking of the truth there should be nothing accepted as infallible without investigation.


:namaste:
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Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby muni » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:00 pm

MalaBeads wrote:
We all rely on the media, on newspapers, on TV, to tell us what has happened in the world.



A picture is here somewhere on the forum posted with two monks sitting in front of a tv screen. One monk said: there is nothing on it. The other answers: excellent, let's watch that.

ps In the post above I write an old cd. Oops, blind faith!

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Re: Blind Faith

Postby MalaBeads » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:45 am

muni wrote: Lets say blind faith is clinging mind, faith or devotion is the surrender of grasping to a self


I would agree, muni. Very much so.

Every time i think i have some sort of faith or devotion, its good to remember how very much i am still grasping to my experiences and wishing to establish a self as a result. And as you say, the suffering itself then becomes the teacher.

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Re: Blind Faith

Postby muni » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:57 am

MalaBeads wrote: the suffering itself then becomes the teacher.



This teacher we all share, one big sangha (we should have a tea party all together), suffering by all what changes. At least what changes is not merely our nature if not being free cannot be, they say.

" Faith in the changing dust is temporary covering the radiant light of pure love".

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Re: Blind Faith

Postby Sönam » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:21 am

by definition, faith is blind ...

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby oushi » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:50 am

Blind Faith is most valuable, as it is not based on conceptualizations.
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby seeker242 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:01 am

Blind faith is good if it leads you to do more skillful things and less unskillful things. :)
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:04 pm

:good:
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby Will » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:24 pm

To put in opposition 'blind' faith and our own 'sagely' insight suggests that the latter is superior. 'Tis a poor thing but mine own', is the attitude I suppose. Seems like our Ego strutting about.

If one can recognize virtue, wisdom, compassion etc. within our own mind, then why assume we cannot recognize it in others?

Spiritual & Dharma values can be found anywhere, so it is a mistake to limit our search to self and not gaze at nature or other beings to gain insight.
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby muni » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:35 am

MalaBeads wrote: They rely on the perception of other students for their interpretations of the teachers words and behavior, of their interpretations of other students.



There is the intellectual understanding, which is important, it is the compass to know what we are looking for. And then there is the awareness knowing itself, here no compass is, since there is no "looking for something". From there guiding teachings are in my simple understanding.
In case of Wisdom-Compassion; master-student it is like football. ( bad example but I cannot find another) There is no football in which there are fellows taking the ball from one pair of feet and are bringing it to another pair of feet. Like that I see the intellectualizing in between. Then awareness seems to turn sleeping, forgetting itself and distraction is fully awaken.
That is like neglecting the healing finger pointing, classify it merely by importance to know or philosophy and continue smoothly distraction. Of course this is my experience only.

In this way, I understand your words. Then we can inspire eachother a lot, sharing compasses when we can, offer informations and so on. Others are the means for own recognition of suchness.

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Re: Blind Faith

Postby Ramon1920 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:51 am

Blind faith is dangerous obviously.

And the distance between students and mega gurus adds to that because they're never able to check out the teacher first hand.

The lack of qualified teachers is also very troublesome. If you've only met one lama in your life, you don't know how he compares to others. I think I've mentioned a few times on this forum how back in the day I grabbed onto the first "lama" I found and he turned out to be totally fake.

I know the warning is out there to check your lama thoroughly before committing, but that does no good for the impulsive youth who just KNOW that their lama is a Buddha.
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby DeepFriedFunk » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:25 am

This crops up time and time again at my local temple. I think below the level of enlightenment we all have blind faith to a certain degree but I have noticed some people have a lot more faith than others in what they're being told, particularly when first discovering Buddhism. I remember when I first started, I think in part due to the fact I found Buddhism through a drink problem, I was looking for something to believe in, something that would tell me that life wasn't as bleak as it seemed at the time and that there was still good left in humanity.

After realizing that an intellectual understanding was not the same as true knowledge I became disillusioned but kept up my practice. It was an essential part of getting to where I am today otherwise I would be feeling sorry for myself at the bottom of a bottle. Slowly my thinking changed and slowly the relapses became further and further apart. I became more skilled in my meditation I found my anxiety levels dropping dramatically and put myself in the driving seat of my karma through realizing (the now rather obvious) fact that I can't change situations but I can change how I react to them. Analytical meditation has slowly changed my everyday thinking to the point where I have stopped concentrating on people's negative qualities and began to search out the good in people.

I also think that simply witnessing the actions and mindset of my local Buddhist community told me there was something real, something tangible to learn through Dharma. I suppose I have been lucky in always maintaining a certain amount of skepticism thanks to being a militant atheist most of my life. I find it healthy to question my faith and my own spiritual path because Buddhism after all is within Samsara and unfortunately not every teacher is the right one to follow. Just because you are a Buddhist does not mean you are a good person. But as I attempt to look at all people with equanimity I have learned so many lessons from people of all faiths and backgrounds.

EDIT: Oh I suppose I have to take the idea of reincarnation on a certain amount of faith. I don't plan on proving or disproving an afterlife just yet!
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby steveb1 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:44 am

I can only speak from my little corner of Jodo Shinshu, which holds that, blind though we may be, and blind as our faith may be, still, the Buddha's grace and wisdom provide the light for us.

"Faith in" Amida is simultaneously Amida's "Faith for/toward" us.

Or: delusional beings led by blind passions we may be, due to Amida's great Working, we receive light from Amida to find our way on Amida's path.

Lke our passions, our spiritual perceptions are occluded, so we put our faith in Amida, blindly, helplessly ... and Amida manifests an all-sufficient Buddha-light to us.

Simple or simplistic, that's the way I understand it.
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby NyimaDorje » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:37 am

What is the opposite of faith? It is doubt.

What is doubt? According to Kuntuzangpo in the Kuntuzangpo Monlam:

"The mind of dualistic grasping is doubt"

Does that mean to relinquish dualistic grasping is to have true faith?
Is faith and realization the same thing?
Blind faith is doubt appearing to be faith.
You tell a fundamentalist anything that their god doesn't exist
and see how defensive they get.
Is that reaction none other than a manifestation of doubt?
Blind faith is running away from truth.
Faith is knowing the truth.
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby smcj » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:00 am

It is said that we, as sentient beings, are "blinded by ignorance". There are those, of a certain type of karma, that have faith be the first ray of light to pierce their blindness.

But in order to have that kind of "blind faith" one must first admit their own blindness--and how often do people figure that out? Not so often. Best to work step by step from what people can "see" for themselves.
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Re: Blind Faith

Postby muni » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:10 am

NyimaDorje wrote:What is the opposite of faith? It is doubt.

What is doubt? According to Kuntuzangpo in the Kuntuzangpo Monlam:

"The mind of dualistic grasping is doubt"

Does that mean to relinquish dualistic grasping is to have true faith?
Is faith and realization the same thing?
Blind faith is doubt appearing to be faith.
You tell a fundamentalist anything that their god doesn't exist
and see how defensive they get.
Is that reaction none other than a manifestation of doubt?
Blind faith is running away from truth.
Faith is knowing the truth.


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