Some people tell me: “I have faith in the future.” Others tell me: “I don’t have faith in the future.” What do we know about the future?
During the FIFA World Cup, some people said to me:
– I have faith in the French team, they will beat the Argentinean team.
– How do you know?
– I’m sure of it!
It’s only superstition, imagination. Someone used to say to me:
– I’m sure that my wife will come back.
– How do you know?
– I have faith.
It’s only autosuggestion.
Faith in Buddhism is something else.
Faith in Buddhism, is Funi, in Japanese (Fu: not. Ni: two), non-two. There is not me and in front of me, reality. Faith, it’s when I am included in reality. As soon as you part from reality, you lose faith.
Always calculating: “Am I going to earn enough money, am I going to be appreciated, am I going to succeed…?” This precisely, to have all those utilitarian thoughts constantly in mind, this is to part from reality. Faith is when we are totally absorbed in reality, absorbed in what we are doing. I don’t know if I am going to win, I don’t know if I’ll still be alive tomorrow, nonetheless I give myself totally to reality, I become one with reality, without separation, Funi, not two.
One could say, in other words, that faith is to do things wholeheartedly, without nurturing doubts, without expecting any rewards. Some people have not even imagined such practice, they haven’t even seen it in dream, all they can say is: “I don’t know how to do this, I can’t do it.”
For instance, when you cut carrots, when you are totally absorbed in what you are doing, when you cut them how they have to be cut, without expecting anything for yourself, for the me, it’s Buddha who cuts the carrots.
Buddha speaks about the “unifying absorption”. When you unite with reality, all the mistakes are absorbed, there are no longer any mistakes. When you keep your head above your shoulders, when you let the breathing come and go freely, when you let thoughts appear and disappear freely, without intervening: it’s Buddha.
Even if you don’t know whether you will be alive tomorrow, even if the future in uncertain, it’s always possible to keep your mind free of defilement, open, without limits, totally open to reality, without separation from reality, without duality, Funi.
Some people tell me: “I have studied a lot, I have been thinking a lot, I have a lot of knowledge, I have a lot of insight…”. But Master Tozan Ryokai tells them: “You don’t understand that dawn is not clear and that midnight is the true light.”
It’s not because you have opinions on everything that you are living wholeheartedly. It’s not because you have a lot of insight on everything that you have faith.
Faith, Funi, without separation.
Taiun JP Faure, March 2023