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Rime Buddhist Center

Monastery & Tibetan Institute of Studies
"Achieving Peace Through Compassion"
700 West Pennway
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
(816) 471-7073
Lama Chuck Stanford

The following is Lama Chuck's monthly column that appeared in the Kansas City Star
newspaper on September 4, 2004.

QUESTION: "What is the correlation between faith and enligthement?"

ANSWER: Your question is a good one, but I think it is first important to understand what we mean by faith. Words have both connotations and denotations. Most people would assume that when we are talking about faith we are referring to a belief that does not rest upon logical proof. This is commonly referred to as "blind faith." In Tibetan the word for blind faith is " mogday" which translated means "stupid faith."

However in Buddhism we believe in a type of intelligent faith that in fact does help one along the path to enlightenment. In the teachings of Lam Rim Chemo it is taught there are three kinds of faith.

    1. Clear faith is when you see images of the Buddha, they make you feel good, they give you clear mind and faith in your own Buddha nature.
    2. Inspirational faith motivates you to do spiritual practice
    3. Trusting confidence faith where you use your own intelligence to guide you in your practice.
So, you can see this type of intelligent faith is actually a doorway to the path. When you apply these three types of faith they help motivate you toward spiritual practice and fulfillment. From the Buddhist perspective, blind faith that has no rational or logical basis would obviously not be helpful and could actually deter you and direct you away from the path.

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