Inquiry and faith

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A talk given at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, Singapore.

Not blind faith

  • Setting a proper motivation for listening to the teaching
  • “Faith” in Buddhism: the Tibetan and Sanskrit terms for “faith” do not have the connotation of blind faith
  • Inquiry plays an important role in our generating faith in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
  • We get enlightened not simply by faith, but by transforming our mind, which can only happen through reasoning and inquiry
  • Don’t have “blind faith” in your negative emotions: try and use inquiry to dispel them

Inquiry and faith 01 (download)

The Kalama Sutra: the Buddha’s statement for free inquiry

  • Important to understand this sutra in context
  • The Buddha didn’t say that faith is unnecessary or that we should only rely on our own experience
  • An inquiring mind is not a skeptical mind
  • Faith and inquiry complement each other on the Buddhist path
  • What do we do when we have doubts about the teachings?
  • How do we verify the Buddha’s teachings?

Inquiry and faith 02 (download)

Questions and answers

  • I dreamt a few times of my grandma who passed away two weeks ago. Do dreams mean anything in Buddhism? What can I do for her after 49 days?
  • Is it possible to change our destiny or fate in this life by doing more positive actions?
  • Besides meditation, are there any other ways to develop mindfulness?
  • How do we practice in relation to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha? What’s the importance of seeking refuge in the Three Jewels?
  • Are Christians included in the cycle of rebirth? Is it a disadvantage to them to not know the Buddhist teachings?
  • How Sravasti Abbey makes the practice of generosity one of its core values.

Inquiry and faith 03 (download)

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