Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Faith, Trust, Serendipity and Chasing Rainbows

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” —Lao Tzu

You may be wondering what these concepts have in common.   I believe that trust stems from the brain and faith from the heart and that there is a very distinct difference between the two concepts, although, we often use those words interchangeably.  In the Pali language, which is the language of the original Buddhist texts, the word ‘faith’ translates to ‘sraddha’ which literally means ‘to place the heart upon. 
Trust is inherently a component of FAITH.  However, trust does not necessarily have to have a component of faith.   When one has FAITH in something or someone, they have complete trust or confidence in that particular something or someone.  To trust means you have confidence in the reliability of something or someone.  For instance, I know and trust that I cannot see a rainbow without rain.  I trust this fact through observation.   From past experience I see that every time I see a rainbow, there is rain…..the rain is a reliable factor in the formation of the rainbow.  However, there are many other components that have to come together to make a rainbow; more than just the rain.  I may not see a rainbow for many weeks, months or even years.  However, I have faith that, when all the components are aligned, it will once again happen.  I do not necessarily need to understand all the other components, but I have FAITH that they will align and I will see another rainbow at some point.

Faith is what allows us to function without really understanding how and why.   We just know what IS.  When we have faith in the dharma, we have faith that the universe is not conspiring against us, but conspiring on our behalf.  Faith is the ability to trust something from the very core of our being. When we are bound together by trust that touches the deepest aspects of who we are… we are living in FAITH. 

Faith gives us the strength to endure hardships with the knowledge that our efforts will produce a positive outcome.   In the absence of certainty, trust assumes that truth and fairness will prevail.

What most of us look for in life is a pattern of repeatable thoughts and actions that will direct us toward a desired outcome.   Then how does one explain those serendipitous moments that do not seem to fit in to the pattern?   I mean those moments that magically and unexpectedly appear to light the way to a desired outcome.   

Setting things in motion is the reliable factor, like the rain is the reliable factor in the formation of a rainbow.   Serendipity is that component that is not understood or known.   However, when that serendipitous moment happens we have an overwhelming sense of oneness with all that is.  We may not understand it, nor can we explain it…..we just know it IS.  We have faith in what IS.   There is no push and no pull, simply a flow that is undeniable.  


  1. I listen and understand your words... to touch and not strangle...