There are times when we act with unshakable faith in the Dharma even though we don’t understand the situation we’re in. There are other times when we understand our situation but are afraid to be completely faithful.
In one instance, we have heart; and in the other we have mind. We must put these two together! Understanding AND faith!
A note on the word faith.
I think we might be better served by words like “confidence” or “diligence.” People sometimes attach cultural baggage to the word “faith.”
Faith in this context means that we strive diligently. We don’t give up. We don’t practice just when it’s easy and walk away from the path when we feel like it.
There are said to be three things that are essential to the zen path, They are great faith, great doubt, and great determination. Great faith may not, at first, seem to fit in with those other two essentials.
Great faith means having faith in our mind’s ability to recognize our Buddha Nature. This is clearly very different from what other religions usually mean when they suggest that we should have faith.
This faith is a grounded belief that our true nature is Enlightened, that we share the same basic essence as all things, that it’s only our delusions that cause us to perceive separation. In the midst of our delusion we don’t see our true minds.