Building Faith and Confidence
The word ‘faith’ has many meanings and shadings, depending on your spiritual perspectives. For the puposes of meditation practice, faith is more closely aligned with the word ‘confidence’. However, it is difficult for a beginning meditation student to have ‘confidence’ in something that has yet to be experienced. Meditation does not require blind belief; it requires practice and first hand experience. The more you practice, the more your faith/confidence will grow.
In the meantime, as you start this journey, reading and investigative study can help you gather enough inspiration to take the committed steps necessary to implement a consistent practice effort, even if it seems that nothing is happening once you start. Unfortunately, our society of today tends to operate in a ‘fast food’ mode. We expect results instantly. Developing a fruitful meditation practice requires time and plenty of patience–gumption –is the word that one meditation master uses to describe what it takes to maintain a committed meditation practice.
So why even start? If beginning a meditation practice is so difficult, why take the time? Why bother? This is a very good question, and one that you may find answers to in this first offered reading, written by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana, in his book, Mindfulness In Plain English. Chapter One– Meditation: Why Bother? (or on this site)
Now that you’ve had the opportunity to read Meditation: Why Bother? , perhaps you have been able to answer some important considerations regarding meditation practice and its benefits. In many avenues of today’s world, especially in the fields of Health, Education, Medicine, Science, Technology, and Psychotherapy , the value of meditation is highly regarded as being on the forefront of a new era.
The intrinsic link between mind, body, and spirit is being researched and investigated, and the use of meditation/mindfulness practice is a major key in this developing field of study. Our next offered resource is a presentation outlining the continued successes of a new field of research named Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). If you are still having doubts or questions regarding the potency of meditation practice, take the time to review Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) by Peggy Chang.
Similar to the above resource on MBSR, we offer another presentation resource that further emphasizes the wonderful benefits that a consistent meditation practice can bring to the diligent student. Please keep in mind that these studies and research findings have been in operation for years; only now is the world beginning to reap the benefits of these efforts. Meditation Changes Brain Structure and Function by Doris is our next suggested reading, to further build your faith and confidence in what meditation practice can do for you.
Our next suggested resource in this section, Building Faith and Confidence, is offered to you for its inspirational quality. We often hear the words, ‘Happiness comes from within’, but just what does that mean? For encouragement and understanding, we offer Inner Peace by Tom.
Our final recommended reading is once again from the work by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana– Mindfulness In Plain English. Before you commit yourself to the rigors of establishing a sound meditation practice, it is very important to understand What Meditation Is. Without having an accurate view of what you are seeking to accomplish, your journey will be a difficult one.