For Episode 109 of the Metta Hour Podcast, Sharon and colleague Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel explore the topic of Faith.
Elizabeth is a teacher and author, and has studied and practiced the Buddhadharma for 35 years under the guidance of her teacher and husband Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. She is the retreat master of Samten Ling in Crestone, Colorado and has spent over six years in retreat. She holds a degree in anthropology and an M.A. in Buddhist Studies and teaches worldwide. This episode was recorded live in the Spring of 2019 at New York Insight Meditation Center, where Sharon and Elizabeth bring their own unique perspective of faith from each of their respective Buddhist traditions. The episode closes with Elizabeth leading a seven-minute guided meditation. To learn more about Elizabeth’s work visit elizabethmattisnamgyel.com
Faith Beyond Buddhism
After an opening meditation, Sharon and Elizabeth speak with their live audience about what faith means in their lives. Sharon discusses the process of faith in the Buddhist tradition.
“It’s a certain meaning of faith. It is not doctrinal. It is not about dogma or about belief. It’s about an internal process.” – Sharon Salzberg
To Faith (15:45)
Is faith something that you have or something you do? Elizabeth examines the possibilities that are opened when we look at faith as a verb. She looks at the stigma around faith in Western culture and offers perspective on seeing faith in a different light.
“Faith is not something that you have or you don’t. Faith is something you do.” – Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel
The Complexity of Faith (32:35)
Sharon and Elizabeth discuss the struggles that many people have around faith and the language used around faith. How can we move away from our tendency to put faith in something or someone? What is the difference between faith and devotion? Is there such a thing as too much faith?
“We can’t seem to pin down what the word faith means. It could mean some for someone else in a very different way.” – Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel
Calm Abiding Meditation (56:20)
Elizabeth closes the show with a seven-minute Samatha (calm-abiding) meditation.