What of Trust? B-#30
Is doubt a form of light which drives us to clarity or a prison of our own making which prevents growth and is designed to hold us in place?
What is it’s opposite? What counter acts doubt? Certainty. How does one possess true certainty? Experience. Where is experience obtained? In the laboratory of body-mind. We must experience for ourselves, authentically. Only then can one truly be certain.
Along the way to certainty, the intellect must be fed in order to recognize experiences had, even as experience must be contextualized via intellectual context.
And what of trust? What is it’s place on the road to certainty? Certainty requires deep trust in our capacity to know. Can I truly ever completely trust my self? Perhaps doubt is a healthy thing, providing the rub of growth as it were.
Shraddha (pronounced shrod-ha). Shraddha is a Sanskrit word meaning something similar to faith, confidence or trust. In Sutra 1.20, of YS sraddha is a quality that comes from a deeply unique and personal understanding of our past as well as steady confidence regarding our future. From that place, we are able to bring energy into the present moment so that we can consciously create our lives knowing that right now is all we really have and if an obstacle arises, we will most likely overcome it, just as we always have. This is recognition born of past experience.
Shradda is commonly defined as faith or trust. For me there is a difference. Faith implies hope, hope that something will occur as imagined. Trust leans into experience. It is through recognition, a noticing that ‘I have seen this before’ that permits me to lean into trust. I have seen this, met this before and here I am. What did I do? What did I learn? How can I bring that past experience to this present circumstance and overcome my doubt? Of course this too smacks of faith, faith in my ability to meet it again but it is born of experience.
Trust also holds a component of action. When trust is revealed the power to move forward is known. Faith less so. I’m not saying that faith is not powerful or beautiful, but one can have faith and rest in that as it is in some way, out of our hands and therefore there is nothing to do.
By remembering those truths from our past and bringing that special knowledge that is unique to us into the present moment, it can help us cultivate shraddha for right now as well as the future. As hard as it may have been, we have made it this far. We have overcome many obstacles to arrive at this place and inevitably, we learned from those experiences. We can move forward.
A yoga practice is a great way to cultivate this quality in our lives. We develop strength and flexibility, with that comes confidence. We are more able to focus and with that comes a keen ability to understand what it is we are focusing on and with that understanding comes faith; more than faith, trust.
Each time we meet our doubt, face it, negotiate it, we invite trust to grow and courage to present itself. We practice to be ready for this meeting every day. In what way do we practice? Asana permits a tangible, tactile meeting of physical and emotional doubt. Can I hold this pose? Can I even make myself into some shape resembling it? And if I do, what is the reason? Experience is indeed the best teacher.
And there is a deeper knowing to be had. An experience born of the meeting of individual consciousness merged with its inception, its source. This is the experience of the transcendent. An experience resulting from the collapse of our normal conceptual trinity: the knower, the object and the means by which it is known. This triad exists in every exchange and holds us in the conceptual world of reality, giving meaning, because we have agreed upon associations. To reach that which is beyond concept, beyond everything, transcendent, this triad must, for a time, be melted. The resulting state of deep silence is beyond our three ordinary states of waking, dreaming and sleeping. It is the fourth state, turya. It is transcendent.
The non-dual Tantric tradition holds that consciousness is one, whole and unitary in nature. Depicted as light. This light is both transcendent, beyond the limits of ordinary experience, beyond material existence and also within the limits of experience or knowledge; it is indwelling. It is not either or but both, transcendent and immanent. This is huge because it permits us, limited and bound by our very existence, to know that which is transcendent because it lives within our very being. Practice moving to this state is what permits the arising of the highest most purified knowing: experience of our transcendent nature. Lean into that experience, born of deep meditation, each day and trust, a sublime self-reliant trust, is born. One that requires not faith or hope, nor some form of conjuring or wishful thinking because it is born of authentic experience. Experience you can trust.
There is always something that rises to help us. A divine spirit that is spontaneously there in our darkest sorrow and most glorious joy. All that is needed is for the path to be clear, attention to be paid, to open and welcome. That takes practice. The natural practice of deep meditation. Trust in your highest self and watch life blossom.