Last week I listened to a fascinating radio show with the topic of FINDING FAITH. The guests on the radio show included three spiritual leaders and authors with interesting non-traditional perspectives on the topic of faith and meaning:
Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion: A Memoir, who described her spiritual journey from an Orthodox Jewish childhood to practicing yoga, buddhism, and innovative Jewish ritual. Rev. Scotty McLennan, a Unitarian Universalist minister and author of Jesus Was A Liberal: Reclaiming Christianity for All, and Greg Epstein, a humanist chaplain and author of Good Without God.
- These auspicious speakers discussed a wide range of topics including humanist ethics, ritual, faith, and one bold claim that Moses was a fictional character who did not exist. I loved listening to their lively discussion about ideas, myths and mystical experiences related to the question of where and how people experience faith and meaning in their lives.
The definition of faith varies widely from person to person, from one spiritual tradition to another. For some people it rests squarely in the lap of religion. For others it is found in the beauty and power of nature or music. One of the callers on the radio show was on his way to the historical Rainbow Gathering, and described faith as being found in human relationships.
Can we find faith in each other? What would that feel like? Are we willing to risk disappointment and loss?
What does it actually mean to have faith in each other? Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg has written one of my favorite books on the topic of faith, and has this to say:
I want to encourage delight in the word, to help reclaim faith as fresh, vibrant, intelligent & liberating. This is a faith that emphasizes love and respect for ourselves as a foundation. It is a faith that uncovers our connection to others, rather than designating anyone as separate & apart.
Where do you find faith? Are there particular rituals or places in which you feel connected to something deeper, bigger, more meaningful? With whom do you feel a sense of faith, and with whom do you talk about it?
Cause when the sky is darkest
You can see the stars
Cause when you fall the hardest
You find how strong you are.
Close your eyes, rest awhile, it's been a long, long, day.
So come on baby, baby, have a little faith.
–excerpt from "Faith" by Jordin Sparks