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Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience [Paperback]

Sharon Salzberg
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sep 2003

How to choose faith over fear to develop trust in ourselves and in life.

• Sharon Salzberg, one of the most inspiring and eminent spiritual teachers of our time, tells her powerful, personal story and shares with readers the way that they too can learn to find faith; not in a spiritual teacher, a God or a religion, but in themselves.

• Includes an account of the author's childhood: deserted by her mentally ill father, her mother died of a haemorrhage when Sharon was nine and she consequently grew up with her grandparents, isolated and withdrawn.

• To find a way through her suffering, Sharon investigated meditation and Buddhism, travelling through Asia and studying with many famous masters. Here she reveals her discoveries and describes methods that can be practised by anyone of any tradition, regardless of religion or spiritual beliefs.

• This book offers a way to feel at ease and at peace with yourself, and to discover your capacity for happiness, freedom and awakening.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; Reissue edition (Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573223409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573223409
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 12.9 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 715,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘Gripping lyricism, sparkling intelligence, and remarkable candour.’ Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

‘Sharon Salzberg is a great teacher, and this book is full of wisdom – a knowledge that is earned honestly and rendered vividly throguh wonderful and revealing stories. I will keep this book at my side for years.’ Susan Griffin, author of A Chorus of Stones

‘Brilliant and deeply moving. Sharon Salzberg celebrates the dynamic capacity in us all to movebeyond the cage of our suffering to freedom. Faith is a book for anyone who has ever dreamed of facing the unknown with confidence and choosing life.’ Rachel Naomi Remen, author of Kitchen Table Wisdom

‘Tender, touching and tough, Sharon Salzberg’s Faith is also achingly beautiful. It is a work of effortless grace and faultless intelligence.’ Mark Epstein, author of Thoughts Without A Thinker

‘Sharon Salzberg sets out to reclaim faith as fresh, vibrant, intelligent, and liberating. She succeeds brilliantly.’ Brother David Steindl-Rast, co-author of The Ground We Share

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sharon Salzberg has been practising and studying Buddhism for more than thirty years. Now a renowned meditation instructor, she trained with Buddhist masters in India, Burma, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and many other countries. She is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society, a centre dedicated to meditation training, and the Center for Buddhist Studies in Massachusetts. The bestselling author of Lovingkindness: the Revolutionary Art of Happiness, Salzberg lives in New York City and Massachusetts.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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EACH OF US tells ourselves some kind of story about who we are and what our life is about. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and Heartening. 31 Oct 2003
Sharon Salzberg is a Buddhist, but this book is relevant for everybody on a spiritual path, within or without organized religions. The author offers an understanding of faith that is not linked with submission to an external authority or belief system, and she analyses the maturing process of faith through questioning and through the challenges of daily life. It is a brilliant book and yet very warm and personal, credibly grown out of living experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intimacy 2 May 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a moving account of Sharon Salzberg's early life and first encounter with India and her teachers. In a very accessible way Sharon Salzberg explores faith as a willingness to trust our own deepest nature and invites us to relax into our own hearts.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea 25 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a Christian and I believe in my faith, which is Christianity, it has served me well and I did not realise the book was about something else.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars life changing 11 Jan 2005
By Rain - Published on Amazon.com
I have spent the better part of my life searching for the elusive cure for depression, fear and anxiety. Complicated matters, indeed. Something that occured to me along the way that I was raised without religion and that the lack of faith in my life may contribute to my suffering. It seemed to me that there were so many people who had something to believe in, something to soothe their tormented soul. So many seemed to have a god who would carry them to safety. I didn't. Believe it or not I typed the word "faith" into the search engine and up popped this book. I bought it not having any clue that I was about to be introduced to Buddhism. To call this story, this author, life changing doesn't do it justice. I must have engaged in right action and right thought more than a few times in my life because karmically Sharon Salzburg was brought to me when I needed her most. All of my questions about life and especially death were answered in the most uplifting yet simple way. I am really not afraid any more. I haven't become a Buddhist because of this book. I just live the best I can and lean on the teachings when I need to be reminded about what makes life the most peaceful and fulfilling. I lean on Buddhism when I am afraid. It hasn't let me down yet.
56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lustrous! 17 Aug 2002
By David Makinster - Published on Amazon.com
Lustrous, totally lustrous... glowing with honesty and compassion.
"Faith" is a word so abused in our times. If you regard faith as mere wishful thinking, rigid ideology, a divisive divine favor bestowed upon an elite few, or (to paraphrase Mark Twain) deciding to believe what you know ain't true, then prepare to shed those lack luster preconceptions.
This is Sharon's personal story. Her losses, her pain, her awakenings, her love and richly earned peace. When I took a workshop on faith with Sharon two years ago, I found her to be warm, candid, and down to earth. These splendid qualities radiate from every page of "Faith." She is a natural teacher, and this book teaches so much.
So, what is "faith?" Open to the present moment, clinging neither to pain nor pleasure, entrust yourself to the boundless compassion that lies at the heart of your spiritual center. Trust what you know about unconditional love, what your own experience teaches you when you do not flinch from it, but compassionately embrace it. And discover through clarity and compassion your interdependent connections with all beings.
Am I close, Sharon? :-)
Namu Amida Butsu... may you be well and happy, and may all of you read this lustrous book.
60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For All the Faithful 12 Nov 2002
By Francisco X. Stork - Published on Amazon.com
Imagine that you are in a dark room where nothing can be seen. Yet even in the darkness you know there is a light switch. You find the walls and move about groping with your hand convinced the ligth is there. This is the image of faith I gathered from Sharon Salsberg's book. Faith as the conviction to keep looking. Faith as both the memory and the hope of light. Now, the conviction of light's existence is both something that is given and something that is found. The search requires an acceptance of the darkness (don't panic but don't get used to it either). The beauty of this book is that it transcends belief systems and directs us to the common loving energy that propels our fundamental search. This is a book of encouragement. If your search is sincere and if you live in harmony with your search - you too are part of the world's faithful.
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsentimental Faith: Eyes Wide Open 5 Mar 2003
By Stephanie Silva - Published on Amazon.com
This is a deeply authentic spiritual biography of some historical significance in American Buddhism and a volume on faith that should be added to every stack of soothing bedside books. In a childhood of emotional isolation and unanswered forbidden questions, Buddhist meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg suffered sudden abandonment by her beloved father at age 4, the bleeding death nearly before her eyes of her mother at age 9 and the lifelong institutionalization of her mentally ill father at age 11. Entering college at age 16, she was chosen early in her Buddhist studies in India to teach meditation in America not because of her scholarship but because "You really understand suffering." Chapter 5 (of 7), Despair: The Loss of Faith, is a candid existential leap by a both grounded and luminous spiritual teacher who has mentored students who have suffered "childhood beatings while hanging, childhood physical and sexual abuse, betrayals, illnesses, depression, loneliness, oppressive relationships, oppressive secrets, exhausting moral dilemmas"; knowing she was not alone was "a good qualification for a life of practice." "Who, if I cried, would hear me among the angelic orders?" Sharon Salzberg, for one. She does a masterful job of communicating the paradoxes in the Buddhist practice of "taking refuge" -- taking refuge in freedom and the burden of the authentic self. Highly recommended.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book On Faith Out There 22 Mar 2004
By Swing King - Published on Amazon.com
Faith in a theological context for many people is an act of belief in what one cannot prove. It has been used as a line drawn between those who "believe" and those who do not in a Christian context. But Salzberg's intent in this wonderful text drives at providing us all with a fresh perspective of what faith really is; a definition unassociated with doctrine and theology. A kind of faith in oneself, emphasizing a love and respect for ourselves. This kind of faith unearths our connection to all people, not a faith used as a tool of making you or I a separate entity. Faith doesn't necessarily require belief, it is a trust. A trust in ourselves through a waking up to who we really are. It does not necessarily denote a God, or even no God.
In the book Salzberg discusses her painful youth; she lost her mother very early on and her father was mentally ill. In 1968, Sharon came across Buddhism in a course on Asian philosophy, where she learned of the teachings of the Lord Buddha. She remembers feeling instantly drawn to his messages, in particular the Four Noble Truths. A few years later she was in India at Bodh Gaya doing her first meditative retreat. From that point on for a number of years, Sharon studied with teachers in Burma, Tibet, and India; experiences that ultimately affected her view on just what faith truly means in her life.
This book is the absolute best out there on the subject of faith, and I say that for people of any religion. Salzberg relies on both her years of experience and impressive array of teachers that always challenged her in bringing us this magnificent book.
Salzberg: "Faith is the ability to offer our heart to the truth of what is happening, to see our experience as the embodiment of life's mystery, the present expression of possibility, the conduit connecting us to a bigger reality."
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