In my late teens and early twenties I developed a suicidal state of mind. I was depressed for a few years. All my training in logic, math & science (heck I built a small computer before I turned 18) seemed to be in conflict with the actual workings of the world. The past year of my life I have been happy – this is a new thing! I feel that this happiness is triggered by a healthy tension that exists between my mind facility and my faith facility. I realize that I was not taught to believe and that I had resisted the mere thought of “running on faith”. Today I experience the ability to “have faith” as a leveraging force in my life.
I credit my realization of faith as a skill/facility to my Yoga teachers and teachings. My first taste of faith came about during practices in which I assume I experienced a state of Yoga. A core quality of a state of Yoga, for me, is that it goes beyond the mind and beyond description – I do not have a description of it and therefor cannot share it – therefor I cannot discuss it with others or confirm it to be the state that is hinted in the yogic philosophy. This is the point I wish to make! Because my experience is founded in a practice that involves mind, body and breath and not just the mind, it exists outside the realm of mind. This is the fertile ground in which my faith facility was fostered (otherwise my mind would have churned it into dull, depressing and logical dust).
As years of practice and training (the body, the mind and the breath) went by I became accustomed to this experience. Then, years later, I was introduced to the philosophy of Yoga – I was taught about the texts of Yoga in which the approach is “described” (the texts do not offer clear models/answers/results – they invoke questions and thoughts – they are not intended for independent reading, study or research – they are a tool in the hands of a teacher). During the studies, I experienced disinterest and even aggressive/defensive thoughts when we touched the subject of prayer to a higher force. I am only now realizing that my resistance goes out against my own preconception of “prayer” and “god”.
My faith remains undefined – but the mere question is often a source of motivation and inspiration. I feel that this balance needs to be constantly maintained – the mind can trample faith and faith can blind the mind. Its a playful game I play called life : )