The Symbiotic Relationship between Faith & Doubt

Most religions demand faith. Yet, doubt is encouraged in Zen practice. Why?

We must note that faith in Zen is quite different from “blind faith” in other religions — it is not the opposite of doubt. Rather, due to one’s faith in the Dharma, one dares to raise difficult questions. One exercises one’s doubt and skepticism. Among other things, I am a teacher of mathematics and science. Most teachers will agree with me that without asking authentic questions, the student cannot have deep and genuine understanding. There is no real learning in memorizing the answer.

If we raise authentic questions and keep searching for the answer, eventually we will understand. There is no belief in Buddhism. Buddhism is not about blind faith or superstitions. Buddhism is about genuine seeing and understanding. Once we see, no belief will be necessary.

Do not be afraid to doubt. It is your genuine and honest doubt that will lead you to great enlightenment.

Published author, Zen teacher, professor, scientist, philosopher, social commentator, socially-engaged human

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