Doubt and Faith – thoughts 1

“…There is a Zen proverb that says the student must have great faith, great doubt, and great determination. With true faith comes doubt. And doubt is about openness to what is. The determination to persevere with uncertainty is the reassurance that our journey is proceeding toward a humility of imperfect understanding. The disciple who doubts are perhaps the one with the most faith.”


This passage fascinates me as I ponder whether the writer defines doubt as ‘doubt in oneself”, ie: having a sense of humility about oneself as opposed to being overly confident? Mother Theresa had tremendous doubt as witnessed in her letters to her friend over the many years that she was running her healing centers in India and elsewhere. Perhaps this is the type of doubt that this writer is referring to. I am finding this good food for thought… see next blog entry… ;~)

About Mare Cromwell

Referred to as “The Voice of Earth Mother” by a gifted Shoshone elder, Mare Cromwell is a multi-award-winning author, Medicine woman/Lightworker and healer. She has also been told by another gifted elder that her work with Earth Mother is in the prophecies. Her books include: "The Great Mother Bible"; "Messages from Mother.... Earth Mother"; and "If I gave you God’s phone number.... Searching for Spirituality in America". She has studied with Native American teachers for twenty-two years and sat on the World Council for Wisdom Gatherings for three years. Mare leads workshops on our Sacred Planet-Earth Mother, Womb Wisdom and Sacred Silliness and more. She is the visionary and producer of the 1000 Goddesses Gathering in Washington DC. Mare loves to be involved in Ceremony. She is also a former worm herder. She calls Western Maryland home.
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2 Responses to Doubt and Faith – thoughts 1

  1. Will says:

    Thanks for sharing this interesting quote. I think doubt refers to openmindedness and the willingness to question, as opposed to having fixed opinions, certainty, and a “knowing” attitude. There is a good Zen book called “Only Don’t Know.” The title suggests that “knowing” blocks us from finding the truth, and that we should try to “not know” in order to find the answer. I think Zen Buddhism encourages one to seek the truth within oneself, to be a light to oneself, and so encourages confidence in oneself. So I don’t think the term doubt refers to self-doubt or lack of self-confidence. But I think it suggests humility, because it takes humility to admit that one does not have all of the answers. Anyway, thanks again for sharing this thought-provoking quote.

  2. Hi Will, I really appreciate your sharing more on this quote…Your angle on this use of the term “doubt” does shed more light…. very helpful.
    thx! and blessings to you…

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