Great Faith, Great Doubt

On the pull between faith and doubt that can spark awakening -   by  a Zen teacher

Most of the work in Zen practice takes place while sitting zazen 
because, in reality, 
there’s nothing anyone can give us. 
There’s nothing that we lack; 
each one of us is perfect and complete. 

That’s why it is said that 
there are no Zen teachers and nothing to teach. 

But this truth must be realized by each one of us. 

Great faith, great doubt, and great determination 
are three essentials for that realization. 
Great faith is the boundless faith in oneself and 
in one's ability to realize oneself and make oneself free; 
great doubt is the deep and penetrating doubt that asks: 

Who am I? 
What is life? 
What is truth? 
What is God? 
What is reality? 

Great faith and great doubt are in dynamic tension with each other; 
they work to provide the real cutting edge of koan practice. 

When great faith and great doubt are also accompanied by great determination -- 
the determination of  “seven times knocked down, eight times up” -- 
we have at our disposal the power necessary 
to break through our delusive way of thinking 
and realize the full potential of our lives.
                                         John Daido Loori