Methods for Strengthening Our Faith

At certain stages of the journey your faith is strong, but then sometimes it quivers a little bit. So you have to find ways to explore your doubts.

You may lack the faith to strengthen yourself. What is traditionally suggested is that you seek out the company of other beings who are on the journey, which is true for anything. If you’re a psychologist, instead of losing faith in psychology, regain it by hanging out with other psychologists.

It’s called Satsang in Spirit.

Many of us have experiences that strengthen our faith with possibility. For some of us, drugs and chemicals have played a key role. One time in India was very interesting with my guru and LSD. Some of you have read or heard “Be Here Now,” and know that the last time I was in India, my guru took 900 micrograms and swallowed it. Nothing happened.

He said, “It’s useful. Not the true Samadhi, but it’s useful.” Later, people asked him if they should use it. He said, “If you were in a cool place, and you were feeling much peace, and you were alone, and your mind has turned toward God, you could use it. It would allow you to come in and have an experience with the spirit, darshan, but you could only stay two hours, and then you have to leave it. It would be much better to become the spirit, than to just visit it.”

He said that becoming spirit will always have more to it because love is a much stronger motive, but that the chemical, the “medicine,” will strengthen faith because visiting a saint definitely strengthens your faith. Now if you look, you can see the many ways people seek or find ways to strengthen their faith.

Miracles and gatherings of Satsang, reading or hanging out with holy books, chemicals, they’re all traps. But they are useful because they keep strengthening your faith.

Faith can touch that place inside, which is called the Atman. It’s naive to think that any one route will bring you faster than any other route, other than what is supposed to be your route. In Zen, they say, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

Your work on yourself starts exactly where you are at this moment.

Like, at this moment, if you’re thinking about the future or the past, if you’re planning, if you’re collecting this for later, what about right here? Now. This is what it’s all about. Everything you’ve ever done in your life and all your incarnations are for this moment. This isn’t for that, this is it – this is what it’s about.

What about all these things like joining ashrams, or going into systems or joining temples or clubs, spiritual clubs, or going on retreats?

All of it has it’s function, but the only way you know that it’s what you need is because your heart tells you. It pulls you toward it. Take what teachings you’re able to get and you need and go on. Don’t get hung up. I don’t feel any loyalty to any teacher I’ve had other than to become as conscious as I possibly can in order to alleviate human suffering and bring all beings to Maya, because there’s nothing else to do. And when I get all done, nothing happened at all anyway.

-Ram Dass




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