From: Sutra Session 35
There’s another quality about faith, which is a little difficult to put into words. When you think about opening to whatever life brings you, there’s simultaneously a yearning and a fear. I’ve already talked about the fear or the panic. Cultivate that yearning, because that yearning is your direction in life. There’s a phrase that Uchiyama Roshi uses, The direction of the present. And it’s about opening to everything in your life until you see what the next step is. In my own experience, you come to know what the next step is by sensing imbalance. And the imbalance may be in you, it may be in the world around you, or maybe in some combination of them. But that tells you what the next step is, the direction of the present. And that is why I say, don’t be afraid of faith, or that yearning quality, which is often felt as a pain in the heart.
Now on my website you’ll find a prayer called, Devotion Pierces Your Heart. And it’s a long prayer written by a great teacher in the nineteenth century. And he’s using traditional vocabulary, but every verse, he’s expressing this yearning, different ways here and there, everywhere. And it’s quite beautiful that way. If you stay in touch with that yearning, I think it’s fair to say you’ll never go astray in your life. That may be a lot to say, but I’ll stay with it. Everything that I’ve talked about right now is not so much, ”This is what you should do,“ but these are things you may find helpful to navigate your life. There is an extraordinary amount of Buddhist teaching, hundreds and hundreds of original—quotation marks—original scriptures, thousands and thousands of commentaries by teachers over the years, philosophy like you wouldn’t believe—particularly the stuff developed by the medieval Indian philosophers, also many of the Chinese—rituals, moral codes, prayers; it is unbelievably rich. What is important here is the purpose of all of it was to help one individual or another find their direction in life.