On Faith with Sharon Salzberg

What is faith?

In Pali—the language of the original Buddhist texts—the word for ‘faith’ is saddha, literally translated as ‘to place the heart upon.’ Here, where faith is a verb rather than a noun, it’s about offering, opening up and recognizing that we have an innate capacity to trust and understand.
— Sharon Salzberg
Image from BodhiTree

Image from BodhiTree

In this lovely reflection for BodhiTree, Sharon Salzberg explores faith from the Buddhist perspective. She connects the concept to liberation and the experience of a sense of possibility. As the new year often brings a desire to make resolutions, to seek new beginnings, and to explore hopes for the future, we suggest considering what faith is to you. How might you open yourself to a faith that calls you to place your heart upon your life as it unfolds within and around you?


I want to invite a new use of the word faith, one that is not associated with a dogmatic religious interpretation or divisiveness. I want to encourage delight in the word, to help reclaim faith as fresh, vibrant, intelligent and liberating. This is a faith that emphasizes love and respect for ourselves as a foundation. It is a faith that uncovers our connection to others, rather than designating anyone as separate and apart.
— Sharon Salzberg