"By slowing down, we cultivate a sacred awareness of life in the present moment. This leads us to wonder about the nature of existence itself and how the universe was created; in other words, the question of faith. In the same way that each of us has a biological creation myth about the family that brought us into the world, we also carry a spiritual creation myth about the genesis of life itself.
"Faith points to our personal story about the metaphysical realm; it is the existential narrative that buoys us up in times of darkness. This story may rely on articles of faith put forth by an organized religion. Or our faith narrative may be more open-ended and secular, free of allegiance to a creator God, yet open to the power of mystery. Faith can have more to do with trust than dogma. The Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote, 'Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.' He was pointing to faith as surrender to what we do not know. . . .
"Whatever you love is a doorway to faith, regardless of your stance on religion. If you step through that door, you'll find what you are looking for: the courage to live with an open heart and to meet each day as a new beginning. These prompts will deepen your understanding of what faith means to you and how it is connected to love.
• "In the same way that each of us carries a biological creation myth about the family that brought us into the world, we also hold a spiritual creation myth about the genesis of life itself. This has a lot to do with how we relate with faith.
• "Faith points to our personal story about the metaphysical realm, the existential narrative that buoys us up in times of darkness.
• "Whether atheist or true believer, traditionalist or freelance seeker, everyone has faith in something.
• "Whatever you love is a doorway to faith, regardless of your stance on religion.
"These are profound questions to explore. You are in the presence of mystery when you write about faith, touching on the eternal. Let yourself dive deep in this inquiry and see where the questions lead you.
• "What are your stories about faith and creation? Are they the same stories you were taught as a child, or have they changed over time? Why? Do you have faith in your story about creation? Explain.
• "Do you use faith as part of your coping toolkit? Why or why not? Do you rely on intellect, judgment and decision-making skills to get you through life?
• "Have you ever questioned your faith? What happened and what was the result?
• "Describe a situation in which faith got you through a difficult time. Describe the feelings that this faith gave you.
"Faith lights the way in times of confusion. Whether you believe in God, Buddhanature, or a prevailing goodness in human nature, faith is a necessary power that uplifts you in the face of the unknown. Faith gives you the courage to try again after you've been knocked down, and stay curious about what's coming next. It reminds you of life's cyclical nature, with daylight coming after night's darkness, giving you a new day to begin again. This is the faith you can carry with you for the final phase of this journey, as you harness the power of new beginnings."