Great Faith. Great Doubt. Great Effort

“Great Faith. Great Doubt. Great Effort. – The three jewels of training.” (a zen saying)

In order to get the most out of ones training I think it is important to embody these three characteristics. I am often told to have more confidence by my teachers. Having confidence allows one to move forward and continue despite what happens and despite the unknown future. “自信” has multiple meanings one of its meanings is faith and another is confidence the literal meaning is self-belief. You have to believe in yourself enough to keep going, and keep training, as well as the confidence in ones current abilities to meet the unknown.

Great doubt is also important, without it you won’t have proper introspection to see what you are lacking in your training. To doubt yourself and your abilities is to look at the skills you are unsure of and the skills you need to test. With doubt comes the need to test oneself.

Great effort, in order to achieve ones goals or in order to become really skilled you must put forth effort. The amount of effort you put into training is the amount you will benefit from training. Wishing you were better will not to amount to much, making the effort will. Little things will add up but putting in too little effort won’t amount to much. The saying “焼け石に水” literally means putting a drop of water on a hot stone, which in turn means a little efforts don’t do enough. The greater the effort the greater the outcome.

Having these three characteristics or aspects in training one will progress. This makes for a more perfect practice. The better the practice the better one can become, the better one can become the better the practice.

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