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Cultivating Basic Trust in a World of Uncertainty by Keith Kristich

Aug 14, 2020

Sun breaking through clouds

We live in a time with unprecedented questions.

When will the pandemic come to an end?
What will come of the 2020 U.S. election?
What changes will we actually see in the effort to empower and bring justice to black lives across America?
With these questions comes an awful lot of uncertainty, uncertainty leading to an awful lot of fear, anxiety, and doubt.

But these uncertainties and the many negative emotions emerging from them ought not have the final say over our lives. We can intentionally and consciously choose to cultivate what Enneagram and spiritual teacher A.H. Almaas calls “basic trust.”

Basic trust is an implicit trust that the universe, life, or God, is ultimately in our favor and that humans are by nature, ultimately good

Restoring basic trust is the beginning of opening to our highest and truest self, allowing us to better let go of the many fears and uncertainties that abound in our day

In detail, A.H. Almaas writes that basic trust

“is an unspoken, implicit trust that what is optimal will happen, the sense that whatever happens will ultimately be fine. It is the confidence that reality is ultimately good; that nature, the universe, and all that exists are of their very nature good and trustworthy; that what happens is the best that can happen. Basic trust is a nonconceptual confidence in the goodness of the universe, an unquestioned implicit trust that there is something about the universe and human nature and life that is inherently and fundamentally good, loving, and wishing us the best. This innate and unformulated trust in life and reality manifests as a willingness to take that plunge into the abyss.

How would it be if you and I — our friends and families — were actively cultivating the awareness of basic trust?

What if we willingly took “the plunge into the abyss” with a basic trust that affirms that life is ultimately in our favor, that “God’s got our back,” and that people are by their very nature good and loving at their core

What kind of peace of mind, interior freedom, and personal empowerment would emerge from that kind of trust?

Restoring basic trust can be as simple as remembering the simple joys in life, waking up in gratitude for your body that breathed for you throughout your night of sleep. It can be experienced in the awareness that the sun is always shining behind every darkened cloud. Basic trust can be remembered in the beauty of the natural world, just being itself in all its simplicity.

For me, my contemplative practice is a way of returning to basic trust, cultivating a loving relationship with reality, God, and the universe, remembering that underneath the chaos of my mind and emotion is a certain restfulness and simplicity of being.

In between my thoughts is a spaciousness and sense of ease.

In the pause between emotions, there’s a stillness, a sense of peace, a place of restfulness.

Meditation and contemplative prayer have been traditional ways of bringing us into right relationship with ourselves and the Divine. Doing so allows us to open up, let go, and surrender into something larger than ourselves, surrendering because we have a basic trust that what we surrender into is ultimately good.

In these uncertain days with many more questions than answers, I encourage you to examine for yourself what it means to cultivate and build basic trust from the inside out.

What does it mean for you to remember and know that the sun still shines behind every darkened cloud, that humanity is unavoidably good by nature?

What is one step you can make today to cultivate this inner awareness?

As a lover of spirituality and world religion, Keith Kristich helps people slow down and reconnect with their deep self through meditation, contemplative prayer, and the Enneagram. You can find more about Keith’s work at keithkristich.com/.