The Buddhist approach to faith is that you help yourself rather than being helped by something outside yourself. You learn that you can help yourself, completely, and you have faith in your ability to do so. Buddhism is not particularly a centralized philosophy, which would be symbolized by a pyramid. Rather, one of the main symbols for Buddhism is a wheel. It is a circular approach rather than a pyramid approach. Your effort is recirculated. What you put out in a situation goes out and around and it comes back to you. Faith here is the solid ground of real appreciation of things as they are: that fire burns, that water flows. It is based on a real experience of how things work.
Condensed from “The Charnel Ground,” in The Sadhana of Mahamudra Sourcebook, page 73. Available from shambhalamedia.org.