Friends of Godwin Samararatne

Learn to be your best friend and also to be a friend of others. Learn to forgive yourself and others and then heal any wounds that you are carrying.

Month: March, 2017

Observing Intention

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Observing the intention can really enable us to discover our real motives for our actions. So in this way we can really understand ourselves, know who we are, the type of person we are. It will enable us to see the positive sides in ourselves and the negative sides also. It is very important to see both sides.

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See the Intention

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Before we act, if we can pause and try to see the intention why we want to do a particular thing, there there can be a natural transformation in our action. On one occasion the Buddha was speaking to his son Rahula. The Buddha asked his son: What is the purpose of a mirror? And the little boy said the purpose of a mirror is to reflect. So the Buddha said that in the same way we should reflect about our speech and about our actions before doing them. But to exercise this reflection there has to be awareness and there has to be a pause.

Intention

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One thing which we can discover with more and more awareness and slowing down is the intention that arises before doing something. We do things so quickly, so fast, that we hardly catch ourselves intending to do it. And with more and more observing the intention, you will realise that there is more and more awareness, so there is a connection between observing the intention and the practice of awareness.

And catching our intention has very important implications, so that we will not rush into things, especially in everyday life. Before we speak, if we can catch ourselves with whatever we were going to say, I think we will not hurt others and we will not be using our speech in an unwholesome or unskilful way.

Slowing Down

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You can sustain awareness just by slowing down. As you know, when we move in a very fast vehicle we are not able to notice the things that are around us. If you want to see your surroundings very sharply, very clearly, then the vehicle has to go very slowly. So it’s only when we can really slow down that we can see very sharply, very clearly, what is happening in our mind and body from moment to moment. In the same way, we can notice external things very sharply and clearly.

Together

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Something that can help you in your practice in daily life is having spiritual friends. It is a beautiful relationship, a beautiful friendship to have, where you learn to grow together, to be a mirror to each other. It’s good to join a meditation group, or even to start up a small group yourself. Just two or three people meeting periodically. Sitting together, discussing, doing meditation on loving-kindness, chanting and so on. This can be something that will really help us to integrate our meditation with everyday life.

Gratefulness

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In relation to loving-kindness one can also develop gratefulness. It is such a beautiful quality, but we don’t really use this beautiful, wonderful quality. There are so many things that we can be grateful for, even very little things, but we take them for granted. For example, it is such a beautiful gesture just before we eat to feel grateful for our food. Feel grateful that we have eyes to see, there are people who cannot see. Feel grateful that we can hear, there are people who cannot hear. Feel grateful that we have awareness, there are human beings who have problems in their minds and they don’t know what awareness and attention is. When you practise awareness, you can feel grateful for being able to do so.

If we can see little things in this way, then we learn to feel grateful for so many things around us. Feel grateful for the computer, feel grateful for the telephone. Feel grateful for the job you are doing, for it gives you a profession and money. Feel grateful for the boss who is teaching you, because you have a guru in the office. Feeling grateful is another way of saying: “No complaints.” You are content with what is happening: “No complaints.”

Welcome Emotions You Don’t Like

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Another aspect of meditation of loving-kindness is learning to make friends with whatever is happening, especially if it is unpleasant. This perspective can be used in relating to people you don’t like and in relating to emotions you don’t like. When such an emotion comes, just make an effort to make friends with it, to welcome it. There will be such a difference. When practising meditation of loving-kindness your relationships are bound to improve. To communicate with loving-kindness to others is a beautiful way to relate to oneself and relate to others.

Heal the Wounds

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I always emphasise meditation of loving-kindness very much. I also try to use meditation of loving-kindness in different ways. One way is using this meditation to heal the wounds that are created in everyday life when you are bound to have difficulties in relationships. What is important is to discover a tool for healing them. So here meditation of loving-kindness can be something very, very useful.

Welcome Them

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In everyday life negative feelings are bound to arise so don’t be surprised, don’t give them a minus, and don’t give yourself a minus. Welcome them and see how far you can work with them, use them as your object of meditation. Sometimes you will succeed, sometimes you will fail. When you succeed you can say: “Well, the medicine is working.” And when you don’t succeed you can say: “Well, now I can’t take the medicine, but I’ll go home and take the medicine later.” Then when you go home you can just take your mind back and see exactly what happened, why you got angry, what really provoked you. This is reflecting, this is taking the medicine, and our so-called failures become learning experiences. Life is not like Holland which is always flat; life will have many ups and downs. So when there is a big up, don’t give it a big plus, and if you’re down, don’t give it a big minus. Both are just learning experiences, so try to feel grateful for both situations.

Back to Everyday Life

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Often meditators experience calmness and clarity in a retreat situation. They experience a sense of space and loving-kindness and they are hoping to continue that back home. This is the main problem in retreats: our monsters can go to sleep in a retreat, it happens very easily. Naturally, when you go back to everyday life they wake up and are very powerful, very active: “Now it is our chance!” That’s why it is important to keep them awake during a retreat, playing with them, working with them, understanding them, creating space for them.