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: December, 2017

Thoughts Come so Quickly


When we have emotions, unpleasant emotions, what makes it worse is our thinking, our thoughts. It is very interesting when we have an emotion. If you have space in the mind to watch your thoughts you’ll realise how thoughts come so quickly at that time and how you can create a big story about what is happening. And sometimes a small emotion can really blow up just by this process of thinking.

Maybe a practical example would be if someone has made you angry, at least you think that someone has made you angry. Then what happens to you? You’ll be having thoughts about that person, how that person has been behaving in the past and all such things, so that your whole attention will be centred on that person; and with the negative thoughts about that person your anger becomes worse and worse. In such a situation we can really lose control. Actually at that moment the emotions and the thoughts really control us, they really overwhelm us, as we all know. So for someone who has been making a connection with our friend in this way, at that moment, if they can spend some time with the breath, just the in-breath and the out-breath, just being completely with it, then at least for a few minutes the fermenting of that emotion with thoughts will become less.


Die Peacefully


According to a Buddhist text, when we die, when we pass away, those who have meditated on this object can easily remember the breath at that time, if they are conscious, of course. I know some people who are working with those who are dying, and one of the techniques that they use in helping people to die is to get them to breathe consciously at that time, to learn to be conscious of their breathing. So when we are dying, if we can experience the present moment with our friend, then we have a good chance of dying peacefully.

So our good friend helps us to live peacefully, and it can also help us to sleep peacefully. Before you fall asleep if you can spend some time just to relax your mind and body with the breath you can sleep peacefully. And then we can die peacefully.

A Feeling of Oneness


A very important insight is to realise that we are all inter-connected, inter-related, inter-being, although we think we are separate, foreign to each other in some sense. But when we reflect on breathing, we realise that what is common to all beings is this fact of breathing. So this should enable us to have a feeling of oneness with all beings around us because what unites us, what is common to all beings, is this fact of breathing. And we have to realise that we breathe the same air, that in relation to the air that we breathe we can’t separate the breath and say the air that I’m breathing is mine. So there is this universality.

There is Only the Breathing


An important insight that can arise in relation to our breath is that we can have moments when we realise that there is only the breathing that is taking place, the rise and the fall of the breath, and that there is no ego, no sense of “I” or “me” that is breathing, but just the process of breathing going on from moment to moment.

Overcome Suffering


This insight which we develop through being open to change and impermanence internally will help us also to be open to changes, the fact of impermanence, when it happens externally. As you know, sometimes we have no control over what is happening inside us and we have no control over what is happening externally, in certain events in our life. Suffering arises when we resist these changes, when we resist impermanence. So if we can really be open to impermanence, and understand the nature of impermanence, this is a very powerful way of overcoming suffering. And as I said, we develop this very important insight: how suffering is created by resisting change and how we can overcome suffering by being open to change and to an understanding of impermanence.



One aspect of vipassana is to experience the fact of impermanence, the fact of change. And when we are aware of the breath, we’ll realise how whatever is happening in our mind and body, including the breathing, changes from moment to moment. So if you are having thoughts you’ll immediately realise how thoughts are arising, how thoughts are passing away. And the same thing becomes very clear with our breath.

Here again, if we can be aware of the sensations we’ll realise how from moment to moment there are varieties of sensations taking place, and again how sensations are changing from moment to moment. So we learn to be open to any changes that are taking place in our mind and body from moment to moment.

Insight and Tranquillity


In Buddhist meditation there are two aspects. One is the aspect of experiencing calm and tranquillity, which is called samatha. The other aspect is developing vipassana, insight or wisdom. When we are being aware of the in-breath and the out-breath, if we can learn not to react to what is happening then the mind becomes calm and tranquil. And then this technique also helps us to develop wisdom or insight, vipassana.