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, 2018

See for Yourself

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The Buddha said: Please do not accept anything just because it is said in the traditions. Please do not accept anything just because it is written down in the scriptures. Please do not accept anything just because it sounds logical and reasonable. This is the important point: Don’t even accept when a teacher says something. So please don’t just accept what I am saying also!

The Buddha said only when you see for yourself from your own experience what is creating suffering, what is creating happiness, that is the right way for you to practise. So the real teacher is your own experience. To see whether the medicine is working or whether the medicine is not working. So you have to see it for yourself. I am so amazed and I am so inspired by this very radical teaching of the Buddha.

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Internally and Externally

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Sometimes I consider unpleasant experiences more valuable than so-called pleasant experiences. There are no problems with pleasant experiences. In that sense, such unpleasant experiences are valuable because you learn to handle them when they arise. And this is exactly what happens in life.

Suddenly we find ourselves with an unexpected situation in life: same principle. So you see the importance of learning to handle such situations when you are meditating so that if such events were to arise externally you learn to do the same. This is why in the Dhamma it is said you should meditate internally and externally: same principle, same solution.

It’s O.K. Not to Feel O.K.

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When we meditate we really don’t know what is going to happen.  The most unexpected things can happen. When such things happen, please don’t be surprised, and please don’t blame yourself.  Please don’t give that experience a big minus. Please don’t try to analyse it.  Sometimes we cannot understand it intellectually. So what we can do is just to know it. This is the beauty of awareness. This is why the Buddha said this is the only way. Just to realise this is what is happening to me, and just to be with it. If it is very unpleasant you can say: I don’t really feel O.K. but it’s O.K. not to feel O.K. Just really feel it, just really say this.

Meditation is also learning to work with unpleasant experiences. Please realise that meditation does not mean having only positive experiences, pleasant experiences, experiences we are happy with. Unpleasant experiences are extremely valuable, extremely useful, if you can really learn from them, if you can see them as objects for meditation rather than seeing them as something strange, unusual. So please make such experiences the objects of meditation.

Overwhelmed by Emotions

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There are certain situations where we are really overwhelmed by emotions, where there is lot of suffering and it is not possible to think of meditation at that time.

What I would suggest is that you can wait until you recover from that state of mind. It does not matter how long it takes. And then you can look back, you can reflect: Now what really happened to me? What really made me go through that physical and mental suffering? What can I learn from that experience? And maybe this is the importance of spiritual friends: maybe at that moment, if you have a spiritual friend, it is something very wholesome, very skilful, just to share your suffering with another person. This is how we help each other.

Spiritual Friends

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In the Buddha’s teaching spiritual friends are very much emphasised.

Spiritual friendship is learning to grow together. In the relationships you have with different people, if you can also see them as spiritual friends, again it is a very positive way of relating to others. Anyway, if there are meditation groups around, please join one of them.