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: August, 2019

Consumerism

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One of the biggest problems modern man has is this tendency to be victims of consumerism. We are not clear what we really need and what comes from our greed, so what happens is that society can manipulate us, society can bring up situations where attachments, this tendency to own things, to possess things whether they are necessary or not, can arise.

So with more and more meditation, you lose the motivation for just consuming things for the sake of consuming things. There is a beautiful word in Pali, the word is santutthi, a beautiful sounding word, it means that we learn to be contented. So our lives become very, very simple and we can be really contented with just simple things. As I said, the motivation for consuming things will not be there.

A Wonderful Way of Beginning the Day

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A thought you can have in the morning is: Today may I get an opportunity to practice loving-kindness to someone else, may I get the opportunity to show kindness to someone this day. Just to have that thought, just to have that kind of aspiration, is a wonderful way of beginning the day.

Someone else said something very simple and significant, something similar to what the Buddha said, she said: we do not have to do a big thing to show loving-kindness. But little actions, small acts of loving-kindness are enough. So if you can have this openness, and if you can have this motivation, then in everyday life you are bound to find situations when you can smile at a person, smile at a child, showing some kindness. These small things, little things, are in a way acts of loving-kindness.

The Here and The Now.

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In meditation there is the need to experience what is called living in the present, living in the here and the now. Its interesting that when you consider some of the meditation techniques like focusing on breathing, listening to sounds, focusing on bodily sensations, these techniques enable us to live in the present, to live in the here and the now.

It’s interesting that in focusing on breathing, you realise that breathing is something objective, it is a fact. Having thoughts which are related to the past and the future can generate unpleasant emotions, but with the help of focusing on breathing you can learn to let go of the past and let go of the future and experience the joy and the bliss of the present moment.

This reminds me of an incident which is recorded in the Buddhists texts, in the Buddha’s time – a non-Buddhist visits a monastery where meditating monks are living, and this person was very impressed, very inspired by the serenity of the monks, by the way they were relaxed and joyful in their behaviour. So he goes to the Buddha and asks him: Pray tell me what you teach your disciples?.

Then the Buddha said: I teach them not to worry about the past, because it is gone; and not to be anxious about the future because it is yet to come – rather to experience the joy of the present moment. And with that they have been able to exude this joy, peace and compassion in their behaviour.

Now living in the present can raise a question: is it possible always to live in the present? What about planning? What about using the past? If you let go of the past you will not be able to find your homes, you will not be able to use language, you will not be able to recognize anything. So what is meant here, what one has to experience, is that with this process of recalling and anticipating you do it now. This is a very important point for one to experience and realise, that what is considered as the past is just a thought in the present, and what is considered the future is also just a thought in the present. So when you realise this, when you experience this, you will be able to relate to the past and the future in an entirely different way, where you can use the past and the future functionally and not allow the past and the future, in this process of recalling and anticipating to generate

Try This

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Try this in any posture you like: just allow thoughts to arise – thoughts of the past, thoughts of the future – and see how far you can simply observe these thoughts, just thoughts arising and passing away, as if these thoughts do not belong to you, as though you were observing another person’s thoughts.

If you are getting involved with the thoughts, if you are judging the thoughts, just know what is happening, and note the difference between being an observer and being involved with the thoughts.

Making friends with your thoughts, creating space for your thoughts by allowing any thought to arise, and observing how you react to the thoughts. The reaction doesn’t matter as long as you are aware of it, as long as you observe the reaction. Just being completely choiceless.

Now can you do the same in regard to any emotion that is arising in you. Whatever emotion is arising – sadness, anxiety, fear, joy – do not want it to stay in your mind, and also do not want it to go away, just be at one with that emotion, whatever it is. And do the same in regard to any sensation that is arising, pleasant sensations, unpleasant sensations, whatever it is, just let it be.

Being choiceless about thoughts, emotions, sensations – learn to be a witness to whatever is happening in your mind and body. Learning to see things as they are, and not as they should or must be.