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: April, 2020

No Owner.

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While working with emotions you can sometimes ask the question: “Who is having this emotion? Who is having this joy? Who is having this sadness?” When you explore this question your attention goes to something other then the emotion. You might realise that there is no-one having the emotion, but only emotions that come and go: there is no owner.

I am suggesting many tools to you, because if you can learn to play with these different tools you can alternate them and use them skilfully. Sometimes one may work, sometimes another may work. If you can see it as a play, then sometimes the monsters win and sometimes the tools might work and you win. In a game you can’t always win. Situations become learning experiences, and our so-called failures help us in our spiritual growth. I think this is a very important perspective to have.

Having a certain lightness can make such a big difference. What is important when we experiment with these tools is that we see that we have a tendency to look for pleasant, positive experiences, and we don’t like unpleasant experiences. Our spiritual path can become a battle. If you can really be open to both what is considered as pleasant and what is considered as unpleasant, then you can see the spiritual practice as a going beyond this division, this duality that we have created.

This is My Anger

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Our emotions don’t really belong to us. Because we have a strong sense of ownership, we think we own things, we also think that we own these emotions. This is my anger, this is my fear. Of course, what you own, what you think you own, you don’t want to give up.

The Buddhist perspective here is that emotions are empty of a separate self. There is no real owner. All things arise due to causes and conditions and all things pass away due to causes and conditions. This idea is also presented in the Buddha’s teaching in another way, which I like very much. One can treat these monsters, or even pleasant emotions, as our visitors, our guests. We are the host, and as a good host we should be open to any visitor who comes. When visitors come, as a good host we are not surprised, rather we are friendly and we welcome the visitors. When they leave we just say, “Bye-bye, please come back again”. This sounds very simple. When the visitor comes, when the visitor stays, when the visitor goes, the host remains the same: no problem. Just visitors coming, visitors going. This brings up the Buddhist perspective of impermanence: everything changes, there is coming and going, going and coming.