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, 2020

Use Awareness

We can use awareness to learn, to discover, to explore, to investigate what is happening in our mind and body. A real challenge we have in everyday life is how to relate to unpleasant emotions. One problem modern man is confronted with is the problem of stress. It’s a problem everywhere. So now people are finding ways and means of working with stress. It is interesting that there are workshops, courses, which are called stress management courses. They’re not trying to get rid of stress, they want to manage it, control it. So awareness helps us to find out under what circumstances we feel stressed, what really happens to us, mentally and physically, when we experience stress. In this way, we can explore, learn, investigate, any unpleasant emotion that we experience.

The Past and the Future

We do need to use the past and we do need to use the future. And one simple way of using the past and the future creatively is if we can learn from the past, whatever has happened in the past, if we can see the past as a learning experience, as a teacher. So whatever mistakes we have made in the past, rather than hold onto them and then feel guilty and suffer from them, we can ask ourselves: What can I learn from my past mistakes? It can be a very useful way of coming to terms with the past. Otherwise what happens is that we carry the past as a burden. So this type of thinking, this type of practice enables us to let go of the burden that we are carrying most of the time.

And in the same way we can use the future, again as a friend. As we know, when we think of the future sometimes what happens is that we feel anxious, we feel insecure. But if we can make friends with the future and learn to be open to the future, we will be learning to relate to the future in a much more creative way. So with awareness we can learn to experience the present moment when we breathe consciously. And then in relation to the past and the future, if we can see the past as a teacher and if we can see the future as a friend, this will be a really beautiful, creative, happy and peaceful way of living.

The Present Moment

Another aspect of awareness is that it helps us to experience the present moment. It is interesting that most of the time we live either in the past or in the future. And we hardly know that we are living in the past and living in the future because sometimes it happens habitually, mechanically, unconsciously. So here again awareness helps us to realise how we are using the past and the future in ways which can create problems for ourselves and for others.

Our Own Suffering

What awareness helps us to experience is how sometimes – or even most of the time – we create our own suffering. When we see with awareness how we create our own suffering, then it becomes clear that it is only we who can free ourselves of the suffering that we have created. Sometimes I like to define meditation as a way of discovering the medicine for the sickness that we create ourselves.

Being Present

An important aspect of meditation which can help us to work with human beings becoming more and more mechanical is the practice of awareness, the practice of being present. It’s a practice of being alert and awake. And like meditation of loving-kindness, this aspect of being aware also has many benefits. One is, it helps us to be conscious, it helps us to know what is happening in us, in our mind and body, from moment to moment as far as possible. And this awareness can help us to develop insight, to see what are we doing to ourselves and to others. Again to see how we create suffering in ourselves and how we create suffering in others.


Another way meditation of loving-kindness can help us is that, due to different reasons, we may have what I call psychological wounds: wounds created in the past, wounds in relation to what you have done to others, wounds in relation to what others have done to you. And I think there is no human being who has not been wounded in their life. I think a great source of suffering in the modern world is holding onto these wounds, and these wounds can generate lots of suffering for oneself and lots of suffering for others.

Meditation of loving-kindness helps us to heal these wounds by learning to forgive ourselves and learning to forgive others. It’s only when we can heal these wounds that we are carrying that we really experience joy and peace in ourselves. And when we experience this joy and peace in ourselves, this can become infectious, it can affect others.

Best Friend

If you can be your best friend then naturally your behaviour will not be something unskilful, unwholesome to you, and you will create more and more happiness for yourself and for others. So meditation on loving-kindness helps us to open our hearts to ourselves and to others.


In this modern world one of the things that is happening because of mechanisation and industrialisation is that human beings are also becoming more and more machine-like, automatic. So in this connection meditation offers two very important solutions.

One point is that as human beings are becoming more and more like machines, they also, like machines, don’t seem to have feelings. One aspect of this lack of feelings is that people are becoming more and more violent: more and more violent towards themselves and towards others, and also even becoming violent towards the environment, the surroundings that we are living in. This is why the problem of environment and ecology has also become a very serious problem in the present world. In this connection meditation of loving-kindness is extremely helpful in working with this aspect of having a lack of feelings, a lack of warmth.A phrase that I often like to use is that meditation of loving-kindness helps us to be our best friend.

Your Way

It is interesting that whenever there is suffering, there is suffering because you want things your way, and this your way or my way is the result of the feeling that you are Somebody. So whenever we are suffering, just find out what is the idea, what is the model that you are holding on to which is now being challenged. It is always some idea of how it should be, how it must be according to the ideas the self has.

The Nature of Existence

If we insist that change should take place according to our own idea, then when there is change which does not correspond to that idea it leads to suffering. But by realising that this is the nature of existence, that it changes and that we have no control over change, then if you can be open to change in whatever form it arises, internally or externally, this will result in freedom.

And according to the Buddha, this fact of change and impermanence and this idea of no-self are very well inter-connected, inter-related. He has a very interesting argument. If we own things, if there really is an ego, a self, then we should be able to order things: Now things should happen in this way, according to my ideas. But as there is no self, no ego, we cannot do that. So therefore we have to see from the fact of change, that there is no self-identity, no agent, only the process of change itself.