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

Rational and Irrational Fear

Sometimes I think it is helpful to draw a distinction between rational and irrational fear.

In the case of irrational fear we have a chance to work with it. This is the important thing for us as meditators. We can see very clearly, how thoughts can create stories. A very important discovery to make. So sometimes it is just an innocent thought that comes and then you start imagining, and how this can even result in your panicking is a very important realisation. To see how from one condition arising there is a vicious circle activated in the creation of fear. In the case of rational fear you know that there is an objective fact and that is the end of it, that is it. But the impact it has on the person, whether it is rational or irrational is the same.

So with meditation, with awareness, we might be able to make these discoveries. And what is also important is to work with our fear in this way.


There is an interesting text in which the Buddha describes how he worked with fear before he became enlightened. So he was meditating in the forest. And then when he would do walking meditation in the night, because of the sounds he heard, he would have certain fears arising in his mind. And it says in the text, in whatever posture he was meditating in when fear arose, he would not change the posture. So if he was doing walking meditation, while walking, without running, he would watch, observe and confront that fear, try to understand that fear and work it through.

Life and Death

In nature you get death and life co-existing together. They are not separate. They are inter-related, inter-connected. This is how we should see life and death. Not to see them as separate but to see how they are connected, inter-related. Then ideally, whether you live or die it makes no difference. Then you know the way to live and you know the way to die.

Death is the most certain thing in life, and what is unfortunate is that we forget the most certain thing in life and get involved in other things that are uncertain. But if you can be with this most certain thing in life, then when we encounter it, either in ourselves or in others it doesn’t affect us in the same way.

In Buddhist meditation this reflection on death plays a very important role in the practice. In Sri Lanka, in forest meditation centres, when you visit such places you see skeletons being used by meditating monks to remind them of the fact of impermanence and the fact of death.