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: January, 2021

Joy and Bliss

It’s a very important aspect of the practice to experience joy and bliss in meditation. So when joy and bliss arise, when the body trembles, just know that the body is trembling, just try to find out what exactly is the sensation you are experiencing and just be with the sensation. What is important when we have these positive emotions is not to hold onto them.

Not to be Affected

I would like to present a Buddhist simile which shows how we can live in any environment and learn how not to be affected by that environment. And the simile is a lotus flower. As you know, a lotus flower grows in muddy waters. But though it is surrounded by muddy, dirty water the lotus is not affected by what is around it.

So in this modern world, there can be lots of challenges, lots of difficult situations, lots of problems that might arise, but with the practice of meditation we’ll be able to see them as challenges and learn, like a lotus, not to be affected by the surroundings that we find ourselves in.

Our Own Teacher

Meditation helps us to learn to be our own teacher, to be self-reliant, to have complete confidence in ourselves. This is a hard teaching but it’s a very important teaching: to develop your own resources, to develop your own self-reliance, to develop your own tools, how to work with suffering when it arises. So what is the result of that? We learn to take responsibility for what is happening in us, without blaming others, without blaming the surroundings that we find ourselves in. When such a change takes place in our minds, then we’ll be able to handle whatever arises in a particular environment, in whatever surroundings we find ourselves.

Unpleasant Emotions

I think everyone is familiar with other unpleasant emotions like anxiety, fear, sadness, guilt – all these are quite familiar to us. And what normally happens is that when we experience them, we have no way, we have no tools to work with them. So human beings have become helpless victims of these unpleasant emotions which really control us, overwhelm us and affect us. In meditation, there are techniques and ways to work with these unpleasant emotions. In fact there has been a very interesting book, “Emotional Intelligence”. The author, who is a Buddhist, says that human beings are trying to develop more and more high I.Q., but what is more important is to develop an intelligent way of working with emotions. This book has become a best-seller, and there have been lots of workshops on this problem, because in this modern world unpleasant emotions are a real challenge.

So here again, meditation, especially the aspect of awareness, helps us to work with these emotions. One method is not to repress them, not to control them, nor to express them but just to be aware of the emotions when they are there. In fact in meditation there are other tools, techniques, for working with these emotions. We cannot prevent these emotions from arising but what we can learn is how to work with them when they arise rather than continue to suffer as a result of them.