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.

Category: Meditation and Mindfulness



One thing which we can discover with more and more awareness and slowing down is the intention that arises before doing something. We do things so quickly, so fast, that we hardly catch ourselves intending to do it. And with more and more observing the intention, you will realise that there is more and more awareness, so there is a connection between observing the intention and the practice of awareness.

And catching our intention has very important implications, so that we will not rush into things, especially in everyday life. Before we speak, if we can catch ourselves with whatever we were going to say, I think we will not hurt others and we will not be using our speech in an unwholesome or unskilful way.

Slowing Down


You can sustain awareness just by slowing down. As you know, when we move in a very fast vehicle we are not able to notice the things that are around us. If you want to see your surroundings very sharply, very clearly, then the vehicle has to go very slowly. So it’s only when we can really slow down that we can see very sharply, very clearly, what is happening in our mind and body from moment to moment. In the same way, we can notice external things very sharply and clearly.



Something that can help you in your practice in daily life is having spiritual friends. It is a beautiful relationship, a beautiful friendship to have, where you learn to grow together, to be a mirror to each other. It’s good to join a meditation group, or even to start up a small group yourself. Just two or three people meeting periodically. Sitting together, discussing, doing meditation on loving-kindness, chanting and so on. This can be something that will really help us to integrate our meditation with everyday life.



In relation to loving-kindness one can also develop gratefulness. It is such a beautiful quality, but we don’t really use this beautiful, wonderful quality. There are so many things that we can be grateful for, even very little things, but we take them for granted. For example, it is such a beautiful gesture just before we eat to feel grateful for our food. Feel grateful that we have eyes to see, there are people who cannot see. Feel grateful that we can hear, there are people who cannot hear. Feel grateful that we have awareness, there are human beings who have problems in their minds and they don’t know what awareness and attention is. When you practise awareness, you can feel grateful for being able to do so.

If we can see little things in this way, then we learn to feel grateful for so many things around us. Feel grateful for the computer, feel grateful for the telephone. Feel grateful for the job you are doing, for it gives you a profession and money. Feel grateful for the boss who is teaching you, because you have a guru in the office. Feeling grateful is another way of saying: “No complaints.” You are content with what is happening: “No complaints.”

Welcome Emotions You Don’t Like


Another aspect of meditation of loving-kindness is learning to make friends with whatever is happening, especially if it is unpleasant. This perspective can be used in relating to people you don’t like and in relating to emotions you don’t like. When such an emotion comes, just make an effort to make friends with it, to welcome it. There will be such a difference. When practising meditation of loving-kindness your relationships are bound to improve. To communicate with loving-kindness to others is a beautiful way to relate to oneself and relate to others.

Heal the Wounds


I always emphasise meditation of loving-kindness very much. I also try to use meditation of loving-kindness in different ways. One way is using this meditation to heal the wounds that are created in everyday life when you are bound to have difficulties in relationships. What is important is to discover a tool for healing them. So here meditation of loving-kindness can be something very, very useful.

Welcome Them


In everyday life negative feelings are bound to arise so don’t be surprised, don’t give them a minus, and don’t give yourself a minus. Welcome them and see how far you can work with them, use them as your object of meditation. Sometimes you will succeed, sometimes you will fail. When you succeed you can say: “Well, the medicine is working.” And when you don’t succeed you can say: “Well, now I can’t take the medicine, but I’ll go home and take the medicine later.” Then when you go home you can just take your mind back and see exactly what happened, why you got angry, what really provoked you. This is reflecting, this is taking the medicine, and our so-called failures become learning experiences. Life is not like Holland which is always flat; life will have many ups and downs. So when there is a big up, don’t give it a big plus, and if you’re down, don’t give it a big minus. Both are just learning experiences, so try to feel grateful for both situations.

Back to Everyday Life


Often meditators experience calmness and clarity in a retreat situation. They experience a sense of space and loving-kindness and they are hoping to continue that back home. This is the main problem in retreats: our monsters can go to sleep in a retreat, it happens very easily. Naturally, when you go back to everyday life they wake up and are very powerful, very active: “Now it is our chance!” That’s why it is important to keep them awake during a retreat, playing with them, working with them, understanding them, creating space for them.

So-Called Failures


In everyday life there will probably come situations where we might fail in our practice, so what I want to suggest is that if such a thing were to happen to you in everyday life, don’t be surprised. We’re still human, and as we are still human it is possible that we’ll make some unexpected mistake. Here again, without giving it a minus, without feeling bad about it, without feeling the urge to give up your practice because something unexpected has happened, see if you can learn from it. Say to yourself: “What really happened to me?” In a very friendly, gentle way we can learn from our so-called failures.

Beginner’s Mind


One thing I have been encouraging meditators to do is to experiment, to explore, to discover and find out for themselves. Learn to be your own teacher, especially in daily life. Make your own discoveries about unpleasant experiences like physical and mental pain, and also about positive experiences like joy and bliss.

A point related to this is to have what is called “a beginner’s mind”, or “a don’t-know mind.” This is about having a mind that is humble. With that humility we have the openness to learn from anything and anyone. We can learn from a tree, a bird, an animal or a child. When you have this openness they also can be our teachers.

In this connection I would like to share an incident that happened to me some years ago. I was giving a retreat and it was the last day of the retreat. There was an elderly woman there, and in our final discussion she told the group that whatever she had learned from the retreat she had already learned from her dog! So I asked her: “Please tell me something more about your dog.” She said: “Well, you told us to be in the present moment, and that’s how my dog is; you told us to feel grateful for things, and that’s what my dog is; you did something in the retreat called yoga, and that is what my dog does.” In desperation I asked her: “Is there no difference between your dog and me?” “Yes”, she said, “there is one difference. You talk a lot, but my dog doesn’t!”

I was very much impressed with her, the way she was really learning from a dog. In our everyday life, to have this quality is something very important and beautiful.