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.

Unpleasant Sensations

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It is extremely important to learn to work with unpleasant sensations in whatever forms they arise in the body. Just by knowing them and learning to make friends with them, not to see them as problems: that is the practice, because while meditating if you learn to handle these unpleasant sensations that arise then in everyday life when they arise you know how to handle them. So it is very helpful that these unpleasant sensations arise when you are meditating.

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Am I Doing it Right?

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Meditation is just knowing whatever is happening in our mind and body without being concerned: Am I doing it right? Am I doing it wrong? Is it very strange that this should happen?
Just to know what is happening, and can you say okay to whatever is happening, especially if it is unpleasant.

Every Thought

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We should try to observe every thought. Can you be conscious of every thought that arises in your mind? And it is very important to learn to observe thoughts without judging them: this is delicate, this is not delicate, this is good, this is bad. Without judging, without giving plusses and minuses, can we just observe the thoughts as they arise and as they pass away?

Meditating

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Close your eyes and spend some time just learning to relax yourself, just to relax your body. Just to feel comfortable with yourself.

Spend some time feeling happy that you are meditating now. Feeling good about what you are trying to learn.
Just know from moment-to-moment what you are hearing, the thoughts that you are having, the sensations you are experiencing in the body.

It is something very simple that everyone can do. What is important is to be alert, to be awake, to be present, to be alive from moment-to-moment.

If you become sleepy and drowsy, open your eyes.

We hear sounds, we have thoughts, we experience sensations, we may be having emotions; just knowing from moment-to-moment all these things that are happening. Making friends with them, learning to say okay to them.

If you are having any unpleasant sensations in the body just be open to them, make friends with them, be aware of them. It’s like learning to say okay to the noises that you are hearing.

Do you know each thought that arises and passes away in your mind?

Just Being Open

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Please do not have high expectations that you are going to achieve something very special. Meditation is nothing special. It’s just being open to ordinary things. It’s nothing extraordinary. Please remember that. Please realise that. This is something beautiful about meditation.

So it is not results that we are going to achieve but the practice itself, that is the result; knowing what is happening is the result, not what comes after. Please remember this. Maybe in our culture there is a lot of emphasis on being goal-oriented, on achieving results. But in meditation the result is the practice. This is what is very interesting about meditation. The result is just being open, knowing what is happening from moment-to-moment, experiencing every moment.

Self-Confidence

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Try to develop self-confidence. To have the self-confidence that you can handle whatever is arising in your mind and body. In meditation this is very important, to have this self-confidence; just to know what is happening in the mind and the body, and then learning from them, being open to them.

Like Children

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Try to be like children, trying to learn, making discoveries about what is happening in our mind and body. It is very important to have this childlike quality of learning, finding out, being curious about what is happening in our mind and body, which is something we take for granted.

Try to see meditation as a voyage of self-discovery, and if we can have this openness then we can learn from any experience we are having. It can be pleasant, it can be unpleasant, but learning to ask the questions: What can I learn from this? What does it show to me? This kind of attitude to meditation is very important.

Slow Down

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Let us learn to slow down. I know in Cities you have to move very fast because the speed of life there is very fast. Let’s make it a point to learn to relax and just do things very slowly. Slowly and also in a very relaxed way.

Another suggestion I would like to offer is the practice of silence. I know it is very difficult for some people to be silent because it is a very strong habit that we have to speak. So let us make an effort just to be silent with ourselves and you will see a connection between awareness, mindfulness, and silence. The more aware you are, the more silent you become and when you are silent, mindfulness will come naturally. You’ll enjoy the space that silence creates in your mind.

Another aspect of silence is learning to be alone with ourselves. We have become so dependent on external things. So try just to be friendly with ourselves and see whether we can be in our own company and enjoy our own company. Learning to be our best friend. It is very important to make this connection with ourselves where we see ourselves as the most precious friend we have.

Just Knowing

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In meditation a very important aspect is the practice of awareness, mindfulness, just knowing what is happening in our mind and body from moment to moment. And even if it is unpleasant experience, even if it is something you consider strange, just know that it is happening rather than be worried, thinking: Am I doing it rightly? Is it normal to experience these things? It is not necessary to have such thoughts but just know that this is what I am feeling, this is the sensation I am experiencing.

Another important aspect related to this is to be mindful, to be aware with loving-kindness, just knowing what is happening with friendliness. It can be like a mother who is just watching, observing her only child with gentleness, with openness.

To Experience Freedom

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When we sit to meditate, please don’t have any expectations of what should happen or what shouldn’t happen. And without any expectations you just know whatever is happening. What is important is not to judge, not to give a plus, not to give a minus, but just know from moment to moment what is happening in your mind and body, with some openness.

The whole idea of meditation is to experience freedom, to be free of suffering, but sometimes the way we try to meditate with all our expectations, we create suffering for ourselves. So if we have an expectation that our minds should be calm, that we should be having only positive experiences, then if they arise what we do is hold onto them. And when we are unable to hold onto them, that creates suffering. And then when the mind is not calm, when the mind is not relaxed, you will think you’re not meditating rightly and then that is creating suffering. So without this idea of positive and negative, just be open, just be friendly to whatever is happening from moment to moment with awareness – that can give us immediate freedom.