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Blog Post

Summer 2018 Newsletter

Dear Friends

Welcome to Summer.

I trust this note finds you well and warm having arrived into our new month of December and the new Season of Summer.

It is now 2 years since I closed my Psychology Practice and Meditation Centre – WELL-AWARE-NESS in Sydney and made the move to live and work full time on the Far North Coast of NSW. I do hope that those of you that live in Sydney have been able to find a suitable replacement for what I offered in Sydney for many years. Certainly I still connect with a number of clients in Sydney through Skype or Phone Sessions and there are also those that visit me on the Tweed Coast from Sydney for Psychology Sessions or to attend the Day or Half-Day Meditation Retreats that I give.

This Sunday 2nd December just passed we had another of our Half Day Meditation Retreats here at Ratanagiri Retreat on the Tweed Coast.

This was our last Retreat for this year, making a total of 7 Half Day Retreats.

Our Retreat again was well attended and unlike our last Retreat in October which was a rainy day, this Sunday was warm and sunny offering the opportunity for Walking Meditation outside to complement our Sitting Meditation and Contemplation inside.

For those that attended I shared one of my favourite Verses of the Buddha, which we then contemplated and meditated upon line by line.

The Verse is below with the notes that I gave to the Retreat participants.

I share these with you all for your consideration.

A healthy mind is the greatest gain,

Contentment is the greatest wealth,

A trustworthy friend is the best of kin,

Unconditional Freedom is the highest bliss.

(The Buddha: Dhammapada verse 204)


Have you ever taken the time to pause and ponder on What is the Focus, Form and Function of your Life?

What are we hoping to fulfill with our life?  ‘What is a life well lived and what is the result of a life well lived?

Indeed, what is it that we aspire to or make the meaning, worthwhile gain or goal of our life?

Given that we all are alive; that we have life, it can be most important to consider these questions above and then check in and see if we are indeed leading our life in accordance with the result that we are wanting or expecting.

While the appreciation of the results of a life well lived may vary from person to person, the Buddha’s words in the Verse above from a collection of Verses called the Dhammapada, offers a wonderful statement of what may be considered worthwhile and important for us as human beings.

This Verse expresses a perennial wisdom in that it transcends time, place, customs, culture, gender and age.

The Verse states what is important in four main areas of our life – Health, Wealth, Relationships and Happiness.

We note that much of our current culture would see other things as important in those four domains. These might include: Physical Health and Beauty; Financial Success; Lots of fun-loving Friends; Sensory Pleasure as Happiness.

What the Buddha has stated in his Verse are in the domain of Psychological and Spiritual things rather than the ways and values of ‘the world’ or ‘worldliness’. This takes into consideration that whilst physical and material things are important and can bring some degree of pleasure and happiness, they are subject to change and demise. They are conditioned and conditional and thus not a sure, safe refuge or a reliable investment of our precious time and energy. The verse expresses what we may know, we just need to take it to heart and actualise it.

Take some time in being Mindful and Meditative to feel into each of the four statements of the Buddha.

Ask yourself:

  1. What does this statement mean for me?
  2. If the statement does align with my values, then how am I bringing this to fruition in my life?
  3. If something is hindering fulfilling the value the statement expresses, what can I do about this?
  4. Anything else I would like to feel or note about the statements or the Buddha’s Verse as a whole?



Again I will offer Half Day Meditation Retreats for 2019 and possibly a Full Day Meditation Retreat half way into the year.

The next Half-Day Meditation Retreat will be on:

Sunday 10th February from 10.00am – 1.00pm NSW time (9.00am – 12.00 noon QLD time) at Ratanagiri Retreat.

The theme of this retreat will be Meditations & Reflections for Coming to Our Senses.

Details of this will go onto the WELL-AWARE-NESS website soon.



Please note that the Monday Night Meditation Group at Ratanagiri Farrants Hill will have the last session for the year on Monday 17th December 2018.

The date back for the first session for the New Year is

Monday 14th January 2019 6.30pm – 7.30pm at Farrants Hill. See my website for details.



Thank you to all of you for your care and support through 2018. I especially thank all of you who have shared your time with me either by attending the Half Day Retreats or the Monday Night Meditation Group. I wish you all a wonderful end of year period for Christmas and the New Year  2019.

I hope that you have a Mindful and Restful break over the New Year period and hope to see you again in the New Year.

Kind Regards

John B.

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