End of Year Message from John
Welcome to another – Years End in this journey of Life.
Such a time offers us a powerful point to pause and ponder, look back and reflect on what has been this year.
What has been the worth of this year, another year of life for us?
Certainly, if we wish to live mindfully, consciously; to learn and grow through our life, then it is about the ‘getting of wisdom’.
At the time of certain experiences, especially the challenging ones, it can be difficult to stop and look at what we are learning, what we could or need to be learning. However, taking time to pause and ponder, contemplate and consider after the event, can be most helpful.
So, the event of another year in our life, another year of life, precious time and energy engaged and spent on this journey, this pilgrimage; what has been the worth of this for our selves’ and even for others close to us?
Before we enter and engage the New Year; in appreciation, gratitude and respect for life, our life; make and take some time to consider these questions:
1. What has occurred for me this year?
2. How did I experience these occurrences?
3. What have I learnt from these occurrences and from my life this year that will help me and those that I care about into the New Year and beyond?
4. Apart from what I have learned, what do I feel I need to learn or would like to learn that could help me and those that I care about into the New Year and beyond?
5. Is there anything Psychological that would be good to ‘let-go’ of before starting the New Year (such as anger, resentment, jealousy, fear)?
6. What might be a word or even a summary statement to describe my life this year; this year of my life?
7. Anything else I might like to consider or question about my life this last year?
We could say that the worth of our life is not so much what happens to us, but the wisdom and compassion, mindfulness and care that we develop through the course of our life.
Wisdom and Compassion, Mindfulness and Care are aids and allies in freeing the mind from confusion and selfishness. They lead to Real Happiness, Peace and Freedom. They benefit not just our selves’ but humanity and the world as a whole!
This time of year brings many remembrances.
On December 7th 1981 I left home and travelled to Wat Buddha Dhamma – a Buddhist Forest Monastery at Wisemans Ferry, to become a Buddhist Monk.
On December 9th 2016 I saw my last client in Sydney at WELL-AWARE-NESS at Ridge Street North Sydney. After receiving much help in packing, tidying and cleaning the building I departed Sydney on 14th December 2016, bound for my new life based on the Tweed Coast.
Whilst I have missed and continue to miss the many people that I connected with in Sydney as clients and participants of the Meditation Group and Retreats, I certainly have been well received into the area of the Tweed Coast.
When I left Monastic Life at the end of 1992 – now 25 years ago, I felt that there were those that would appreciate what I could offer as teachings on Buddhist Wisdom, Mindfulness and Meditation in Sydney, so too I have found great interest and support in this area of the Byron Coast, Tweed Coast / Valley and Gold Coast areas. I very much appreciate the support of several Doctors in the area that have continued to refer clients to me through this year. Many people have come to me through my website and by word of mouth. Interest in Meditation has supported the ongoing Monday Evening Meditation Group which has its last session for the year on Monday 18th December (6.30 – 7.30pm NSW time).
Our first Monday Meditation Group Session for 2018 will be on Monday 8th January.
The Half Day Meditation Retreats that I have been offering every couple of months have been well received and well attended. The last one for this year was on Sunday 3rd December on the theme of ‘ Make Up your Mind – to Make your Mind Up’. Developing Mindfulness through Meditation helps us to be more conscious to choose how we would like to feel and respond to life, rather than being caught in the default stress response.
The next Half Day Meditation Retreat will be on Sunday 4th February at ‘Ratanagiri’ at Farrants Hill (see website for details).
Each week I have been offering some ‘Words of Wisdom’ as a blog on my website and also onto Facebook. Feel free to have a look at these and make use of the points for reflection each week.
Thank you for your continued support of the work that I do, whether it be through sessions of Psychological Counselling, Meditation Group or Meditation Retreats. I wish you all a wonderful end of year that is pleasant and peaceful with some time to rest and relax, pause and ponder the year that has been.