Winter Message from John: Out of Sight – Out of Mind (OSOM)
Dear Friends in Dhamma
We welcome the new season of Winter.
This means that another season of our precious life has passed; the Autumn of 2017 has now gone for ever for us, remaining only as a memory.
Winter is a season where many things of nature are out of sight. The flowers and leaves of the trees, many animals and insects are around no longer and certainly the warmth has definitely disappeared. But all these things can still exist in our mind. They may be out of our eye sight but they do not need to be beyond our ‘mind-sight’.
This new season of Winter 2017 marks also, 6 months since I left Sydney. Sydney has been the place where I was born and raised. Where I was introduced to Buddhism and the Dhamma. Where I first joined the monastic Sangha.
Sydney has also been the place where I studied Psychology, developed my Private Psychology Practice WELL-AWARE-NESS, and also where I worked for many years both as a Psychologist and Meditation Teacher. Sydney is dear to me through the many people that have shared their time with me through the many Meditation Classes, Courses, Workshops and Retreats that I have given.
Sydney is also the place where I met my beloved partner Hanna and where we lived for many years.
Having left Sydney in early December 2016, around 6 months ago, I wonder how those of you who attended regular sessions of Meditation or Psychology with myself are going?
Are you continuing to live from a Mindful and Wise perspective, practicing the many things that we have reflected and discussed together?
Are you continuing to live from Wisdom and Compassion and find Meaning and Joy in your life?
With this in mind – I offer the follow reflection for your consideration, which I have called ‘Out of Sight – Out of Mind’ (OSOM).
We have all heard the expression, “Out of sight – Out of Mind”.
However this expression may have more meaning for us than that what we might have thought!
Basically, “Out of sight – out of mind” is saying that, if we cannot see something, then we are not thinking about it or being aware of it!
Okay, but how does this generally work for us and is it helpful or not? Are we using this idea to support our wellbeing or not?
Firstly, what is generally on our mind and that we are thinking about, even ruminating about?
Well, often a lot of negative and unhelpful things. Such things and thinking cause us to become upset, distressed, frustrated or furious about what has happened. Also we find ourselves worrying, stressing, struggling and suffering over things that haven’t happened yet!
So the distressed past and the disturbing future, is not actually in our eyesight, but it is in and on our mind; our ‘mind-sight’. Is this what the expression, ‘out of sight – out of mind’ is saying? No!
If we took heed of the saying, we would focus on what is in front of our eyes, just here – just now; being mindful and attentive to life happening. This would help us not be upset about the ‘has – been’ past or worrying about the ‘might – be’ future.
In many ways there are things that we could keep in mind, give thought to, mind-sight to; that may not be in front of our eyes. For example, the good we have done for others and the good that others have done for us. Also important Psycho-Spiritual skills and strengths, values and virtues – the Buddha’s Ten Paramita (Generosity, Morality, Renunciation, Wisdom, Energy, Patience, Honesty, Resolve, Kindness and Equanimity).
So, let’s get right with ‘Out of Sight – Out of Mind’ (OSOM). Let’s use the Buddha’s idea of ‘Right Effort’ to:
Avoid and Abandon being caught into negative thinking and mind states.
Develop and Maintain attention to the NOW with Mind-Sight and thought to the good, the worthwhile and the wonderful.
Let’s Mind-Sight this!
Kind Regards and Best Wishes for a warm, healthy and happy Winter 2017
John – Javano