Vanessa went to school training as a private school student in Anglicanism, in Melbourne, Australia. I studied the Bible when I was just young, memorizing verses to read at recital. We received religious instruction and in many ways, Her Royal Highness, Queen Elisabeth was a very good teacher and guide.
I used to win gold in the recital and when I was about eight years of age, the junior private school I attended asked me to read at Saint Pauls Cathedral in Melbourne for the end of year Christmas prayer and blessing. The Head Mistress praised me and said I did very well.
Vanessa felt very privileged to attend a private Anglican School. I used to sit quietly at lunch however, aghast at the bitchiness of other students. My father worked in the poorer suburbs of Melbourne to the north, delivering medicine to the newly settled Australian immigrant community. In Toorak, no-one really appreciated how a Brighton boy, who topped his years in medicine at Melbourne University, could suffer doing that job.
Sadly, as my father worked a seven day week, over the years the stress became too much. In my later years I would realize it was because my family, so keen on the worldly viewpoint, and even atheism, never dedicated time for rest and relaxation in a meditative understanding of the Lord or his word.
As a senior school student, we were to prepare for life as either a doctor or a lawyer. To achieve those sort of results was expected of us, and no less, having realised our parents worked hard to give us a good start in life. Appearances, however, are deceptive, and many wealthly families that I knew in the 1980’s, were in the throws of experiencing the demolition of getting blown apart by acrimonious argument and bitter divorce. I used to wonder what role did God play in all of this? What was the cause of so much unhappiness, suffering, uncertainty and upheaval?
I thought to myself, as I pondered and contemplated, should I commit to the vows of an Anglican whilst so many wealthly families were experiencing so much hatred, anger, unhappiness and failure? I looked at Lord Jesus, up there on the cross, being crucified, taking on the suffering of others, and subduing the poor and the wretched, what is wrong with life, with my life, so basic and uncertain?
Vanessa was taken on a pilgrimage through Sri Lanka when she was thirteen years of age, visiting several big Buddhas and a cutting grown large into a tree, from the original Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, India. Maybe this left some sort of blessing or impression, because I thought, God isn’t really answering my questions concerning suffering and it’s cause, so I determined to become a Buddha for the sake of all living beings, to solve life’s biggest questions and work my way out of the ignorance of a self, which is most surely the cause to all sin, negativity, delusion and non-virtue. I thought, only if I achieve enlightenment, can I really solve, and cessate suffering and it’s cause. I need to tread and traverse the path to the cessation of suffering and purify my delusions and negative karma and to accomplish the perfection of virtue in order to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings. That, to transcend suffering, the suffering of suffering, the suffering of change and all pervasive suffering; that is a meaningful goal and the meaning of life and that is how I want to work to overcome the misery of the human condition and all six suffering realms.
The saddest reality in my life is I did not know at the age of sixteen how to find a teacher in Buddhism, that is safe, reliable, valid and wise Guru. As I was living in Melbourne, Australia, Queen Elisabeth taught the Melbourne Girls Grammar School students British history, not the history of Asia, and in my early years, I was not fortunate enough to hear of Buddhims or the culture of Tibet. I basically knew nothing of Tibet, or the horrid invasion by the Chinese communists of this peaceful land, that occurred due to corruption in the Buddhist culture during the late 1950’s. As horrid as the Chinese communists are and of course how shocking the genocide, we didn’t hear of His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso, until I endured a long seven and suffering years just as I turned 23 years of age. Such was the non-virtue in the culture and of course due to my poor karma.
Twenty seven years on and many stories later, I have no regrets having made my decision to accomplish Buddhahood and find a safe, reliable and valid qualified spiritual guide. This His Holiness and his retinue do very well. I love Queen Elisabeth also. We are all spiritual practitioners with some good to offer. I oppose sectarianism and wrong view. It would be nice to accomplish a better understanding of what proper religious practice can achieve for oneself and one’s life.
That is what I am here to promote and teach.
Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019