Starry Starry Night

art, Buddhism, Education, Health, Life Writing, Love and Compassion

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There are many, many pleasant and wonderful things about the country. One of them is that if you find yourself waking up very early in the morning, like at 2am, it is not a disturbing thing. What instantly strikes your awareness, warming your heart and calming your mind, is the blissful, peaceful serenity that pervades the air, fragrant with the sweet smell of eucalypt gums, the rich earth and the luminous, crystal clear, star studded sky all around you. Out here, there is no relentless drone of traffic humming endlessly through the night. No pollution to clog up your lungs and poison your airways, no trams, trains, buses or trucks to remind you of the frenetic pace of city life. As modern cities, lost in their directionless pursuit to become 24/7, sleepless buzz points on the globe, the country wisely says, no thanks, and continues on with its timeless embrace of the way mother earth has functioned for millions and millions of years. There is no rushing around to be found out here, just an empty, quiet road, and a people that know when the sun sets and the day is over, it is time to rest one’s weary bones and just be still.

As I sit here, sipping my soothing cup of tea, sitting in the dark next to gently crackling, golden, radiating fire, I listen to the gentle tumbling of water sliding and bubbling over river rocks, meandering it’s way slowly, gently, sometimes rapidly away from its pristine, mountain source, down through the valley, on its way through lush, green, and bountiful farmland pastures and beyond. And one can hear the blessed croaking of frogs, reminding you that out here things are still clean. When you find yourself short on sleep on a night out in the country, you are greeted instead with a harmonious and meditative zone of peace. This country is a tranquil haven that allows one to relax, reflect and to just stop thinking altogether. One is free to enjoy the expansiveness of one’s own consciousness, silent, without tension or stress, open, clear and free.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2020

Life Story of Vanessa Anne Walsh

Buddhism

September 8, 2020

Vanessa Anne Walsh September 2020

It’s been a while since I have kept a journal. I have considered blogging about being middle aged, although I wonder if I will live to see 100 years.

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We are in stage four restrictions of the covid 19 lockdown. I haven’t seen many friends for many months. Whatty whatty?

I am endeavouring to start a Jenny Craig diet and see if I can lose between 20 and 23 kilos. I weigh 87.45 kilos (weight taken in the morning was 86.60 kilos). At 2pm it was 87.45 kilos. I have reduced the amount of tea I drink, and I am choosing water instead. I don’t know if I want to publish this yet. I had two alcoholic drinks today, because I have suffered from a bad case of loong over the years. 

I woke around 8am and had breakfast around 9am. I had a cheese and chive omelette, which I heated in the oven for about twenty minutes. It was really nice and one drink of gin with tonic. Not diet tonic, which I need to buy from the supermarket. I understand the diet is supposed to be without alcohol, but I was feeling stressed when I woke up, so I had a little drink. All the neurotics are going to curse me for doing that of course, which is why this journal will probably just stay private. There. How do you open up and just speak the truth in this society, without fear of a backlash?

You can just hear people say, too early to start and so forth. I meditated for the rest of the morning until 12:15pm, then heated a spaghetti bolognese, which I had at 12:45pm. It was very nice, and I had a whiskey with diet coke as well. Just a small glass. Now, apparently I’m just no good and not following the diet properly.

At 1:15pm, I went for a half hour walk just locally, and wore the face mask, which we all have to do these days. I was generally very puffed, and I know I am overweight. So here’s the awful set of statistics; blood pressure taken at 1:51pm, read 156 over 91, and a heart rate of 91 beats. 

I can just imagine what people are saying. Things need to improve. Alright then. So I’ll blog about it, and see whether weight loss over time makes me look better physically. I have a shocking BMI as well. 29.1 and in the overweight range. What could be worse? Dementia? 

As far as I’m concerned the compassion and emptiness meditations have been going well. We’ll just have to see how I climb out of this covid 19 crisis. See. This is the thing. I haven’t had covid 19 and I’m not going to get it either. 

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2020

Meditating on emptiness and compassion is not a taboo.

Woman’s Day – How I coped

art, Buddhism, Culture, Fashion, Freedom, Happiness, Health

How Vanessa Anne Walsh went from this

cropped-geshel-me-coffee-3.jpg

to this

Vanessa Anne Walsh May 2020

The tears and the heart ache.

No hair. No makeup.

Renunciation, bodhicitta and correct view helps.

Even the Prime Minister wants to speak to me.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2020

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The Beat Box

art, Buddhism, Culture, Education, ethics, Happiness

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The language of love does not, in any way, correspond with the language of desire[1].

When one person, or even one being, loves another, their primary concern always lies with how to remove the suffering and pain of another. It begins, continues and ends with thinking about ways to bring pleasure and happiness to another, and will even focus upon the needs and wishes of all beings. This is not because it is trying in any way to deceive another simply to fulfill its own selfish gratifications.

Love aims to avoid creating losses for another person or being. Simply, it aims to protect the integrity, morality and self-respect of another person. Desire attempts to do the opposite. Desire does not care if damage is created in the experience of another person. It cares nothing for the self-respect, morality or aims of another.

Love aims to protect and nurture the happiness, contentment and health of people and all beings. It has no interest in trampling on the needs of others in order to bring about some superficial, short-lived and impermanent experience of satisfaction.

In my experience, the Buddha will think, devise and perform limitless actions aimed at protecting, nurturing and sustaining the happiness and fulfillment of another person. He has no commonality whatsoever in the mundane, selfish and destructive motivations of ordinary, self-possessed beings. An ordinary being, on the other hand, has no thought or care about the consequences of his self-centred actions. An ordinary being with no insight or love will, without hesitation, create suffering and misery in the mind and
experience of another. True, deep, endless love, aims to transcend the boundaries of space, thought and time. It can move beyond the limitations of the human form and reach far into the realms of space to bring peace, contentment and joy.

May all beings identify, recognize and be conjoined with the supramundane love of a Buddha. May they transcend their sufferings and recognize without any shadow of a doubt, that a Buddha can and will free all beings from their limited, miserable lives and transport them to a state of never-ending happiness, peace and everlasting joy.

[1] Desire means thirst. Like drinking salt water. A taste that cannot be satisfied.

Copyright © Geshe Vanessa Pollock Rinpoche 2015.

One of the long discourses of the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni – part one

Buddhism, Culture, Education, ethics, Health, Human Rights

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This is the beginning of a story from the days and nights of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni that we hear from the sutra.

Lord Buddha Shakyamuni was walking along the road near Rajgir followed by a procession of 500 monks. Following the Lord Buddha and the procession of 500 monks was Supiya, a wanderer and his pupil Bramadhata.

Supiya was arguing with Bramadhata over the need to praise the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Supiya was suggesting that it’s not necessary to praise the Lord Buddha. Bramadhata, the pupil of Supiya was contesting that indeed, it is both necessary and wise to praise the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Supiya was a bit heated, but Bramadhata discussed that it is indeed a safe, reliable and valid action of the body, speech and mind to praise the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

After a while, the Lord Buddha and his procession of five hundred monks reached their shelter for the night. Lord Buddha Shakyamuni rested whilst the monks gathered to discuss the days events.

After some time, the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni approached the monks and requested politely that they please explain what they, the monks, had been discussing together. The monks said, they had been discussing why Supiya, the wanderer was fuming over the need to praise, prostrate to and value the Lord Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.

Lord Shakyamuni spoke gently and calmly about the need to abandon following the Lord Buddha with a deluded mind. Specifically, Lord Buddha said it is indeed wrong to follow the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha with the delusion of arrogance or pride.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2020

What? Do I have to spell it out to you? Make an offering!

Buddhism, Education, ethics, Human Rights, Media, Medicine

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If I don’t get paid, you don’t get helped. This isn’t free. Well, if you want to get something, learn to be nice. You have $5.00, so stop being so miserly. I have been running this blog for twelve years, and no-one has been honest enough to make a donation into my bank account. PayPal only recently introduced this payment facility to this blogging service, but I gave you my bank details, so stop stealing. Hard huh? What do you want me to say?

James Packer’s $100m farewell gift wrapped in a private equity riddle

Buddhism, Culture, Education, Health, Media, Philosophy

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James Packer 2020 2

Really? The Australian told us it was $200 million. Got money James? Pity about the lack of wisdom and compassion. Like splashing the cash and talking blood, bones and money? Where are you going in your next rebirth? Hell?

So this slut is suiting your needs? What? Like financially?

How’s scientology serving you these days? Difficult, isn’t it, not following a genuine saint and philosopher, mind scientist doctor of medicine, art, religion and logic?

What? You like giving your cash to the genocidal maniacs from China? What’s wrong with you James? You are afraid to feel the pain of the community. You think you are better? How so? You have no ethics, concentration, or wisdom. Where is your good heart?

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2020

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If I don’t get paid, you don’t get helped. This isn’t free. Well, if you want to get something, learn to be nice. You have $5.00, so stop being so miserly. I have been running this blog for twelve years, and no-one has been honest enough to make a donation into my bank account. PayPal only recently introduced this payment facility to this blogging service, but I gave you my bank details, so stop stealing. Hard huh? What do you want me to say? You’re a pig if you don’t pay.

 

The Buddha’s Begging Bowl

Buddhism, Culture, Diet, Education, ethics, Food, Health, Medicine

Photo on 20-5-20 at 8.44 pm

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The word ‘diet’ has several different meanings. The Collins Dictionary defines it to be ‘the food and drink one regularly consumes’. An alternative to that is the definition given in A Kind Diet, which states that diet is “a way of living, or thinking, a day’s journey.”

The time we spend on shopping for food, planning our meals, thinking about what it is we like and do not like to eat and what adheres to the medical profession’s recommendations surrounding the subject of diet is indeed considerable. We spend many of our waking hours working out this basic survival function and the money that goes towards keeping this human body of ours in good shape and healthy is enormous. Having thought about that, and briefly looked into some popular diet trends that are heavily advertised on local media, I thought to divert away from the consumerist approach to food for a moment and consider the Buddha’s teaching on non-attachment.

One symbol the Buddha employed as a means to convey his teaching on non-attachment was the use of an alms or begging bowl. Alms are charitable donations of money or goods to the poor or needy, yet the Buddha was neither of these things, so why bother with the use of a begging bowl? The alms bowl is considered to be symbol of the monastic life or life of a renunciate, and an aid to the life of the holy and those interested in seeking the truth. Once made from clay, which broke easily, the bowls were then forged with iron for added durability.

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Specifically, the alms bowl refers to the time in the Buddha’s life just before he attained enlightenment, when a young girl, named Sujata offered the Buddha a bowl of milk rice. Although the Buddha was practicing the austerity of eating only a little food at the time, he realized that to achieve the final stages of enlightenment, he would need to partake of the offering of rice from Sujata. After partaking of the meal, one tradition states that the Buddha then threw away the small amount of food left in that bowl to symbolize the Buddha’s complete non-attachment to material possessions. Another legend tells the story that the Buddha threw away the begging bowl itself into the river to symbolize the mind of non-attachment.

The point of all this is to question the validity, or lack thereof, of the attached state of mind itself. The mind of attachment is traditionally explained in Buddhist philosophy to be a mind that exaggerates the good qualities of an object and ignores it’s perhaps less apparent flaws. One apparent flaw in all objects of this world is their impermanent nature. Of the Four Seals of Buddhism, the first is that all compounded phenomena are suffering. The second is that all contaminated objects are impermanent.

What do we mean we use the word stained or contaminated to describe states of mind and actions?

Stained or contaminated actions are actions, emotions or thoughts polluted by selfish attachment, or by hatred, greed or ignorance. Such actions motivated by these negative states of mind always result in suffering.

When motivated by an attached state of mind, we cling onto material possessions, relationships or even ideas, and fail to recognize intransigent and impermanent nature of the object. That does not mean to say that we are not in need of food and other such things to ensure our survival and good health. It does indicate however, that having a more open and loving outlook towards other beings is more important. Given the violent nature of our human history and past, the gross lack of regard for the lives of others and destruction of the environment and other species, it is most definitely time to act to lighten our environmental footprint and reduce our grasping towards the status symbols of the wealthy. Instead of spending big bucks on expensive living and chasing the latest fad or diet trend, I suggest that there is much more happiness and satisfaction to be gained and maintained from living a more moderate and simple lifestyle with a focus more upon ensuring a happy state of mind. If we spent more time ensuring our mind itself is in a positive and peaceful state, through the practice of meditation, this would naturally lead to a more balanced and healthy lifestyle which would not only benefit the practitioner, but others on the planet as well.

I will leave you here with a totally different interpretation of the word diet, from one of the founders of Buddhist literature and Mahayana thought. The great Nagarjuna once wrote of the Five Diets being;

The Diet of Concentration

The Course Diet

The Inner Diet

The Diet of Touch and

The Diet of Volition.

The symbol of the Buddha with an alms bowl is an important director of peace, happiness and prosperity to keep in mind as we go about our daily habit of foraging for food, drink and clothing, if in the least to try to minimize our ever-expanding impact on this precious planet.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2020

What? Do I have to spell it out to you? Make an offering!

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If I don’t get paid, you don’t get helped. This isn’t free. Well, if you want to get something, learn to be nice. You have $5.00, so stop being so miserly. I have been running this blog for twelve years, and no-one has been honest enough to make a donation into my bank account. PayPal only recently introduced this payment facility to this blogging service, but I gave you my bank details, so stop stealing. Hard huh? What do you want me to say? You’re a pig if you don’t pay.

Welcome to the Jungle – Bringing Meaning Back into the Media Space

art, Buddhism, Culture, Education, Movies, wisdom culture

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Just taking some notes, really. Do you remember The Dead Pool, starring Clint Eastwood, Jim Carrey and Liam Neeson? Funny stuff really. First of all, did you root for Clint’s character or the Mafia?

In this society, who in reality is really innocent? This is a funny turn of phrase. If we were all Buddhas, there would be no negative karmas to extinguish. But clearly, from my point of view, I don’t believe humans are that well developed. Now that is actually a good point for debate. Did we actually advance from the time of Guru Buddha Shakyamuni, or just go backwards, into a state of degradation and decline? This is what The Lord Buddha Shakyamuni referred to as the age of degeneration.

Let’s just discuss the first scene. The poor cop, just driving either to or from or where to, get’s shot at by a bunch of narcissists. Why? Does anyone ever bother to question. Doesn’t he too, in reality have a negative mind, poisoned by attachment, hatred and ignorance, jealousy, pride and wrong view? Death and impermanence is in fact, just a day to day reality for the majority of ordinary humans. Or not? Is he really a Bodhisattva (a Buddha to be) or a pure reality? Judging from the amount of shots fired towards the cop, one could refreshingly state that this is really just a load of bullshit. No-one could ever really survive such an attack. So the movie has no value, even from this early opening position. Hollywood, why are you so stupid?

But it, (the movie) was so popular in its time. Why so? Are the people, its audience really that stupid? One would have to conclude, yes. Do you have any questions? A valid cognition knows and understands of no such reality. A valid mind, a valid cognition and a valid speech, goes beyond such a degraded cycle of misery and suffering. That society, the one where outcasts live in tall buildings, that they are wildly told is some sort of icon proclaiming development, is really just a terror to the mind and body. A no mans land, devoid of spiritual freedom and validity, an encasement or shell, actually in reality just a symbol of a lack of love, happiness, inner peace and true understanding of compassion, patience, wisdom and joy.

The average person, in reality, is not smart enough to support such a structure, without having to violently resort to a great deal of negative action, of body, speech and mind. So, on this level, The Dead Pool speaks to this utterly false assumption. That such a society is a necessity to mankind. These days, false, abortive governments only seem to speak of the need for continuous growth. This places the people of such conditions under the most absurd and negative pressure.

Copyright © Bodhi Gyatso 2015

Mum and the funny fart joke

Buddhism, Culture, Education, ethics

Photo on 21-10-2016 at 10.14 am

Firstly, I don’t look like Susan Coates. Kelsang says, I look like Anne. Hmmm, well that’s my name, Vanessa Anne Walsh

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Mum has a good day and wow, she’s even looking good, says Merlin.

How is your accommodation these days, after covid-19? Merlin says, I don’t want to say.

Mum, Mary and many children agree the internet and computers, banking and cooking are all wonderful today. Tenzin says, are they? If you post this to facebook, you will get some response. That is Tara Institute. They are all struggling. Geshe Doga is not joking. Where is Merlin de Rozel Allan? His Holiness says, keep doing. His Holiness says, I don’t think he is going to like that very much. He is very tired. Khensur Rinpoche says, that’s one way of handling it. Alan is a selfish prick to the meditator. That’s where the Molloy’s are bad. Just say.

Hang up. Bye.

Photo on 20-5-20 at 12.51 pm

It’s not really a house is it?

The emptiness of the self is clear to see, if you learn to master all three stages of the path to Buddhahood. This is why you need a copy from Wisdom Publications or Tara Institute of Pabongka Rinpoche’s text, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand.

Hang up.

This is the conversation online. It is just really, really mental. His Holiness says, just say that. Poor Queen Elisabeth. What sort of a whore is Shirley Bassey? Why don’t you just take refuge in the three jewels and generate bodhicitta? Samsara, suffering cyclic existence is just cruel and everyone needs to get over this disease of the body, speech and mind. Om mani padme hum. Om many padme hum. Om mani padme hum. Arya’s think differently and they are far more reliable than the worldly to rely upon, seek refuge in, turn to for guidance and follow religiously.

Shirley Bassey is a slut. Why don’t you just take your whole dress off? It would be funny if you just farted. What would possess you to do that? Lust.

What next?