Seventeen years ago, my mother lied to the mental health care service. My mother wrongly accused me of threatening her with a knife. No such incident occurred. Indeed no thought of threatening my mother ever occurred to me. My mother offered to act as a benefactor to assist me as a practicing Buddhist. My mother, Anne, said she was very happy to support my Buddhist practice. The thing was, when it came to paying the bill, however, she acted with malice and jealousy and lied about things to try and get out of supporting me financially.
I study the mind. I am a well studied Buddhist. Here is something of a list of my qualifications. (taken from my curriculum vitae posted on bodhicittamind.com and emptinessmind.com.)
As I have studied Buddhist philosophy and the science of mind and meditation for over twenty years, I feel this puts me in an excellent position to give well intentioned and meaningful advice to others on how to achieve a state of health and inner peace. Following is a list of just some of the courses, teachings, commentaries and Initiations I have studied and completed in Buddhist philosophy.
Venerable Geshe Doga’s Lam Rim Commentary held on Tuesday nights which lasted many years. In fact, I didn’t miss a single class in 11 years of attending Study Group and the only reason that record was broken was that I simply became too sick to continue.
Venerable Geshe Doga’s Commentary on Shantideva’s Guide to a Bodhisattva’s Way of Life on Wednesday nights over a similar period of time.
Venerable Geshe Doga’s Commentary on the Wheel of Sharp Weapons(over several years)
Gained precious insights into emptiness, learning how to penetrate reality through meditation on emptiness, attending The Penetrating Reality Course,September, 1992.
Studied The Jewel Rosary of an Awakening Warrior at a weekend Course, taught by Venerable Geshe Doga, Easter, 1993
Attended Venerable Geshe Doga’s Commentary on understanding the differences between love and attachment, May 1993 and July, 1997.
Learnt about the Seven-point Thought Transformation Technique in a weekend retreat held in 1993 and in July, 1997.
Completed the Vajrasattva Commentary in July, 1993 and again in September 1995, September, 1997 and September 2000.
Learnt how to cut though and overcome anger in May, 1994 and August, 1998.
Attended a talk Geshe Doga gave to the Healing Group, July, 1994.
Received the Commentary on the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation, in July, 1994, then again in August 1994 and May 1997.
Completed the Heart Sutra Commentary, October, 1994
Received the oral transmission of the Thirty-seven Practices of a Bodhisattva Commentary during May, 1995 and again in August of the same year and in April, 1999.
Studied how to develop patience in June, 1995.
Learnt about how to develop single-pointed concentration in October, 1995.
Studied the Four Noble Truths twice, once in April, 1998.
Completed the Taking Refuge Course held at Tara, in May, 1996 and in July 1998.
Received the commentary on The Three Principle Paths in May, 1996 and in April 2000.
Received the commentary on How to Develop Bodhicitta, in June, 1996.
Learnt all about Karma and how it functions, in July, 1996 and in October 1998.
Learnt about how to overcome Compassion Fatigue some time in 1996.
Completed the commentary on The Jewel Rosary of an Awakening Warrior in March, 1997.
Received the Commentary on the Four Immeasurable Thoughts twice, once in June 1997.
Learnt about How to Develop Compassion in October, 1997.
Received Geshe Doga’s commentary on the Foundation of all Good Qualities in April, 1998.
Received the Commentary on The Two Truths in June, 1998.
Learnt how to meditate on death and impermanence in September, 1998.
Received the Commentary on Developing Loving Kindness in November, 1998.
Studied about How to Meditate in February, 1999.
Learnt about How to be Happy in March, 1999.
Received the commentary on Developing Calm Abiding in April, 1999.
Studied the Seven-fold Cause and Effect in May, 1999.
Received the commentary on the Eight Mahayana Precepts in October, 1999.
Studied How to Develop Special Insight through the practice of emptiness in May, 2000.
Received the commentary on the Six Session Guru Yoga in July, 2000.
Attended the Six Yogas of Naropa Commentary in November, 2000.
Studied How to Develop Mindfulness and Alertness in June, 2000.
Attended the Tenets Teaching throughout 2001.
Attended the Lam Rim Condensed teachings in 2007.
Received the commentary on Aryadeva’s Four Hundred Verses, sometime in 2007.
Received the White Tara Initiation annually from 1992 – 2006.
Received the Green Tara Initiation in 2007 and several times prior to that.
Receive the 1000 Arm Chenrezig Initiation conferred by Ribur Rinpoche
Received the Vajrayogini Initiation (several times)
Received Manjushri, Chenrezig, Vajrasattva, and Medicine Buddha word empowerment from His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Received Om Mani Padme Hum empowerment from His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Parliament House Canberra 1997
Received commentary on Shantideva’s A Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life in Bodhgaya from His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Received White Tara Long Life empowerment form His Holiness the Dalai Lama Bodhgaya 2002, Sydney 1997, Geelong 2002
Received the Heruka Initiation from Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche at Atisha Centre, Bendigo
Received Yellow Manjushri Initiation from the Venerable Geshe Doga 2003
Did 25 weekend Nyung Nae fasting retreats on compassion, averaging 3 a year for seven or eight years from 1992 onwards.
Yamantaka Retreat Blue Mountains, 2015 with HHDL.
When I was falsely arrested by the police, I told the police they had been lied to. There was no checking of the source of the information they received. My mother lied, saying I threatened her with a knife, but no such event ever took place. Then the police didn’t check for validity. They didn’t realize my mother lied, that she is quite ill with delusion. The hospital refused to validate things either.
The mental health care system says it represents people on issues to do with the brain and the central nervous system. But the brain is not the mind. The psychiatrist doesn’t even study the mind. It studies the brain and the central nervous system. The mind has a subtle connection to the brain and the body. The body is the Om which is located at the crown, the speech is the Ah, located at the throat, and the mind is the HUM at the heart.
The mind rides on subtle wind within the channels and the chakras. There are six chakras and three channels. The right channel is white, the left channel is red and the central channel is blue. I study the mind and mind science. The mind is clear and knowing. I have been studying with Namgyal Monastery of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet and Sera Jey Monastic University for 27 years, once completing a business degree at Monash University. I have also studied psychology at both Monash University and Melbourne University.
The mental health system does not study the mind, only grosser phenomena. The psychiatrist for the most part is not a practicing Buddhist. It is not goverened by a study of ethics the way the mind scientist is. Mind scientists study compassion and wisdom. They are goverened and led by a meticulous study of the three higher trainings of ethics, concentration and wisdom, the vinaya, the abhidharma and sutra, (the word of the Buddha). Then the bodhisattva studies the six or ten perfections. These aetheist psychiatrists have no such wisdom or knowledge, and no standard in reporting accurately without lying and making up nonsense. They are both unethical and incomplete. The psychiatrist is corrupt because it doesn’t practice ethics, and it is unreliable because it’s not a Buddhist. It lacks discriminating wisdom, because it does not rely up refuge in the Three Jewels, and it does not seek liberation from cyclic existence or enlightenment. The psychiatrist is an ordinary sentient being, afflicted by ego and delusions and lies to obtain it’s position within the government and society.
After spending the weekend at one of my friend’s houses, Mother realized things needed to change quickly if there was to be any hope of averting a complete disaster from taking place the following year, my final year at school. Taking me to a coffee shop after school, she did her best to address the dysfunction that had all but entrenched itself into our family unit.
“Darling,” she said as we sat down in a quaint little coffee shop. “I have something to tell you that I think will really make you happy.”
I looked at her with hope in my eyes, but not without a certain level of naivety and innocence.
“What is it Mum,” I asked hopefully.
Reaching over, she held my hand before continuing, “I’ve been thinking very seriously about everything you have said to me. I realize you feel I have not been working hard enough to ensure we all continue in our abilities to live happily and comfortably together. I am sorry if you feel I have let you down.”
I stared back at her, a little surprised by her confession.
My mother continued to speak. “I have found a nice flat near school which we will start renting in a few weeks. I intend to leave your father now and to get a divorce. You will have to help me, Oceané, with the move. I have arranged for some removalists to come, but I am worried about what will happen when your father finds out.”
“He doesn’t have to find out Mum,” I replied full of determination.
“What do you mean, Oceané? Once I tell him we are leaving, all hell will break loose.”
I leaned forward, full of insistence. “Mum, you’re not going to tell him. We will move out in secret. You will arrange to have the removalists come on a night when you know he will be staying at Francesca’s (his mistress). If the truck comes close to midnight, we will have enough time to get all our belongings and the furniture out of the house. That is the only way it will work Mum. There is no point tackling Dad head on. You will only walk away the loser from such a fight.”
“I hadn’t thought of that,” said my mother looking a little worried. “Do you really think such a plan will work?”
“Of course it will,” I said confidently.” But you can’t tell anyone. Not even Lucy. She is too young and may inadvertently spill the beans to Dad. This is our secret. I will help you, but you must promise not to say anything to Dad or anyone else.”
My mother hesitated. I squeezed her hand tightly in mine.
“This is not a time for fear Mum. You must be strong, for all of our sakes. I will write a letter to Dad and explain our reasons for leaving. I will leave it for him to read once we have left. No one can reason with him at the moment. The time for discussion is over. You need to be clear and resolute in your planning and thinking, and to break yourself out of this rut we have all fallen into.”
As we drank our coffee, the conversation continued as we planned the coming move together. I had my doubts about Mum’s ability to stick to this plan, but remained hopeful that she would realize taking on Dad in a headlong confrontation would only result in her being more victimized than ever.
Feeling a small sense of hope, I felt that perhaps our situation would improve after all, now that my mother had agreed to a plan for change. I felt my duty lay with doing all that I could to help her stick to the plan and avoid caving in at the last minute. It seemed like a tall order at the time, but I had a renewed sense of vigor and determination to ensure that we moved away quietly from Dad and avoided any more nasty confrontations.
On an overcast Sunday afternoon, Oceané sat in her bedroom reading and trying to focus on her studies when she heard her parents starting to argue. Her exams were only a week away, and yet she had to endure daily disruptions to her studies as tensions reached breaking point in the house. Both her parents had continued to argue on a daily basis, which always climaxed with screams and shouts. As she sat listening to the argument intensify, she wondered how she would ever create the conditions conducive to achieving a set of good exam results. A few moments later, Oceané realized Lucy was standing in the hallway, trying to follow the argument between their two parents.
“Lucy,” Oceané whispered. “Come in here and sit with me. It is better not to get involved.”
“Leave me alone,” snapped Lucy ferociously, not comprehending the damage that would result from getting involved in an argument she didn’t understand. “I want to be with Mum,” she hissed, before running to join her mother.
Oceané sighed with frustration and returned to her desk, gazing out of the window as she tried to block out the tension and distress arising from her parents’ heated attacks. Her eyes returned to the page she had been studying, but her heart was empty and desolate. Every year close to exam time, the arguments between her parents would increase in intensity and frequency. With the house full of tension and distress, Oceané found it impossible to concentrate in such a fractured environment.
As she sat in her chair trying to concentrate, she could feel herself getting inextricably caught up in the daily drama and tension of her parents failing marriage and gradually, her enthusiasm to study and memorize the material in front of her eroded away. Grace, Edward and Lucy were all ignorant of the absolutely damaging effects of their own ignorance, attachment and hatred. Unable to settle their disputes in a quiet and reasonable manner, daily fights and arguments were the norm, creating an unhappy and deeply disturbing environment for all concerned.
Edward had been having affairs with various women for many years, and all the ensuing unhappiness surrounding that had worn away at Grace’s health, leaving her in a state that could only be described something very close to death. Unable to see a clear path forward, nor a happy future, Oceané’s heart sank in despair. Although she knew both parents expected the best from her, Oceané struggled to find a path to inner peace and happiness.
As the screaming continued, Oceané found that she too became focused upon the content of her parents’ argument.
“I want a divorce,” cried Grace.
“You can have your f…king divorce,” Edward replied. “Take your two children and get the hell out of my life.”
“Aren’t you forgetting they are also your children?” Grace demanded.
“I don’t give a stuff about the children. You turned them away from me a long time ago.”
“Your alcoholic habits are the cause for all the damage,” Grace replied bitterly.
“Fuck you,” he screamed. “Get the hell out of my house!”
“This is my house,” cried Grace.
“Not any more it isn’t. I got you to sign over the assets that were in your name when you were too f…king weak and stupid to know what you were doing.”
Oceané jumped from her seat. Realizing Edward had gone too far, she ran down the hallway to the living room and into the maelstrom unfolding all around her.
“What the hell is going on?’ Oceané cried. “Have you both gone completely mad? I am trying to study and you are not giving me a single chance to get anything done with this constant screaming and fighting. My exams are next week, and I can’t concentrate with you both at each other’s throats. I really can’t stand it anymore Dad. You’re threatening to take away our home and run off with that horrible tart who is only trying to take you for all your money, and yet you still demand high results from me despite the fact there is mayhem all around.”
“And what about you, Mum? Can’t you just try to ignore his attacks and not respond to his attempts to provoke you?”
“Oh, he is doing far more than that, Oceané. He has already emptied the family trust of the money that was set aside for you and Lucy’s future. His aim is to leave us with nothing.”
“You got what you deserve,” barked Edward.
“Stop it,” cried Oceané. “Do you want me to end it all now?” she cried as she picked up a large knife that lay on the kitchen table. “I have had enough. This fighting has been going on for years and years. I don’t have a hope of being able to focus clearly with this hell going on around me and a family disintegrating before my very eyes. Can’t you see how selfish you both are being? Why do you always ramp up the fights right around the time of my exams? Are you purposely trying to put me off my studies?”
“Oceané, put the knife down,” cried Grace in an empty and dispassionate tone of voice.
“Why? Why should I behave responsibly when you two are going crazy and refusing to sort things out in a calm and civilized manner? I’ll withdraw this threat when you bring some peace and stability back into our lives. Otherwise, there is no point hanging around. I can’t bear to hear this day after day, year after year. You do this to me every time I have work to do and need some peace and quiet. You expect me to be responsible? Well how about setting a better example for your children to follow?”
“See what you’ve done, Edward?” cried Grace.
“Don’t blame me, you f..cking stupid bitch,” he thundered, while reaching for another glass of scotch.
Oceané looked at them both in despair. “Well, I can see neither of you have any intention of changing,” said Oceané as she slammed down the knife in disgust and burst into tears. “I’m leaving,” she said, before running back to her room.
Crying and sobbing, Oceané blindly grabbed her small canvas wallet, checking through the wall of tears streaming from her eyes to see if she had enough money for a train ride to the other side of town. She grabbed her school bag and some clothes before running to the front door, just as her mother appeared behind her.
“Wait, Oceané, wait! Where are you going? Don’t leave me here on my own.”
“What is the point of staying Mum?” Oceané sobbed, gasping for breath as her sobbing became more uncontrolled. “You will never get it together with Dad. I can’t live with this aggressive arguing and abuse anymore. How can I work and be happy with both of you tearing each other to pieces day after day? You need to leave him Mum,” Oceané continued, “or you won’t have anything left of your life to save. He is going to take us all to the cleaners and he doesn’t mind if he buries you along the way. Look at yourself. You’re a nervous wreck and you’re health won’t hold up much longer under these conditions.” She focused intently on her mother’s eyes to see if her message was getting through. “It’s over Mum. We have to get out while we can. He doesn’t care about us anymore. He only wants to live with that horrible home wrecker he is now hitched up with. So please, let’s go while we still have a chance.”
There was a moment’s silence as Oceané and Grace stood looking at each other, with Oceané wondering if her mother had fully realized that the end had indeed come for their life together as a family. Their life together could be characterized as deeply turbulent, and materially focused, with no insights or understanding whatsoever into their true spiritual potential and innate abilities to each achieve deep states of inner peace, happiness and freedom.
“I am going to stay with some friends for a few days,” Oceané continued. “I need to get out of this horrible atmosphere. I have exams to focus on Mum. Can’t you see it is impossible to work here under these conditions?”
“Where are you going to stay, Oceané? Please don’t leave.”
“I don’t know where I’m going,” Oceané cried helplessly. My friends don’t really care about me either. They are only interested in distracting me too, and making sure we make life at school just a place for games and fun, rather than using the opportunity we have to actually learn something useful. I will go somewhere that’s a bit more peaceful and harmonious than here, so I can find somewhere to relax.”
Turning away, she walked down the pathway towards the street. Oceané knew her plan was flawed and perhaps a pathetic means of finding a solution, but she wanted to make a point. Feeling as though she couldn’t bear to be in her parents company for a moment longer, she walked towards a train that was already waiting at the station. Although she knew she had nowhere stable to go, and no refuge or means to secure real freedom from the miserable state she found herself in, she continued to walk away from her family home, towards a cold and desolate world, which in reality was no different from the unhappiness she was trying to leave behind. A bitter wind cut through her bones and bit at her nose and ears. Everything appeared totally lifeless and grey, as though she was surrounded by a sea full of desolate concrete and steel, with nothing to protect her from the pain in her heart, or from the acute and dark well of suffering and despair.
When you lack discipline and a proper understanding of ethics, or turn away from the dharma, from the types of mental states and actions that hold one back from suffering, only disappointment and unhappiness, degradation and mayhem will follow.
To raise a child without a deep grounding in the dharma can only be described as absolutely stupid. Forget what the world thinks. Worldly attitudes are born from a lack of understanding and knowledge. What the world rates as important is often based upon some egotistical and false view of the self, of I and mine.
I remember when I was just about to finish school, looking upon the adult world with a deep feeling of hopelessness. All the people my parents held in high regard appeared to be caught in a vicious cycle of misery. Even though they had attained some wealth and worldly status, not even doctors from the western world appeared to have all the answers to the pervasive type of suffering we were all immersed in. When your parents suffer a brutal failure in their marital relationship, when you are surrounded by people who are only interested in bullying the smartest at school into a state of submission and decline, when there is a lack of adequate role models for the young and the worldly blindly chase after material gains as though it’s the only solution to all of life’s problems, confusion takes hold causing wreckage and an enormous degree of emotional and physical suffering. Without the sword of wisdom to guide one through failure and disintegration of all that is familiar, one is truly as helpless and directionless as a dead leaf blown violently by the winds of change, uncertainty and darkness.
Although I was a straight A student throughout all my years of school, when it came to my final HSC exams, instead of blitzing all the subjects in the manner I had done in the past, I only achieved an average set of results. I didn’t even bother studying in the last week of swat vac. I went out and partied with friends who had already completed their exams.
I’m not proud of that, even though I did still manage to get into a course I was actually well suited to at university. However, the problem was, I fell into an unhappy cycle of regret, having been used to getting near perfect results in every subject. As I have said, a lot can be gained from having a high degree of intelligence, but without a proper understanding and realization of the dharma, of wisdom and compassion, you are still at the mercy of karma and delusions. This means that suffering will continue unless you actually cut the root of suffering itself. The root of suffering comes in the form of a false view of I, of self and of phenomena. Until one fully realizes that all phenomena lack inherent existence and one is able to let go of all negative emotions, one will remain like a bucket travelling up and down in a well, without the proper means to escape the cycle of existence.
Running, terrified. Am I in hell? I told my parents to get a divorce, to sell their holiday house and farm. Now I have no money, no prospects. All signs of sanity have gone. This is what happened in 1986.
It’s a very sad and sobering aspect of my life that I must acknowledge the cruel and unbalanced way in which I have commonly been treated by both my mother and sister. However, to distort the facts and to try and gloss over some of the most painful events of my life would not only be dishonest, but in a way an act of almost acknowledging that abusive behavior, and harmful mental patterns are in some way acceptable, when clearly, they are not, no matter who they are coming from or directed towards.
It is the case that both my mother Grace, and sister Lucy have both convinced themselves absolutely that they are totally within their rights to act in a continuously deceptive, dishonest and profoundly harmful way towards me, simply because I am a daughter and sister. They have both decided that because I am a close relative, that leaves the door wide open for them to do whatever they can to destroy whatever amount of happiness I manage to create.
As far as they are concerned, once they act to destroy the happiness I may create, in the form of a friendship with others, for example, they have no hesitation in covering up their harmful actions by simply lying to others, and distorting the facts about what really took place.
To their minds, when something degenerates into a he said, she said situation, they are confident that the ignorance in humans in general, will do its job in confusing their listeners enough so they are unable to discern just who did the wrong thing in the first place. Therefore, their acts of aggression, hatred, jealousy and greed go unrecognized by the majority, creating a free environment for them to continue on in their efforts to isolate me from the rest of the world and to ensure that their abuse has the most destructive impact and effect.
There was a time, during my HSC year, after I had managed to befriend many of the girls who once used to bully me because I was a high achieving student that I would be regularly asked to stay over at a school friends’ house on a Saturday night. We would usually go to some party, or perhaps just gather a group of friends to watch a video together, as most young people enjoy doing.
On this particular Saturday, I was asked to stay over at Sarah’s house, and my mother agreed that this would be OK. I said I would spend the Sunday morning doing some homework at Sarah’s house, before returning home after lunch to continue on with my studies. As this was the arrangement, I left feeling happy that I could avoid being part of the tense and stressed environment that constantly pervaded my time at home with my mother and sister. Mother was now firmly entrenched in the pattern of breaking down in tears on a regular basis and had the habit of criticizing me for any manner of things, simply because she was buckling under the pressure of her impending divorce with father.
On this occasion, I had a reasonably settled time away, and the next day, on the Sunday, just after lunch, there was a phone call at Sarah’s house. Sarah answered the phone and soon informed me that Mrs. Wong, the mother of another friend of mine at school, wanted to speak to me. I answered the phone, a little curious as to why she would be calling.
Mrs. Wong, “how are you,” I said.
“Listen to me, you disgraceful child,” seethed Mrs. Wong on the other end of the phone.
“How dare you run away for the night without informing your mother of your intention to leave. You have made her worried sick. She has been on the phone crying hysterically to me all morning. What sort of a daughter are you, that you could do such a thing to your mother?”
I was aghast. “But Mrs. Wong, I told Mum yesterday I was staying at Sarah’s. She agreed that it was OK for me to do this. She knew I wasn’t coming home til after lunch today.”
“Don’t lie to me,” screamed Mrs. Wong. “You get yourself home immediately young girl. I never want to hear of you doing such a thing like this to your mother again.”
“But I’m not lying,” I cried, now on the verge of tears myself. “I told mother what I was doing, I promise.” I was so shocked by the anger Mrs. Wong was directing towards me, a feeling of having the wind knocked out of me soon prevailed.
Mrs. Wong snapped. “I can’t believe you are now trying to lie about this, Oceané.”
Mrs. Wong refused to accept my version of events, and I quickly realized that mother had managed to convince her of my guilt, even though the reality was that I had done everything I was supposed to do as a responsible daughter in this situation.
I got off the phone. I turned to face Sarah, but my heart sank further into despair as I immediately saw that she too had been sucked in by the drama. Glaring at me with a rising temper, she said. “You’d better get yourself home, Oceané. I can’t believe what you have done.”
Shocked by the rapid change in atmosphere, I looked upon Sarah in disbelief, sickened, feeling totally isolated and confused.
“How can you believe that I would do such a thing,” I responded, the words barely audible as they passed through my lips. “I am telling you all the truth. It is mother who for whatever reason doesn’t appear to remember or want to acknowledge what really happened. She is very confused at the moment because of the divorce. Didn’t you know since her nervous breakdown she rarely makes any sense?”
“Just go,” snapped Sarah with blind irrationality. “Go and get your bags and get yourself home before any more damage is done.”
I left knowing full well that things were only going to get much, much worse for me once I arrived home. There, I knew I would be greeted by a mentally unbalanced and aggressive mother, and an equally unbalanced and jealous sister, whose only interest would be to further deepen the divide between me, my friends and whatever fragment of a family that remained, further intensifying the heartache and pain, and virtually destroying any opportunity for reconciliation and peace.
What do you do when you are young and vulnerable, living under your parents control, when your mother has a nervous breakdown and you find her to be jealous of your attainments and ignorant of the true causes of suffering?
What do you do when you are broke, with no money, no proper foundation, and you have a father who drinks copious amounts of alcohol from the early hours of the morning until late into the night every single day, whilst trying to resolve his own psychological misery, emotional discomfort and mental pain by squandering basically all of the family fortune on mistresses, outrageously expensive annual overseas travel, alcohol and ridiculous investments?
You search for whatever aid and assistance that is close at hand.
At sixteen and seventeen, the only help that was close at hand came in the form of other sometimes even more misguided peers, whose only solution to suffering was to get as wasted as possible and blow whatever chances that study at school presented them with. School was suffering. Family life was suffering. Everyone followed the philosophy that as it was obvious we were all going down, better to do that together than to face the music and use whatever intelligence we were gifted with to try and devise a genuine escape route that would actually act as pathway to freedom from suffering.
Religion was frowned upon. Philosophy lay misunderstood in the stratosphere. Atheism was rife. Weekends were opportunities to binge drink and drown in our sorrows, serving only as breeding grounds for profound suffering.
It was in this environment that I was travelling home on a flight from Sydney with my mother and sister. Feeling dazed at the commotion that had enveloped our home life, I gazed out of the aircraft window to stare at the clouds far below. Dreams of a happy future lay in ruins. I was raised with the belief that I would always be taken care of by my parents. I was told much money had been put aside for our future; that we would be cared for by a substantial inheritance. I was told I would never have a mortgage. I would always have my own house and plenty of money to live on. I would not have a care in the world. Sad to say, these were all lies, a cunning illusion crafted by ignorant souls who chose to ignore the great truths taught by past masters and saints.
To give you an example of how crazy the behavior of my mother could be at times, as we were travelling on this flight, the quiet was broken by hysterical screams from my mother. When I drew close and tried to attend to her needs, she just abused me and told me to mind my own business. As she had recently suffered a brain aneurism, my thought was to contact her neurologist in Melbourne and ask him for some advice. When I informed my mother that he would make a special effort to meet her at the airport, I suffered further attacks – a blind rage. When we disembarked from the aircraft, as a reward for my efforts to calm and console my mother, I was abandoned at the airport with no money and forced to find my own way home.
To say that I was suffering my own form of mental anguish as a result of this treatment is surely an understatement. Neither of my parents appeared to have any regard or concern for the consequences of their unruly and destructive behavior. In this tumultuous and uncertain situation, I was required to excel at my studies, to retain full health, to marry a millionaire, to be on the front cover of vogue. In short, I was expected to marry Rupert Murdoch’s son and be an unquestionable success.
Two Shi’ite Muslim gunmen capture TWA airliner with 133 aboard, 104 of them Americans (June 14); 39 remaining hostages freed in Beirut (June 30).
PLOterrorists hijack Achille Lauro, Italian cruise ship, with 80 passengers, plus crew (Oct. 7); American, Leon Klinghoffer, killed (Oct. 8); Italian government toppled by political crisis over hijacking (Oct. 16).
Chemistry: Herbert A. Hauptman and Jerome Karle (both US), for their outstanding achievements in the development of direct methods for the determination of crystal structures
Physics: Klaus von Klitzing (Germany), for developing an exact way of measuring electrical conductivity
Physiology or Medicine: Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein (both US), for their work, which has drastically widened our understanding of the cholesterol metabolism and increased our possibilities to prevent and treat atherosclerosis and heart attacks
Coca-Cola attempts to change its 99-year-old formula in an effort to attract younger drinkers. “New” Coke is poorly received, and the company soon reintroduces the original, “Classic” beverage. Background: carbonated beverages
It’s really shocking when you are young having to watch your parents fight. Even worse is when your parents lie to you about the nature of reality. If there is one thing I learnt from attending one of Melbourne’s most prestigious private schools is that suffering exists. My parents however, appeared to be more concerned with pulling the wool over my eyes, and admonished me by making me feel guilty or ashamed for any efforts I made to understand and figure out how to escape the cycle of suffering we were all trapped in.
When the Buddha turned the First Wheel of the Dharma, he taught the Four Noble Truths.
On a warm day, late in Spring, I arrived home from school. I used to enter the house by first walking in through Dad’s practice rooms, which were at the front part of the building, so I could say hello to him on the way through. On this day, Dad wasn’t in his rooms, so I walked through to the house, dumping my navy school bag in my bedroom on the way. As I headed towards the living room, I passed by my parent’s bedroom, but paused as I realized the curtains were drawn and the room itself was very dark. I walked in, staring at the bed. Mother lay motionless with a mask over her eyes.
“Mum,” I said quietly, “are you awake?”
Mother didn’t reply. I picked up her hand and held it in mine. Her hand was cold, and felt almost lifeless, but when I touched her forehead, it was very hot and clammy. She moaned.
“Mum,” I whispered, “do you need anything, some medicine, some water?”
She moaned again, and then said, “Go away Oceané. I need to rest.” I paused as I considered what to do. After a time, Mother spoke. “Shut the door behind you, Oceané. I need peace and quiet”
My heart sank. I felt so sorry for her, but there seemed little I could do. As I turned to leave the room, I realized Father was standing in the doorway, looking as though he was about to blow his top. He had some documents in his hand and a pen. He marched forward towards the bed. Dad was really a fearsome creature when in a rage, and I quickly and fearfully moved out of the way. He stood over Mum, shoving the papers in her face and bellowing, “Grace, I need your signature on these documents.”
Mother lay motionless, without saying a word. Father ripped off the eye mask Mother was wearing, before she yelped like a helpless dog in fright.
“What Edward, what?” she whimpered. “Can’t you see I’m suffering from a terrible migraine?”
She struggled to sit up, and half-opened her eyes. “What are they,” she said looking at the thick document of papers he was holding in front of her. The room was still dark, so she had no way of knowing what it was he was asking her to sign.
“Just sign them, you stupid bitch,” he shouted.
“Sign what?” whimpered Mother. “What is it that you want from me?” Turning towards me, Father bellowed, “Leave us alone, Oceané. This has nothing to do with you.”
“But Dad, Mum is sick. You can’t treat her like this, especially when she is so ill. Where is your compassion? Can’t you see you are causing her so much more pain?”
Mother was battling even to hold her head in an upright position, her pain and discomfort blatantly obvious. Reluctantly, I left the room. Returning to my bedroom, I sat at my desk, however I felt so distraught by what had just happened that I found it impossible to focus upon my own work. A few minutes passed before the house became silent.
After some time sitting and churning over the latest events, I picked up enough energy to unenthusiastically unpack my bag. Staring blankly at the books piled up on the desk in front of me, I felt my anguish increase. I had lost all motivation. Despite the fact I always looked forward to seeing Mum when I got home from school, all I could think about now was the feeling of loss overwhelming me, as though I was losing the one ray of light that brought happiness into our lives at home. Seeing Mother so unhappy, frail and sick on the bed reinforced my own feelings of despair, unhappiness, separation and loss. Feeling so mentally fragmented, it seemed that all my efforts to comfort and support Mother came to nothing. Watching on helplessly as our family disintegrated before my eyes was heartbreaking. I knew my exams were only a couple of weeks away, however I was facing my own battle trying to maintain a focus on the studies that I was expected to excel in.
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Please support our dharma practice. We appreciate ongoing support.
What Happened in 1985 Important News and Events, Key Technology and Popular Culture
What happened in 1985 Major News Stories include Coca-Cola Company introduces New Coke, Heysel Stadium Disaster, Unabomber kills his first victim, CD’s Introduced, Wreck of the RMS Titanic Located, Mexico City Earthquake kills 9,000, Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior is sunk by French Agents, As the spread of aids increases Governments round the world start screening Blood donations for AIDS. On the technology front the first .com is registered and the first version of Windows is released Ver 1.0 . Terrorists continue to perform acts of terrorism including the hijack of TWA Flight 847 and the Italian Cruise Liner “Achille Lauro “. Famine in Ethiopia is shown more on TV News in July and Live Aid concerts around the world raise many millions to help the starving in Africa and the pop industry in US joins together to sing “We Are The World”.
How Much things cost in 1985
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 3.55%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 1546
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 10.75%
Average Cost of new house $89,330
Median Price Of and Existing Home $75,500
Average Income per year $22,100.00
Average Monthly Rent $375.00
Average Price for new car$9,005.00 Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 40,169
Gallon of Petrol 1.88
Yearly Inflation Rate UK9.50%
Interest Rates Year End Bank of England 11.38% More Example Prices
gallon of gas $1.09
Movie Ticket $2.75
US Postage Stamp 22 cents
Bacon per pound $1.65
Bean Bag Lounger $39.99
Rainbow Brite Color Kids $9.99 Each
Rib Eye Steak Lb $3.89
2 bedroom condo overlooking lake $59,900
World — Live Aid concerts
Live Aid pop concerts in Philadelphia and London raise over 50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.
More Information for the Live Aid Concerts
1. The Live Aid Concerts were held during July of 1985.
2. They were a series of rock concerts held to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia around the world.
3. They took place in cities including London, Philadelphia, Sydney and Moscow.
4. The concerts attracted close to 200,000 people and by using satellite link-ups and TV broadcasts around the world, they attracted an estimated one billion viewers in 110 countries who watched the concerts performed live.
5. The concerts were organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure and they raised over $125 million in relief money for Africa.
6. Notable acts included B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Cher, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Elton John, Hall & Oates, Lionel Richie, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Queen, Run-DMC, and U2.
Coca-Cola Company introduces New Coke.
More Information for New Coke.
In April of 1985, Coca-Cola introduced “New Coke” in what many observers declared to be the worst marketing blunder in history. At the time, Coca-Cola was a 99 year old company looking for a way to update itself and they chose to do so by changing the original formula of their iconic soft drink. They created a sweeter version that had been preferred in taste tests, but fans of the brand protested the decision in an overwhelmingly negative response. Within three months Coca-Cola announced it would return to the old formula and tried to re-brand the drink as Coca-Cola “Classic” and New Coke quickly disappeared.
United States — Coldest Winter in Eastern U.S.
The Eastern half of North America is hit with an exceptionally cold winter, one of the worst in recorded history.
More Information and Timeline for Eastern U.S. Coldest Winter
The Eastern halves of the United States and Canada face some of the coldest temperatures ever recorded in the 20th century as an arctic air mass moves through the country. According to meteorologists the cold wave occurred as a result of a polar vortex moving further south than what was usually observed and being coupled with a high pressure system. The cold snap lasted from January 20th to the 22nd and resulted in record-breaking cold temperatures as far south as Florida.
Spain — Gibraltar / Spain Border
The United Kingdom and Spain agree to reopen the border between Gibraltar and Spain.
More Information for Gibraltar and Spain Border
After sixteen years of being closed under the rule of Francisco Franco in 1969, the border between Gibraltar and Spain was officially reopened during February of 1985. The border had been closed by Franco after tensions heightened between Spain and Britain over the status of Gibraltar. Spain had previously eased restrictions in 1982, allowing pedestrians to cross over the border but it was still tightly controlled as only Spanish citizens and residents of Gibraltar were allowed to cross. Opening the gates to all travelers in 1985 was a decision made by Spain to garner support for joining the European Community.
United States — Calvin and Hobbes comic strip
The popular comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” debuts in newspapers.
More Information for Calvin and Hobbes.
The popular comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” makes its debut during November of 1985. Created by Bill Watterson, “Calvin and Hobbes” followed the adventures of a young boy, Calvin, and his stuffed animal tiger, Hobbes, while also exploring social, scientific, and philosophical ideas and issues. The comic was originally shown in 250 newspapers but expanded to over 2,000 newspapers at its most popular point. The strip ended in December of 1995 but is still used in papers throughout the world.
New Zealand — Rainbow Warrior
The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior is sunk when French agents plant a bomb on the hull killing Photographer Fernando Pereira
More Information and Timeline For Rainbow Warrior Sinking in Auckland, New Zealand
1. French Agents From the French foreign intelligence services arrive in New Zealand
2. French DGSE agent Christine Cabon, posing as environmentalist Frederique Bonlieu, volunteered for the Greenpeace office in Auckland.
3. Cabon gathers intelligence information crucial to the sinking.
4. July 10th DGSE divers beneath the Rainbow Warrior attached two limpet mines and detonated them 10 minutes apart
5. Following the capture and trial French foreign intelligence services (DGSE) agents Captain Dominique Prieur and Commander Alain Mafart – posing as married couple ‘Sophie and Alain Turenge’ and having Swiss passports pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on November 22, 1985. The sinking was designed to sink the flagship of the Greenpeace fleet, the Rainbow Warrior in the port of Auckland, New Zealand, to prevent her from interfering in a nuclear test in Moruroa authorized by top French Officicials.
Three days passed painfully slowly, with no news from Mum. Then, just as I was about to leave for school one morning, a taxi pulled up outside. I rushed out to see if it was Mum. As I reached the street, I watched mother slowly and with a great deal of effort climb out of the cab. I found it difficult to hide the sense of shock I felt as I noted her frail and aged appearance. Her lily-white face could not hide the deep, dark rings under her eyes, and as she looked up, I noted that the lid over her left eye was partially shut. She barely acknowledged me as she paid the cab driver and when she finally turned to face me, her mouth was drawn tightly closed, emphasizing her haggard appearance.
“Mum,” I cried, at once thrilled to see her, and devastated by how sickly and aged she looked. “Let me help you with your bags.” I said rushing forward to give her a hug; however she didn’t even raise her arms to return the embrace. We walked slowly inside without talking, before I settled her in the living room and offered her a cup of tea.
I found it difficult to stop staring at her face in disbelief and amazement. It was as though she had aged twenty years since I last saw her. I wanted to ask her about her trip, but it was heartbreakingly obvious something terrible had gone wrong. Not wanting to overwhelm her with questions, I sat beside her, holding her hand. Disturbingly, she just sat in silence. Together we sat, not saying anything, for about half an hour. At some point Dad entered the room; however neither mother nor father spoke a word to each other. I felt my heart sink. The atmosphere immediately intensified as Dad marched through the room, as if he was checking to see what Mum was saying, rather than looking after her state of health. Inside, I could feel myself beginning to seethe as my chest tightened with anxiety.
After a while, Dad left the room, and not able to restrain myself any longer, I leaned forward, looking intently into my mother’s eyes. “Mum, what happened,” I whispered. “I have been trying to find you, but Dad wouldn’t tell me where you were.”
With her eyes cast downward, and unable to meet my gaze, mother murmured in a tone that was barely audible, “As I was leaving the hotel in Singapore, I suffered a brain aneurism and collapsed. I was taken to hospital and that is where I have been the past few days. They told me I shouldn’t fly, however I was worried about you and Lucy and felt I had to get home.”
“That’s awful Mum. I’m so sorry.” I paused for a moment before asking, “Do we need to take you to hospital now that you are back?”
“No dear, I’ll be seeing my doctor in a few days. For now I just need to get some rest,” she replied in a voice barely above a whisper.
I squeezed her hand. “How was Canada Mum? Were you sick there as well?”
Immediately, Mum’s face froze over with an icy stare. She just sat, dazed and in silence. Horrified by the change in her expression, I offered to help her settle in bed, but she refused to allow me to assist her any further.
“Don’t you have to be at school?” she said, looking around to check the time.
“Mum, if you are sick and need help, I can stay home today,” I said. “I am so worried about you. You look so frail, as though you are about to pass out.”
Again, her face froze, gaunt and lifeless. “I’ll be alright,” she replied coldly. “You get back to your studies. You have exams coming up soon. It’s important to me that you do well.” Finding it difficult even to contemplate my school work at this time, I reluctantly got up and agreed to catch the next train to school. “Is there anyone you want me to ring, to come and look after you while I’m away,” I asked, as I picked up my school bag. “What about one of your friends?”
“No,” was the short reply. “Go to school Oceané. I will see you this afternoon.”
Upset by the lack of emotion and affection I was used to receiving from my mother, and horrified by her ghostly and frail appearance, I walked quietly out the door. Instead of feeling relief that she had made it home safely, my concerns and worries had only increased. She was all I could think about as I gazed out of the dirty window as the train sped towards the city.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (starts off with a little bit of sleeping)
Homage to my Guru and Protector,
Who holds to his her heart a scriptural text
(little bit of girly laughing)
Symbolic of seeing all things as they are
Whose intelligence shines forth
unclouded by delusions or traces of ignorance
full of compassion
Who teaches in sixty ways, with the loving compassion
Of a father for his only son,
All creatures caught in the prison of samsara,
Confused in the darkness of their ignorance,
Overwhelmed by the suffering.
You, Buddha, whose dragon-thunder-like proclamation of Dharma,
Arouses us from the stupor of our delusions
And frees us from the iron chains of our karma,
Who wields the sword of wisdom hewing down suffering
(an awesome flight over the grand canyon, just like the one my father took me on when I was seven)
Wherever it sprouts appear,
(It was amazing flying up close to the cliff face and stopping suspended in the air)
Clearing away the darkness of all ignorance;
You, whose princely body is adorned,
With the one hundred and twelve marks of a Buddha,
Who has completed the stages achieving
The highest perfections of a Bodhisattva,
(more laughing)…thanks so much Lama Zopa
Who has been pure from the beginning,
I bow down to you Manjushri.
OM AH RA PA SA NA DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI
With the brilliance of your wisdom, O Compassionate One,
Illuminate the darkness enclosing my mind,
Enlighten my intelligence and wisdom
So that I may gain insight
Into the Buddha’s words and the text that explain them.
Listen like a deer to the Holy Dharma
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Not a random act of courage
This is a story about a young girl, named Oceané, who is raised by her family under the illusion that material comfort and prosperity will always be a given in life. Once her family unit collapses and she faces the loss of her material status, Oceané begins to realize she is ill-equipped mentally to handle the perilous journey she quickly finds herself on. Battling to find direction and meaning to life throughout her university years, she embarks on a spiritual quest to unlock the door to mental peace and happiness. After many years of searching, she finally meets a true spiritual guide, and her life begins to take a happy turn. As this master empowers Oceané with the confidence to explore her true potential, he slowly guides her towards states of inner peace and fulfillment that are beyond Oceané’s wildest imaginings.
Little does Oceané realize that her decision to follow a spiritual guide will set off a chain of events that will see her ostracized by her friends and family and left simply with the support of her companion Noah, and spiritual guide, Rinpoche. Oceané’s mother, Grace, becomes her arch nemesis, in a battle to prove that Oceané is wasting everyone’s time and money pursuing the spiritual path. Grace becomes determined to prove it is only by harming others and living selfishly that one has any chance of securing material success. Oceané confronts failure upon failure, and disappointing losses and hardships before finally deciding to retreat from the world in an effort to uncover the true source of her problems.
This is a story about how to achieve inner peace.
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These days, people commonly think that living a fast paced life style is something to chase after and work towards. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. If happiness is what you are looking for, the only real way to achieve this is by understanding the nature of reality and learning how to control and harness the positive potential and energy of one’s mind. To achieve inner peace, one must turn one’s focus inwards and observe the mind. The mind is not the brain. The mind is clear and knowing, having no shape, form or color. Only the grosser levels of consciousness depend upon the functioning of the brain. Subtle levels of mind will know and see that the mind itself is formless. The omniscient mind of Buddha perceives all objects.
Instead of being pushed and pulled in every direction by one’s negative thoughts, such as desire, attachment, anger, hatred, jealousy, competitiveness, doubt, pride, wrong view and ignorance, one is required to abandon harmful and destructive ways of thinking, letting go of wrong objects that cause the mind to become agitated and upset. The reason one must abandon all negative ways of thinking and acting is because only by abandoning the negative mind, can one secure a state of being that is free from suffering. Attachment, aversion and ignorance are the three poisonous minds that cause endless suffering to both ourselves and others. Only by achieving inner peace can one secure real peace. Nirvana is peace and enlightenment is the fully purified state of perfection.
I could write a discourse on the path to inner peace and happiness, however it is of more use to explain a little bit more about family life, to help aid and further develop our understanding of the ways and means to achieve inner peace and freedom from suffering.
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Not Really Sixteen
When I was about 16 years old, my mother failed to arrive home after an overseas trip. This was a very traumatic thing for me at the time, because I really felt much of the happiness and prosperity we were used to receiving came directly from the love given to us by our mother. I had a bit of a biased opinion of my father at the time, and even though he worked very hard as a General Practitioner and a Surgeon, I was very much turned against him because of the acrimony that was constantly on display between both my parents.
I don’t really feel there is much point churning over and over in one’s mind the events from the past, unless there is something really valuable to be learnt from such events. However, I did choose to write my life story, and as it stands, this is what unfolded at the time.
One day at dawn I awoke with the realization and happiness that this was the day my mother was due to arrive home after a month-long overseas trip to Canada. I usually hated it when my parents went overseas, because we were always left to live with a frightfully horrible nanny, who showed absolutely no mercy or love, kind of like one of those horribly mean-spirited characters out of a Charles Dickens novel.
To say that I was excited by the prospect of her return is surely an understatement, so you can imagine my dismay when she didn’t arrive home at the time she was expected to return. I did my best to ring the airlines and the hotel, but was told that she had checked out and no-one really knew of her whereabouts from the time she left the hotel a day earlier in Singapore. Having become so anxious, I turned to my father for support, but he showed absolutely no interest in helping me look for my mother. In fact, when I tried to ring the hospitals in Singapore to see if she had been in an accident or fallen ill, he cut off the phone lines to the house to prevent me from continuing my search.
Left alone in a home that offered what appeared to be little in the way of real love and understanding, I felt absolutely gutted and isolated by my father’s inability to show compassion or to recognize that I really needed to find out what had happened to Mum. Everything felt so fragile at the time, like at any moment, I could find myself living out on the streets with no support or protection.
Having become a Buddhist since that time, I really understand how very difficult it is trying to navigate one’s way through reality without having a proper source of refuge. In Buddhism, one takes refuge from suffering in the Three Jewels, the Buddha, His teachings – The Dharma, and the Arya Sangha. Three times during the morning and three times in the evening, one recites the refuge prayer as follows:
I go for refuge until I’m enlightened
In the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha
From the merit I create from practicing giving and other perfections
May Iattain the state of a Buddha in order to benefit all sentient beings.
Taking refuge and having a daily practice of meditation makes a huge difference to one’s life. When one doesn’t know how to control one’s own negative mind, little problems can become big problems very easily. Furthermore, if a big problem or issue does arise, by taking refuge and meditating in the proper manner, developing the right motivation, the correct view and compassion, one is able to face the difficulty and hardship with a positive attitude, determination and strength. This makes it easier to figure out the right action to take in difficult situations, and also helps to reduce the suffering, both mental and physical, that one might otherwise encounter under such circumstances.
After I realized none of us knew where Mum was, that she had missed the flight; that she had checked out of the hotel in Singapore, and that she hadn’t been able to call us and let us know that something had gone wrong, my mind really went into a spin. When I got home from school later that day, with Mum still missing and Dad showing absolutely no interest in taking the necessary steps to try to find her, I went absolutely berserk and flew off the handle at him.
I arrived home, and with Dad busy working in the surgery, I seized the opportunity to try to contact the international directory service to find out if Mum had been admitted to a hospital in Singapore. Frantically dialing the operator, I tried to locate the names and numbers of hospitals in Singapore, however midway through the first phone call the phone line went dead. I rushed up into Dad’s work rooms to use another phone line and continue with my investigations. However, Dad was already waiting at the switchboard controls, having already cut the phone line to the house, so as to prevent me from making my inquiries.
“Dad, are you out of your mind,” I cried. “Why aren’t you doing something to find Mum?”
“You are not ringing any hospitals in Singapore”, he said ferociously. “Go and do your homework,” he said as he pushed me out of his office.
I began to cry in dismay. “You are so horrible. Mum is missing and you won’t help me find her.” My stomach churned in anguish at the helplessness of the situation. I left the surgery in disgust. Having nowhere to turn and faced with a deep desire to get as far away from my father as possible, I retreated to my bedroom, to lie on my bed in despair. Thoughts regarding the whereabouts of my mother continued to plague me. I lay on the bed until dinner time, as the day gradually turned into night, all the while staring at the sky searching for answers to the obvious problems life now presented to me without Mum at home to protect us.
What can I talk about today? Anne leaves for Port Douglas tomorrow, so she is busy packing and cleaning up in Noosa today.
Christian and I just had dhal, rice, papadams and coca-cola for lunch. This afternoon I will go to the gym and for a swim. Tonight I will watch The Apprentice.
I was thinking I should write down some of the experiences I had whilst I was on retreat. Record the events which led up to now.
I think I began my retreat some time in 1999. I had been under a lot of pressure whilst working full time and trying to look after Dad and his estate whilst facing constant opposition and obstacles from Julia. I was also focused on being a good Buddhist practitioner and wife and a good friend and student of Geshe Doga’s.
Everyone in the family strongly opposed my wish to do retreat. When I first asked Geshe Doga if I should continue working, he said, “Better”. The next day, when I started retreat fairly informally, rather than reiterating what he had previously said, like “work better”, he simply let me know that an informal style of retreat was in not good enough and encouraged me to develop a far more intense focus towards my practice. As a result, I commenced a very formal and disciplined Vajrasattva retreat.
The following months brought with it much mantra recitation, prayers, prostrations and blessings. The first truly amazing blessing experience came during the Vajrasattva retreat. As I was seated in the meditation posture doing the sadhana, my entire body was covered, indeed penetrated, by a huge tube of light and nectar, entering me from my crown and penetrating every part of my being. As my body and mind was absorbed by this field of light and heavenly substance, I felt totally purified and freedom from all obstacles and hindrances and faults. It was like entering into a state of purity and blissful absorption, This experience lasted some time before dissolving into the sphere of emptiness.
This afternoon Christian and I went for a walk and took some photos of each other in Como Park. Here are some photos of me.
Regular offerings appreciated. Thank you for supporting this community orientated project.
Thank you for supporting this community friendly Buddhist project. We appreciate your interest and support.
Please support our dharma practice. We appreciate ongoing support.