Woman’s Day – How I coped

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How Vanessa Anne Walsh went from this

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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

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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.

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

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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.

An Unforgettable Afternoon Tea

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Shakespeare’s Sonnet CXVI

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
  I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Yesterday I was blessed along with more than one hundred other kindred spirits, dharma brothers and sisters, to be invited to the Afternoon Tea of all Afternoon Tea’s, at Tara Institute, in East Brighton. There, we were blessed and lucky enough to listen to the remarkable words of the great master, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, whose profound insight and compassion transported each and every one of us into a sphere of peace and happiness that can only be described as truly inspiring.

Although ordinarily, when one thinks of afternoon tea, biscuits and cake come to mind, at this afternoon tea, such delicacies, although offered, one could almost say, were not required. When you attend an afternoon tea hosted by such remarkable beings as Geshe Doga and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, food and drink become virtually irrelevant, because due to the great skill of the Buddha, ordinary life just fades into insignificance as one is treated to a genuine Dharma teaching that enables one to contemplate the great truths, which although simple in both practice and theory, are taught in the most exciting and uplifting of ways by a great mind that is really like no other.

Lama Zopa reminded us all that all the teachings of the Buddha fall into two basic instructions:

Do Not Harm Other Beings, Benefit Other Beings.

Within those two pieces of advice lie a vast spectrum of understandings, interpretations, rules and possibilities, however for me, Lama Zopa’s key advice was crystallized when he said that the moment one gives up desire, is the moment one begins to experience real contentment.

He also joked about how it was really Mick Jagger who gave the best teaching in his song, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, through his ability to enumerate upon the downfalls of the desirous and attached state of mind.

It is funny how in life, teachers can appear to us in both virtuous and non-virtuous aspects. Lama Zopa is a true example of someone, who having overcome desire and all faults of the mind, shows others how achieving a state of liberation, peace and perfection is really possible. Not so long ago, I had an encounter of an entirely different kind, with a man full of desire, who in full flight, was able to make me realize just how damaging and disastrous the states of desire, dishonesty, manipulation and attachment can really be. Even those who appear to harm us, also have a teaching of their own to impart.

Although I appreciated the timeless and insightful truths written about love, by the western literary genius, Shakespeare, in his Sonnet CXVI, when they were read at my wedding, nearly twenty years ago, it was the great masters from Tibet who really were able to impart to me, the deeper meaning behind what it means to love another being and how important it is to ensure all our actions are imbued with a positive and virtuous state of mind.

To all my precious and dear teachers who have forever changed our world, our destiny, our karma and our minds, I offer to you my deepest gratitude and pray that one day I am able to repay your limitless kindness, which like time and space, has no beginning and no end.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2020

I, (not inherently existent), twenty one years, born in Kapilavastu, from the tear of Chenrezig, my guru, supreme spiritual friend. I, mahayana babe, too lucky!

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Once upon a time there was a girl more intelligent than anyone else. Really; gosh, that’s unusual! Her name was Oceané, and she was born under a sal tree in Fawkner. Really, what, like the Buddha? Well, if the truth be told, she arrived a teeny weeny babe, that her mother gasped at, and said, “All that effort for that.”  This was actually at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, in Parkville Victoria, under the watchful eye of Lord Buddha, otherwise known as Glynn White, friend of Weary Dunlop and Frank Forster.

Her mother Grace, was a nurse, who happily, naturally enjoyed looking after the welfare of others. This is somewhat debatable, however.

After growing up a bit, from the age of about five years, there was Leeda, a guide friend, born to take care of the blind. We used to share cups of tea together, specially arranged with Oceane’s own formal tea ceremony. Much later a Buddhist temple was constructed nearby.

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 Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2020

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Buddha Mind, Friday 13 August, 2004 (More from A Captain’s Logbook).

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Yesterday Geshe Doga said to Vanessa, “Money enough.” What does this mean? Well, on the positive side, maybe I won’t end up begging on the street, or isn’t this what many Buddhists are doing these days? How are Mahayana Buddhists doing well financially? If you put ethics first, you really need to work with a culture of people who value ethical conduct over materialistic, and selfish, or destructive motivations. Geshe Doga suggested “Computers?” Vanessa thought, OK and what about investigating science even further?

Buddhist science is way more advanced than western ideology (philosophy, psychiatry and psychology). Mind scientists study the mind. Many people don’t even recognise the Hum, the mind, the heart. They, Mahayana Buddhists, study the heart, (meaning, the mind). Now, even though the mind has an interconnection with the brain and the other organs of the body, the mind, is clear and knowing. Psychiatrists study the brain. Buddhists study the body, speech and mind.

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As a mind scientist and philosopher, the study of Lo Rig, Mind and Mental Factors, is essential to working out how to abandon negative states of mind, the six primary delusions and the secondary delusions, (see Alexander Berzin Archives). Buddhists must also focus on how to cultivate Bodhicitta; the bodhicitta motivation, aspiring to and engaging in the deeds of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, to progress along the path to the cessation of suffering and to eventually attain the cessation of suffering, liberation – (freedom from throwing karma, (meaning action)), and Buddhahood.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2020

 

Commentary on the Simpsons – The problems with ordinary appearance and self grasping

In this episode, we look at how Bart is just so distraught because Homer and wifey wifey have decided to go out to some sort of gala event, and they have decided that Lisa is to babysit the children. So, Bart is just outraged and ready to play up. What’s the problem Bart? Samsara is just so annoying! Here we see the bane of meeting with what you do not want and being separated from what you like. The bane of moving from high to low over and over without choice. What’s up Bart’s nostril? Well, I’d say, wrong view.

So what exactly is wrong view, and how does it create sin and negativity, black seeds and negative instinct within the mind? Wrong view imputes inherent existence, it thinks, I inherently exist and so do you, etc. However, that is incorrect. All phenomena lack inherent existence, whilst cause and effect and dependent arising are unfailing. So, the person, the five aggregates are empty of inherent existence. The selflessness of person is that you understand, see and realise the emptiness of the self of person. The selflessness of phenomena is that you don’t grasp at things as being inherently existent in any way at all, you see the emptiness of all phenomena. Even emptiness is empty of inherent existence.

Bart looks at Lisa like she’s the problem in his life and Lisa is looking all good and ready to boss Bart around. What hell! The thing is Lisa is still suffering and also imputing wrong view, so Bart thinks, Lisa, you are no help and just go away and leave me in peace please. The ignorance of a self of person and phenomena is to blame for the misery portrayed and discussed in The Simpsons.

 

 

 

 

How is ignorance the cause of the weather problems, the environmental problems, and the bushfire crisis?

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It is very good that Australians and people overseas are spending up big to support the Australian bushfire appeal. I love to rejoice when beings practice virtue. Virtue is the cause of happiness, good health, but let’s just break down a few things here.

The media have obviously seen the disaster, but is anyone watching what is going on with the flow of funding here? Firstly, poor Scott Morrison is currently facing a beating from the public. Why? His government generously offered $2 billion in aid for the bushfire crisis. The media have no mentioned the actual cost of the crisis to the country just this year have they? Australian’s are so ungratefully hurling abuse at Scott and even if he did make a mistake going to Hawaii, the hatred is negative and unnecessary. If we look a little deeper at the ignorance that is actually causing the suffering, why don’t the media state that it is beings negative karma and delusions that are actually responsible for all this loss and environmental fury.

The ignorance of a self of persons and phenomena is the cause of suffering. It is the cause of cyclic existence. It is not the government of Australia that is necessarily doing the wrong thing here, but the fault of the electorate. Why aren’t the media praising the government for it’s interest and support? $2 billion in aid is significant. Secondly, people have their own insurance policies, and $1 billion in claims have already been lodged, so that is helping to cover the costs. The finance and environment ministers are obviously watching the cost to the community, but how much aid is actually required on top of the fact that insurance would be already paying for some of this problem. Did the bushfire crisis cost $2 billion to the country or more. What is the need for extra money in aid?

Australians aren’t yet free of samsara, and they need to take responsibility for their own mind and actions. Buddhists know that ultimately we are to blame for the suffering we experience. It is caused by sinful behaviour and delusions, and a lack of ethics, concentration and wisdom. Beings in all six realms of samsara need to recognise the need to understand and realise the emptiness of the self of persons and of phenomena. All phenomena lack inherent existence, whilst cause and effect and dependent arising are unfailing.

So there’s been well over $100 million raised in bushfire appeal fundraising efforts. Andrew Forrest kindly donated $70 million, another person donated something like $30 million. And there have been significant efforts from others too. Are people hurling too much money to this one crisis, after the government definitely got behind the Australian’s and offered generous support?

Are Australian’s going to resettle in bushfire prone regions or are they going to seriously question the value of accepting these donations, whilst not attending to the likelihood that this weather problem is not going away unless proper conduct and virtue are adopted and negativity in the heart is abandoned. Don’t people need to move out of bushfire prone areas and settle elsewhere? If the people of the world cover the cost of this crisis, how are Australians’ acting to avoid the same problem next summer or sometime again in the future?

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019.

 

 

The magic of ultimate bodhicitta; the mind aspiring to and engaging in the path to buddhahood with the wisdom realising emptiness.

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For those of you interested in the great vehicle of mahayana buddhism, here are some inspiring soundtracks from this period in movie history.

Vanessa remembers watching this movie Rocky when she was probably about seven or eight years of age. So many if not all would agree it’s a terrific theme song, but if you lack the bodhicitta motivation, the mind aspiring to and engaging in the path to buddhahood, you are really just lost in the tragedy of samsara.

 

 

The Glory of Love is also inspiring as a soundtrack, but you can never go past the need to practice authentic Guru devotion when traversing the path to the cessation of suffering. What we need to do is to recognise the four noble truths; the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the cessation of suffering and the truth of the path to the cessation of suffering. We also need to understand and realise conventional and ultimate truth; the two truths.

In 1986, Vanessa was seventeen and going through much angst and worry as she experienced betrayal during her final year of school. Many years of hardship would follow, as Vanessa battled to seek out and master the path to Buddhahood, for the benefit of all sentient beings. Utterly disgusted by the pain and suffering of the world around, Vanessa began to investigate the causes of her daily trial and how to cessate the causes of samsara, such as the bane of uncertainty and meeting with what we do not want whilst being separated from what we like and need. This is highlighted by such sufferings of the threat of invasion by a wicked regime like China, that is so worldly, so atheist and  so thoroughly backward and selfish. Learning how to battle skilfully, compassionately in a renounced way the true causes of suffering; hatred, ignorance, and attachment is a very meaningful and necessary alternative and also the only viable solution to revolving in a tired and wandering way along the path of conditioned existence.

 

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Why choose Buddhism over Anglicanism?

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2017-01-07-kalachakra-n04_dsc7899

 

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Vanessa went to school training as a private school student in Anglicanism, in Melbourne, Australia. Vanessa studied the Bible when she was just young, memorizing verses to read at recital. We received religious instruction and in many ways, Her Royal Highness, Queen Elisabeth is a very good teacher and guide.

Vanessa used to win gold in the recital and when Vanessa was about eight years of age, and the junior private school she attended asked her to read at Saint Pauls Cathedral in Melbourne for the end of year Christmas prayer and blessing. The Head Mistress praised me and said Vanessa did very well.

Vanessa felt very privileged to attend a private Anglican School. Vanessa used to sit quietly at lunch however, aghast at the bitchiness of other students. Vanessa’s father, Graeme, 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 or maybe even bear doing that job. What snobs and narrow minded atheists humans can be.

Sadly, as my father worked a seven day week, over the years the stress became too much. In Vanessa’s later years she realised it was because her 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, Vanessa was to prepare for a career as either a doctor or lawyer. It was just expected of us to achieve those sort of results, having realised our parents worked hard to give us a good start in life. Appearances, however, are deceptive, and many wealthy families that Vanessa knew in the 1980’s, were in the throws of experiencing the demolition of getting blown apart by acrimonious argument and bitter divorce. Vanessa used to wonder what role did God play in all of this? What was the cause of so much unhappiness, suffering, uncertainty and upheaval?

Vanessa thought to herself, pondering and contemplating, should Vanessa commit to the vows of an Anglican, whilst many wealthly families were experiencing so much hatred, anger, unhappiness and failure? Vanessa looked at Lord Jesus, up there on the cross, being crucified, taking on the suffering of others, and subduing the poor and the wretched, and asked, what is wrong with life, with my life, so fragile 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 Vanessa thought, God isn’t really answering her questions concerning suffering and it’s cause. Vanessa determined to become a Buddha for the sake of all living beings, to solve life’s biggest questions and work out the to cessate  the ignorance of a self, which is most surely the cause to all sin, negativity, delusion and non-virtue. Vanessa thought, only by achieving enlightenment, can one really solve, and cessate suffering and it’s cause. Vanessa thought, 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.

Contemplative

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 Buddhim 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.  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 from the age of 17 to 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 and authentic spiritual guide. This guiding and teaching by the power of good example, 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

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