Goodness Me

How do you prove to someone that you love them?

I guess you need to show them the way. However.

It’s a bit tricky. Mostly people think, what the fuck do you want? You’re not going to rob me, are you? What are you doing here? I’ve had enough. Go away.

Gee, from my experience, that’s not too happy, or friendly.

Dear Merlin, maybe grow up.

Yeahyah, I mean grow up. What would I be doing here without you????

No I’m not really canvassing disciples, I am trying to teach you I’m worth it. Ho hum, what does that mean?

Goodness me, I’m lost, No Vanessa isn’t lost, she is worthwhile, but you deal a mean deal. Why sack me? Apparently, the company didn’t like the romance, or was it something truly worthwhile? Either way, I win. Do I really? When are you going to come onboard? Now would be good for all of us.

A little lesson on renunciation here is to learn to give up completely. Maybe, as I have often stated, the worldly mind is always the enemy to true consultation.

Hmmm, maybe I am for real after all. So thanks, why not give me a ring?

 

 

 

 

 

The Language of Love

Birth of the Buddha

 

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-centered 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. Quote from The Buddha

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2011

The Buddha’s Begging Bowl

Four Sights of Birth, Aging, Sickness and Death

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 adhere’s 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.

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 realised that to achieve the final stages of enlightenment, he would need to partake of the offering of rice from Sujuta. After partaking of the meal, one tradition states that the Buddha then threw away the small amount of food left in that bowl to symbolise 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 symbolise 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. At Daily Buddhism, stained or contaminated actions are explained as follows;

The use of the word stained or contaminated refers to actions, emotions or thoughts that are stained by selfish attachment, or by hatred, greed or ignorance.

When we are motivated by an attached state of mind, and cling onto material possessions, relationships or even ideas, we fail to recognise the objects intransigent and impermanent nature. 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 Nargajuna 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.

Whilst I am no expert, I would say that the Buddha with his Alms or Begging Bowl is an important symbol 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 minimise our ever-expanding impact on this precious planet.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2011

Why We Must Abandon Negative Speech

 

Modern society needs an improved form of communication. Our obsession with the lives of celebrities and the rich will never lead to the inner peace and freedom from suffering we are all seeking. If one’s concern lies with keeping up with daily gossip, this is no different to continuously rolling an old record. It is very unlikely that one does anything but harm to oneself and others by absorbing oneself in gossip and the private affairs of others, not to mention obsessing over harsh or divisive language and speech that is motivated by ignorance, lust, hatred or anger. When inuendo about our politicians is printed in the public arena, much damage is caused in the minds of others by misinformation that is circulated by the press. What I particularly object to is comments made that are untrue, harsh or divisive, not to mention the constant media speculation and inquiry into private concerns, which is not the business of others. To find peace, one must focus upon creating positive, wholesome deeds and not get entangled in the net of attachment, hatred and ignorance which binds sentient beings to cyclic existance.

What everyone wants to conquer is birth, aging, sickness and death. The only way to do this is to follow the advice of highly realized beings, the Buddha and his disciples. If you think you can achieve these sorts of accomplishments without guidance from someone who has freed themselves from the cycle of rebirth, you are really deluding yourself. The path to true, lasting, happiness is the path to the cessation of all suffering. You will not find lasting peace and comfort via any other means.

When is everyone going to wake up to this basic fact, the Four Noble Truths?

Practice love and compassion and stop judging others. Ignorance about the basic nature of reality, the way self and phenomena exist is the root cause of all suffering. If you do not understand the way in which the self and other phenomena exist, you have no hope of achieving your aims of freedom and peace. Grasping at a self is the root of all delusions. Saying I, I, I all the time, is the path to unending failure and misery.

Everyone needs to accept personal responsibility for achieving freedom from suffering and this can only be achieved by taking responsibility for one’s own actions and refraining from blaming others when things don’t go our way. We are the creators of our own peace and freedom. Adopting the right motivation is the key to overcome all suffering. Cherish the happiness of others, respect the rights of others to live a happy life and do your best to stop harming others with actions of body, speech and mind. This kind of advice has a long and very well established, practiced and proven history and was not invented in the New Age. By taking on board this kind of advice, one secures for oneself the opportunity for improving ones inner happiness and experience of inner peace, contentment and sense of satisfaction. The nature of reality is what it is. Ignorance has the nature of suffering and wisdom has the nature of peace, bliss and freedom. By practicing the path of love and compassion, working for the benefit of others, one can unlock the keys to liberation and enlightenment, and close the door to the lower realms and endless suffering.

Do yourself and others a favour and abandon hatred, anger, jealousy, pride and attachment. Understand what it means when one says the self lacks inherent existence.

Playing with your apple computer won’t act as the answer to all your problems. In fact, it is highly likely that they will increase with the continual pace of development.

One must meditate in order to understand the deeper nature of reality, the fact that love and not desire brings happiness and inner contentment.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2011