Starry Starry Night

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

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

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

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2020

The Beat Box

art, Buddhism, Culture, Education, ethics, Happiness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Geshe Vanessa Pollock Rinpoche 2015.

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

Buddhism, Culture, Education, Health, Media, Philosophy

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James Packer 2020 2

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2020

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

 

An Unforgettable Afternoon Tea

art, Buddhism, Culture, Education, ethics, Life Writing, Philosophy

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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

What’s wrong with marijuana?

Buddhism, Culture, Education, ethics, Health, Medicine, News, Philosophy

A lot of people I know tried it. From my perspective of compassion and wisdom, I can quite clearly say, it does you no good. Firstly, everyone should know by now that smoking does cause cancer, and doesn’t do you any good. Marijuana also has nasty toxins. Have you ever tried walking after smoking? It’s very difficult. One’s lungs feel as though they have just suffered a horrible beating.

My father used to smoke cigarettes, but when I was young I managed to convince him to try the mediholder cigarette filter. Every day he would clean out the black tar that got trapped in the filter. That black tar ordinarily gets inhaled into the lungs causing disease and sickness. No one likes getting sick, so stop doing things like smoking that ruin one’s health.

In my experience, smoking causes increased anxiety, depression, hallucination or paranoia, suicidal thoughts and selfishness. It’s a selfish act. I think you can find Gurus and their disciples who care whether or not you engage in harmful acts. In Buddhism, it is considered to be very negative or harmful to engage in acts that harm the five aggregates. A person is the emptiness of form, feeling, recognition, karmic formations and consciousness. These are the five aggregates that are empty of inherent existence. Cause and effect and dependent arising however, are unfailing. This means unless you purify negative karma, you will experience the suffering result of behaving badly or negatively. On the positive side, if you are always virtuous, you will experience a happy set of results.

Do yourself and the community a favour and live well. Live healthily with compassion and the bodhicitta mind motivating your every action of body, speech and mind. Learn to aspire to and engage in the path to Buddhahood. That is a goal that is beyond the cycle of suffering. It is beyond samsara and cyclic existence. It, Buddhahood, transcends and cuts off or cessates the causes of suffering. Buddhahood has cessated the three types of suffering; the suffering of suffering (i.e. a headache or flu), the suffering of change; watching the elements age a home, and pervasive suffering, where life can always be found to contain some type of mental or physical suffering. Life is pervaded by suffering and it’s causes.

Learn how to go beyond the ordinary sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death. Learn how to accomplish one’s own purpose and the purpose of others as well. Accomplishing the two purposes is a win win situation and good for everyone.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019

 

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