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.

Why Buddhist mind science is better than the western medical system

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

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

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?

For the past sixteen years I have been medicated for a disease I don’t have. I have been misdiagnosed. I do not have any illness, but I report in for monthly injections for a mental health disorder. My mother and the police and the doctors lied to the public to obtain this diagnosis about me. They said I behaved harmfully. None of the events that have been reported to have taken place concerning me ever even took place.

The first report made by my mother about me took place in 2003. My mother said I threatened her with a knife. I never even had a negative thought to hurt her or anyone else in any way. When I asked my mother why she lied, my mother said it was because she was jealous and she wanted to destroy the communities trust and faith in me as a practicing Buddhist.

I was hospitalised for a month in 2003 and medicated.

In 2013 I was arrested for making a complaint to the police. I was told someone wanted to shoot me. I was advised to ring the police. When the police arrived, they arrested me and lied saying I was being aggressive. All I was looking for was for some help to protect me against potential harm. I was hospitalised, put on a treatment order and medicated.

I went to the gp and specialist for help. I explained to Alan Molloy, a gp that people were lying. I went to my gastroenterologist, Professor Finlay Macrae. I explained that I had been behaving peacefully, but that others were trying to make me look negative. I got no help from the medical community. Instead, they repeated the lies voiced against me. They have lied and slandered my name.

Presently, the medical community have a twenty page report with content of events that never even happened, complaining about conduct I don’t actually engage in and never practiced. Even though I have always told the truth to the medical community, they refuse to honour what has actually occurred and the truth that I speak.

In 2015, my mother lied again to defame me. Anne Guest said I tried to run over her caretaker. I never went anywhere near him and had no such thought. I am on a treatment order for behaviour I don’t engage in. I am medicated for a disease I don’t have. The doctors do not care to listen to or honour the truth. This is a travesty of justice and I need legal help.

Can someone qualified in the Australian or international community honour my honest speech and rectify this travesty of justice to come to my aid and defend me? This is not what the medical and legal community should uphold, this set of wrongdoings and group of lies about a very honest, ethical and law abiding citizen.

Further comments about the benefits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s system of medicine over western science.

15 May 2020

I went to see Alan Molloy of Eastbound Medical Clinic regarding this problem. I reported all the facts to the case honestly to Alan Molloy. I told him what he had heard about me was nothing but slander and lies. There is actually nothing but one person’s word against me talking to the mental health service, lying and slandering my name and then forcing an arrest. The police have no evidence that the lier spoke anything but a lie. My words are being ignored. Usually the justice system says you are innocent until proven guilty. People were keen to believe that I did something wrong. In practice, in Buddhism, you are a sentient being guilty of ignorance and people sin wildly to get their way. They do not keep their vows of moral conduct and the police care little about the process of justice working correctly. They are not Buddhas. They are ordinary sentient beings guilty of acting ignorantly and dishonestly themselves. They do not check if they have been lied to and the legal system does little to protect the innocent here.

I paid twice to see Alan Molloy. Once reporting that he was being misled by this series of lies and then once to take him in a copy of the psychiatrists report. He, Alan Molloy did nothing to benefit me or to uphold the system of justice. I have a confession from my mother where she admitted to me she was lying to brake up my marriage and also because she was jealous and wanted to diminish people’s confidence in me. Alan is biased. He does not practice equanimity or the Buddhist vow. He has also neglected to practice medical science properly.

Anyway. What to do? I am being medicated and others are sinning against me. One really good solution is to just have a whiskey and diet coke and tell these idiots to go jump off the precipice into the lower realms if they like. They like sinning. They like corruption in medicine and law. Mind science is superior to western science, and when you practice properly and adhere to maintaining your Buddhist vows correctly you can see the corruption in psychiatry and western medicine and law.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2020

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Mind. What is it?

Buddhism, Education, ethics, Health, Human Rights, Medicine, Philosophy

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Buddhists alone understand what the mind is. In Australia, this multi-cultural society that we live in, in India, what is that without the Tibetan Buddhist and His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet? Britain, what are you doing? Well, Her Royal Highness the Queen Elisabeth of England is religious, right? Queen Elisabeth has an understanding of the path to Buddhahood, yes or no?

What is this democracy we live in? Is it run by the pig, the chicken and the snake? Or do Buddhas and Bodhisattvas rule the world?

The Australian Government has come up with this foul act, the mental health act, yet it does not acknowledge what the mind actually is and how it functions. The mind, indeed all phenomena are empty of inherent existence, whilst cause and effect and dependent arising are unfailing. So psychiatrists are non-Buddhist. They do not accept the ultimate achievement of the Buddha. The Lord Buddha conquered suffering and it’s cause and the Lord Buddha and his lineage of Lamas perfected virtue or the qualities of the body, speech and mind.

I am going to sit here and discourse on why you shouldn’t let the animal rule. Western scientists think they can be called doctors without having actually realised the enlightened state of mind. This is where they are unheroic. They input an inherently existent self of person and of phenomena. They have ego. They are still partially, if not fully governed by the unruly state of mind of the three poisons; attachment, aversion/hatred/anger and ignorance/wrong view.

The mind is the hum at the heart. The ah is at the throat and should be enlightened speech. The body is the om at the crown. We have three channels. The right, the left and the central channel. Only Buddhists with a precious human rebirth can understand the speech and discourse of the Lord Buddha, the turning of the wheel of the doctrine. The right channel is white, the left channel is red and the central channel is blue. The mind has six chakras. The secret place, the stomach, the heart, the throat, the forehead and the crown. The mind rides the subtle wind which should reside in the central channel. All appearances to the mind and the six senses come from this mind.

Copyright Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019

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Request for new pillows

Buddhism, Culture, Education, ethics, Happiness, Health, Philosophy, Wisdom

Vanessa has been meditating on the emptiness of a self now and the bodhicitta motivation for over twenty years. For the past twenty years, this meditation has been conducted in silent retreat. Vanessa is in need of some new pillows for her residence. So we are sending out a request to the public for funding. Vanessa always recommends using a firm pillow, to give proper support to the neck, head and back.

Giving to support authentic dharma practice creates great merit. By thinking, may I too overcome the causes to samsara, cyclic existence, may this act of giving and love serve to create the cause for my own release from the miserable cycle of suffering. You can begin by taking refuge and generating bodhicitta, reciting the following prayer three times.

I go for refuge until I’m enlightened to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha

From the virtuous merit I create from the practice of giving and other perfections

May I attain the state of a Buddha for the sake of all sentient beings.

To conquer the three poisonous states of mind of attachment, hatred and the ignorance of a self of persons and of phenomena, you need to train in the three scopes of the path to Buddhahood. Obviously training in the six perfections is best, setting the bodhi mind as the motivation for aspiring to and engaging in the path to Buddhahood. Vanessa works long hours, and does quite a bit of community service. Please support this dharma project by clicking on the PayPal link below.

Request for new pillows

Give kindly and generously to this dharma project. All help is greatly appreciated. Create merit today and support authentic Buddhist dharma practice.

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To complete, dedicate the merit by reciting:

May I quickly become Lord Buddha and lead each and every sentient being to his enlightened realm because of these merits

May the precious bodhi mind not yet born arise and grow

May that born have no decline, but increase for evermore.

 

Do you need a drink of alcohol? Just to be specific!

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

Lots of people try to follow discipline. Personally, I recommend following the vinaya. The only thing is however, you need to overcome neurosis and delusion.

You can wake up early, go to work all day, or maybe you just need to meditate and learn wisdom and compassion. I opt for the latter. The day can be long however, and by the late afternoon, most people, if not all, tire and wonder how to cope with the evening. I’m not a sloth. I practice good mindfulness, alertness and introspection, and I keep all my vows of moral discipline, but having some alcohol has proven to sooth the heart and keep my enthusiasm alive.

Why don’t you enjoy a glass of red wine or a gin and tonic or whiskey and diet coke. There is no harm there, as long as you don’t binge drink and over do it. One drink, two drinks, or even three drinks. What people need to learn is to relax and take life with a good healthy dose of renunciation, bodhicitta and correct view. How do you do that? Well you need to follow the wisdom of the wise, people like His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso and motivate yourself with bodhicitta, the wish to be a Buddha for the sake of all sentient beings.

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February 18, 2019 Journal

Buddhism, Culture, Education, ethics, Health, Philosophy

Vanessa 2018 2

I often say, staying present, fully present is important. Stop the worried thoughts of the past and future, what’s happened already or what might happen. Fear should never control one. Buddha’s are fearless. How did they attain the state of fearlessness? Firstly, if you accomplish the skill and wisdom to achieve your own means and then that of others as well, that will reduce or wipeout fearfulness. When you stop harming yourself and others, when you develop compassion and the wisdom realising emptiness, you become a more useful member of the family, the community, the society and the world.

How do you stay fully present? If you focus or concentrate with single pointed concentration, a mental quiescence, and a serenity of mind on the present moment, just concentrating with conscientiousness on the actions of your body, speech and mind, you can attain a mental stability. Without serenity of mind, you can’t attain mental and physical pliancy. You need mental and physical pliancy to evolve in a more virtuous direction, cutting off negative states of mind or instinct for negativity and moving in a more virtuous way.

Meditation means to become familiar with virtue. We need to tie our mind with the rope of mindfulness to the object of meditation, which is the Buddha, to learn how to be virtuous in every moment, how to cut off and to abandon all negativity and non-virtue and ride with a positive mind, a mind motivated to be beneficial to oneself and others at all times.

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Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019

 

Mastering the art of prostrations.

art, Buddhism, Philosophy, Sport, Tibetan Buddhism

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Mantra Count to date (first three days): 282.

Daily Total so far Wednesday 15 November 2017: 103.

This is all just an experiment really to see how or what is the balance for a 48 year old. How much is too much or too little. At any rate, I need to improve strength and fitness. It’s a practice in relaxation. Meditation and prostration. It’s subduing to the heart realising the impact of ageing and sickness. 400 prostrations a day was just a target, but I’m not sure how realistic that is for someone like me.

Personally I enjoy mahamudra meditation. Prostrations should combine well with that. There’s not a lot to say when you look at Lama Tsong Khapa who managed apparently to achieve a count of 3.5 million prostrations over the course of his life. The culture these days isn’t terribly supportive of spiritual practice. Tibetan culture is deep and of course very meaningful when you study the opportunity of a precious human rebirth to attain enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. It’s a challenge facing the hatred in humans in general when you endeavour to put into practice the advice and commitments for training the mind in virtue and of course bodhicitta.

 

Prostrations, Prostrations

art, Buddhism, Culture, ethics, Health

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Bodhi Stupa

 

Friends, this was my wonderful idea yesterday. Three million full length prostrations over 21 years. Darling, I’m getting on in years, says this ole body of mine. Don’t you just want to lie around and fart?

Don’t laugh. Well, you can, it’s funny what happens to your body, speech and mind when you announce to the universe a grand slam whopping idea like that one. Did I get any sleep last night? No. Can I move around very easily today. Not really. Gee Mum, I just did another 40 prostrations. That’s good isn’t it! Anyway, as the old story goes, slowly slowly the turtle beats the hare and wins the race. Who mentioned a race? Don’t turn this into a race; good spiritual practice is far more advanced and subtle than that.

The mantra count for the first session of the day is at 40. I’m aiming for at least 100 today.   A slight improvement on yesterday. I don’t know after completing the cooking of a good homemade pesto dish, if I have 200 prostrations in me by 10 or 11pm tonight. The idea is to keep the heart and mind relaxed.

The first two days accumulative count so far is at 119. You don’t need the gym. You don’t need a stressed out walk along a filthy beach shoreline. Just stay at your place and work off your negative karma and purify by either confession to the 35 Buddhas, or Praises to Chenrezig, or recitation of Buddha mantra. That’s far more meaningful, beneficial and wholesome. It’s also very meritorious to do such a practice with the bodhi mind as one’s purpose and motivation. The mind aspiring to and engaging in the path to enlightenment; the path to the cessation of suffering. No one likes suffering, but suffering is what many beings do experience.

This practice is being sponsored on some level. If you would like to make a donation to this worthwhile program, please feel happy to contribute to the sponsorship of wholesome spiritual endeavour for the benefit of many.

 

ANZ Account V A Walsh

BSB: 013355

Account Number: 551336053.

You can email me your details so I can say thanks for the kind contribution to a wholesome spiritual life’s work. email: vanessaannewalsh@gmail.com

Have a good day. Tashi Delek. ( All auspiciousness).

 

Prostrations Image