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.

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 Things I Do For You – Learning how to be beneficial and not harmful with everything you do.

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

My name is Vanessa Anne Pollock. I have been working full time as a Mahayana Buddhist for 27 years. I met His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet in Melbourne, in 1992. It’s a nice story. I told this story in Nights in the Moon Lily Garden.

Vanessa, a young arts and business student from Monash University, aged twenty three, went out to dinner with Christian Walsh to a Chinese restaurant in the city of Melbourne, one Tuesday night. From memory we ate around 9pm. We both enjoyed a decent meal, I think you could say. After eating and paying for the meal, we slowly left the restaurant and made our way towards the car. On the way, we walked past the Theosophical Bookstore and stopped to have a look in the window. I glanced at a copy of Freedom in Exile by His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, that was displayed in the window. Christian, who was a young and fit landscape designer, aged about twenty seven, quietly spoke to Vanessa, “I’ve just finished reading this book, Freedom in Exile. It’s excellent. You should read it. His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso is really a man that harmonizes the word. He doesn’t falter. His Holiness is a wonderful leader. I like to be lead by such a holy man.”

“Yes, I quite agree. That’s wonderful. I will read that now,” Vanessa said without hesitation.

Then Vanessa looked with interest at a flyer stuck on the window of the Theosophical bookstore. It had an image of His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, looking wise and compassionate, advertising the 1992 tour to Australia of His Holiness. Christian said, “Oh great what is this?” The flyer announced that there were tickets on already on sale, and the public could, at their discretion, join as a benefactor to the tour, for $1000.00. Vanessa didn’t have much money at the time, but carefully and joyfully spoke up, “Christian, would you like to go halves with me and get two benefactor tickets to support the tour of His Holiness to Australia?”

Christian considered. “Alright then. Do you feel OK about that? We don’t have that much cash at the moment.”

Vanessa didn’t feel too concerned, rather inspired and uplifted. “Christian, I think it’s a good idea.” Vanessa started to memorize the phone number which indicated where to purchase the tickets for the tour. The flyer stated the contact details of Tara Institute, a Melbourne Buddhist Centre, and then after reading, Vanessa said to Christian, “I will go to this Buddhist Centre tomorrow and pick up the tickets. I can get to the bank in the morning.”

So, apart from having the good karma of supporting the cost of the Buddhist teaching tour of His Holiness to Australia, benefactors received two tickets to a number of events in their home city to learn about the Buddhist path.

Vanessa and Christian both consider this to be a wonderful way to learn from experts how to practice virtue the white actions of body, speech and mind, and how to abandon the cause of suffering, the black actions and the delusions which propel negative acts. These are the  delusions of ignorance, hatred and attachment, which must be cessated to enjoy the fruits of higher rebirth, liberation and enlightenment.

 

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019.

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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The downfall of divisive speech.

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

I am going to write about the subject of negative karma, and how to avoid engaging in the ten black actions of body, speech and mind. If you engage in negative acts of body, speech and mind, you accumulate negative energy or black karma. Karma means action. Actions can be either black which are negative, and create the causes of suffering and misery, or white actions of body, speech and mind, which accumulate merit and act as a cause of good health, happiness, and wealth or prosperity.

Divisive speech is very negative. My mother unfortunately doesn’t understand how negative her speech is. Sometimes I even feel like she is illiterate, except to say she is pushed along by a very negative mind and motivation. When I was in my early twenties and practicing Buddhism, I was hoping to lead as many beings as possible along the Buddhist path, which I think gives people the opportunity to create much virtue and live a wholesome and meaningful life. I spoke to my old school friends and university friends about the virtues of being a Buddhist, but I didn’t get very far, because my mother chimed in and claimed, like the Chinese communists, that the tradition of Buddhism is garbage. Like a real sloth, atheist and negative being, she slammed my decision to be Buddhist.

The basis was my university and school friends, where we all used to get along, and I encouraged them to follow a healthy pathway to get out of the drug scene and give up smoking and to meditate on virtue instead. However, as soon as these people heard my mother bagging Buddhism, they soon disappeared from my life, falling for the lies and gossip and division that mother actually caused. So the recognition was unmistaken, Out of jealousy and ignorance, my mother severed the connection I had with these people.

The motive was wanting to cause such a division and to reduce the influence I had over these people. The delusion, as I have said, was jealousy, hatred and ignorance. The deed was as follows. Anne wished to divide the people who once got along and to not affect a reconciliation between those who did not. The final step is when the people understand the meaning of those words. So the karma of divisive speech was complete, because I have not seen these people who I was once friends with at school and university ever since. Anne wished to discourage me and my friends from following Buddhism or for engaging in the practice of meditation.

The consequence for Anne, twenty seven years on, is that she no longer seems to have the karma to see even her own daughter. In this blog, I have spoken about another set of lies and divisive speech that my mother engaged in to decimate peoples confidence and trust in me. I agree it’s all very sad to see the negative effect of engaging in black actions motivated by anger/hatred, attachment/desire and ignorance/wrong view. I have in my motivation, only been trying to educate and help. However, due to the delusions in others minds, still to date there has been little improvement in the situation.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019

 

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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

 

War on Terror

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

Malcolm Turnbull got things a bit wrong, What? Trade with China is what he thought. What? Sell our precious spring water to those fuckwits, who abuse every living being because they never worked out love and compassion, wisdom and so forth?

Darling Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop discussed it. So did John Howard, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and so forth. We couldn’t forget gorgeous George Bush. Has anyone here got an idea of what extremism is? It’s wrong view. It’s seeing phenomena as inherently existent. The wrong view of a self of persons and of phenomena is the root cause of all suffering. A being with correct view understands the selflessness of persons and of phenomena. The I and mine are empty of true existence, whilst cause and effect and dependent arising are unfailing.

There goes your future China, Russia, Neo Nazi Germany and so forth. Oh gosh, and how could I forget the Middle East? You fascists, you communists, you fail to understand the middle way school of thought, of Prasangika Madhyamika, which discerns phenomena correctly. So ram that up your ugly, smelly arse.

Today, sweet children, we are discussing water. We all need water, or haven’t your parents told you that already? Some countries think they have a good water supply. Tibet used to be an efficient, environmentally friendly nation. That was until the barbaric Chinese communists took over and toxified every living being in that region. What shit heads they are. Don’t you agree? Why don’t you pay for a proper education, and pay here?

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What haven’t they, (the extremists) done wrong? First they murdered a lot of the sweet people. They tortured monks, who were motivated and dedicated to the path of full awakening. Not in any way an intelligent thing to do. So you dickheads, all go to hell. Mao Tse Tung became a crab, then after a while of suffering chronically, he went to hell. Perfect.

Do you feel in the mood for me to continue? What happened to the four main rivers that flowed from the Tibetan Plateau into Asia. Well China fucked everything up of course, what with nuclear testing, environmental pollution and so forth. And what, you idiots are still interested in dealing in business with these insane murderous lunatics. Xi Jinping, (who pongs), shut up and stop taking my money. No? Then die better.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019

Nights in the Moon Lily Garden – Chapter Five

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Grasping At A Self Of Person

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.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019

 

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