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.