The downside of anger and the upside of patience

Buddhism, ethics, Happiness, Health, Medicine, meditation, Philosophy, Tibetan Buddhism

I am going to talk about why anger is negative. Anger is a deluded state of mind that causes suffering. Any action motivated by anger causes harm. Anger is the mindstate that wishes to harm or cause destruction to either oneself or others. You need to think well about your motivation before engaging in any action of body, speech or mind, because when you engage in actions of body, speech or mind you create either virtuous or non-virtuous karma. Karma means action and the endless round of action motivated by ignorance or wrong view causes cyclic suffering, cyclic existence or samsara.

Any action motivated by anger is considered to be negative by all beings really. No-one wants to be harmed. Everyone is wishing for happiness and it’s causes which is virtue. There are so many things to say here. Anger is ugly. It makes you look stupid. It has no valid basis. It is caused by ignorance. The three root poisons of anger, desire/attachment/lust and ignorance drive the process and experience of suffering. Anger/hatred also destroys merit that is not dedicated to the path or result of full awakening.

There are three types of suffering. There is the suffering of suffering, like getting wounded or having a headache. There is the suffering of change, where things could be going well for a while, then change occurs and you find things are doing less well, or there are more problems. Then there is the pervasive suffering. As long as your mind is afflicted with the ignorance of a self, as long as you falsely impute inherent existence and you grasp and an inherently existent I or mine, you have the three types of suffering. Pervasive suffering means things are never really perfect. Why? Because you are ignorant of the way phenomena actually exist.

All phenomena are empty of inherent existence, whilst cause and effect and dependent arising are unfailing. When you realize the thought of the Buddha, you will understand this is the actual reality on a conventional and ultimate level.

There are three types of patience and I have explained this in a previous post. Patience has many upsides. It’s a virtue, it’s one of the six or ten perfections of body, speech and mind and it causes oneself to appear more beautiful, than those afflicted by the delusions of samsara, or anger, attachment and ignorance.

Practicing loving kindness and patience, wisdom and compassion is the way to cessate the causes of samsara or cyclic suffering. Abandon anger and adopt virtue wherever you are and no-matter what you are doing. The hellish types of consequence that arise from being non-virtuous have long been thought of by the Buddha as something the individual or community create out of stupidity. Anger never brings any benefit. It is always wrong. You need the validity of a valid cognizer to understand why you have been suffering since beginingless time and how to cut the root of cyclic existence with the wisdom realizing emptiness and compassion or the bodhimind that aspires to and engages in the path and of course causes of Buddhahood.

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Unfortunately you can see the negative effects of anger all around the community. People do not drive these days with enough care. What I am saying is that people’s driving is crazy, stupid and of course, ridiculous. People are rude and aggressive, angry and hateful. Just look at the speed people travel with on the highway. 100km per hour is too fast for a calm mind and a virtuous mind. Anger hurtles people down the road, sometimes headlong into other objects, causing death and destruction and injury. There is a gross lack of patience and concern for one another.

Walking down the street along the pavement is difficult. Humans don’t walk in an orderly way. They push and shove. They don’t adhere to the side of the pavement that works the way cars travel in the traffic. Instead, they just barge into one another, refusing to get out of each others way. There is no patience, there is no respect.

This is the ugly way anger manifests. Of course, hatred has caused many conflicts and wars. Anger has no upside. It is a faulty and malicious state of mind that must be abandoned and cessated.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2018

How to abandon the beached whale

Buddhism, Culture, Diet, Food, Happiness, Health

jan19-landing-getstarted-1174x650

 

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Yes, I know it’s been said before. New Year, New Year’s resolution, how to diet, how to get that fit, young feeling, that Elle Macpherson trim taught and terrific look. What? At the age of fifty? Hmmm, well these days, people don’t exactly embrace ageing well. I’m not really here to bore you. I could say, yes, you bore me.

So, we’ve been through several periods. Molly Meldrum’s hum drum. Yes, but I’m funnier.

I’ve thought about Jenny. Hmmm, Jenny Craig. Jenny is nice. I don’t need to cook. I’ve cooked for the past thirty years. I’m a gourmet. There’s no pesto pasta like my pesto pasta. I’m not here to brag, but my Thai Red Curry and Rice is good too. Anyway, the problem is, I need to lose the kilos. I used to be nice and small, but then I got cooking. That’s smart, life is what it is. It needs meaning. Why not enjoy yourself a bit and cook a decent meal, instead to tearing around town like a chook without your head on behaving in the abominably meaningless and selfish way of an aetheist. Ya, I’m Buddhist and happy to be that way.

Here, there is lot’s to discuss. Really, how do you lose weight on Jenny Craig when it’s healthy and of course beneficial to have or to enjoy a whiskey? OH what, so now I’m damned? I don’t think so. So it’s 5000 kilojoules daily and I am advised by my doctor to drink whiskey. Outcome number one, my dress size probably won’t decrease that much. Still, I can ponder a bit more. Did you figure out the meaning of life? Well I did, it means you should and of course need to be happy. Now I’m not a hedonistic narcissist. And I’m not getting into an argument over that subject.

Did I get anywhere? Well, I don’t have as many dishes to wash, and apparently Jenny Craig is organised by a group of scientific dieticians and medics. So that’s something. My diet is good too, but a lot of work. The bad news is I need to lose weight. So, how much damage does to whiskey and diet coke do to one’s waist line as one attempts to drop one kilo or so a week. See, I’m going to document this, because some alcohol is good for the heart. Whiskey has around 300 kilojoules or so per glass. There’s no kilojoule count with the diet coke. I’ll probably have to move a bit however.

The modern era has some good things, but how to get over the incessant neuroticism? That’s something that I believe probably causes cancer. The weather this summer is good. Nice and warm, not too windy and I’m out for a break. Can I lose any weight however? What if I went for a swim and a walk? I know, it’s all been said and done before, but did you check out the stress levels attached with the dieters dream to lose weight? Miranda Kerr is young. Does she look after her children properly however, or is she always struggling away at the gym?

Stay tuned. This is jiminny crickets. Norm once wisely said, isn’t beer better?

 

 

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War – (part one)

Buddhism, Culture, ethics, Freedom, Happiness, Health

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This is evidence of course of terrorism and wrong view engaged in by haters of the Dalai Lama retinue.

 

2015; Approximately one week prior to the Yamantaka retreat at the Blue Mountains in Sydney, NSW.

It ws a sunshiny autumn day. Clear skies, no wind. I had to pack to prepare for a tour of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet. Remember, Tibet isn’t Chinese, although it has been known to be corrupt, hence the invasion by China, the communist regime that murdered 1 million Tibetans and destroyed six thousand monasteries, prior to the cultural revolution that Mao Tse Tung orchestrated which brought the whole world into a state of utter chaos.

Climbing into my car, I drove down a busy street, lined with golden and red autumn leaves. They are dead mind you. What do people have in mind for me? After driving fifteen minutes and nearly reaching the highway, a car full of thugs approached and started to harass me on the road from behind. I picked up speed, trying to get out of their way, but upon entering the highway they appeared from my rear view mirror to become even more threatening and out of control. As we took of from the lights, I noticed a bus and several cars swerve to get out of these thugs way, as their car chased me down the highway.

Several minutes later, I pulled off the highway in disgust, and jumped out of the car that stopped in a no standing zone, to hide. The middle eastern thugs approached warning me not to get back into the car, because they threatened to detonate a car bomb. I was hiding, but heard them as they approached my empty vehicle.

Several tense minutes later, they left, and I ran off down a neigbouring street, shitting as went, in terror. I made my way slowly to a friends residence. No mobile phone, no keys, no wallet, I was terrified and in distress. This all took place between 9:20am and 10am early one morning.

At approximately 10:30am or 11am I sought refuge at Tara Instiute’s Café Bliss, and was given some food and money to return home. I decided to catch the train, because I had become frightened of the road. It took me until 4pm to get home, so frightened was I. I called the police to report the incident, but no action was taken and I was fined for parking in a no standing zone. It took me one month to recover the vehicle, because I had to investigate just how serious this car bombing threat was. The police never got back to me, but it is a clear example of how shugden practitioners hate the followers of the Dalai Lama and seek to destroy the Buddhist practitioners’ inner peace and safe lifestyle wherever possible.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2018

How to Overcome Anger and Hatred

Buddhism, Culture, ethics, Happiness, Health, Medicine, Philosophy, Tibetan Buddhism

From the Buddhist viewpoint, all conditions of samsara, all suffering, the suffering of suffering, the suffering of change and pervasive suffering, these all stem from the three poisonous states of mind of attachment, hatred and ignorance. To overcome the three poisonous states of mind, we need to apply antidotes to these three main delusions.

To begin the journey of Buddhism, it is best to learn how to take refuge in a reliable object, in a reliable triple gem, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. This series of instructions can guide you towards a greater sense and experience of inner peace, enjoyment and happiness.

How to Overcome Anger and Hatred – $80.00

You will need to provide your address or email and the advice will be posted to you. Email magentayamantaka@gmail.com

About Vanessa Anne Pollock

Vanessa Pollock is a trained Buddhist Lhama and Artist. Vanessa has over forty years experience in dharma practice and Buddhist philosophical advice and training. Vanessa has completed a four year retreat on tantra and compassion under the guidance of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet and Venerable Geshe Doga. Vanessa has also completed another three year retreat onwisdom knowledge and emptiness.

A Little Ditty

Buddhism, Culture, Happiness

In praise of this spiritual dance with Mick, Keith and His Holiness

A Little Ditty in Honour of the braver aspects of Mick, Keith and the Rolling Stones I’ll write you both a little ditty seeing that have all aged so well, and escaped the deep ravine. It’s called keep your filthy socks off sweetie, and enjoy the eccentricities of divine aspect – or not.

We all know Mick engages in a little meditation or two Have ever you met the incomparable Shantideva?
I hope to see you when you really take your clothes off In emptiness

My divine wisdom eye is always on you
We shan’t mention Nagarjuna
Or did you first understand non-attachment from He?
Micky Micky Mick
so cute with that little tush of yours
that keeps waggling
for peaceful absorption
Did you know Buddha always knows when to hide your unfaithful aspect To keep you sustained in spiritual faith
Swippie Swippie Swoo
You raised us out of the drudgery of divorce
vanquishing our nervous tensions
that hid in horror from commercial realities
and buried our happiness and freedom aspect in mundane torture
We waited for a friend and you came
Ta for that!
Who said the Rolling Stones didn’t understand the downfalls of desire? Anyway, anyway gotta go
Sweet dreams forever and ever and ever

 

Copyright © Vanessa Pollock

The Union of Bliss and Emptiness

Buddhism, Happiness

The emptiness[1] of love[2], of life[3], of enlightenment[4]. Can words really express this ultimate reality? On Sunday night, my Guru[5] spoke to me in a liberating[6], and intoxicating[7] way. Suggestive, transformative, uplifting, heartbreakingly beautiful. My mind sings when He[8] is its focus. Voidness[9] glistens, bubbling away, dissolving that which is harmful, revealing the pure essence of phenomena, its blissful heart.

After spending hours in meditation, my mind soothed and quieted into a blissful void quiescence that left me transported to a pure realm of bliss and purity, I prepared to go to bed. Having some tea and yoghurt, I listened to the evening news close to midnight, before preparing for bed and more absorption. My Guru appeared, listening with a loving heart and mind, he transfixed my vision. In an ultimate state we danced together. The many aspects of emptiness revealed, unraveling the ordinary state of perception, erasing suffering completely. After, united and spent, I was left to observe the traces of my own impurity and to recognize so clearly how such attitudes of hatred, anger and displeasure  tear away at lasting happiness, causing nothing but pain, misery and suffering. How clear this realization was. Truly, to be absorbed in emptiness, in ultimate bodhicitta[10], this is where real happiness lies. To be united in peace with one’s master, this is the goal of life itself. Nothing can match such peace, or the purity, the ultimate state of being for me, and perhaps others as well.

[1] Emptiness is the true state of reality, the mode in which all phenomena exist.

[2] To love another being means wishing them to be happy. To strive for the happiness of others.

[3] Life means to have heat.

[4] Enlightenment is the state where one has overcome and extinguished all faults of the body, speech and mind and achieved the highest state of perfection by developing the body, speech and mind to their ultimate state of purity and perfection.

[5] Guru is a spiritual teacher, a being that has fully perfected him or herself to the state of everlasting happiness, peace and freedom from suffering. An authentic Guru is a being that has achieved the ultimate state of enlightenment.

[6] Liberating means to free one from all forms of suffering.

[7] Intoxicating means to abide in bliss.

[8] He is Buddha. A being that has achieved Buddhahood, the ultimate state of peace, purity and perfection. Fully Awakened, Fully Enlightened, Transcendent One.

[9] Voidness means that all phenomena lack inherent existence. All phenomena are empty of inherent existence.

[10] Bodhicitta is the mind that aspires to and engages in the path to enlightenment.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2015

The Language of Love

Buddhism, Freedom, Happiness, Health, Love and Compassion, Philosophy, Writing

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

Buddhism, Happiness, Health, Life, Philosophy, Writing

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

Buddhism, Freedom, Happiness, Health, Philosophy

 

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

The One – the Lover and the Best Friend

Freedom, Happiness, Life, Life Writing, Love and Compassion, Philosophy, Writing
#Actors Michael Pena and Yari De Leon after #T...

Image by joykennelly via Flickr

I saw a movie in this week. Three times. It’s called The Lincoln Lawyer. It struck some deep notes.

In samsara, when you meet beauty, when you meet true love, things can go awry. This is a story about a young man, a wonderful young man, not rich, but with genuine qualities who meets The One. One night in bar they meet. The sparks fly. He recognizes her beauty instantly and values it. She finds him sexy and drops her price. The chemistry is there. The future awaits.

As samsara would have it, a jealous, uncreative and corrupt man looks on. Seething with rage and hatred, he makes the determination to ruin it all. Unbeknownst to the lovers, he lies in wait, cultivating his evil motivation. In circumstances where sex and love are involved, evil watches on close by.

I suppose why this movie hit such a deep note is because I can draw so many parallels with events that have taken place in my own life. This movie focused upon a deep psychology, a psychology common to samsara, however this subject lies in a field of vision the ordinary person most often doesn’t recognize. The rich lay idly complacent, and the poor, wholesome ones unfortunately get lost in their naiveté and innocence.

When a common, uncreative and flawed ordinary being witnesses the play of true love and wisdom, their mind begins to spin out of control. Unable to contain their hatred, jealousy, fear and competitiveness, the wretched determine a plan that attempts to undermine such love and innocence and does its best to make the whole system fail. This of course will only further prolong the suffering of all concerned, but the evil mind never pays heed to that. Too ignorant to fathom the true depth of the consequences of an evil act, the uncreative mind is unrelenting in its inability to face up to the shallow nature of its own focus.

When you see others succeed, when you witness true love, don’t try to destroy it and take it away. Rejoice and recognize that by supporting such a rare event you create the causes for your own future happiness and success. Anything else is but a folly and a play of the unoriginal.

 

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2011