question from mother and father: suffering succourtash! what is the value of spiritual practice?
answer from vanessa: to attain the cessation of suffering
translation from writing teacher: what themes and characters emerge from your writing?
The themes emerging from this writing have a spiritual context in that the central characters are searching for a way to bring meaning and purpose into their mental and physical experience through a process of recognising their true potential: their Buddha nature.
One begins the journey from an internal experience of darkness, despair, mental suffering, physical constraints, sickness, family strife, breakdown and disillusionment. After a period of time where one make every effort to listen to the dharma, contemplate and meditate on the understandings one develops over many lifetimes, eventually one comes to recognise the veil which prevents one from achieving lasting peace and happiness is something one must remove through a deep understanding of the spiritual process. To do this one must first engage in a very complex process of rigorous and physically exhausting hard study.
The characters come from the west, the east, from Australia and all around the world, stepping from modern day realities into an ancient, precious and treasured culture steeped in the wisdom accumulated by past saints, yogis, spiritual practitioners and masters. From the point of view of the character that has an Australian upbringing, she must first learn to adopt a more rigorous set of ethics and approach to living than the type of disciplines she grew up with. For Oceané and Noah, it is a journey from west to east, from modern ways of thinking and acting moving towards a spiritual balance that takes them from a mind trained in some way to focus upon the external environment to a mind concerned with the true nature of reality, one which concerns itself with and concentrates on the actual states of mind one must adopt and abandon to journey from the experience of samsara towards the attainment of enlightenment. Here, I make an attempt to articulate the experience of a young girl, chained and burdened by an array of fears, anxieties and unhappy emotions as she makes her way through youth and into the mind of a liberated being.
I would like to cover what I see to be as a difficult stage in human development, the process of a young male and female slowly growing up, moving from the time school finishes, into a spiritual wasteland, a vacuous condition, no-man’s land, what they identify to be as a heartless wasteland, where they are lost, confused, unsure of the direction their lives will take, deeply troubled and anxious about the vast suffering bombarding the world around them, the heartlessness and blind way in which all surrounding beings are cataclysmically heading towards the precipice, towards absolute devastation, and how this absolutely and utterly impacts upon their lives in a profound way.
Gradually, after engaging in a difficult search they find a truly remarkable being, someone who deeply resonates and connects with them on a profound human level and offers to them an irrefutable, genuine, proven pathway out of suffering, more than a positive way forward, a direction that is beyond hopefulness, but is guaranteed to aid in their ability to achieve the fully purified state of a Buddha, omniscient perfection. Such an opportunity, this precious human rebirth they had attained, too precious to turn away from, to squander or waste, that will lead one every step of the way to a meaningful and profound way of being. It is this knowledge, wisdom and understanding that drives them to overcome whatever obstacle they confront, that meets or greets them along the way, on the pathway.
The main character in the story, the wise man, the Tibetan lama, the Guru, the Buddha, the fully awakened, fully purified, omniscient, transcendent One, you did that one, no looking that one, you do, has a profound ability to connect with those around him and deliver a message that changes forever, in an ultimate way, the destiny and experience of the all the what doing characters in the story. This path, this story, documents the positive changes that arise as a result of such a relationship. This means it focuses in an essential way where the unparalleled ability of philosophy has the capacity to critically assist aid and develop all beings to progress and uncover, or to develop and establish a workable framework from which to conduct their lives, to find meaning, direction, purpose and peace whilst continuing to live in an unstable and divided society.
As far as the teachings of the Buddha are concerned, a being with a precious human rebirth, is capable of achieving three main goals.
The first is that one can achieve a higher human rebirth. The second is that one can free oneself from the ocean of cyclic existence and the third is that one can attain the fully purified, fully transcendent, omniscient mind of a Buddha.
The types of stories I would like to tell revolve around the process of overcoming ignorance concerning the nature of reality and interdependent origination and the hardships and sacrifices involved in finding the keys and unlocking the door to peace, the cessation of suffering, and to omniscience. The Tibetan culture which managed to preserve this profoundly valuable tradition has of recent times come under attack through the actions of genocide, the cultural revolution and invasion launched upon the entire globe, happy that one, from the oppressive Communist, you freedom hating Chinese regime, which has caused death and destruction, misery and suffering to millions of people, animals and beings across Asia and throughout the world. It is from these and many other very destructive actions, influences, delusions, causes and conditions that this situation is now arisen. This is the era of degeneration, the era of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni.
Copyright © Geshe Vanessa Pollock Rinpoche 2015.