October 22, 2012

Facing Tough Times & Need a Helping Hand?

“The grass is always greener where you water it.” ~ Unknown

I spend a lot of time with the exiled Tibetan community and have learned a mindful trick or two. With things getting seemingly more and more difficult across the globe, I think it’s only right I share about something that may bring ease to our collective unrest.

A dear friend of mine, Lama Tashi, initially introduced me to the Tibetan deity Green Tara about a year and a half ago.

Tara is a female aspect of the Buddha who was originally born as a princess called, Yeshe Dawa. Upon achieving enlightenment she was told by some monks of that period that if she made prayers to receive a male body, they would be fruitful.

Her response to their advice was this:

“Many work for sentient beings with male bodies, but few with female. Therefore I shall work for all sentient beings as a female until samsara ends.”

There are 21 Tara’s in total of which one of them is Green Tara. Many people both in India and Tibet have attained enlightenment through working with this particular form of the deity. She is known to help in any area of life where we need swift action or protection.

For example, success in business, quick resolution of problems and a safe passage as we move about physically and emotionally in this ever-changing world are just some of the ways in which she can help.

Only last night I was in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery here in India where a Russian lady came in asking the monks to pray for her so she could find a husband. They readily suggested a Green Tara puja for her.

Images of Green Tara depict her with her right leg extended out. This is representative of the fact that she is always ready to assist us. No request is too big or too small.

By repeating the following Green Tara mantra if we can—up to 108 times a day—we invoke her into our lives.

Om Tara Tuttara Ture Svaha

Having done as the Dalai Lama consistently asks which is to check things out for ourselves before we believe, I have spent the last two years exploring this female deity and seeing what influence she could bring into my life’s work, and I have to say, my belief over time has grown stronger and stronger as my dreams continue to manifest.

I started with daily mantras then discovered Green Tara pujas were happening at my local Tibetan Buddhist center in London that I could attend every week. They had been set up to help us bring her energy into our projects of choice.

Then, keen to learn as much as I could, the next time I was in India I signed up to do a Green Tara retreat in Bodhgaya, which was happening around the time of the Kalachakra. The latter is the largest Tibetan Buddhist event by far where the Dalai Lama is teaching and giving initiations for 10 days. It is a sacred time when every high level practitioner is in town.

Consequently, towards the end of this retreat, our teacher told us that the Dalai Lama’s personal oracle Khandro-La would be arriving that afternoon. Oracles go into trance like states and deliver powerful predictions to those around them and are used regularly in the state affairs of the Tibetan Government in exile.

Khandro-la is a realized lay practitioner whose abilities were discovered by the Dalai Lama himself. While attending his teachings in Dharamsala, she kept slipping into a trance. To the untrained eye this may look like a woman going into hysterics, which does happen from time to time when Tibetan devotees see the Dalai Lama. As a result, security kept throwing her out yet somehow, she kept getting back in.

Eventually the Dalai Lama spotted her and instructed her to be brought to him. She has lived at the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala ever since.

My teacher on the retreat had spent a great deal of time with Khandro-la as she was a guest in his home. Like the Dalai Lama, he fully believes in her abilities as a realized being and the more he shared, the more our excitement grew.

Upon her arrival we lined up with our silk scarves to greet her and receive her blessing. She came to each of us individually and words fail to express the heartfelt beauty I experienced in that moment. Being around this woman’s energy and humility has been engrained on my heart and mind forever and inspires my practice to this very day.

Afterwards our teacher said to us,

“Here we are on our Green Tara retreat and you have just been blessed by a physical manifestation of her.”

In that moment it hit me; I had been doing Green Tara practice for a year at that time in one form or another, praying for assistance with my work in India. Never had I imagined it would come to such a head. The synchronicities blew my mind.

I am sharing all of this with each and every one of you for the simple truth that I tried something out, it worked and I can honestly say it continues to do so. I am not trying to convert anyone to Tibetan Buddhism for really there is no need. Tara is there, ready to assist anyone regardless of class, color, race or religion.

If you are at a place where times are tough and you need a helping hand then why not give it a go? Repeat her mantra 108 times a day for 30 days with a specific issue or project in mind and who knows, maybe you will be sharing about some “green” magic in your own life a bit further down the line.

Below is a video of Kandro-la sharing her words of wisdom. Enjoy!


Editor: Brianna Bemel


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