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Tara Meditation

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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This meditation with its explanation contains 10 divisions, each of which is divided into four sections. The first section is the original meditation according to the initiation. It is the pure meditation. The remaining three sections are my explanations which have the permission of the Goddess Herself. The second section is the three tantric or secret forces. The third section is the victorious significance of the meditation. The last is reflection upon the meditation. The first two sections should be practiced at the time of meditation, the third should be recognized before the meditation and the last after the meditation.

I. Surrenderance

Original Meditation

Repeat the following incantation to the Guru and Three Gems in the Dharma: With all sentient beings, I surrender to my beloved Guru. With all sentient beings, I surrender to all the Buddhas. With all sentient beings, I surrender to all the Dharma. With all sentient beings, I surrender to all the Saints in Enlightenment.

The Three Tantric Forces

  • Body: Kneel down and worship at least four times while saying the incantation, then be seated for meditation.
  • Speech: Repeat the incantation at least seven times when seated.
  • Mind: Remain in a state of deep devotion as you worship. Think that the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are present before you and your palms are under their soft and warm feet. Feel that you have been away from your mother for a long time and now you see her coming and cry to her with tears. It is with this longing that the incantation is repeated. The mind should be kept calm and tranquil awaiting refuge from them which will bring about an unexpectedly deep concentration. If this concentration really appears, do not distract it with the incantation. If you can keep both, that is, let the incantation run in deep concentrationt is very good. If not, it would be better to lose the incantation and keep only the concentration.

Victorious Significance

Believe that the Guru and Goddess both are one. If you rely on your Guru like the Goddess, you will become accomplished in your practice at once. Recognize that Amitabha on the Goddess' head is the Guru of the Four Refuges. The Goddess is the Buddha. Her great mercy is the Dharma, and her twenty incarnation Goddesses are the Saints of the Sangha. Believe that this meditation alone will bring about accomplishment and full Enlightenment, that there is no need for any other practice.

Believe that you have surrendered to them. You belong to them as they have received you. Everything either worldly or holy will be obtained from them through prayer. Therefore, there is no need to spend your precious time in searching for worldly things. The more completely you renounce, the more completely you will receive deliverance from them.

Reflection

  • Is my surrenderance truly complete and sincere?
  • Do I feel helplessness in everything except in my reliance on my Guru and the Three Gems?
  • Do I still act with self-pride and without reliance on the refuges?
  • Have I given up attachment to my life, mind, and will, in order to give full devotion to my Guru and the Goddess?
  • Do I follow them as prescribed by the incantation?
  • Is the family economy more important in my circumstances or is it the Dharma?

II. Development of the Bodhi-Heart

Original Meditation

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Repeat the following hymn of the Bodhi-heart three times:

I will worship the three holy Gems; the Buddha, the Dharma, and all the Saints continually until I get the final fruit of Buddhahood. With all the good deeds that I've done, may I suddenly become enlightened and save others.

The Three Tantric Forces

Victorious Significance

Reflection

  • Have I kept all the commandments of the Bodhi-heart?
  • Have I ever deceived any person?
  • Have I been merciful to my servants and enemies?
  • Have I been dutiful in my practice of the Bodhi-heart by giving alms, helping others and so on?

III. The Four Types of Boundless Mind

Original Meditation

    May all sentient beings and I have joy and all its causes.
    May all sentient beings and I be free from suffering and its causes.
    May all sentient beings and I have that spiritual bliss without pain.
    May all sentient beings and I be free from lust and hatred, friends and foes, and remain equal-poised and detached.

The Three Tantric Forces

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Victorious Significance

Reflection

IV. The Voidness

Original Meditation

Repeat the mantra of voidness:

OM SUNYATA JNANA VAJRA SVABHAVA E MA KO HAM

The Three Tantric Forces

Victorious Significance

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Reflection

V. The Image of the Green Salvation Goddess, I.

Original Meditation

From the voidness a white seed-word (bija) (Cw3405 01.png) (sound POM) suddenly appears. Then this word POM becomes a lotus. Above the lotus there is a moon plainly settled. Above the moon there is a green seed-word (Cw3405 02.png) (sound DOM). It is the seed of great mercy and the heart of the Goddess. From this word DOM extend holy lights toward the ten directions. In those holy lights there are offerings to the Buddhas and Goddess. After this offering, the holy lights are drawn back to the word DOM.

The Three Tantric Forces

Victorious Significance

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Think that all things and thoughts are in the voidness. It is in them. They are issued from the voidness. Both the voidness and things are in the same place at the same time, but the layman does not know this. He thinks that these objects and thoughts are real. All things are changeable and impermanent. Therefore all things can be put into use for saving others. The more we practice this meditation, the more our mind will be greatly opened and forsake selfishness. We live here only for the sake of the Buddhas and sentient beings. We should not do anything that would increase or support selfishness again.

Reflection

VI. The Image of the Goddess, II.

Original Meditation

The word DOM suddenly becomes the Goddess. Her whole body is green. On her head is the five-Buddhas' ornamented crown. Her right arm is extended outward with the palm opened and rests on her right knee. Her left hand is near her breast and holds a blue lotus. Her right foot is extended as though she were about to go into activity. She wears many precious ornaments around her neck and breasts. She always has a smile on her face.

The Three Tantric Forces

Victorious Significance

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Reflection

VII. Repeating the Mantra

Original Meditation

In the heart of the goddess there is a lotus. This Goddess is our own body sublimated. Don't think it is the Goddess before us. Above the lotus there is a moon. Standing up in the center of the moon is the bija (Cw3405 02.png) DOM. Also standing are the ten words of the Mantra: "OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SVAHA" surrounding the edge of the moon, starting from left to right as in the following figure:
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These words in the mantra emit bright, boundless holy lights out to all sentient beings to wash their sins; and among the lights there are many offerings for the Buddhas and Goddess.

The Three Tantric Forces

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  • Body: Keep the body in the same position as that of the Goddess. Hold your beads in your left hand and count them one by one repeating the mantra "OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SVAHA." The right hand should be kept like that of the Goddess. The fingers emit many holy lights also.
  • Speech: Repeat the mantra at least 108 times. The mantra should be repeated both softly and a little louder in order to save all those who hear it.
  • Mind: Try to see the above described figure in the heart. It should be seen very clearly. Sometimes the words travel around the moon faster than at other times, and always from right to left. The bija 'DOM' must be firmly in the center and unmoving. If the mind is sleepy then the spinning should be speeded up along with louder repetitions of the mantra. For a disturbed mind, the words should not spin at all, and the mantra should be repeated slowly and in a low voice. Think of how to save others, and keep the mind concentrated on the bija. The complete meaning of the mantra is literally as follows: TARE means quickly with boldness; TUTTARE means sweeping away all distress; TURE means giving the victorious truth; SVAHA means all accomplishments. At all times you should think of how to save all sentient beings.

Victorious Significance

Reflection

Has the mantric circle been seen by your mind's eye? Has the desire to save others been held firmly in mind? Has the faith in refuge in the Goddess increased yet? Has your concentration in the meditation increased yet?

VIII. Drawing Back to the Voidness

Original Meditation

The Three Tantric Forces

Victorious Significance

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Reflection

IX. The Double Meditation on Object and Voidness

Original Meditation

From the voidness the Goddess suddenly appears again. Both the Goddess and the voidness should be kept in mind simultaneously.

The Three Tantric Forces

Victorious Significance

Reflection

X. Prayer for Others

Original Meditation

    May all the good things that I've done become the merit of others.
    May all sentient beings become the Goddess.
    May all the pains and sorrows and sufferings of others come to me and be destroyed by the voidness concentration.

The Three Tantric Forces

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Victorious Significance

  • Think that helping others is helping ourselves and to harm others is harming ourselves.
  • Think that the Dharmakaya will be obtained by helping others without exception.
  • Think that to help others is the will of the Goddess and we can become the Goddess only by aiding others.

Reflection

  • Do I treat all others as I treat the Goddess?
  • Has mercy increased in me yet?
  • Do I still hate my enemies?

Source

By Yogi C. M. Chen
yogichen.org