Are There Rules for Meditation?
Commit and enjoy, but resist dwelling or patting yourself on the back. And don’t guru-hop.
Tara is the beloved Tibetan Buddhist mother goddess. Monks and devotees around the world chant and invoke her energies daily. Considered a female Buddha, she embodies compassion, enlightenment, and liberation. Tara is worshiped in both mild and wild forms and exists in a rainbow of colors reflecting her various attributes. Green Tara is her fiercer, more dynamic form, and is a goddess with protective powers. She wards off evil and shields us from spiritual harm.
The ancient texts say that Green Tara protected humans from calamity and danger, both real and perceived. As we navigate this time in history when global struggles and personal challenges seem relentless, her special powers are especially healing and helpful in daily life. She can ease the anxiety that tends to hijack our sense of wellbeing, and she can restore a sense of peace during a crisis. Tara can also help us develop resilience and spiritual preparedness for life’s twists, turns, and surprises. While we can’t control all of life, it helps to have a divine ally like Tara.
For your Green Tara peace ritual, you will need:
An altar—a lightweight side table, shelf, or desk are all appropriate.
A meditation cushion or chair
A pen and paper or journal
Two green candles
Matches or a lighter
A small postcard-sized image of Tara, or a small statue of her
A Tibetan tingsha: two brass cymbals that are chimed three times to begin and end a meditation. The distinct sound clears negative energy from the room at the start of the ritual and restores you to normal consciousness at the end. You may also use a brass bell.
Organize your altar: Set up a small and simple meditation altar with a comfortable place to sit, so that you have a special place prepared for Tara in your home (which you may or may not choose to maintain after your ritual is complete). Add the two candles, incense, image or statue of Green Tara, and tingsha or bell.
Wear green: Let Green Tara’s signature color embrace you, hug your skin, and protect your heart.
Learn Tara’s special chant: You can make an immediate connection with Tara by chanting her ancient mantra. A recording is linked here to guide you. This chant is a way to call Tara, the enlightened and compassionate one, for protection and liberation from fear.
Om Tare tu Tare ture soha
(Om Tah-ray too Tah-ray too-ray so-hah)
Set aside time: Make sure you have some quiet time when you will not be disturbed. Have your pen and paper or journal handy for notes.
1. Ground yourself with a brief prayer: “I call on the divine forces of the universe, and to beautiful Green Tara, to guide me through this ritual. I am grounded on the earth as I open my heart and spirit to peace and wellbeing.”
2. Light the candles and incense. The candles represent your intention for peace and wellbeing. The incense is an offering to the goddess. (If smoke or scent is an issue, you can leave the incense unlit.)
3. Sit by the altar in a comfortable position. Hold the tingsha or bell in hand. Make sure the image or statue of Tara is in your line of vision.
4. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Close your eyes. Breathe in deeply and release an exhale. (Chime the tingsha or bell once.) Feel your heart open. Breathe deeply again, and release. (Chime again.) Feel your mind open to new possibilities. Take another breath and release it with a sigh. (Chime one more time.) Feel your spirit opening and your intuition deepening.
5. Chant Tara’s mantra. Call in Tara’s presence with “Om Tare tu Tare ture soha.” Repeat this at least three times. (It is also powerful to play a recording of 108 repetitions of the chant during the ritual and gently follow along.)
6. Gaze at the image or statue of Tara. She is youthful, strong, beautiful, and fiercely protective. Admire her. As you focus on this visual representation of the goddess, imagine her sacred presence filling the air around you. Breathe her in. Look at her third eye and imagine a beam of pure white light connecting her third eye to yours. Allow this light to be a conduit of her wisdom, courage, and peacefulness. Take a moment to dwell in the embrace of her divine grace.
7. Ask Tara for guidance. When you are ready, ask her for a word or a symbol that represents peace and wellbeing. It may arrive as an image in your mind's eye, or a word that seemingly pops up in your head. Write down the first thing that comes to you, and place it near her image on the altar for her continued blessings.
8. Close with three chimes and a vow. At your own pace, bring the ritual to a close. Feel the safety of the earth beneath you. Place your hands on your chest and envision Tara in the inner temple of your heart. Any time you need tranquility, you can touch your heart and she will be there. Make a vow to find new ways to nurture yourself and cultivate more balance and ease in your life. Close with these words: “I thank Green Tara and all the divine forces of the universe that have supported me through this ritual. The ritual is now complete.” Chime the tingsha or bell three times to return to ordinary consciousness.
Call to Green Tara any time you do not feel calm and centered. Use her special mantra, carry around the slip of paper with the image or word she gifted you, or connect with her by touching your hand to her heart and speaking this affirmation: “Hail and welcome, Green Tara! Thank you for making me feel safe and at ease in your arms, Mother.”
Try this goddess ritual for sacred aging.
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