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Lions Roar : March 2015
HOW TO PRACTICE Green Tara LAMA PALDEN DROLMA teaches us how to visualize the deity Green Tara, who embodies our own buddhanature. TARA, THE SAVIORESS, is the most beloved by Tibetans of all the female awa- kened beings. Tara is known as “she who ferries beings across the ocean of samsara.” She is fully enlightened and is insepa- rable from genuine reality, or true nature, the dharmakaya. She rushes to the aid of beings when we call upon her with heart- felt devotion. Peaceful and wrathful, beautiful and powerful, Tara is the actuality of wisdom and compassion. She is sensual and sexual, empty yet fully manifest, and as real as we are. She transcends dualistic limitations and leads us beyond duality to the infinite bliss and emptiness that is our true nature. Tara is the Mother of all the Buddhas, the essence of compassion in action. Her right foot is slightly extended, because she is ready to leap to the aid of beings. Her right hand is opened out on her right knee, in the gesture of generosity. Her left hand holds the stem of a lotus flower, which is blossom- ing next to her left ear. Meditating on Tara helps us awaken our buddhanature. Through continued medi- tation practice on her, we can establish a relationship in which we are able to trust and rely on her. It is like getting to know a new friend—we have to invite her over to our home many times until we get to know her. The more we are able to open to her, the more she is able to benefit us. Like all Vajrayana practices, Tara visual- ization can be very elaborate. Here is a basic version you can do that contains all the essential steps of deity practice: ILLUSTRATIONSBYTOMIUM LAMA PALDEN DROLMA has taught Vajrayana Buddhism since 1986. She is the founder of the Sukhasiddhi Foundation in Fairfax, California. SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2015 33 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE