Kuan Yin and Green Tara, Himalayan sisters of compassion

Kuan Yin statue

Kuan Yin statue

For the last week I have been chanting a new mantra (new to me anyway!):

Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pu Sah

This is the mantra to/for/of Kuan Yin (or Guan Yin), the Chinese goddess of compassion, an emanation of Avalokiteshwara (Sanskrit), or Chenrezig (Tibetan) – the Bodhisattva of compassion.  The mantra of Avalokiteshwara is Om Mani Padme Hum.  A Bodhisattva is someone who has attained enlightenment but chooses to stick around to help other people achieve the same thing, rather than going off into the Buddha realm and never returning through rebirth into sentient form.

When I was in Paris last year I visited the museum of Asiatic arts and saw a lifesize statue of Kuan Yin, with the ‘thousand’ arms of Avalokiteshwara and sitting in the posture of Green Tara, displaying the same mudras, or hand positions – in truth everything links back to one root in the end, whether through representation, legend/myth or interpretation.   Continue reading

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A Big Question

SkylineRecently I’ve been typing up some audio transcripts for a very good friend of mine. They are recordings of a series of talks given by the Tibetan Buddhist Rinpoche I wrote about a few blogs back. It’s great to hear what he said all over again, and it’s almost like a private audience.

For some reason, as I was typing away today, I got the Madonna song Ray of Light in my head, so I went online and listened to it.  Great song!  I think I remember that she’d had some vocal training because she was hitting some high notes.  Great song, I listened to it twice 🙂

It got me thinking about light.  What is it?  Turns out that light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, along with gamma rays, X rays, infrared and ultraviolet, etc.  The part of the spectrum that is between ultraviolet and infrared is the part our eyes can detect – visible light from the sun.  So light is the same sort of stuff as everything else, a form of energy.

I am still chanting the Gayatri mantra every day:

Om Bhur Bhuva Swaha
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyo yonnah pracodayat

Continue reading