Chenrezig, Green Tara Visualization questions

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Chenrezig, Green Tara Visualization questions

Postby duckfiasco » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:35 pm

Hi, all! I recently began Green Tara and Chenrezig visualizations and have some questions in my usual long-winded style :)

After doing two weeks of these, I find it much easier to "get into" the Chenrezig visualization. There are incredible feelings of bliss and wellbeing during these visualizations. I'm leery of becoming attached to those and turning it into some sort of quest for pleasure with no real benefit to other beings. It also is tempting to view it as deluding myself in just another way, inducing and enjoying these feelings of love and bliss, without doing the gritty work of spiritual development. I think, "Who says this is my natural state? It feels just as conditioned as anything else, and there, it goes away just as quickly."

Also, every couple of times, I'll have what feels like an excessive emotional response to Chenrezig. I'll feel deeply distraught while imagining all the suffering. And when I imagine every being's Buddha nature, their capacity to be free from this suffering, I've often burst out laughing, or felt so transfixed by bliss that I wept. This doesn't seem to bode well for equanimity! I would love any insight into the "bliss" side of this and if this is worrisome, or how I should approach things.

Now, I also have a few questions about Green Tara. I'm not really sure what "hook" to get my mind into it, like compassion is for Chenrezig. I think this is due to a lack of understanding of what Tara represents. I've read she represents our innate capacity for wisdom and enlightened action. That's a bit more abstract! It feels like it takes much more mental juices to plug into Tara and sustain the visualization. Also, during the visualization, I often have the feeling of being a fuzzy ball of vapor, larger than my body, with no skin or definite shape. It doesn't happen during Chenrezig visualization. I've been ignoring this, as I've read the advice on the forum.

However, when the visualizations are over with, I'm not sure how to proceed. I truly feel at peace and comfortable while visualizing, but unlike simply remembering to be mindful, I'm not sure what or how to carry over from the Tara or Chenrezig visualization.

Also, for both Chenrezig and Green Tara, I have difficulty visualizing myself as the deity. I can feel and somewhat see them clearly, but when I try to visualize them melting into me, my mind begins to wander and I'm not sure what to do. I assume this is partly due to lacking any empowerments for these visualizations. I also have the impression that this melting of the ego is the crux of the visualizations! So it seems important to understand how to proceed.

Finally, if I feel a stronger pull towards Chenrezig, does that mean it should become the primary focus? Or does it mean Green Tara needs more work? This is probably a subjective question.

Thank you for your guidance and help for a newbie entering the strange world of visualization meditation!

Peace :heart:
Namu Amida Butsu
"When people of the Pure Land school chant Namu amida butsu, they are doing zazen with their mouths, and when we do zazen, we are performing Namu amida butsu with our whole body." - Kosho Uchiyama (Opening the Hand of Thought)
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Re: Chenrezig, Green Tara Visualization questions

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:05 am

Hi duckfiasco,

that's quite a few questions - I don't feel competent to answer most of them, because basically you're asking for Tantra teachings and it takes a hell lot of competence and realization to give Tantra teachings. You're very idealistic and you do a lot of intense practice which is good. But you do need a qualified teacher to give you explanations (and in the long run also the initiations but you can start Tara and Chenrezig without the initiations).

Of all books I know the best introduction into Tantra is still the book by Lama Yeshe

http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Tantra-The-Transformation-Desire/dp/0861711629/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1339282389&sr=8-2

that's very good reading stuff, it will answer many of your questions, if not all. As to the experiences of joy, bliss, spaciousness and whatever, you're right, they are just conditioned states of mind, experiences, they come and go. No reason to get excited about them, try not to get too attached on them, but do not reject them, either.

Best wishes,

R'n'R
"Forget about being clever, and simply remain." Guru Rinpoche, Treasures from Juniper Ridge
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Re: Chenrezig, Green Tara Visualization questions

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:18 am

duckfiasco wrote:After doing two weeks of these, I find it much easier to "get into" the Chenrezig visualization.

Now, I also have a few questions about Green Tara. I'm not really sure what "hook" to get my mind into it, like compassion is for Chenrezig. I think this is due to a lack of understanding of what Tara represents. I've read she represents our innate capacity for wisdom and enlightened action. That's a bit more abstract! It feels like it takes much more mental juices to plug into Tara and sustain the visualization. Also, during the visualization, I often have the feeling of being a fuzzy ball of vapor, larger than my body, with no skin or definite shape. It doesn't happen during Chenrezig visualization. I've been ignoring this, as I've read the advice on the forum.
Karmic connection to Chenrezig it sounds like.

duckfiasco wrote:Finally, if I feel a stronger pull towards Chenrezig.
I think so. Focus on him. Do his practice often and recall him and his qualities many times through out the day. Rely on Chenrezig.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Chenrezig, Green Tara Visualization questions

Postby simhamuka » Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:22 am

It's wonderful to hear your compassionate motivation in your Chenrezig practice.

If you're having trouble visualizing yourself as the deity, maybe visualize Tara or Chenrezig in the space in front. Once you've received the empowerment it might go better.

Here is Lama Tharchin Rinpoche on the benefits of wangs: http://www.vajrayana.org/pommo/user/mai ... ail_id=448

As for Tara ... oh, Tara is wonderful. Khenpo Palden Sherab taught in 1986 the story of Tara (paraphrased, because it's been some time):

In another time, there was another Buddha (not Shakyamuni Buddha) who had an assemblage of monks. Tara was the daughter of a wealthy family who became very devoted to the Buddha. She supplied the sangha with everything they needed, made countless offerings and wishing prayers to benefit beings, not only for their enlightenment but also that their ordinary needs be fulfilled. The monks told her that if she kept this up, then someday she might have the good fortune to be reborn as a man so she could achieve enlightenment. (There was a cultural idea that being a woman was a lower rebirth.) She went to the Buddha and asked if one could achieve enlightenment as a woman. The Buddha said absolutely yes. There was no impediment to a woman achieving enlightenment. She made prayers then to always be born in a female body.

Khenpo taught that the blessings of Tara practice are particularly swift. Because of her great kindness, Tara practice produces both ordinary and extraordinary results. If someone prays to Tara for a son, they will definitely have a son. If one prays for wealth, people have been known to find buried treasure in their yard. Accomplishment of her practice comes swiftly. In Nepal, she's revered by both Buddhists and Hindus alike.

I thought these were just stories intended to stir up faith. Back in the late 80s I was having a terrible time finding a job. I went through a series of low-paying jobs and could never pay my bills. Before class one day, my teacher told me to memorize the 21 Homages to Tara. Shortly after I did, a sangha member approached me out of the blue and asked if I could take over at her job. I've never had difficulty finding a job since.

My mother was told to recite 100,000 prayers to Tara. As she neared the end of her recitation, the room filled with a sweet scent almost like that of roses, even though she'd done much of the recitation while watching TV. I know a teenager who, the third time she did Red Tara practice from Chagdud Tulku, had Tara appear directly in front of her and then slowly disappear like a rainbow as the girl yearned to be inseparable from Tara, and mourned that she didn't know how.

When there are natural disasters of any kind, it is Tara we appeal to. Right now Yangthang Rinpoche is asking that we accumulate 100,000 recitations of the 21 Homages To Tara to help Fukushima.
Sengdongma has an easy job, because there are no enemies.
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