Green Tara practice

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Green Tara practice

Postby lisehull » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:02 am

Hi everyone, this is my first post to this group. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
I will be attending my first Green Tara practice tomorrow morning. Any ideas on what I should expect or need to prepare myself to during the meditation? I have been told it's pretty easy to pick up but wanted to hear what others had to say.
Thank you, :namaste:
Lise
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby Chaz » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:01 am

lisehull wrote:Hi everyone, this is my first post to this group. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
I will be attending my first Green Tara practice tomorrow morning. Any ideas on what I should expect or need to prepare myself to during the meditation? I have been told it's pretty easy to pick up but wanted to hear what others had to say.
Thank you, :namaste:
Lise


You shouldn't eat any meat before Tara practice.

Don't try to do anything special or contrived. Just recite the Sadhana as best you can. You may see other practitioners using various mudras - mandala offering and mudras representing the 8 outer(?) offerings - water for the mouth, water for the feet, flowers, incence etc. These gestures have a specific form and meaning and trying to mimic them without understanding (and some practice) will only distract your practice. Remember that it's intention that matters and not outward forms.

Later, if you feel a connection to the practice, you can ask to be given a reading transmission or "Lung". If ask you can also get instruction on the various ritual forms to follow, when they should be done and their meaning.

If you have a mala, bring it. be sure that your hands are clean before use. Count mantra recitations in your left hand, held before your heart center, pulling the beads towards you using thumb abd forefinger.

Otherwise, maintain an open heart - open to whatever may arise, especially the blessings of the practice itself. Green Tara is a rich and potent practice, full of merit and blessing.

May all beings benefit.
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby lisehull » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:52 am

Hello Chaz, this is quite helpful, thank you!
:thanks:
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby arisaema81 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:44 pm

Indeed very good advice

no meat, alcohol and preferably be clean before the puja.
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby narraboth » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:13 am

hi, about which hand holding mala, in Nyingma's point of view, you should always use left hand. But in other schools, it depends on which tantra it belongs to. I have seen HH Sakya Trizin use two different hands in two different sadhana. Usually for Tara you will use right hand to count. Anyway it's not the most important thing IMO so just do what your lama do.
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby kirtu » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:20 pm

narraboth wrote:I have seen HH Sakya Trizin use two different hands in two different sadhana. Usually for Tara you will use right hand to count. Anyway it's not the most important thing IMO so just do what your lama do.


HHST can obviously do anything he wants (more to the point what is appropriate for him is not necessarily appropriate for us). Generally you don't need lung or even empowerment to practice the 21 Praises to Tara.

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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby Chaz » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:53 am

kirtu wrote:
narraboth wrote:Generally you don't need lung or even empowerment to practice the 21 Praises to Tara.
Kirt


Quite so and true for many Kriya Yoga practices.

As far as what hand you should or shouldn't use for counting recitations, I don't think it matters. As I said before, what matters is intention, not some outward form and I rather doubt that a lama would argue against that point. nit-picking over which hand to use is right up there with quibbling over what color the beads of the mala should be. yes, I know they say that green stones such as jade, turquoise or malachite are thought to be auspicious for Green Tara practice and all that, but come on! It's a counting device! How much difference can color really make?

You don't even need a mala. The sadhana I use doesn't specify how many recitations to do apart from the instruction to do "as many as possible". That kind of instruction leaves it open to the practitioner as to how many recitations to do and makes the use of a mala a bit superfluous. Unless you're keeping score or want to do a specific number of recitations a mala is as unneccessary as trying to figure out which hand is the correct one to use.

As another said, follow your lama's lead or instruction.
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby lisehull » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:09 am

Hello Chaz, do you practice Green Tara by yourself? And, is this supposed to be a daily meditation?
Thank you,
Lise
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby Chaz » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:20 am

lisehull wrote:Hello Chaz, do you practice Green Tara by yourself? And, is this supposed to be a daily meditation?
Thank you,
Lise



You can to Tara practice by yourself. Group practice has it's own blessings, but it isn't strictly a group practice. We're taught that this practice should be done in morning, but I used to do a short sadhana in the evening (it took less that ten minutes and you only recite the 21 praises once). You can do the practice daily, but if you're using a long sadhana, daily practice may not be practical. I used to do this practice on Sanday mornings with a group out of Boulder, but the distance is too great to make the practice on a regular basis. On a lunar calendar there should be one day in each lunar month when the practice should be done. I don't know when that is, but your lama may be able to help you with that if you're interested.

It seems you might be pretty serious about the practice. If you haven't already done so, I'd recommend getting the Lung for the practice as soon as you can. Again, speak to your lama.
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby narraboth » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:09 pm

kirtu wrote:
narraboth wrote:I have seen HH Sakya Trizin use two different hands in two different sadhana. Usually for Tara you will use right hand to count. Anyway it's not the most important thing IMO so just do what your lama do.


HHST can obviously do anything he wants (more to the point what is appropriate for him is not necessarily appropriate for us). Generally you don't need lung or even empowerment to practice the 21 Praises to Tara.

Kirt


No, HH did it for a reason. HH used right hand when doing Gongpodesum sadhana and used left hand when doing higher tantra.
In Kriya tantra it clearly says you should use right hand, but in some tantra it says left. And in Nyingma it's always left.
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby kirtu » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:30 pm

narraboth wrote:
kirtu wrote:
narraboth wrote:I have seen HH Sakya Trizin use two different hands in two different sadhana. Usually for Tara you will use right hand to count. Anyway it's not the most important thing IMO so just do what your lama do.


HHST can obviously do anything he wants (more to the point what is appropriate for him is not necessarily appropriate for us). Generally you don't need lung or even empowerment to practice the 21 Praises to Tara.

Kirt


No, HH did it for a reason.


You misunderstood me. HHST always does everything for a reason. He is the epitome of meticulousness. His ritual activity is perfect. But I have stopped wondering why he does some particular things during practice because if he doesn't explain it at the time or after the practice it's not something for me and my practice.

HH used right hand when doing Gongpodesum sadhana and used left hand when doing higher tantra.
In Kriya tantra it clearly says you should use right hand, but in some tantra it says left. And in Nyingma it's always left.


This is a case in point. I would still use the left hand unless HH or another lama said during the practice instructions to use the right. If he or another lama said to do so then sure but just because the tantra itself says so - there are many things in the tantras that are themselves at different levels for different people and results.

BTW - what is the Gongpodesum sadhana?

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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby arisaema81 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:21 am

Indeed,

I was taught that that in order to do the long sadhana and get the full benefits you should have the empowerment, reading transmission and the instructions. Also I have always been instructed to use the left hand for counting mantras.

I believe that the morning time was best if people were likely to eat meat in the day, and as stated it is Kriya Tantra so you shouldn't consume any meat or alcohol before doing the practice.

To quote the text I have (Karma Kagyu)

On a clean shelf in front of whatever symbols of the three jewels one can assemble, such as a sculpture or painting that is a representation of Tara, arrange the two waters and enjoyments, a round white torma, purification water, an offering mandala, barley for scattering etc. If one can, adopt the conduct of washing and cleanliness. If one is unable, then at a time such as the early morning before eating meat or drinking alcohol, with non-attachemnt to existence and with the motivation of Bodhichitta, recite the Refuge.


Also as outlined in The Practice of Green Tara by Ven. Bardor Tulku Rinpoche published by KTD:

It is not neccesary to make extensive preparations or set out elaborate offerings for the actual practice of this sadhana. If you have extensive offerings then that is excellent, but for doing the practice on a daily basis it is not necessary. The only requirements are that the ritual be performed at a time of day in which you have not yet eaten meat or consumed alcohol, and you should also be clean. You should at least wash your hands and face. If you are doing it as an intensive practice for many days then as an additional discipline, you would eat only what are called the three white and three sweet foods. If you are simply doing it as a morning practice, the only necessity is that you have not consumed meat or alcohol on that day before the practice.
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby narraboth » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:36 am

Hi~

I always use left hand because I consider myself a Nyingmapa :)

I think Sakyapa has its own tradition about mala holding but HH didn't tell students about that details; i mean general students like us....
For example, you know actually Sakyapa don't do 'mandala offering mudra' when they offer mandala without a plate? I have heard that a great Sakya scholar (Khyentse Chokgyi Lodro?) said that mudra 'is not necessary'. So Sakyapa usually only join their palms with some rice in and chant offering. However, when I went to HH's teaching, there are still many people do that mudra, maybe learned from other lineage centers. HH didn't say anything about it as far as I know, seems HH didn't worry about this kind of small things when taught to public.

Gongpodesum means three families lords, Manjusri, Avalokesvara, Vajrapani
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:48 pm

Hi Lise, how did it go? :smile:
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby lisehull » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:48 pm

Hello Chaz,
Yes, after attending the practice I am even more interested in continuing with it. At the moment, my lama is on personal retreat until September, so I won't be able to talk about this until then.
What is the Lung, again?
Thanks for your help.
:namaste:
Lise
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby lisehull » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:53 pm

Hi Drolma, I was very inspired, and enjoyed the meditation very much. It is a very melodious format, which I found quite pleasing. I did get lost because I couldn't hear what the pages were that we were following. But, one of the other meditators helped me out by giving me her sheet with all the page numbers, and then I was good to go! I found the mudras interesting as well. I want to review the text in some detail but haven't tried it at home yet.
Thanks for asking.
:bow:
Lise
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby Chaz » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:01 pm

lisehull wrote:Hello Chaz,
Yes, after attending the practice I am even more interested in continuing with it. At the moment, my lama is on personal retreat until September, so I won't be able to talk about this until then.
What is the Lung, again?
Thanks for your help.
:namaste:
Lise


Lise....

A "Lung" is essentially a reading transmission of the text of the sadhana. This usually involves a simple, ritual reading of the entire sadhana to the student by a person empowered to do so. This can be either a monastic, a lineage holder or even another lay practioner, depending on the the sadhana in question (in some cases having recieved a Lung empowers the recipient to confer the same upon others). Reciept of a Lung, while not "empowering" a student to do a certain practice (in a strict sense), does confer the blessings of the transmission's lineage and is thought to increase the merit accumulated via the practice.

As a side note, when I recieved the Lung for the Konchok Chidu practice a few years ago, our Lama described the lineage of the transmission as he recieved it - teacher to student - in some detail. A wonderful story. Truly inspiring. Humbling even (there are some "heavy hitters" in that lineage).

Of course, in your particular case, with the Green Tara practice, Lung is optional. You need not have recieved the practice's lung in order take part in it. If your Lama is not available to give the Lung until he/she comes out of retreat in September, don't sweat it. If you feel a connection to the practice, continue without Lung. When your Lama returns, ask for the Lung then if you still feel stongly about it.


Don't concern yourself too much with the mudras used. They can be difficult to remember (as in the 8 offerings mudra), or to form (as with the so-called Mandala Offering Mudra). Mudras aren't, or at least shouldn't be a requirement of the practice. Get a bit more comfortable with the text and melodies, then go about about learning and including Mudra in your practice.

I hope that helps.
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:46 pm

lisehull wrote:Hi Drolma, I was very inspired, and enjoyed the meditation very much. It is a very melodious format, which I found quite pleasing. I did get lost because I couldn't hear what the pages were that we were following. But, one of the other meditators helped me out by giving me her sheet with all the page numbers, and then I was good to go! I found the mudras interesting as well. I want to review the text in some detail but haven't tried it at home yet.
Thanks for asking.
:bow:
Lise


Lise that is fabulous! Green Tara is a wonderful practice. She can eliminate obstacles and she is the mother of all Buddhas. And the meditation is so very good for you. I'm genuinely happy for you!

Please do remember that it is your intention that is most relevant (as with all things). And you don't have to be sitting in sitting practice to do recitations, You can do them whenever you feel like it, so long as your concentration is on the mantra. If you just say it while thinking about other things and doing other things it is sort of like saying "oggidie boogie." ;) But you don't need to counter to simply say her mantra from the heart. In a quiet moment, your mantra is always there for you now.

Mother Tara's great compassion is like the sunshine. It's always there even if it sometimes is covered by some clouds. But she is always shining and ready to shine down with her blessings.

Kindly,
Laura
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby lisehull » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:54 pm

Hi Drolma, thanks for this info. When I left this morning's calm abiding meditation practice, I was disappointed because they normally chant the Green Tara mantra. But, this was a sangha-led session and they did it slightly different than in the past, and took a break before finishing with a self-led session. I assume they did a dedication, but I went ahead and did my own, before leaving for home. On the way home, I sang the Green Tara mantra all the way home and felt pretty good about it. :applause:
Lise
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Re: Green Tara practice

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm

lisehull wrote:Hi Drolma, thanks for this info. When I left this morning's calm abiding meditation practice, I was disappointed because they normally chant the Green Tara mantra. But, this was a sangha-led session and they did it slightly different than in the past, and took a break before finishing with a self-led session. I assume they did a dedication, but I went ahead and did my own, before leaving for home. On the way home, I sang the Green Tara mantra all the way home and felt pretty good about it. :applause:
Lise


Just wonderful, Lise. Keep it up!!

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