I hope this finds you well and enjoying our Spring/Winter weather? Today, with the snow sprinkled around like magic dust, I am reminded of White Tara’s Pure Land of Potala and envisage all of us inhabiting this cosmic Pure Land soon, starting this weekend! To which you are all invited and here’s why.
Buddha was a revolutionary spiritual genius and Tantra is truly out of this world in bringing the future result of our spiritual practice into the present. Buddha’s teachings on the true nature of reality reveal that nothing is fixed, especially us. And this means that we can use the power of bliss, wisdom, and the creative power of our imagination swiftly to switch the sense of being stuck and limited with the sense of being liberated and enlightened. We really think out of the box – indeed we realize there isn’t even a box there to begin with.
There isn’t much in this mentally fabricated box worth sticking around for if you ask my opinion, it is more of a prison than a box. Plus, given that everything we are attached to has to dissolve away like this snow, we need to put our trust and future in what we can master and keep. This is not anything outside ourselves but pure, peaceful, and blissful states of mind like love, compassion, and wisdom. This is under our control – this is all that is under our control.
Identifying with our good qualities and limitless spiritual potential, identifying with future perfection, will actualize that result far more quickly than if we are thinking, “I am generally quite hopeless at this, and I’m not a very loving person, in fact I’m a bit of a grumpy git; but
nonetheless here I am trying to become a Buddha.”
There is always a gap then between whom we think we are and whom we are aspiring to be, isn’t there? Enlightenment is somewhere over there, my future attainment is far away from me, and I am over here – the gap will always be there for as long as we identify with being limited, ordinary, deluded. So we want to bridge that gap by thinking, “I’m already an enlightened being,” and then from that vantage point we can quickly increase our qualities.
“White Tara is a female enlightened being whose function is to bestow long life, wisdom and good fortune. If we rely upon her with faith she will protect us from contagious diseases, the dangers of fire, and other disasters.” ~ Venerable Geshe Kelsang
This sounds to me like something we could all use divine help with, given the pandemic, the fact that fire season is just around the corner, and all the other disasters we see daily in the news and sometimes in our own lives. I’ll be able to tell you a lot more about Tara at the weekend.
The empowerment is a blissful guided meditation, a blessing ritual that dates back to the time of Buddha himself. You can receive this empowerment on any level you wish, it is open to everyone, Buddhist or otherwise. Just spending time with White Tara and all 21 Taras -- as we will do during the empowerment and throughout the weekend with LJ and me -- has some enormous benefits regardless of how new or experienced you are. In 1993, Venerable Geshe-la put it this way:
“If, throughout our life, both in meditation session and outside meditation, we constantly remember the assembly of enlightened beings, we will remember it when we die and without doubt we will be reborn in a Buddha's Pure Land. This visualization also gives us great confidence. For example, when we are thinking like this all the holy beings will appear in front of us. We will feel that these holy beings -- our protectors and best friends -- are with us all the time, helping us throughout our life, and we will never feel lonely."
I am so hoping that you can join us for this very special weekend! It is ideal if you can attend at least the empowerment live, but all the sessions will also remain up for one week. (And with our new website and streaming platform, it is so easy now to register for our events – no passwords required, you just get the link sent to you.)
With love and prayers,