|The Holy Mother giving birth to a tulku in Palestine with Three Wise Men, Tibetan Vajrayana monks in search of the incarnation of their great rinpoche, arriving after following signs.|
|Avalokiteshvara ("the one looks down from on high") as Kwan Yin like the Virg Yin Mary, Mother Goddess, Goddess of Mercy, Bodhisattva of Compassion (Billcoo/flickr.com)|
|The Moon Goddess (see crescent) "Mary" (TB)|
This Brahminical deity was transformed into a Chinese goddess, Kwan Yin Bodhisattva, a great being who aspires to help all sentient beings become free of suffering before entering the peace and bliss of deathless nirvana.
In the beginning of his/her career as a bodhisattva helping all sentient beings -- by spreading compassion, wisdom, and helping cultivate concentration (dhyana, ch'an, zen, jhana, samma-samadhi, or "meditative absorption").
|Perfection of heart/compassion (karuna)|
One day, while helping beings in a higher celestial or dimensional realm, Avalokita looked down into the hell planes (niraya), which he had emptied through the teaching of the Dharma, and realized to his dismay that countless beings were still flooding into them. That is the course of samsara, the flood dragging beings through cycles of rebirth over aeons.
|Kwan Yin, Vietnam (Petr Melnikov/flickr.com)|
Of the buddhas who are said to have come to give aid [in accordance with Brahminical, Vedic, Hindu ideas that served as the basis for Mahayana Buddhism, a bhakti/devotional school like other Hindu schools that co-opted early Buddhist iconoclastic doctrines], it is said one was Amitabha, who became his guru or personal teacher.
With Amitabha's miraculous powers, Avalokita attained a new form -- one with a thousand helping arms and hands of compassion coupled with the eyes of wisdom in each palm. Armed in this way he renewed his vow to save not just a limited number of sentient beings, but ALL sentient beings.
|Women helping women, feminist topless protesters: FEMEN's new page on Facebook. Femen means the end of patriarchy. Watch the new video: "Girls Against Gods" (12-12-14).|
What kind of "Buddhism" is this?
|Serpent (naga, dragon) at my feet (UD)|
It is a beautiful "legend" with powerful spiritual metaphors. When anyone sets off on a bodhisattva path of helping other beings, we are bound to become disheartened, due to our as yet unperfected compassion and wisdom (two of the most important paramitas).
This is when we need an inspiring teacher or spiritual friend (kalyana mitta). With a noble friend's or teacher's guidance, our vows are renewed and strengthened.
In walking the bodhisattva path -- rather than cultivating our own calm and insight here and now for the sake of the stages of enlightenment and glimpsing nirvana as was originally taught in Mahayana and as is still taught in Theravada Buddhism -- it inevitably happens that we come face to face with obstacles.
We meet with disappointments now and then, and we either succumb to them and lose our bodhicitta (literally, "enlightenment-mind," the heart of wishing to help all living beings, along with oneself, attain enlightenment) or we overcome them and become stronger, like Avalokita/Avalokiteshvara.
There are two choices when we face spiritual obstacles -- to be remain weak and trapped by the obstacles we do not cross, or to cross them and become stronger because of the experience. When we advance, we move toward a disciple's enlightenment, silent (pacceka) buddhahood, or supreme buddhahood.
When we do not find a way to overcome obstacles, we either backslide or come to a spiritual standstill. As we all suffer from spiritual burnout from time to time, let us then be timely bodhisattvas to one another and always help each other to recover in good time.
|Virg Yin Mary/Kwan Yin tattoo (Sleigh Bells)|
|Sextremism: FEMEN is a death for patriarchy! (femen.org/en)|
Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 2nd
Tuesday, Dec. 16-Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2013 5:30 pm-8:30 pm
- Call (213) 485-8372 for more information. TDD (213) 978-3231
- All events are FREE and open to the public
- Buddhism and Gender? (SUNY Press)