Friday, December 12, 2014

Hail Mary full of grace: Goddess of Mercy

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/
Goddess of Mercy
The Moon Goddess (see crescent) "Mary" (TB)
It is said that the personification of perfect compassion is Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva -- the "one who looks down from on high" and hears the cries of the world.

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)
The great being vowed that, "Should I ever become disheartened in saving sentient beings, may my body shatter into a thousand pieces." This might sound extreme, but it is symbolic of an overwhelmingly great compassion and determination.

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/
In a moment of exasperation, he became so disheartened that true to his previous vow, his body shattered in great agitation and despair. Despite this, he did not just give up. His consciousness stream beseeched the buddhas elsewhere in the cosmos for help.

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)
This might seem like a Buddhist fairy tale or mythical Hindu teaching. Did it happen at all? Does it really matter? All tales, fiction or not, can be skillful or expedient means (upaya) to teach the Dharma, as long as they are aligned with virtue.

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.

Kwan Yin
Virg Yin Mary/Kwan Yin tattoo (Sleigh Bells)
A beautiful Chinese girl, it is said, once wished to help all beings. As such, she came to embody Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, a being bent on enlightenment like the historical Buddha Gautama (Shakyamuni), who often spoke of his long career as the original Bodhisattva (Bodhisatta) of our age. That story, too, is beautiful and links ancient China and the "holy land" India. The deity Avalokita is still sometimes regarded as male and female, androgynous like a deva ("shining one," godling, celestial being, a god/goddess of compassion), as in Japan (Kannon Bosatsu, Lord of Compassion, Goddess of Mercy, who hears the cries of the world) or Kwan Yin (Guanyin) throughout China.

Sextremism: FEMEN is a death for patriarchy! (
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS ("Day of the Dead")
Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 2nd
Colorful, ancient pre-Catholic Mexican ceremony in remembrance of departed loved ones (ancestors) with beautifully decorated altars, exhibits, and entertainment. Pre-Columbus Novenario procession and blessings each night beginning Saturday, Oct. 25th through Halloween and ending on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014 10:00 am-6:00 pm.

Dec. 11-Friday, Dec. 12th
Celebrating the Virgen de Guadalupe’s appearance to native Mexican St. Juan Diego in the year 1531. Food, shopping, and family entertainment.

Tuesday, Dec. 16-Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2013 5:30 pm-8:30 pm
This nine night presentation of the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem is portrayed with singing, ballet folklorico entertainment, a candlelight procession on Los Angeles' first main street, Olvera Street, and a children’s piƱata breaking each evening.
  • Call (213) 485-8372 for more information. TDD (213) 978-3231
  • All events are FREE and open to the public
Memo to Pope Francis: Catholic women do more than bear kids
Pope Francis' woman problem
To the Los Angeles Times editor (Opinion): Applause to Candida Moss and Joel Baden for calling out Pope Francis on his depiction of women as valuable only as child bearers. As a nun and justice advocate for almost 50 years, I praise the varied contributions of women religious who have led our world and church in education, healthcare, and social services for those who live on the margins of society. See "Pope Francis' woman problem" (Op-Ed, Dec. 7)Related
I hope and pray that Francis will soon acknowledge women "as being intrinsically and equally valuable; regardless of their familial role or fertility." That is a Post-Vatican II mantra that Francis needs to proclaim from St. Peter's chair. - Judy Molosky, Los Angeles. More
Submit a Letter to the Editor To the editor: Moss' and Baden's op-ed article was published on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Submit a Letter to the Editor

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