For the fourth year in a row, Lama Tenzin is visiting us from Geneva, NY to construct a sand mandala. This year it is the Green Tara Mandala, which helps one overcome obstacles, to become fearless like Tara.
Tara, the “mother of all Buddhas” is considered one of the first emancipated women. It is said that she was a very devoted girl who used to pray for hours making extensive offerings to the Buddhas. But when other, male, practitioners took notice of her practice, they told her this was all useless unless she would pray for a next incarnation in a male body, as this would be the only way to reach enlightenment.
Green Tara had the deep insight that ‘female’ or ‘male’ are just labels we put on things and therefore she made the following vow:
‘Until Samsara is empty, I shall work for the benefit of all sentient beings in a woman’s body.’
Thus she did, she became one of the first enlightened women.
She has a very powerful mantra that goes like this:
“Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha”
This mantra can be recited for encouragement, in times of danger, or to become fearless, just like Tara.
The mandala represents the various obstacles we need to overcome (ignorance, ego, attachment, jealousy, etc.) in order to be happy and to be compassionate human beings.
To get a sense of what it’s like to host him, please take a look at this Newsweek special: