GREEN TARA SEICHIM


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Green Tara Seichim



Seichim, a word (pronounced “SAY-keem”) of unknown origin—but closely related to the ancient Egyptian word sekhem (sxm), which means life-force, or energy—is used to indicate a system of healing that many feel has ancient origins in Tibet. This practice is said to have been handed down from very ancient times.


Seichim is not a religion, although this healing practice is becoming known in all cultures throughout the world. It has a built-in spiritual dimension. Seichim is a unity concept, because it is now accepted globally. Seichim teaches unity and harmony. Seichim is in harmony with nature and can be used to heal plants and trees, people and animals, and can even be used to help purify and harmonize water and air.


Seichim was discovered near the end of the twentieth century by an American man named Patrick Zeigler. He first experienced this energy in 1979–80 while in the Great Pyramid, after which he studied with the leader of Tariqa Burhaniya band of Sufi mystics, Sayyidi Fahruddin Sheikh Mohammed Uthman Abduh al-Burhani (d. 1983). He later developed it into a system of healing that he passed on to others by means of a system of empowerments, or attunements (which he modeled after the Reiki attunements). Various versions of it are now practiced by many around the globe.


The view that the divine bodhisattva known by the name Tara has assimilated into herself the various characteristics and qualities of goddesses of the Himalayan regions—from tribal snake deities to the great Shakti of Hinduism and even other goddesses from farther afield—is not a new one.


Whether this is due to the somewhat outmoded idea of the archetype, or due to cultural drift and diffusion, or to people’s general inability to keep specific details in mind is not really important. What is significant and valuable is the profound devotion the Tibetan people have for Tara and the genuine efficacy of her practice. In times of great difficulty, millions of people call upon “Great Noble Tara.”


The practice of Green Tara helps to overcome fear and anxiety, but devotees believe that she can grant wishes, eliminate suffering of all kinds, and bring happiness



 

Green Tara is typically pictured as a dark green-skinned girl of 16. She wears striped leggings, but only her shoulders are covered above. She wears the many characteristic ornaments of the samboghakaya (the “enjoyment-body” of a Buddha who resides in a paradise)).


Green Tara has her right foot extended as if about to rise. Her left hand, in the gesture of granting refuge, holds the stem of a blue water lily or utpala that waves over her left shoulder, while her right hand, also holding a flower, offers that which we desire, a boon.

Both hands signal with blue utpala flowers,


“Samsaric beings! Cling not to worldly pleasures.

Enter the great city of liberation!”

Flower-goads prodding us to effort. Homage to you!

—First Dalai Lama (1391–1474)


The practice of Green Tara helps to overcome fear and anxiety, but devotees believe that she can grant wishes, eliminate suffering of all kinds, and bring happiness.

When called upon, she instantaneously saves us from eight specific calamities. The First Dalai Lama lists and interprets them as representations of obscurations or defects:


1) lions and pride;

2) wild elephants and delusions;

3) forest fires and hatred;

4) snakes and envy;

5) robbers and fanatical views;

6) prisons and avarice;

7) floods and lust;

8) demons and doubt;




 


The Origin of Tara


In the past, many aeons ago, during the time of Buddha Dundubhisvara (Drum-sound), in the Universe called Manifold Light, there lived a princess by the name of Moon of Wisdom-knowledge. She was a very devoted disciple and would daily set out many offerings to the Buddha and His Sangha. Eventually she generated bodhicitta, the aspiration to attain Enlightenment and become a Buddha herself, in order to help all living beings.

Some bhikshus came to know of this, and urged her to dedicate the merits shad created to be reborn as a male. However, the princess rejected this advice saying:


Here there is no man, there is no woman,

No self, no person, and no consciousness.

Labelling “male” or “female” has no essence,

But deceives the evil-minded world.


She went on to make the following vow:


“There are many who desire Enlightenment in a man’s body, but none who work for the benefit of sentient beings in the body of a woman. Therefore, until samsara is empty, I shall work for the benefit of sentient beings in a woman’s body.”


From that time onward, the princess dedicated herself to winning full and complete Enlightenment. Once she accomplished that goal, she came to be known as Tara, the Liberator.

(from In Praise of Tara: Songs to the Saviouress, by Martin Willson, Wisdom Publications.)




There is another story regarding Tara which tells that Chenrezig (Kuan Yin, or Avalokiteshvara) had been working for a long time to help sentient beings. He had been able to help hundreds of thousands of beings become free from samsara, but then he checked and realized there were still so many more beings suffering in samsara. He began to cry, and from the pool formed by his tears a lotus arose and Tara appeared from the lotus, saying “Do not worry; I will help you.” Thus Tara is associated with Chenrezig, as well as with Amitabha Buddha (she has a tiny image of Amitabha Buddha on her crown.)



Why Do We Need to Practice Tara?

There are many inner obstacles to our mental development, and these inner obstacles can create external obstacles. To obtain success in our Dharma practice, to actualize the path to Enlightenment, we need to rely on a special deity or Buddha for example, Tara. All actions of the Buddha manifest in the female form, Tara, to help sentient beings successfully accomplish both temporal and ultimate happiness.

(from Tara the Liberator, by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Wisdom Publications.)



The Benefits of Tara Practice


Lama Zopa Rinpoche further explains that through practicing Tara, we can obtain the following benefits:


• –we can create a great deal of merit

• –we can avoid a suffering rebirth in the next life

• –we can quickly attain Enlightenment

• –we receive initiation from millions of Buddhas

• –all our wishes can be fulfilled, e.g. it can help us with our health, business, getting a job, having a child, etc.

• –it protects us from fear and dangers



It is said that Tara protects from the 8 fears, of which there are an internal and an external aspect:


The 8 external fears

The 8 internal fears

1. floods

1. attachment

2. fire

2. anger

3. elephants

3. ignorance

4. snakes

4. jealousy

5. lions

5. pride

6. imprisonment/chains

6. miserliness

7. thieves

7. wrong views

8. ghosts

8. doubt


The Symbolism of Green Tara


Green Tara is seated upon a lotus arising from the waters of a lake, just as Tara is said to have arisen from the compassionate tears of Avalokiteshvara. Her right hand is in the mudra of supreme generosity indicating her ability to provide beings with whatever they desire. Her left hand at her heart is in the mudra of bestowing refuge: her thumb and ring finger are pressed together to symbolize the united practice of method and wisdom, and the three remaining fingers are raised to symbolize the Three Jewels of Refuge - Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. In each hand she holds the stem of a blue utpala flower. Each flower consists of three blossoms indicating that Tara, the embodiment of enlightened activities, is the Mother of the Buddhas of the past, present, and future.


Tara is dressed in the silken robes of royalty. She wears rainbow-colored stockings, a white half-blouse, and various jeweled ornaments. These symbolize her mastery of the perfections of generosity, morality, and so forth. The tiara fastened in her black hair is adorned with jewels, the central one is a red ruby symbolic of Amitabha, her spiritual father

and the head of her Buddha family.


She is seated in a distinctive posture, her left leg withdrawn to symbolize her renunciation of worldly passion and her right leg extended to show that she is always ready to arise and come to the aid of those who need her help.


With a warm compassionate gaze she looks down upon each sentient being as a mother regards her only child. Her emerald-green color—related to the wind element and hence to movement—signifies her ability to act swiftly and without delay to bring benefits to sentient beings.

(from Images of Enlightenment, by J. Landaw and A. Weber, Snow Lion Publications.)

From the Teachings of Ven Lama Thubten Yeshe


Tara is known as the “Mother of all Buddhas.” This is because she is the wisdom of reality, and all Buddhas and bodhisattvas are born from this wisdom. This wisdom is also the fundamental cause of happiness, and our own spiritual growth comes from this wisdom. That is why Tara is called the Mother. And Mother Tara has much wisdom to manifest many aspects, sometimes peaceful, sometimes wrathful, in different colors—all to help sentient beings.