Transcribed by T. Vanden Broek, slightly edited
The divinity Tara is the one who removes interferences and sets things in place properly in just the right order. When you pray to Tara you should have a mind that if there is need in this area for blessings for obstacles to be removed, but also generally for the benefit of sentient beings where ever and whomever may need help, may they also be blessed to receive what is necessary for them.
When you visualize Tara and meditate upon her, she is seated cross legged, left leg drawn in and right leg out. Her right hand is over her hand in the gesture of giving, bestowing all which is necessary and her left hand in in the mudra symbolical of I am refuge, I hold refuge for you. By that, in relying Tara, you are relying on a divinity who will bring you to enlightenment. Who is enlightened herself and will bring you to enlightenment. And it is important to reflect on that, that the Buddha you rely on is enlightened fully. And as you become more enlightened, they will also help you in that process to become enlightened. So her hand means I hold enlightenment, and therefore when you rely on me, you will only get the blessings and such that are for your benefit to bring you to enlightenment.
The right hand over the right leg is to symbolize that she is bestowing all that is necessary, and the right leg a little forward is to show that she is quick to respond, quick to move forward to help sentient beings. I did hear also from Lama Yeshe who said the reason Tara's left leg is tucked in is showing she has control over her feminine cycles and all that is related with the feminine side. That way, when you pray to Tara, the left leg tucked in means she has control of those things and she does heal and bless women who rely upon her.
She is seated upon a beautiful large lotus on a soft white moon cushion having white light energy, and then Tara on top of that, radiant with a beautiful green aura and wonderful energy. If you could close your eyes and invoke Tara, you should feel all the stress from your being dissolve just to have the vision of Tara can have such an effect on your body.
In the meditation we should visualize ourselves in a beautiful divine palace. The divine palace of Tara is called Youdlow. It is very expansive and well light with natural light. There are many other divine beings or spiritual aspirants all around meditating on Tara, praying to Tara. Our body should be clear like crystal which is to help us visualize that we have no illness in our body, that our body is clean and purified. And so visualizing one's body as pure has a positive effect upon one's being.
In the center of the celestial mansion is a throne on jeweled pillars, the jewels which give happiness to sentient beings with their beauty and splendour. Upon that is a beautiful lotus with variegated petals, some white, some red, some blue, and they are in levels and layers and making a large circular cup and within that is filled with a soft white cushion. And upon that initially comes greenish colored light which radiates in the various directions with a beautiful effect causing a great light energy for those around, and slowly the green letter TAM manifests from the green light with a beautiful aura. That slowly transforms into Tara. She faces you with one face and two arms, her hair is in a beautiful hairstyle, she has a crown of the five Dyanni Buddhas, she has beautiful earrings, armlets, necklace, wristlets, anklets, beautiful jewels. She is wearing a beautiful silk girdle on her body and her upper chest is naked. Her left hand is in front of her left breast in the gesture of holding the ring finger symbolic of I am fully enlightened, and I am three jewels of refuge. If you rely on me, you need seek no other refuge. Her right hand is over her right knee stretched forward in the gesture of giving. And she will give you everything you need. There is nothing she cannot bestow upon you to help you in your spiritual practice.
You should feel her receptivity and response to you, and as she looks upon you, have some sense of response to that. That she is very beautiful, you can rely on her, and she would be a perfect guide to help be become enlightened.
Around her body is a beautiful aura of five colors of light energy radiating softly like a rainbow around her body. In the center of her chest at the level of her heart, you should visualize within her body which is like crystal light energy, a beautiful moon cushion and within the center of that is the syllable TAM standing upright. And around the out side edge is her mantra, OM TARE TUTARE TURE SVHA. As you recite the mantra, feel much beautiful radiant light shines forth from TARA striking yourself and all other sentient beings and particularly those having particular needs. Those who are ill, those who have problems, whomever is suffering. Visualizing them receiving what they need, in that way able to be happy, prosperous, and able to work in positive ways to bring about goodness.
With the visualizations of blessings raining from Tara, with the nature of white light to purify problems, golden light to bestow what they need, in that way recite the mantra.
KUAN YIN: Compassionate Saviouress
The Legend of Maio-Shan
ZEN, WOMEN, AND BUDDHISM
ORIGINAL: Jhampa Shaneman