3 mins read.
This article is based on a short unofficial introduction to Tara I shared with someone the other day – someone who is not a Buddhist practitioner but who asked for an effective method for dealing with recurrent anxiety. He says it’s helping. It takes, like, five minutes! (Longer if you want).
In general, all meditations help us to feel less anxious and more peaceful; but Buddha Tara is the Buddha of fearlessness who turns up as swiftly as the wind whenever people need and ask for her help. People have relied upon her for centuries, if not longer, to allay all their inner and outer fears. She helps anyone who asks. Therefore, this article is for my friend and for anyone else who gets worried, who likes the idea of real comfort and protection.
Step One: Sit somewhere comfortable and undisturbed. When you’re ready, imagine you drop from your head into your heart. Do one or two minutes’ breathing meditation, focusing on your breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils, letting your other thoughts float away. Feel you are peaceful in your heart.
Step Two: Believe that Buddha Shakyamuni and Buddha Tara are in front of you, surrounded by countless holy beings, however you imagine them. Feel you are actually in their company.
Step Three: Recite the following traditional prayers out loud or mentally, contemplating their meaning:
Going for refuge
I and all sentient beings, until we achieve enlightenment,
Go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. (3x)
Through the virtues I collect by giving and other perfections,
May I become a Buddha for the benefit of all. (3x)
(The six perfections are giving, moral discipline, patience, joyful effort, concentration, and wisdom.)
May everyone be happy.
May everyone be free from misery.
May no one ever be separated from their happiness.
May everyone have equanimity, free from hatred and attachment.
Buddha Tara’s mantra
Step Four: Ask Buddha Tara directly to remove whatever specific anxiety you are feeling, as well as all your own and others’ present and future fears and anxieties, by reciting her mantra 21 times or more:
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA
Step Five: Imagine that from the hearts of Buddha Tara and all the holy beings, streams of light and nectar, the nature of their enlightened wisdom and compassion, flow down through the crown of your head and fill your body and mind.
These blessings purify all your worries, problems, and negative thoughts. They fill you with peace, happiness, kindness, and fearlessness. Feel that you are fully protected and don’t have a care in the world.
If you like, imagine that these blessings are also flowing into the people you love, purifying and inspiring them as well.
Take a few moments to really bathe in this enlightened peace in your heart, taking refuge in it, knowing that it is always there and you can come back to it whenever you like.
Step Six: Make a prayer that through this practice all your own and others’ anxieties and fears will one day be permanently gone. May everyone be happy and may our world be peaceful.
Through the virtues I have collected
By giving and other perfections
May I become a Buddha
For the benefit of all.
The rest of the day
Step Seven: When you start feeling anxious about anything, before it takes over, remember that Buddha Tara is everywhere and ask her directly for help. You can use the mantra to do this if you like.
To find out more about Buddha Tara and her traditional practice (including verses composed by Buddha Shakyamuni), please click here: Liberation from Sorrow.
I want to add too that Tara practice is done once a month at Kadampa Buddhist Centers around the world, and during COVID it is being done 6 times over a 24-hour period on the 8th day of each month. Here is a 6-minute video explaining more about her if you have time:
Feel free to leave any comments or questions in the box below.