• TRADITION: Buddhism
  • NEED: Health, Stress Relief and Relaxation, Positive Attitude, Performance
  • LEVEL: Beginner, Intermediate
TECHNIQUE DESCRIPTION

Tara is known as the great savior-goddess and the Mother of all Buddhas. Meditating on and reciting her mantra helps us to develop the strength she embodies. This meditation will help you to face your fears in a calm and empowered way. 

What’s behind the name of this meditation practice?
Tara, whose name in Tibetan means “liberator,” is a female bodhisattva or enlightened being. In Mahāyāna Buddhism, Tara is known as the Mother of all Buddhas. Of Tara’s twenty-one major forms, Green Tara is the most popular. She’s the embodiment of enlightened activity, a fierce deity who removes fears and recurring patterns of negativity.
What’s the concept?
Green Tara is known as the great savior-goddess. Reciting her mantra gives us a shot of courage. As we meditate on her, we develop the strength she embodies. Lama Gelongma Zangmo explains it this way: “If we think negatively about ourselves, gradually we become more negative. If we do the opposite, if we focus on our potential and positive qualities, those qualities start to arise in us. When we practice Tara, we are becoming part of the energy of Tara.”
How did this meditation practice originate?
According to Buddhist legend, Tara emerged from the tears of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, after he witnessed the extent of earthly suffering. She is Tibet’s most important deity, and the only mantra spoken more often than hers is the basic Buddhist mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum. “Everyone knows it,” Lama Zangmo says. “People on busses that navigate dangerous corners and bends with steep ravines recite her mantra to overcome fear and obstacles.”
What’s unique about this meditation?
Green Tara’s mantra is believed to deliver benefits faster than any other Tantric practice, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular. Working with her encourages clarity of mind, which eventually leads to fearlessness.
What are its chief benefits?
Anyone suffering from anxiety, phobias, and everyday fears might benefit from a daily Green Tara practice. She can help us to break unhealthy mental patterns and free us from the karmic cycle of rebirth. According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Tara’s powers can even cure a life-threatening disease.
Is there evidence of its effectiveness?
The stories of people who have benefitted from a regular Tara practice are as widespread as Buddhism itself. During his twenty years of imprisonment and torture during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Garchen Rinpoche secretly meditated on Tara while pretending to be asleep. He emerged healthy and was eventually recognized as a bodhisattva.

There’s science behind the chanting of mantras, too. Researchers at Maharashtra, India’s Sipna College of Engineering & Technology, took electrode readings of brainwaves during verbalized sounds of om and found the mantra stabilized activity between brain hemispheres.
Are there any side effects or risks?
Always seek professional medical attention for serious mental health issues.
Are there any controversies?
N/A
How can it be learned?
The Green Tara meditation can be learned independently and developed through practice. Devoted practitioners may want to receive an empowerment, or blessing, directly from a Buddhist teacher.
Are there any charges for learning?
Tibetan centers hold frequent talks and empowerments from guest teachers and resident lamas, which range in price. Attendance at a group meditation session is often by donation.
How is this meditation practiced?
The Green Tara meditation can take the form of a daily ritual or a tool to use during acute moments of fear or stress. During the meditation, we sit quietly and clear our minds before visualizing the Green Tara and reciting a mantra that calls on her protection.
Can anyone practice this meditation?
Anyone can practice the Green Tara meditation, with a few stipulations to keep in mind. The Tara practice is a form of Kriya Yoga, which emphasizes the purity of daily life. Practitioners should not eat meat or drink alcohol before the Tara practice. If this describes your lifestyle, feel free to practice any time you’d like. If it doesn’t, practice in the morning before consuming anything impure. Tibetan monks, who come from a culture of avid carnivores, start the day off with Tara recitations for this reason.
Who are the well-known practitioners?
The best-known teachers and authors in this field include:

The Dalai Lama
(www.dalailama.com)
Thubton Chodron
(www.thubtenchodron.org)
Gelongma Zangmo
(www.london.samye.org)
Lobsang Palden
(www.lamalobsangpalden.com)
Rachael Wooten
(www.rachaelwootenauthor.com)
Is any equipment or material required for practice?
You’ll want a copy of the Green Tara mantra and an audio recording so you learn the pronunciation. Images of Green Tara can be found online, or you may wish to purchase a special statue or picture. A candle, to be lit as a small offering, is optional.
Green Tara Meditation
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