Tara Praises - Preliminaries
The Twenty-one Praises of Tara
Refuge vows, and the Tara empowerment from an accredited teacher is required for doing the complete liturgy with offerings. Anyone, though, can read, chant or sing the 21 Praises.
Prepare for this
practice by setting the proper motivation
Taking refuge and generating the altruistic dedicated heart
The Four Immeasurables
Visualization & Recitation
Visualize much radiant and blissful green light from the TAM and mantra at Tara’s heart streams into you and into the sentient beings surrounding you. View all sentient beings of this world system as now having that TAM and mantra at their heart as a result of the earlier recitation, that they are in their normal places around the world. View that green light emanates from a multi-layered cloud of Taras of all forms in the space around this world system. The light covers all space and all sentient beings of this world system and even spreads on to all of space, all world systems and all sentient beings. Also view all Buddhas and bodhisattvas similarly arrayed joining in with light appropriate to them. For trouble spots and situations add an ever widening tornado of Taras superimposed with similar widening stacks of all Buddhas and bodhisattvas over the place with intense blessing raining down to help. This light purifies the imprints of all negative actions, and dispels all sickness and harms from spirits. In addition, it brings inspiration and blessings from Tara [and all Buddhas and bodhisattvas], thus enabling you to realize the entire gradual path to enlightenment quickly. While doing the visualization, recite as much as possible Tara’s peaceful mantra:
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA
Wish that all subsequent such visualizations and recitations throughout the day be considered to be logically part of this practice at this point. Then continue this practice at all odd moments through the day, such as walking, driving, standing in lines, and any other activity that can allow divided attention. For things such as driving, you may limit the visualization effort so that the particular activity is not compromised in an unsafe way.
Alternate Visualization & Recitation
You are in your ordinary form. At your heart appears a white AH made of light. This transforms into a white moon disc. At its center appears a green syllable TAM, the essence of Tara's blissful omniscient mind of wisdom and compassion. Standing clockwise around the edge of the moon appear the letters of the mantra om tare tuttare ture soha, made of green light
From the TAM, rainbow-colored light goes out in all directions and invokes Tara to appear in the space in front of you. She is seated on a lotus and moon disc. Her body is made of emerald-green light, youthful and exquisitely beautiful. Her right hand on her right knee is in the gesture of giving; her left hand at her heart is in the gesture of refuge and holds the stem of a blue utpala flower that blooms by her ear.
Her left leg is drawn up and her right leg is slightly extended. Her face is very beautiful and she smiles with loving kindness at all sentient beings.
Surrounding her in space are twenty-one other Taras, as well as all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas. Surrounding you are all sentient beings. You lead them in reciting the prayers and requests to Tara.
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