Join us for a week-long retreat where we will study, contemplate and immerse ourselves in “Tara” – an archetype of support and nourishment, protection and encouragement. Tara is a female bodhisattva, a being who delays their own Buddhahood or entry into nirvana in order to assist and alleviate the suffering of others. She is known as a saviouress and as the “mother of liberation” from suffering. View the introductory video about the 21 Taras below.
In contemporary parlance we’d say Tara supports us as we transcend unwholesome states and integrate psychological shadow material.
The following are some of the benefits traditionally associated with the Tara practice:
Has the power to dispel poisons such as toxic unwholesome states of being
Guards us from both mental and physical dis-ease
Dispels conflict, including unpleasant dreams
Liberates “hosts of troublesome spirits” and “raised corpses”
Tara – her name also means “star” – has 21 primary emanations, each of which performs a different kind of emancipating activity. As the female Bodhisattva of Enlightened Activity, Tara manifests in four ways, one for each of the four kinds of enlightened activity: pacification, augmentation, subjugation and wrath.
White Tara represents the enlightened activity of pacification, including the overcoming of sickness, causes of untimely death, and obstacles to success in one’s life or one’s spiritual practice.
Yellow Tara performs the enlightened activity of increasing the positive qualities conducive to a long life, peace, happiness and success in one’s spiritual practice.
Red Tara undertakes the enlightened activity of power, or overpowering external forces that cannot be tamed through the first two activities. This would include, for example, removing obstacles to sickness, untimely death, etc., and establishing conducive conditions for one’s spiritual practice.
Black Tara performs the enlightened activity of wrath. This involves using energetic methods to accomplish enlightened purposes when they cannot be accomplished through other means.
Each of these four Enlightened Activity Taras is associated with an additional four Taras, every one of which helps us to alleviate one of the 16 fears that humans are subject to according to the classic Buddhist canon.
The retreat will include at least one Tibetan-style empowerment (Wong Kur).
This retreat is offered by Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat on the basis of dāna, or generosity practice. Learn more about dāna.
This retreat is held at Clear Sky Center. Visit the Clear Sky 21 Tara Retreat page for registration, accommodation & meal fees.