Celebrating Vesakha (Wesak) Day ~

Arya Tara is the Buddhist Goddess we chose to represent us here on Tara Cronica. Today those who practise Buddhism will celebrate the day in many different ways. Vesakha or Wesak day is an annual holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists in South Asia and South East Asian countries. Informally called Buddha’s Birthday, it actually encompasses the birth, enlightenment (Nirvana) and passing away (Parinivana) of Gautama Buddha, the Supreme Buddha. What attracted me to this celebration was that on this day everyone makes a special effort to bring happiness to the unfortunate.

Vesakha is also a time for great joy and happiness with such activities like decorating and illuminating temples with candles, painting and creating exquisite scenes from the life of the Buddha. It is a time of giving, good deeds, setting animals free and pilgrimage. Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it.

Devotees may bring simple offerings of flowers, candles and joss-sticks to lay at the feet of their teacher. These symbolic offerings are to remind followers that just as the beautiful flowers would wither away after a short while and the candles and joss-sticks would soon burn out, so too is life subject to decay and destruction. To me this day is a reminder that life is short and we need to embrace our lives and live each moment with pure intent. To give to those less fortunate not just on this day but everyday.

Happy Vesakha day everyone!

Svaha ~

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Image is Everything ~ Arya Tara

There are literally thousands of representations of the Goddess Arya Tara to be found on the internet, in print form and as statues.  She is the oldest Goddess still worshiped extensively in modern times and can be found in pretty much every cultural back story on the planet.  Of all the images of Tara out there, which ones are bringing meaning to your life right now, and why?

post-insert-jacquie3Jacquie~

You know those gorgeous postcards art galleries send out when a new exhibit is going to take place? Well, I have a number of them displayed on my desk at any given time and piles of them in my ‘inspiration’ files in my studio.  I collect them whenever I visit a gallery and want to take home a piece of the artist’s workArya Tara but can’t afford an actual painting.  Just looking at these treasures brings me joy and reminds me of all the beauty being created in the world.  On, or is that ‘in’, my computer, I also have a file of images of the Goddess Arya Tara that I like to wander through whenever I need a spiritual fix.  I’m a very visual person and seeing the Goddess in her many colourful depictions makes it easier for me to feel her warmth and her message.

I was thinking last week that we needed to display our own modern version of Tara more prominently on Tara Cronica and that’s what prompted me to ask Tracy and Bonnie about the images of Tara that inspire them right now, and why.

Arya Tara Image

This image of the White Tara has been jumping out at me each time I enter my Tara file and so I wanted to figure out why.  I love the colour choices, but I knew there must be a reason why I’ve been especially drawn to it, besides that fact that it reminds me so much of our own design by Akiko Michael.  I’m curious as to why her leg isn’t outstretched like a typical Tara, ready to jump up and offer help at a moment’s notice, or set to travel upon the road to enlightenment.  Does that mean I’m not ready?  Am I analyzing this waaaay too much?

I was a bit shocked when I read that White Tara doesn’t work (I may be at home but I think I do work)!  She “doesn’t step off her lotus like Green Tara does, but just by ‘being’ she shows her compassion and good things come from that”.   She is also known for helping her followers overcome obstacles.  So, maybe being at home playing on the computer is my way of showing how much I love interacting with people?  Maybe a touch of what I write hits home and allows others to feel more connected, even if I’m just talking about shoes.  We all go through those times when you question everything you’re doing and if it’s making any sense, and so I’m going to look at White Tara as a sign that I AM doing something right and stop doubting myself!  Anyway, that’s what’s been on my mind.   Love you all!  Thanks, Tara!

Bonnie Johnson's PostBonnie~

Jacquie has asked us to find one of our favourite images of any of the colourful Taras and tell what inspires us most about the Goddess right now and why.

I thought it would be difficult to choose but I was immediately drawn to this picture of Green Tara.

shakti_grtara-compassionhealingprotGreen Tara represents compassion.  Compassion has been coming up a lot for me lately so this beautiful aspect of Arya Tara is an easy choice for me at this time.

When the Buddha was asked “Would it be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is a part of our practice?”  The Buddha replied, “No.   It would not be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is part of our practice.  It would be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is all of our practice.”

One of my favourite quotes is by the Dalai Lama when has said,  “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.   If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”  I love that!

I also love that in this depiction of Green Tara she emanates light.  She is, after all, the archetype of Inner Wisdom and the Goddess of Spiritual Travel along the road to Enlightenment.  No wonder she glows!

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha!

TracyTracy’s Tara~

My favorite Arya Tara picture is the one we had drawn by the artist Akiko Michael.  We gave Akiko a few web links to pictures of Arya Tara and asked her to come up with a simplified drawing of Tara that would be unique to our site.  The simple clean line reflect what I love about our Tara.

Arya Tara Line Drawing by Akiko Michaels

I love that she is seated among a bed of flowers.  Tara inspires me to live my life authentically and be true to myself.  Arya Tara crossed my path at a pivotal time in my life.  She was also a “Critical Choice” in my life.  What I love most about her is that she is the “Goddess of Spiritual Travel along the  road to enlightenment.”  Tara is an archetype of our own inner wisdom. She guides and protects us as we navigate the depths of our unconscious minds, helping us to transform consciousness, our own personal journeys of freedom.
It is the goddess Tara who helps us to remain “centered”. The myths of the Goddess Tara remind us of our “oneness” with all of creation and the importance of nurturing the spirit within.

Tara is completely pure and joyful in her endless giving, generosity, patience, and wisdom. She is not jealous of other deities!  Jealousy is a sign of insecurity, not a sign of love!

I have grown and and unfolded in many ways since meeting her for the first time.  Tara was our choice for representing us here at Tara Cronica for so many reasons, if you visit Goddess Tara’s bio page you will see all the reasons we chose her to represent us, as our Goddess.

I just came across another gorgeous Tara that I couldn’t resist sharing with you!  There are so many beautiful pictures of Tara it’s hard to pick just one!  Enjoy !

White Tara Purple Light

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Envy. How do you deal with it?

Bonnie’s Take~

Bonnie's PostEnvy.  Listed as one of the seven deadly sins along with pride, greed, lust, gluttony, anger and sloth.  Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty and guilty!  (Not all at the same time but yes I’ve felt each of those during the course of my life.  Sloth is one of my favourites and I still like to take a day to revel in that sin now and again.)

I read somewhere that envy is a hidden emotion.  Hidden so well that you often don’t realize that it is the motivation behind your actions.  This struck a chord with me.  I had thought that envy was a wasted negative emotion and I was sure I never allowed myself to fall into that trap.  Then I realized that there have been many times that I’ve seen others obtain something that I’d like to have too.  For example the young lady that leads our Zumba class has a terrifically fit and athletic figure that you could say I’m envious for.  So in that case my envy motivates me to work harder on my own figure.  Huh!  Thanks envy!

The philosopher, Immanuel Kant wrote:  Envy is opposed to oneself because it disinclines us to see our own good overshadowed the by good of others.  Well doesn’t that sum it up perfectly! You can’t gain anything by being stuck in feelings of  negativity.  I also believe if you only focus on your lack of whatever it is that you want then you can only attract more lack.  Instead I choose to use those rare moments of envy as little signals telling me “hey, here’s something else you would like” and then working towards a goal of achieving them.

What do you think ladies?

Tracy’s 2 cent’s~

green-with-envy-smallEnvy~the feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.

Envy and jealousy are very close in meaning. Envy denotes a longing to possess something awarded to or achieved by another: to feel envy when a friend inherits a fortune. Jealousy, on the other hand, denotes a feeling of resentment that another has gained something that one more rightfully deserves: to feel jealousy when a coworker receives a promotion.

How do I deal with Envy?  I suppose I turn green like everyone else!  I couldn’t resist the picture.  Envy doesn’t have a negative feeling for me.  If you are passionate about what you are doing I think there is no room for envy.  If  someone is doing what I want to be doing and is successful at it I think of that person as a trail blazer before me.  I feel inspired by anyone who is reaching their goals they set for themselves.  If their goals are reached it tells me that it is possible for me so I should keep up the hard work.  I look at someone elses success as a resource for mine, it’s all in the name of research.  Here at Tara Cronica we are women inspiring, with our own spin on it.  There are lots of inspiring websites but this is what we have created.  No need to be envious of what we are doing,  read and take what you need to be inspired to create your own.  I have never been competitive amongst my peers I am always willing to share my knowledge with anyone who is heading down a path perhaps I have blazed already.  I compete with my self but not with anyone else.  I think there is room for everyone to have success in what they are passionate for because passion is the foundation to success…envy is not.  I do however envy anyone who can sing and carry a tune because I can’t.  If I had the time and passion for singing I am certain I would have recorded an album by now.

Jacquie’s thoughts~

post-insert-jacquie2I know the text book definition of envy, I know it’s one of the seven deadly sins and I know it’s not considered an attractive emotion to possess.  If I have to be perfectly honest with myself, and I do or what’s the point, I have to own up to feelings of envy now and then.   For sure I’d like to have some of the material advantages of some of my friends and relations.    Duh!  It’s that natural little twinge you get when you hear of someone’s great new job, or lottery win or amazing holiday they’ve planned.  For a split second you forget all the wonderful things going on in your own life because the focus is somewhere else.

When I get these little jolts of envy mixed cole slaw-style ( a little sugar, a titch of vinegar) with pleasant feelings, I recognize them for what they are and move on to thinking about something more productive over which I have control.   That’s where Tara comes in for me.

Green Tara, one of the 21 manifestations of the Goddess Arya Tara, is associated with the protection from fear as well as a number of obscurations.  These are obstacles, or disturbing attitudes we all have that prevent our becoming Enlightened.

The first step to becoming Enlightened would be to become Aware of your feelings and emotions.  This is so very Eckart Tolle it isn’t even funny!  Being in the ‘now’ ~  present.   Those who practice Tara Buddhism would add the repetition of mantras and meditation.   I just remind myself of all my blessings and what is truly important to me and then the feelings of envy evaporate.  This all happens in a nanosecond sometimes.  Other times it takes a tiny bit longer but it always works.

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha!

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In the Church of Wind….

RidingI’ve been riding motorcycles for about 14 years now off and on and  love it!  There is nothing like flying down the highway by the seat of your pants with the wind in your hair!  Everyone should experience that at least once in their life!  I highly recommend it at any age!

Riding as a passenger is a great way to experience the feeling of freedom motorcycles give you but there is truly no comparison to riding your own.  If I can do it, so can you.  I took the BC Safety Council course first and while I was learning to ride, I had a Black Fat Boy Harley Davidson on order.  I will never forget the adrenaline I felt the day I got the call that my bike was ready to be picked up!  Tracy's Fat Boy HDI was nervous with excitement and shaking with anticipation!  I remember riding on the highway for the first time.  I had to pull over because it was just too much for me, the excitement that is!  I kept looking down at the road  thinking if I just stepped off at 80 km an hour I would be toast!  I didn’t have the protection my Jeep gave me.  Your life depends on you paying attention.  I kept playing back in my mind when I was about 7 years old and rode a mini bike for the first time,  how I just gunned the throttle and ran into a tree.  This was not a mini bike but a 710 lb motorcycle that was like riding a Clydesdale horse in comparison to a Pony.

1992 Yamaha FZR1000I am not sure I would have ever rode unless Scott had inspired me to try it after being a passenger on his rice rocket for a couple of years.  I loved riding with him because I always felt that I was in good hands and I knew he would always keep me safe.  Riding as a passenger with him was like going on a thrilling ride at Disneyland at times.  He educated me on how motorcycles work so I completely understood what they were capable of doing.  I watched motorcycle racing to get the feel of what you could actually do without tipping over.  He took me up to Whistler and Cypress Mountain on several occasions so I could see for myself when you were almost sideways, able to touch the ground that was flying beneath you at a million miles an hour, you just learned to dance with the bike, not fight it.  He did make it feel like dancing.  You had to relax, let go of your fears and just go with the flow.  That is where my trust in this man started.  He should have raced bikes for a living, it is his one passion that he can not live without.  Riding literally changes his mood.  He needs to ride to have balance in his life and the smile on his face after a ride can not be duplicated by doing ANYTHING else.

Scott

Scott told me a story about the day he knew he loved motorcycles.  He was 5 years old and it goes like this.  He was driving with his Mom, Dad and Brother in their green Mercury Meteor going on holidays when he heard a rumbling coming up from behind their car.  He saw a motorcycle past by his window and then another and another, they just kept coming.  They started to come beside his brothers window so he sat up and looked out the back window of the car and there were motorcycles everywhere he looked.  They surrounded their car and kept coming for about 4 minutes straight.  It was a Notorious Motorcycle Club.  He remembers this experience like it was yesterday and told me there was nothing else like it for him as a boy.

single head lightsWe were out for a ride the other day flying down the highway when we passed a couple of motorcycles at the side of the road that looked like they were waiting to hook up with more.  I just knew at that moment the day would be a different.  We were cruising at 110 km when it started.  I looked in my mirror and saw nothing but single headlights as far back as I could see.  My heart started to race and the adrenaline was instantly pumping through my veins.  It felt like the first time I rode on the highway.  Within seconds I was riding beside a Motorcycle Club.  As the first one approached he looked over and acknowledged me, smiled, it felt surreal.  There was a wave of at least 50 riding side by side.  I couldn’t look away!  The only words that I can even think of to describe it was that it was like a religious experience!  When in your life do you ride down the highway along side 50 serious bikers and not ride off the road!  I rode up beside Scott after they thundered by us and we just smiled and knew we both felt the same.  The wave of bikers passed like a swarm of bees heading for the hive.  I asked myself  later that if they were just a bunch of guys out for a ride would it have been so exhilarating?  Not at all.  These guys had presence, there was a reason that it felt this way.  We slowly fell behind and watched the swarm of bikes disappear into the mountain pass.

We got to our destination and had a great lunch on the deck of  ‘Raven’s on the Beach’.  Very fitting as the Raven is one of  Tara’s creatures!  We went to ‘Dragonfly Gifts’ and I bought a Arya Tara necklace for the ride back.  After all she is the Protectress of Earthly and Spiritual Travel along the road to Enlightenment.  And I still needed to get back home!

It doesn’t matter what you ride just as long as you do.

I think I need another…Triumph ThruxtonTracy

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