In Tibetan Buddhism, Tara is a Tantric meditation deity, a mythic female bodhisattva, who is a metaphor for Buddhist virtues, to be envisioned and contemplated by practitioners as a way of internalizing and strengthening these virtues. Tara manifests in many forms, each reflecting different characteristics of enlightenment and each associated with a color reflected in her iconography: White Tara, Red Tara, Yellow Tara, and Green Tara.
The latter, Green Tara, is the bodhisattva of enlightened action. In her iconography, she is characterized as lifting up one leg as if to step down from her Lotus cushion in order to take action in an afflicted world--to do what needs to be done in the face of injustice, cruelty, and Adharma.
How apt it is then, that out of the courageous standoff of the Native American water protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota, and the brutal response of the hired thugs to their nonviolent bearing of witness, a spokesperson has emerged who is named Tara--I see her as an incarnation of Green Tara, the Bodhisattva of enlightened action on behalf of our living Earth.
Tara Houska is a Gaian goddess and bodhsattva, a highly articulate, pure-hearted, and inwardly and outwardly beautiful young Native American woman, who was just arrested and brutalized in North Dakota. Her story of being hog-tied, strip-searched,and thrown in a kennel by these fascist thugs has filled me with blinding, sputtering rage, which I am now trying to breathe and observe, so that I can channel it into mindful, strategic, and relentless action against Trump and all the other corporate fascists...wish me luck, and let us all say a prayer for Tara and her incredibly courageous people in North Dakota.
Her mantra is
Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā / Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha
But if mantras don't work for you, simply practice Tonglen:
Breathe in, and take upon yourself, the horrific suffering now being inflicted on Tara and her people.
Breathe out, from the diamond in your mind, compassion, relief, and a good hot meal to her and the courageous people she represents on the front line.
And then, like Green Tara, get off your cushion and take action that is mindful, strategic, and relentless against Trump, against this corporation and their hired thugs, and against all who would put their own profits before the health and future of our sacred planet.