All in White
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White Tara, folio from a dispersed Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) manuscript, early 12th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art (public domain)
Breathe In, Soul + Body

All in White

A Buddhist Goddess’s Wisdom
Aleksandra Woźniak-Marchewka
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She grants people good health and long life, as well as bestowing on them love and compassion. The powerful White Tara holds a special place in the Buddhist religion. She is a tender mother goddess whose love proves stronger than death. Simultaneously—as is often the case with Buddhist deities—she is simply a part of human nature.

She is sometimes called the female Buddha. In Tibet she is known as Drolma, but in India and Japan she is called Tara. The goddess manifests in twenty one forms, but only two of them are given special veneration: Green Tara and White Tara. The latter can be recognized among the dozens of figures adorning the multicolored thankgas—Buddhist religious paintings—owing to its distinct whiteness, which symbolizes compassion, wisdom, and the absence of the two veils of the mind, which are obstacles on the path to enlightenment (the state of liberation from suffering). The first veil is conflicting emotions; the second is dualistic knowledge—the division between subject and object (for the enlightened mind, everything is one).

The hands of White Tara are arranged in symbolic gestures (mudras): the left hand represents protection,

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The Lessons of Thích Nhất Hạnh
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Thích Nhất Hạnh. Source: Wikipedia
Breathe In, Soul + Body

The Lessons of Thích Nhất Hạnh

In Celebration of a Zen Master
Julia Fiedorczuk

Thích Nhất Hạnh passed away in late January 2022. A Vietnamese Zen master, peace activist and mindfulness teacher, he was nominated to the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr. himself. A proponent of deep ecology and engaged Buddhism, he penned over 100 books. Still, he was forced to live abroad for over 40 years.

Alongside Shunryū Suzuki from Japan and Seungsahn from Korea, Nhất Hạnh was one of the great teachers who introduced Buddhism to the West in the 1960s. One week after his death, I set out to write this column at the Từ Hiếu Temple, where he began his Zen training as a 16-year-old boy and returned several years ago to spend his final years. According to his wishes, he was cremated here, too.

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