Monday, December 13, 2010


Statues were commissioned to be made in Nepal
of bronze with gold leaf.
Ted Sundin organized the fund raiser for this project.
Eventually a special platform will be built
for them in the front of the room.

The largest statue is of Sukhasiddhi, who arrived at Buddhism late in life. She lived as an impoverished housewife and mother of six children until the age of fifty-nine. She was thrown out of her home by her husband and children, who were irate at what they considered her misplaced generosity to a stranger who came begging at their door. She wandered westward to Oddiyana (Swat Valley in modern Pakistan), where she acquired a measure of grain, with which she made alcohol. Her business proved a modest success, and she allowed herself to again be generous, this time to a female adept. Sukhasiddhi's gift of free alcohol intrigued the adept, Virupa, who asked whether his surprising benefactor wanted to receive Buddhist teaching. She did

Upon receiving empowerment and instruction from Virupa, Sukhasiddhi, then a sixty-one-year-old, attained full enlightenment that very evening. Like Niguma, her body became rainbowlike. Niguma is remembered as a wrathful, dark-brown woman who wore bone ornaments, whereas Sukhasiddhi is portrayed as a peaceful, light-skinned sixteen-year-old.

Sukhasiddhi is one of two women teachers credited with providing founding teachings for the Tibetan Buddhist Kagyu lineage. She is known as a ‘wisdom dakini’, and is still considered exceptionally kind, empowering and aiding any who call upon her as part of their spiritual journey.



Origins of Tara According to Buddhist tradition, Tara was born out of the tears of compassion of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. It is said that he wept as he looked upon the world of suffering beings, and his tears formed a lake in which a lotus sprung up. When the lotus opened, the goddess Tara was revealed. White Tara displays serenity and grace. Together, the Green and White Taras symbolize the unending compassion of the goddess who labors day and night to relieve suffering.

Green Tara, above,

with her half-open lotus, represents the night, and White Tara, with her lotus in full bloom, symbolizes the day. Green Tara embodies virtuous activity while White Tara displays serenity and grace. Together, the Green and White Taras symbolize the unending compassion of the goddess who labors day and night to relieve suffering.

In Buddhist religious practice, Green Tara's primary role is savioress. She is believed to help her followers overcome dangers, fears and anxieties, and she is especially worshipped for her ability to overcome the most difficult of situations. Green Tara is intensely compassionate and acts quickly to help those who call upon her.

White Tara (Sanskrit: Sitatara; Tibetan: Sgrol-dkar), above, is sometimes called the Mother of all Buddhas and she represents the motherly aspect of compassion. Her white color signifies purity, wisdom and truth.

In iconography, White Tara often has seven eyes – in addition to the usual two, she has a third eye on her forehead and one on each of her hands and feet. This symbolizes her vigilance and ability to see all the suffering in the world. The "Tara of Seven Eyes" is the form of the goddess especially popular in Mongolia.

White Tara wears silk robes and scarves that leave her slender torso and rounded breasts uncovered in the manner of ancient India. Like Green Tara, she is richly adorned with jewels.

White Tara is seated in the diamond lotus position, with the soles of her feet pointed upward. Her posture is one of grace and calm. Her right hand makes the boon-granting gesture and her left hand is in the protective mudra. In her left hand, White Tara holds an elaborate lotus flower that contains three blooms. The first is in seed and represents the past Buddha Kashyapa; the second is in full bloom and symbolizes the present Buddha Shakyamuni; the third is ready to bloom and signifies the future Buddha Maitreya. These three blooms symbolize that Tara is the essence of the three Buddhas.

In religious practice, White Tara is believed to help her followers overcome obstacles, especially those that inhibit the practice of religion. She is also associated with longevity.


This was an event put together by the children. A Bodhisattva is one who vows never to abandon another sentient being and aspires to bring about the benefit of others above even his or her own. One aim was to help children and others see that the Bodhisattva ideal is in some way present in most of the world's religious traditions and is a key method in our own tradition for overcoming the causes of suffering. The children explored this theme through story telling.
There are grand, mythical, larger-than-life (even canonized) Bodhisattvas, and there are ordinary folks like us, moving along in that direction as best as we can --and everything in between.
The Middle Way Youth Group asked for donations of canned goods for the emergency food shelter.
In the photo above the children are singing with Lama Yeshe and Lama Pema.

Melissa Ivan speaking with Lama Yeshe
Lamas Yeshe and PemaMary, the teacher, has the children