Goddess of CompassionDecember 15, 2009
The Kuan Yin Oracle by Stephen Karcher is a book I have borrowed out from my local library network once before and, serendipitiously, found it on the shelves waiting to come home with me again.
The blurb on the back informs us that Stephen Karcher Ph.D has worked with divinatory texts for more than thirty years. He is generally acknowledged to be one of the world’s experts on the psychological and spiritual uses of divination and the relation of divination to the arts.
I’ve never heard of him which doesn’t mean he does not live, breathe and walk upon this blue marble. In fact, he just had a birthday on December 8th – his 63rd.
I have heard of Kuan Yin though and have had a relationship with her since mid 1998, when I moved to Bendigo and with wondrous delight, discovered a temple to her. Not just any old temple either: the only temple in the southern hemisphere which has a hand-carved white marble statue of Gun Yum Miew (Guan Yin Miao). She is carrying a fly whisk in her right hand (very handy in the Aussie bush) and a pearl in her left. She is enthroned with one bare foot resting on an open lotus flower.
I licked my wounds in Bendigo, after leaving my marriage, from June 1998 to December 2001 and kneeled before this compassionate lady many times, surrending my fears, my despair, my confusion and generally having a yak about stuff and nonsense. Mostly I offered my thanks for my resilience, guts and for having – as we say down under – “more front than Myers”.
Today, December 15th here at 12:44pm, Kuan Yin says:
39 Beyond The Horizon
News reaches you from beyond the horizon, as mysterious, ridiculous and nonsensical as a man polishing a rock into a mirror. If you don’t concern yourself, you will be spared a lot of trouble.
Waning Moon: Emerging Yin
This is the time to harvest. It will bring insight as well as profit. Reap and gather your crops. Conserve your energy and nourish the spirits. Honour the experienced.
Season: Autumn and the West
Symbols: Mists and Heaven
Life Cycle: the Elders
Use your concentrated insight to cut through this fog of silly illusions.
Advice to the Wayfarer
Don’t get so upset about things. At the moment, you simply don’t know where to start. You can see no clear path ahead of you. The great danger is that you will draw the wrong conclusions. Let friends advise you on important decisions. It is not true that good advice is expensive. Be careful in traffic and in sports activities.
Dharma: beware the right tool in the wrong hands. Use the keen sword of discrimination.
From The Kuan Yin Oracle (pages 3-6):
Kuan Yin is first of all a Bodhisattva, an ‘enlightened being’ pledged to universal liberation and happiness. The path to realizing Bodhisattva nature evolves through ten stages. These steps or stages are called bhumi. At the seventh bhumi, you win enough merit to enter nirvana or ‘no-wind’, where the hot winds of desire and compulsion are forever stilled, and to move off the Wheel of Birth and Death. But your Vow constrains you: the Vow to become a Buddha in order to work only for the happiness of all sentient beings.
Like Kuan Yin, you choose to remain in the samsara, the World of Illusions, or Tomb World, we all inhabit, and work for the ‘happiness of all sentient beings’. From this level on, full enlightenment is inevitable. The Bodhisattva is on the Way.
The following is one version of the ten stages or bhumi. We should imagine Kuan Yin as passing through all these experiences and perfections. All the names of the stages are her epithets.
- The Joyful One: rejoicing in the experience of bodhi or enlightening, the Bodhisattva perfects the skill of selfless giving (dana).
- The Pure One: perfecting herself in right living or morality (sila), the Bodhisattva is freed from impurities.
- The Light-giver: perfecting her insight into the nature of suffering and release and offering it to the world, the Bodhisattva acquires patience (ksanti).
- The Radiant One: perfecting herself in effort (virya) and the thirty-seven ‘principles conducive to enlightenment’ (bodhipaksya dharmas), the Bodhisattva burns away ignorance.
- Difficult to Conquer: perfecting herself in contemplation (dhyana) and the practice of the Four Noble Truths, the Bodhisattva is not easily conquered by Mara, goddess of illusion and ruler of the samsara.
- Face to Face with Emptiness: perfecting herself in transcendental wisdom (prajna) and insight into the doctrines of causality (pratitya-samutpada), the Bodhisattva now stands face to face with total release from birth and death.
- The Far-Going One: able to comprehend reality just as it is, the Bodhisattva perfects herself in the skillful means (upaya) necessary to help the myriad beings to liberation.
- The Immovable One: unmoved by emptiness or being, cause or non-cause, the Bodhisattva cultivates resolution (pranidhana) and the ability to manifest herself at all levels of existence in the tme, place and form she wishes.
- Becoming the Good: the Bodhisattva acquires the means of analytical knowledge (pratisamvids) and perfects herself in strength (bala).
- Cloud of the Dharma: the Bodhisattva acquires a radiant, jeweled body through which she works miracles for the myriad beings. As space is dotted with clouds, her experience is composed of trances and concentrations. She perfects herself in knowledge (jnana) and obtains the ten deliverances corresponding to her vows. The process is complete and she can travel the realities at will to exercise her insight and compassion.
I made this collage Soulcard on Good Friday, April 10 2009. I gave it the name “The Pearlie Queen” although it didn’t seem to fit, it’s true name came to me in August 2011 and has much to do with how the Australian psyche is shaped by isolation and water.
Kuan Yin has vowed to come to the aid of anyone who calls on her with a sincere heart. She can talk the leg off an iron-pot.
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