The Goddess: Kwan Yin

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

 September 1, 2017

KWAN YIN

(Lovingly dedicated to Bridget)

 

In the past few weeks, it has become apparent that there is a large part of this country (US) that has completely opposite feelings than the rest of the country when it comes to race, culture, gender. There is a segment of the population that is now being open with their hatred for anyone different than they and they are encouraged from the highest office. In light of this, the Goddess that I have chosen for this month is Kwan Yin, She of Mercy and Compassion, which is how we should all deal with each other, even those with whom we may disagree.

 

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(Photo: Pinterest)

 

“She is a boat, She is a light

High on a hill in dark of night.

She is a wave, She is the deep,

She is the dark where angels sleep

When all is still and peace abides,

She carries me, to the other side.”

“She Carries Me”

by Jennifer Berezan

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Kwan Yin is a bodhisattva (Buddha in the making), who is now seen as a Goddess. While she is most revered in Asia, Her worship has gone beyond into the western world.

 

Her name translates to “she who hears the cries of the world”.

 

She is one who has attained enlightenment and chose to stay until all of humankind has attained enlightenment.

 

She is a symbol of compassion and peace.

 

She banishes fear and hardship.

 

As the Goddess of 10,000 hands and 10,000 eyes, she sees everything.

(For a beautiful performance of Thousand Hand Kwan Yin from China, please watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTesehdHbqs )

 

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She is the Goddess of love and care.

 

She is a fertility Goddess, bringing children to those who want them.

 

Her energy is that of the Divine Mother, which is the same as Mother Mary’s in Christianity and the beloved Isis in Egyptian mysteries.

 

She resides on P’u T’o Shan and answers every prayer sent to Her. She is gentle and one is assured of being free from physical and spiritual harm by saying Her name in prayer and meditation.

 

She is associated with the heart chakra, which is the center of our being.

 

 

 

 

 

Kwan Yin with a Willow Branch (Photo: Pinterest)

She is not associated with that chakra in terms of a romantic or sexual love, but a love and acceptance of ourselves and others.

 

She wears flowing robes and carries a vase with the waters of life, the dew of compassion, from which she blesses all souls. She carries pearls of enlightenment to see clearly and a willow branch to heal illness. She is also seen carrying a white lotus blossom. Each of Her hands is held in a specific mudra (yoga for hands). Her other symbols are the dove (peace) and scrolls containing dharma (sacred teachings).

 

She is most revered in all of Asia, but Her worship has gone beyond and into the western world. She also goes by the names Kannon in Japan, Gwan-eum in Korea and Kuan Im in Thailand, among others.

 

It is said that She began life as a princess named Maio Shun. The earth shook and She was enveloped in the smell of flowers when She was born, as Her mother had dreamt of the moon at the moment of her conception. It was known that She would be a goddess, however, Her parents, the king and queen, were disappointed as they had wanted a son.

 

Her father insisted that she marry and she refused. Because she was so innocent and gentle, not eating the flesh of animals, she was known as the Maiden with the Heart of the Buddha. Due to her refusal, her father made her do the dirtiest and hardest chores around the castle. She requested to go to a nunnery and he agreed but first, went to the abbey and told the nuns to treat her as badly as possible. At the Temple of the White Bird, she felt weighed down by her chores but did them cheerily nevertheless. The Master of Heaven sent animals to help her.

 

When she still refused to marry, her father sent soldiers to the nunnery with orders to kill all of the nuns. The soldiers set the nunnery aflame and all of the nuns blamed Maio Shun and they turned on her. She pricked her mouth and spit out blood which turned into enormous rain clouds from which torrential rain came to put out the fire.

 

The King brought her back to the castle for execution. The executioner’s sword broke, his spear dissolved and he did the deed by choking her. A tiger came and stole her dead body away, putting an immortality pill in her mouth. When she came back to life, she meditated, strengthening her nature as a Bodhisattva.

 

Her father became ill and no one could cure him. A monk came and told the king that if he could find someone who would willingly sacrifice and eye and an arm, that a medicine could be made from them. The monk also told him where such a person could be found. The King sent a messenger to the nearby mountain and, of course, it was his daughter, who willingly gave up both arms and both eyes. The king was cured and went to the mountain with the queen to thank this person. When he saw it was his daughter, he begged her forgiveness. She then ascended to become the Thousand Armed and Thousand Eyed Kwan Yin.

 

It is said that her name chanted repeatedly becomes a prayer, and she hears and listens to all of the prayers sent to her.

 

Another of Her creation stories says that She was born from Buddha’s eye. There are several myths of Her beginning Her life as a male, Avalokitesvara, but it is as the female Kwan Yn that She is most beloved

 

Her mantra is OM MANI PADME HUM – The Jewel is in the Heart of the Lotus.

 

Om – seed sound of the Universe

Mani – Jewel

Padme – Lotus

Hum – represents that which is constant and immovable

 

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GUIDED MEDITATION

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo: Pinterest)

 

Bring yourself lying down on the floor. Close your eyes and take several deep inhales/exhales.

Transport yourself to a field near the waters where white lotus blossoms bloom. See yourself there, walking leisurely enjoying the sight of these beautiful flowers. Smell the heady scent as your roam aimlessly, enjoying the beauty of this place.

You find a clearing and sit down, enjoying the peace and calm. You allow yourself to lie down on your back.

You look up and see that it is the night of the full moon. She looks larger than you have ever seen her, surrounded by the stars, in a velvety black sky. You gaze at the moon, mesmerized by her beauty, which draws you in. The moon seems to expand and grow brighter and you feel her energy filling you and you feel as if you are floating above Mother Earth.

As the moon expands, you notice that a shape begins to take form. As it becomes clearer, you see that it is Kwan Yin descending from the sky and surrounded by the light of the moon. She brings herself amongst the lotus blossoms surrounding you.

She looks at you and smiles. You begin to chant her name and she nods. She comes closer and hovers a few inches of the ground. She extends her hands to cup around your head and above your crown chakra.

You feel an energy enter you that you have not felt before. You feel yourself filling with her love, for you and for all of humankind. She fills you with the compassion and mercy that she feels toward everyone and she shares this feeling with you.

The light that surrounds her begins to surround you. You feel lighter, calmer, more accepting of what you perceive to be your own inadequacies, the things about yourself you do not like. You have more compassion for yourself, and feel yourself healing all of those little areas that have brought you emotional pain. This acceptance, this compassion grows within you to embrace all of the people in the world, accepting them, as well, and sending this energy out to heal all of them and blessing them with the light that has been so beautifully shared with you.

You feel her take her hands away from your head. While you miss the feeling, you also know that what she has given you, will always be with you. You have surrendered yourself to her and you will never be the same. When you open your eyes, She is gone.

You take a moment, remembering all that has happened and then you turn to, once again, walk near the lotus blossoms, picking one to bring with you as you return home, returning to yourself.

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About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, WriterTeacher, Healer, and YoginiShe is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess, as well as Mago Publications She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Womens Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through Imagine A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

The Goddess: Kawn Yin

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

 June 1, 2015

Kwan Yin, The Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

(This column is dedicated to my dear friend, Denise M.)

I think that, at least one time or another, we all need a little mercy and compassion in our lives. When times are such that this is what you need, look no further than Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.

She is known by many names in many place – Kannon in Japan; Gwan-Eum in Korea, Kuan Im in Thailand; and other similar pronunciations in bordering countries.

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A mind perfected in the four virtues, 
A gold body filled with wisdom, 
Fringes of dangling pearls and jade, 
Scented bracelets set with lustrous treasures, 
Dark hair piled smoothly in a coiled-dragon bun, 
And elegant sashes lightly fluttering as phoenix quills, Her green jade buttons 
And white silk robe 
Bathed in holy light; 
Her velvet skirt
And golden cords 
Wrapped by hallowed air, 
With brows of new moon shape 
And eyes like two bright stars, 
Her jadelike face beams of natural joy, 
And her ruddy lips seem a flash of red. 
Her immaculate vase overflows with nectar from year to year, 
Holding sprigs of weeping willow green from age to age. 
She disperses the eight woes; 
She redeems the multitude; 
She has great compassion; 
Thus she rules on the T’ai Mountain, 
And loves at the South Sea . 
She saves the poor, searching for their voices, 
Ever heedful and solicitous, 
Ever wise and efficacious. 
Her orchid heart delights in green bamboos; 
Her chaste nature loves the wisteria. 
She is the merciful ruler of Potalaka Mountain, 
The Living Kuan Yin from the Cave of Tidal Sound.

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Because there are different interpretations of Kwan Yin in different countries, there are several stories of her origination. I will share two of them here.

The Story of Thi Kinh

Thi Kinh was a young girl who lived with her parents in a small village. Her father owed money to his landlord and gave his daughter to the landlord’s son to marry. One night as her husband was sleeping, she took a scissors to cut a hair out of a mole on his face. He awoke and thought that she was trying to kill him. She was thrust out on her own, with no family and no where to go. She decided to shave her long hair and dress as a monk so that she would be able to stay at the Buddhist temple. One of the village girls saw her (dressed as a monk) and became infatuated. One night she saw someone she thought was him (really her) and invited him in, whereupon they had sex. When she became pregnant, she named Thi Kinh as the father.

Thi Kinh was banished from the temple, once again becoming homeless, never telling anyone that she was a woman, so as not to shame the young pregnant village girl, even though it would exonerate her. She chose to live her Buddhist beliefs and forgive the young girl, protect her and suffer the abuse of the village.

The child was given to Thi Kinh to raise. She went from village to village begging for food for the child, and was abused at each place she stopped for shaming Buddhism But she continued on, until at one village, she was beaten to death. When her clothing was removed, it was discovered that she was, indeed, a woman and could not have gotten the young village girl pregnant. The villages then revered Thi Kinh for what suffered on behalf of this young girl. Her spirit became Kwan Yin.

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The Story of Princess Miao Shan

At the time of Miao Shan’s birth, her mother the queen, dreamed about the moon; the earth shook and the child was born amidst the smell of flowers. She was enveloped in a radiant light and all knew she was a Goddess. However, her royal parents had wanted a son.

She was extremely kind and patient and refused to marry as her father insisted. As he grew angry, he made her do the worst chores around the palace and barely gave her food; he then sent her to a nunnery, insisting that they continue her punishment for disobeying him. She did all of them without a complaint. The Master of Heaven, seeing her, sent animals and birds to help her. When she still refused to marry, her father sent his men to kill all of the nuns by setting fire to the nunnery. When the nuns turned on her for bringing this upon them, she felt responsible and punctured the top of her mouth and spit blood into the air, praying to the Buddha. The blood turned into water and put out the fire. Her father then brought her back and had her executed. The Master of Heaven sent a giant tiger to bring her body to him. She came back to life after living in heaven for a while, and went to live upon a mountain. Her evil father was constantly ill due to the vileness of his nature. While he lay dying, a strange monk came and told him if he could “take the arm and eye of one who is without anger”, he should combine them and apply them to become well. No one was without anger, and no one would sacrifice themselves for this evil man. The monk told him that someone such as this lived on the nearby mountain. Her father sent a message, not knowing it was the daughter he had killed. When she heard her father was dying, she gouged out her eyes and cut off both of her arms and her father was cured. Her parents traveled to visit this person and recognized her as their daughter and begged her forgiveness.

She rose into the air to become the Thousand-Armed and Thousand Eyed Guan Yin, for she now would have 10,000 eyes to see the suffering of the world, and 10,000 arms and hands to help those in need.

In Talmage, Mendocino County, California is the international Buddhist community known as the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. In the Buddha hall, there are really 10,000 small buddha statues in niches in the walls. This hall is for meditating and chanting and is dominated by a large golden statue of Kwan Yin.

Kwan Yin is a manifestation of the Divine Mother, the nurturer, the caregiver, the comforter, the one who hears the cries of all those who are suffering. She is sometimes seen as holding a willow branch, which she uses to heal illness and to fulfill the requests of her followers. She is also seen with a vase symbolizing the nectar of compassion and her wisdom. Most often, she is seen as sitting upon a lotus blossom. The lotus is an amazing flower, which grows from the mud, opens and blooms each morning and closes each night. The lotus symbolizes rising to the occasion and blooming to your true potential.

Namo Guan Shih Yin Pu-Sakwan4

(Hail to Kwan Yin Bodhisattva)

May the blessings of the Goddess be upon you.

Namaste

)O(

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