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Theme: Loving Kindness

The goddess, Tara, epitomizes our theme for the day, loving kindness. Tara is known as a protector, who helps travelers combat “the eight great fears†that commonly affect travelers. They are fear of (1) drowning (2) lions (3) fire (4) snakes (5) rampaging elephants (6) marauding thieves (7) false imprisonment and (8) demons. While meant to be taking literally, these fears also represent negative emotions that must be wiped out in order to achieve enlightenment. They are respectively (1) Craving (2) false views (3) pride (4) envy (5) hatred (6) doubt (7) avarice and (8) ignorance. Dressed as an Indian princess, Tara sits with her right leg extended in what is known as the pose of royal ease, making it easy for her to jump out and help anyone who might have need. Her right hand is open in the gesture of supreme generosity while her left hand rest in front of her heart holding a lotus that extends and blooms over her left shoulder.

Image credit: Yellow Tara; Nepal; 17th century; Wood with polychrome and gilded repoussé ornaments; Rubin Museum of Art, Formerly of Joe Gelpey Collection; C2008.1 A & B (HAR 65821)

Mindfulness Meditation Series

Himalayan practitioners have, for centuries, used meditation to quiet the mind, open the heart, calm the nervous system, and increase one’s ability to focus. Now, western scientists, business leaders, and the secular world have embraced meditation as a vital tool for brain health. Learn more

Presented in partnership with Sharon Salzberg and the New York Insight Meditation Center.

About the Teacher

“Each of us has a genuine capacity for love, forgiveness, wisdom and compassion. Meditation awakens these qualities so that we can discover for ourselves the unique happiness that is our birthright.

— Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. Sharon’s latest book is Real Happiness At Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace, published by Workman Publishing. She is a weekly columnist for On Being, a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is also the author of several other books including the New York Times Best Seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program (2010), Love Your Enemies (2013), Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience (2002), and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (1995). For more information please visit: