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Courage and inspiration of Tara - by Lama Zangmo

Posted on 27 Aug 2021

Courage and inspiration of Tara - by Lama Zangmo

Lama Zangmo writes:

I was struck by one of the teachings of His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa on Green Tara, where he mentions that the problem is not that there aren’t enough loving people in the world, nor that we lack compassion. He says the problem is that we don’t have enough courage and inspiration. We need to develop more courage, and we need inspiration from others, such as Green Tara who represents freedom from fear.

In the Buddhist teachings on courage, it is said that we should be like a lion that can’t be harmed by a fox. A lion is a very powerful animal, the king of the jungle, and a fox would be no match for him. We should try to develop and cultivate this type of confidence, so that we can be of benefit to others and make the world a better place. With courage we can cope when we are challenged, and we can adapt to changes, and when we feel inspired, we don’t give up. Our mind becomes so strong that it can defend and protect itself from any danger.

The middle of the jungle could be anywhere - wherever you tend to feel most challenged such as the workplace, or being at home with family, or even being alone in lockdown unable to go out, then that becomes the jungle. Normally we consider the jungle a very dangerous place where one needs to stay alert so as not to be attacked by wild animals or other dangers.

Likewise, when it comes to our mind, our inner jungle, it is important to be alert and vigilant. The dangers and problems out there – the people you work with or the noisy neighbours or the fact that you have to stay at home – they are just the triggers. We need courage and inspiration and alertness to deal with the internal dangers and threats. If we forget and lose our mindfulness, then we risk being attacked by the fierce enemy of negative thinking, the wild beast of selfish tendencies and the poisonous sting of disturbing emotions.

The world will become a better place if we inspire ourselves by the positive actions of others, and we develop the courage of the lion, the king of the jungle, to tame our inner enemies instead of fighting external situations.

To read teachings on Green Tara by HH 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, just visit this page.