Green Tara and I have been good friends for decades, she more constant than I. Who is Green Tara? The masculine Buddha cries a river of compassionate tears, and from that river emerges Green Tara, wisdom personified, one leg set down ready to protect, to intervene, to help. Green Tara claims that she will continue to be reborn as a feminine figure until all suffering has ended. She is, for me, a mixture of Mary and Sophia, the Christian image for wisdom, and so much more.
One of my stalwart friends, Renette, traveled to Tibet and Nepal years ago; I was to go with her and another, but I fell and broke my shoulder which then slightly crushed together. I had to stay home, so asked her to bring me a Green Tara tangka, or picture. Which she did. Boy, did she ever! It’s hand painted by the head of a Tibetan tangka painting school in Kathmandu. She shines and shimmers and keeps me company.
At one time, I chanted over 100,000 mantras to her, counting on my yak bone mala which is like a Christian rosary only with counters, 108 beads. Devotion is an alien concept for most of us in the West but for Tibetan Buddhists, it’s one channel or doorway into the absolute realms. It’s real. At some point, I participated in a Green Tara Empowerment and brought her along to be blessed. Somehow or other, I developed devotion to Green Tara, so here I am.
Towards the beginning of July this year, after we moved to Rose Villa, I put my finger on her hand which is open, on my tankga, and prayed: “Help me!” It’s like plugging into her unique channel or current, and opening mine up to her. Boom! Electric sizzle ! Help poured into me on every level, completely blessing me through friends, family, resources known and unknown, pouring in to me. I heard that it was going to take time, and to rest. Staggering experience. I’ve only recently decided to speak of it here. Lasted all of about one minute.
So, a month or so later, I decided to see if I could find a doctor of Tibetan medicine here in the Portland area. Tibetan medicine is similar to Chinese medicine but coming from the Bon tradition in Tibet. I asked many people. Nothing. I asked my shaman friend who also put out the word, and was recently connected to a lovely young woman who is a student of Tibetan medicine, as well as Chinese medicine at the Naturopathic College. She arrived at our cottage carrying water that she infused with a protective healing mantra, and a Medicine Buddha practice that is fairly simple. I need simple these days.
I fell promptly in love with her, of course.
Now, here’s the miraculous. She is bringing to Portland a teacher of Tibetan medicine, a doctor who graduated from the Tibetan Medical College in Dharamsala, India. She practiced for many years under Dr. Kunga Gyurme, the personal physician of the Dalai Lama. She travels all over the world treating patients and teaching.
And I have a private consultation with her this Friday. I am amazed, completely amazed.
And bow to Green Tara in profound gratitude.
Delusional? Who cares, if it works. I am not looking for my cancer to disappear in a cloud of magic dust, but seeking a way through this thicket with trustworthy companions. It doesn’t really matter to me at this point whether I live or die anytime soon. I’m just showing up, and sharing as much as I can along the way. Who knows.
So, if you are one with cancer and are lost like me, don’t follow me but find your own seeds of devotion, your own due north, your own internal compass, what you resonate with, who you trust, and follow that. Send us reports, if you can, along the way. I’d like to know. It may be important.
Send smoke signals.