Sabbatical – December blessings!
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the days have grown shorter and shorter. Grandfather Sun’s warm rays now extinguish at an early hour. The cold creeps in with our prolonged night. In some areas, night is longer than day.
But there is light to come.
As we approach Yule, the Winter Solstice and the longest night of the year, I urge you to ask yourself, “what does the darkness represent to me?” Many welcome a swift passing of this dark, frozen season. But this is a time of the year that we should value deeply and delight in greatly. This is the time when Mother Earth sleeps and invites you to rest with her. A time to turn within for rest, relaxation, and healing. She invites you to recover from the past year of triumphs and heartaches. To take stock of the flower that did not blossom, the fruit that withered before its time, and let them all go. It is time for you to release, relax, and reflect. The darkness is for hibernation and rejuvenation, learning our lessons, licking our wounds, and growing stronger than ever in preparation for the New Year. There is a glowing mountain of possibility on the horizon. A sky of potential. An ocean of promise.
And work to be done in 2017. I hope you are resting now, so that you will be fully restored and equipped to seize what treasures the Universe has in store for you. In Divine timing, this is why we will turn to Quan Yin this month.
The goddess Quan Yin
We honor the goddess Quan Yin – the Buddhist goddess of compassion, mercy, and kindness – at December’s full moon. Quan Yin is esteemed as a bodhisattva and considered the personification of compassionate loving kindness, or maitri, and healing. As the Bodhisattva of Compassion, she hears the cries and sees the suffering of all beings. Quan Yin resonates deeply with the Christian Mother Mary and the Tibetan goddess Tara.
She is exalted as the female manifestation of Avalokitesvara, the supreme bodhisattva who chose to remain on Earth, rather than partaking in his well-earned transcendence to Nirvana, to end the suffering of all beings. Avalokitesvara was thus reborn as Quan Yin and ready to start his work again–this time in a female form that was better suited to the task. Because it was, as the Buddhas of the time all agreed, “Woman’s work. Who but a gentle mother could ever dream of bringing boundless love and comfort to all the people, easing the inevitable pains of human life?” The Divine Masculine knows its limits and when it needs the Divine Feminine to do her work, and thus Quan Yin incarnated to serve as a compassionate, virgin, mother goddess, who also holds the power to grant children and protect women.
Quan Yin is a true “Enlightened One” who is free from vanity, pride, and vengefulness. In essence, she is the female Buddha. Through her gentle energies of loving kindness, we too can strive for enlightenment to be freed from the cycle of samsara. She is the outward manifestation of our own inherent inner Buddha nature. To fulfill the deep connection between these deities, we will also work with Buddha this month as a Divine Masculine counterpart to Quan Yin.
Quan Yin is one of the most universally beloved deities in the Buddhist tradition. Also known as Kuan Yin, Quan’Am (Vietnam), Kannon (Japan), and Kanin (Bali), she is the embodiment of compassionate loving kindness. As the Bodhisattva of Compassion, she hears the cries of all beings. Quan Yin enjoys a strong resonance with the Christian Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Tibetan goddess Tara.
Symbols of Quan Yin – her many images
In many images she is shown carrying the pearls of illumination. And often Quan Yin is shown pouring the “Water of Life,” a stream of healing water, from a small vase. It is with this water that her devotees and all living things are blessed with physical and spiritual peace. The sheaf of ripe rice or bowl of rice seed she is often depicted with serves as a metaphor for fertility and sustenance. Her sacred animal is a dragon, an ancient symbol for high spirituality, wisdom, strength, and divine powers of transformation in many ancient Asian traditions.
Quan Yin is sometimes represented as a many armed figure, with each hand either containing a different cosmic symbol or expressing a specific ritual position, or mudra. This characterizes her as the source and sustenance of all things. Her cupped hands often form the Yoni Mudra, symbolizing the womb as the door for entry to this world through the universal female principle.
Invoking the Buddha within
We will also work with Buddha to invoke the Divine Masculine aspects of enlightenment, grace, and healing embodied by The Enlightened One – Buddha himself. However, remember that the word buddha is just a title which means ‘one who is awake.’ A buddha is free from greed, hatred and ignorance, and is instead characterized by wisdom, compassion and freedom. These are the inherent traits we seek to cultivate in ourselves.
Origin of Buddha
The Buddha was born a man, Siddhartha Gautama of Nepal around 2,500 years ago. And he never claimed to be a god or prophet, but rather a seeker who turned from his royal path to instead embark on a journey of truth. His teachings followed the belief that all beings had the potential to reach Buddhahood, aka enlightenment and transcendence. In essence, Buddha is the brother energy of wisdom to the love energy of Jesus Christ.
Like Quan Yin, Buddha transcended human limitations and suffering – the cycle of samsara in his time on Earth as a physical human being. He spread his teachings for 45 years before passing on to to Parinirvana. His last sermon encouraged his disciples to diligently seek truth, and teach and guide others on their own paths to enlightenment.
Journal Prompts for Quan Yin
- Where or when do you find yourself having the most compassion? Are you compassionate toward yourself?
- Where do you struggle with compassion?
- What areas of your life do you feel need the most healing?
Black tea :
- Detoxification on a cellular level
- Brings balance to the body, especially in areas of blood sugar
- Mental stimulation for awareness and accuracy
- Resonates with element of Water, the moon, and Venus
- Purification and protection. Helps to keep thoughts pleasant and clear
- Brings purity, peace, and serenity. Its physiology of using the murkiness of its habitat for growth symbolises embracing our true inner self with loving respect. “No mud, no lotus”
- Symbolic of fertility and sustenance that Quan Yin embodies
- Brings blessings, fertility, prosperity, protection, and security
- Resonates with the element of Earth, the sun, and the Divine Feminine
- Resonates with the elements of Air and Fire, and the planet Mars
- Brings protection and purity of new spaces, and attracts prosperity
- Helps you stay on track in the face of challenges
- Resonates with the Feminine, the element of Water, and the moon
- Brings deep relaxation across the spiritual plane to prepare and enhance meditation
- Stimulates clairvoyance, aids in past life recall and healing
- Resonates with the element of Fire, the Sun, and the Masculine
- Incites lust and love, while also promoting healing and emotional balance
- Used as tea/infusion to increase psychic abilities and reduce mild depression
Quan Yin’s stones are jade and green rutilated quartz.
Jade is a stone for healing the heart. It stimulates a wholesome and steady growth of Chi, or Prana, to help you tap into a feeling of well-being and support and connection to nature. It’s ideal for the healing work Quan Yin brings.
Green rutilated quartz – a stone of transition and healing. Rutilated quartz is a straight up transformation stone. It changes what is around it, reflects change, brings intuition about change, and gives you a lightening bolt of courage to make change as needed. And green rutile brings potent physical healing.
Buddha’s stones are Tibetan quartz and rose quartz.
Tibetan quartz is a Master Healer and a stone of energetic protection. It brings energetic balance and deep healing across all planes. Tibetan quartz enhances meditation and balances the chakras and meridians.
Rose quartz is the great heart healer and stone of Universal Love – a Divine characteristic of the buddha nature. It brings gentleness, love, and deep emotional healing as it unites us with the Divine within. The vibrations of rose quartz can penetrate on a cellular level to reprogram them for joy and longevity.