entrusting/Green Tara

I noticed this comment by Roy, from Return to the Center;

It would be very helpful to me to hear more about entrusting. I react with worry to this encouragement. I think “entrust myself to what? How do I know if I am entrusting myself to my own delusion?” and things like that.

Actually, I had a very similar feeling after reading No River to Cross. I asked Chong Go Seunim at Saturday Sangha one day how to know if it’s truly intuition or your desires that you are following. His answer was to ask deep within and listen to what your true feeling is. Usually we know if we’re doing the right thing or not, we just don’t always listen to ourselves.

My wife and I decided that we would get married only three weeks after we first met. It sounds crazy even to us when we think about it now, but at the time, we just knew. I’d never had a relationship that I didn’t drive myself half crazy asking if it was right (because deep down I knew that it wasn’t, I just didn’t listen) but when I met my wife there was never any doubt. Three weeks isn’t long, but I looked as deep down as I could in that amount of time and didn’t hear anything but “Yes!” It’s only been a couple of years, and I can’t pretend to know what the future holds, but just trusting that everything will be okay, even if it doesn’t work out as planned, makes it seem okay. If there’s ever a time that things just can’t be worked out, I trust that I can find the strength to pack up (within) and become a monk!! ^ ^

Also, I wonder whether or not entrusting yourself is very separate from some devotional forms of Buddhism. Personally, I see the Amitas, Gwan Sae Eums, Taras, or which ever you prefer, as manifestations or projections of expressions that are also within yourself.  Honestly, it’s not a topic that I’ve given a great deal of thought to, my practice is decidedly not very devotional, but I’m sure Chong Go Seunim or Marcus will be willing to add something to that (and it doesn’t have to be in accord!).

I am reminded, though, of taking a night bus from Kathmandu to Lumbini. I usually travel entrusting that nothing bad is going to happen to me, but even the locals kept worrying we about the risks of traveling on the night buses. One of the shop keepers, from whom I’d bought a number of castings, gave me a small Green Tara amulet to hold on the ride. He reminded me of her mantra, said to remove fear, and then told me not to worry, even the daytime buses tend to get hijacked in Nepal…

A little short of reassuring, it still made me realize there was no point in worrying.  On the bus, however, my nerves were shaky. I clenched the Green Tara amulet in my left hand and my mala in my right hand and repeated the mantra until I lost count of how many times I’d thumbed through the 108 beads. I visualized Tara above me, shinning her light down. I visualized the green light hitting my forehead, spreading out to the others sitting around me, the others in the bus, and everyone else traveling on the road that night.

At one point, I opened my eyes to see the entire bus bathed in green light. I noticed a green plastic cover over the light at the front of the bus. I had to giggle to myself as my mind toyed with possibilities.

What I realized later about the mantra is that it doesn’t necessarily protect you from what you fear but more from the feeling of fear itself. It might be a stretch, but maybe what it’s doing is actually giving you the trust within yourself that everything will be okay.