White Tara is the female Bodhisattva that represents the qualities of compassion, long life, healing and serenity. She is also known as The Wish-fulfilling Wheel, or Cintachakra; and also as Samaya Tara, meaning Vow Tara. This refers to Tara's vow to save all beings from suffering and also to our Bodhisattva vow.
One calls on her for health, strength, and longevity for both oneself and for others. Her white color indicates purity, but also indicates that she is ultimate truth, complete and undifferentiated.
She has seven eyes: the two usual eyes, plus an eye in the centre of her forehead and eyes in her hands and feet. These indicate that she sees all suffering and all cries for help, even in the human world, even in the worlds of pain, using both ordinary and psychic or extraordinary means of perception.
Our White Tara retreat is usually held in June each year.
I arrived at this retreat tired and in a negative frame of mind. I left the retreat energised, feeling well and in a positive frame of mind. As White Tara is especially connected with healing and longevity, this seemed very apt. Although I find all retreats are worthwhile this one seemed special in some way. There were new aspects to the practice even though it is a regular part of my meditation routine, there was the opportunity to meet and greet practitioners from out of town and out of state, and the time to do intense meditations on a deity who was described to me as ‘genteel’ or refined.
Ani Tenpa Sangmo