Many moons ago, I had an encounter with the goddess, Kuan Yin. It was the first such divine encounter that I could remember in my adult life. I became aware of her compassion and unending love, her grace and acceptance and her gentle encouragement for me to live into my possibilities. I remember tears streaming down my face, and a sort of ache because it was almost painfully beautiful. How often have we ever experienced this kind of no-strings attached love? Her presence opened a place in my heart that I could no longer deny. I wanted more of this love and more of these kinds of experiences with the Divine. I knew that I had the capacity to grow and transform my life and aide others on the journey. And thus began my formal training in the service to the Goddess.
I’ve heard from other people many similar stories about Kuan Yin, being a sort of gateway Goddess, a Divine being that brings us to our inner truth. My moment with her allowed me to say, “Yes” to what was always there inside of me and just beyond my memory. And once I said yes, the flood gates opened. I started making connections to past events. I was beyond thrilled to see my spiritual story had been unfolding my whole life. The Goddess has always been with me.
Since that moment with Kuan Yin, I have encountered many Goddesses on my eclectic path, helping me to learn and transform. Each face of the Goddess has encouraged me and challenged me. Today, I am a priestess of Avalon and the Goddess Nehalennia. She is an abiding presence within me. She is my protector, my steady guide. She has no trouble sharing her temple with others, and so Kuan Yin remains with me, reminding me when I falter or doubt or make mistakes that I am still worthy of love.
Love is ultimately the greatest transforming tool we have. As is said in the Charge of the Star Goddess, “all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.” This includes self-love, love for others, love for those maybe we don’t like so much. A mentor and friend of mine taught me about the Buddhist practice of Loving Kindness, a meditative visualization very much in the spirit of Kuan Yin’s compassion and unending love. It begins with a recitation and reflection of these words:
May I be safe.
May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
May I live with ease.
To continue this practice, you send loving kindness to someone beloved to you, repeating the words and visualization of these words:
May they (or the person’s name) be safe.
May they be happy.
May they be healthy.
May they live with ease.
A third round is recited for someone or something that you feel neutral towards, and finally, a fourth recitation is given toward someone that you are having difficulty with, or maybe have hostile feelings towards.
It is this fourth round of loving kindness that I struggle with, but calling upon the compassion of the Goddess, I do it. My heart does feel lighter after this practice, and perhaps I can grow to become more like Kuan Yin. It begins by loving myself, and then loving others.
What do you do to show yourself compassion?
Who or what could you send loving kindness towards?
What goals might you accomplish if you knew that you were so loved?
In mirth and reverence,