Tara, the feminine embodiment of enlightened activity, is a Buddhist deity whose Tibetan name means "liberator," signaling her ability to liberate beings from the delusion and ignorance that keep them trapped in ever-recurring patterns of negativity. She embodies a challenge—to transform our minds and become like her, whose tranquility, compassion, and wisdom make her so beautiful—but one that is profoundly nurturing. In the author's words, "We can relax in her presence and look at ourselves honestly, knowing that Tara will not judge, reject, or abandon us due to our shortcomings. Like a mother, she sees her child's potential—in this case, our spiritual potential or Buddha-nature—and wants to nurture it." Ven. Chodron describes a simple meditation on Tara, explaining its benefits and its application to daily life. She then presents two well-loved praises to Tara, together with reflections on their meanings for modern practitioners. Included here are the "Homage to the Twenty-one Taras," verses that are frequently chanted in Tibetan monasteries and homes, and "A Song of Longing for Tara, the Infallible," by Lama Lobsang Tenpey Gyaltsen.
"With her usual clarity, Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron skillfully weaves the practice and theory of Arya Tara together with the Lam-rim path to provide a fascinating and very helpful guide for those interested in the Tara practice."—Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
"Ven. Thubten Chodron has the extraordinary ability to present even the most profound spiritual teachings simply and directly in ways that impact our everyday lives. With her characteristic warmth, humor, and intelligence, she invites us here to enter the world of Tara, one of the most beloved members of the Buddhist pantheon, and to share in the wisdom and compassion of the Divine Mother."—Jonathan Landaw, author of Prince Siddhartha, Images of Enlightenment, and Buddhism for Dummies