Though I have spent some time reading Buddhist texts over a number of years (some recalled more readily than others), I had not yet experienced a Buddhist ceremony. Serendipitously, yesterday a close friend of mine informed me of a ceremony, Tara Puja, held to honor Green Tara.
A more personal account is found here.
Tara embodies the feminine principle. Green Tara, specifically, helps overcome obstacles and misfortunes, both inner and outer:
Offerings of fruit and flowers were made, placed on the altar between small votive candles and bowls of yellow-colored water, before the cermenoy began. The ceremony lasted about 90 minutes, predominantly chanting, mantras and sounds of bells, drums and cymbals. Meditation was a personal experience. Most of the attendants meditated quietly with eyes closed for nearly the entire ceremony, some praying, others rocking.
It was a truly deep experience, bestwoing gifts of gratitude, openness, liberation, compassion and acceptance. The vocals of the monks riplled through my being as the loud noises banished negativity.
I left feeling re-awakened and renewed.