Tara: The Feminine Divine
“Let us suppose that in a dream we meet a deity. We would also be sure of the individual existence of that deity. Also, we would be sure of the reality of the “I” who, upon seeing the deity, would feel joy and devotion. However, in truth, the person perceiving the deity and the deity would both be manifestations from the same inexpressible essence, the mind itself. In the same way, for those who live on a relative level, the deities appear on a relative level without being separated from their essence, which is none other than the essence of the mind.
Let us take Tara as an example. Now, when we practice Tara meditation, we must make a mental effort to imagine her as she is, green in color, hands making certain mudras, legs in a definite position, adorned with various attributes, and so on. In a certain way, Tara is then the creation of our psyche, and we remain, at least partially, prisoners of the idea that there is ‘me’ on the one hand and Tara on the other. This mental creation is not useless. As a reflection of the Body of Enjoyment, this mental creation is linked with it and allows us to approach it.
Once the ultimate realization is obtained, this same Tara is no longer the fruit of any mental effort. Without her form disappearing, she reveals herself as a spontaneous expression of the Absolute Body, a clarity of the mind in which there is no subject and no object.
There is also a difference between the deity as we imagine it, and as she exists in the reality of the Awakened Mind.”
~ Bokar Rinpoche, from his introduction in Tara: The Feminine Divine.