Kuan Yin

Kuan Yin, revered throughout Asia for thousands of years, is the Chinese goddess of infinite mercy and compassion. Her name means "she who listens to the sounds [suffering] of the world." In the Buddhist tradition, she is an aspect of Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva who sprang from one of the Budda's tears. She once took the form of Miao Shan, a woman who was spurned by her father for refusing to marry; later, Miao Shan sacrificed both arms and legs in order to heal her father. Her appeal is particularly widespread because she gives assistance in this world: she provides the earthly blessings of children, health, and long life and rescues people from drowning, lightning, and poverty. She is particularly a protector of women.

Kuan Yin is a symbol of the unlimited compassion each of us can have for ourselves. No matter what the situation, it is possible to treat ourselves with mercy and love.


Kaltes: Siberia
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Ⓒ The Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust (illustration)
Ⓒ Text copyright Michael Babcock