Monday, December 3, 2012

Altar to Kanzeon, Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

This is my first indoor altar and my first statue of a Goddess... Kanzeon-sama. The mirror represents truth and sincerity, the magatama (comma-shaped bead in front of the mirror) represents benevolence. The rice, salt, tea leaves, sake, and incense are all offerings. The fan and suzu bells are ritual items used in kagura (sacred dance). The nusa (wand with paper streamers) is used to drive away negative essences in purification rituals. The sword on the left is a Yorishiro (item which attracts divine essences and can act as a place for them to rest). 

Wikipedia article on Kanzeon-sama 

Kanzeon-sama is a very powerful deity. I already feel a difference in my mood though I've just begun using her mantra and praying to her. I began doing this because I want to cultivate in myself, the qualities which she exhibits. I want to be at peace, hating no one, loving all, and to be free from bitterness, anger, and aggressiveness. 

Kanzeon's 8 sylable mantra (in Japanese): Namu Kanzeon botatsu.
The English translation is: Hail, Regard the World’s Cries, Bodhisattva.

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