All people will benefit from the healing journey of Quan Yin. She has been worshipped as the Chinese Bodhisattva of compassion by many for thousands of years. A bodhisattva is any soul that has attained enlightenment but instead of being freed of the karmic cycles and becoming a Buddha, instead chooses to stay on earth in order to help all beings attain their enlightenment. That is a basic summary of the bodhisattva vow. It is said that as Quan Yin was about to enter heaven, she paused and heard the cries of the world, her compassion was so great she returned to help them.
Quan Yin in Sanskrit means “she who hears the cries of the people”. The spelling of her name varies including Kwan Yin, Kuan Yin, Guanshiyin, Guanyin, Kwannon, Gwun Yam, Gun Yam, and Kannon. She also holds many titles The Goddess of Mercy, Gentle Protectoress, Bodhisattva of Compassion, and Bestower of children and the savior of fishermen. Quan Yin called herself “The Mother of all Buddha’s”. This mothering aspect of herself connects her to all beings, especially those in pain. Quan Yin said “Although I am Bodhisattva, I am energy. I am not a person. Basically, the Kwan Yin energy was never in one single body. It has always been a great part of the energy of all of compassion of all the Universe. What you see in front of you is one person who has been able to tap in and release for a period of time, so that she can let us be a part of her reality and to share that with you so that you can be encouraged, and that you can also bring forward the part of you that knows the truth. i" The qualities that Quan Yin invokes, the feeling of compassion and unconditional love make her comparable to Mother Mary in the West, Green Tara in Tibetan culture, the Virgin of Guadeloupe in Mexico, and many other ancient goddesses, the matriarchy of old.
She is worshiped by Buddhists and Taoists in China, Korea, Japan and Tibet. She first appeared around 400 AD as a Male Bodhisattva of Compassion called Avalokitesvara, or Avalokite. Avalokitesvara gradually changed to a female known as Quan Yin and by 1200 AD she was definitely considered a female Goddess wearing flowing robes. Some believe she was reincarnated as Miao Shan a Chinese Princess known as “the wonderfully kind one” who lived around 700 BC on an island meditating and saving fisherman from shipwreck.
The symbols that are associated with and sacred to Quan Yin include a lotus, black tea, rice, sweet cakes and rainbows. Being a fertility Goddess she is associated with birth and protects young children. Crystals and Minerals associated with Quan Yin are Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Malachite, Rhodocrosite, Aventurine, Rose Calcite, Nirvana Quartz, Kunzite and Green Tourmaline. All of which resonate primarily with the Heart Chakra energy center for healing and self-love.
A common way of worshipping Quan Yin is by repeating her name over and over as a mantra. This is said to relieve suffering and enhance compassion. An eastern custom of worship for Quan Yin is to leave sweet cakes, lotus incense, fresh fruit and/or flowers to be blessed with children or to have Quan Yin protect the young ones in your life ii. Another common mantra used to worship Quan Yin is Om Mani Padme Hum (pronounced Om Mani Peme Hung). This mantra is known as “the mantra of the Buddha of Compassion”, which purifies negative emotions. This mantra was originally for Avalokitesvara and is now associated with Quan Yin. The meaning of Om Mani Padme Hum is hard to translate into a simple phrase or sentence the closest short translation is “the jewel in the lotus”, because all the teachings of the Buddha are contained in this single mantra. This sacred mantra has so much meaning especially when broken down one word at a time:
Om helps you achieve perfection in the practice of generosity.
Ma helps perfect the practice of pure ethics.
Ni helps achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance and patience.
Päd helps to achieve perfection of perseverance.
Me helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration.
Hum helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom.iii
There are three big celebrations each year on the lunar calendar to celebrate Quan Yin among Buddhists:
Quan Yin’s Birthday: 19th of the second lunar month.
Quan Yin’s Enlightenment Day: 19th of the sixth lunar month.
Quan Yin’s Leaving Home Day: 19th of the ninth lunar month. iv
Rituals for Quan Yin can be done any time and are a way to cultivate compassion and mercy in your life. These rituals will assist you with opening your heart and send loving energy to yourself. Once your heart begins to heal, compassion will radiate outward to others with loving kindness. These rituals, prayers and meditations will help bring Quan Yin and her energy into your life.
Quan Yin’s Great Ritual for Compassion v:
Items needed: altar space, picture or statue of Quan Yin, photo of the Mandala of Compassion, cup of water. This is traditionally performed on April 15th however it can be used anytime to help bring Quan Yins energy into your life.
1. Set up your altar with a picture or statue of Quan Yin, the Mandala of Compassion, and either a stick or cone of Lotus or Amber incense.
2. Bow 3 times to Quan Yin
3. Offer water to her which she will bless.
4. Invite Quan Yin to come to you and appear.
5. Bring the palms of your hands together in the prayer mudra
6. Recite the following:
“May the Peace of Quan Yin be upon this household
May the Light of Quan Yin be in my soul
May the Wisdom of Quan Yin be in my mind
May the Virtue and Purity of Quan Yin be among the
members of my household
May the Health and Well-Being of Quan Yin be
manifest throughout my body,
And radiate through the garments I wear.
May the Grace of Quan Yin be in my worship
May the Talents and Genius of Quan Yin be manifest
through my senses
May the Peace of Quan Yin be upon me!”
7.Next recite this mantra ten times:
“Na Mo Quan Yin Bodhisattva”.
8. Drink the water blessed by Quan Yin, this water now
has healing powers.
9. Dedicate this practice of the Quan Yin Great
Compassion Mantra to the benefit and enlightenment
of all beings.
10. Close your ritual.
Quan Yin Ritual for Self-Love vi:
items needed: Sage, Big white candle, small white candle,
small rose quartz and picture or statue of Quan Yin (optional).
1. Clear the space with sage to remove negative energy.
2. Keep the rose quartz in your hand and hold when
you meditate. Rose quartz is a stone that vibrates
with love and compassion.
3. Invite Quan Yin to join you. You can use your own
words or mine, speak them out loud: “Quan Yin, I
invite you into my space. Please bring your Love,
Compassion and Patience and join me in this ritual”.
(Intention matters more than words).
4. Light a big white candle which symbolizes Quan
Yin’s pure energy of compassion and self-love.
5. Meditate on this big white candle of Quan
Yin and what she represents to you.
6. Next use the big white candle to light the smaller
white candle. The little candle represents you. The
lightening of us from Quan Yin’s candle represents
that we are connected to her. Her light shines
7. Meditate on this. Feel Quan Yin’s energy of
compassion, love, and patience shining through you.
8. Feel these qualities strongly. Feel them shining out
of you and send some of this energy into the rose quartz.
9. When you are finished. Thank Quan Yin for being
with you, as her to stay with you in your daily life,
and in your rose quartz.
10. Close your ritual. Now your rose quartz contains the
power of this meditation, Quan Yin and her energy.
You can keep this stone on your alter or stick it in
your pocket to keep her with you throughout the day.
Quan Yin Invocation vii:
Mother of Love and Compassion
Bestow your wisdom upon me
Help me see humanity through your eyes
Help me master the love and compassion
that you hold near to your heart of Gold
Help me shine like a beacon in the night
and see my reflection in your tear of love
Quan Yin I thank you for your tireless love
and your patience and hope for humanity
Quan Yin Gratitude Prayer viii:
I thank thee O Mother Goddess,
Who shines for all,
Who flows through all.
Thank you for sharing your time with me,
My thanks for watching over me,
Guarding me and guiding me.
My thanks for all you have given me,
And all you will continue to give me.
Please continue to light my path, and my life.
Healing Chant ix:
Deep in my bones the Goddess is alive,
Deep in my cells and blood the Life Force is strong,
Deep in my heart and spirit,
I believe I will heal.
I feel Kuan Yin at my core,
Filling me with Faith and Health.
Abundant Life Forces of the Universe flow in me,
And banish all disease.
My blood, my bones, my cell and my body,
Are healing now...
Are healing now...
The Goddess force is in me
And healing me now ...
In Times of Trial
Goddess within me,
Your daughter seeks your aid,
Courage to face this,
Strength to stand!
Love to aid!
To End Negative Thinking x:
Oh Goddess within,
Oh Goddess of the Moon,
The Waters and the Earth.
I need to feel your presence.
I need to be reminded of you.
Assist me to remember your lessons.
Show me the key that will unlock my spirituality
Morning Affirmation for Quan Yin xi:
Oh Goddess Quan Yin,
Be with me today.
Help me experience your steady patience,
and compassion for all being and myself.
Let me be gentle and shine your beauty into the world.
Quan Yin Crystal Grid xii made up of:
Rose quartz: the ultimate stone of unconditional love and infinite peace. Bringing deep peace and self-love.
Hematite: extremely grounding and protective.
Amethyst: very protective and brings contentment while being very soothing and calming.
Quartz: magnifies intention out to universe.
There are many images and sculptures of Quan Yin used in worship. What she is wearing, who she is with, what she is holding and so forth holds significance. Let’s look at what these items symbolize:
The Legend of Miao-shan By Glen Dudbridge
Quan Yin Speaks By Shih Yin
Bodhisattva of Compassion: The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin (Shambhala Classics) By John Blofeld
The Kuan Yin Chronicles: The Myths and Prophecies of the Chinese Goddess of Compassion By Martin Palmer and Jay Ramsay
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha By Tara Brach
© 2016 All original material in this site is under copyright protection and is the intellectual property of the author.
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iii Gen Rinpoche
vi Kimberly Achelis Hoggan, 2015
xi Kimberly Achelis-Hoggan, 2015
xii Kimberly Achelis-Hoggan, 2016