By John Blofeld, 158 Pages, Paperback.
This portrait of the Goddess of Compassion is both an informative study by a ;easing scholar of Buddhism and an engaging account of the author's search for the mystical significance of the goddess. An object of joyous devotion in Chines folk religion, Kuan Yin is revered for her saving power: it is said that anyone is distress who calls on her with sincerity will be rescued from suffering and harm. On a deeper level, Kuan Yin symbolizes the liberating energy of compassion, which is an indispensable aid in the quest for enlightenment.
Author evokes the charming presence of Kuan Yin through colorful anecdotes, personal experiences, and descriptions of Buddhist titular and legends encountered during his travels throughout China. At the same time, he offers a learned account of the goddess's history and importance in Chines thought and religion. He explores the origin of the Bodhisattva of Compassion in India and Tibet, in the form of Avalokiteshvara (Tibetan: Chenresigs), a male deity who evolved into the gentle mother/maiden figure of Chines Buddhism.
Meditation and visualization techniques associated with Kuan Yin are given, and her principal iconographic forms are described. Illustrated with images from Chines and Tibetan sacred art, the book also contains translations of devotional poems and yogic texts.