• Deborah Bowman

The Courage to Receive

"We aspire to spend our lives training in the loving-kindness and the courage that it takes to receive whatever appears – sickness, health, poverty, wealth, sorrow, and joy.  We welcome and get to know them all. " Pema Chodron


When I was researching quotes to put in my book, The Female Buddha: Discovering the Heart of Liberation and Love, I copied down many possible quotes before deciding which ones to pair with photos of Guanyin and women at temple sites in Asia.  Today I searched the collection for the word courage and found so many quotes referencing this trait!

Above is one of my favorite quotes from Pema Chodron. I admire her for her courage to speak out and not always say what we want to hear. She has a way of infusing kindness with truth that makes her wisdom easier to ingest.

Equanimity and Compassion

This photo from my travels in Korea depicts Guanyin riding the dragon over the waves of the ocean; symbolic of the courage it takes to trust one’s basic nature of compassion and equanimity. When our emotions are like tempestuous waves it is often difficult to remember we can stay calm in the storm.  

Equanimity makes it possible to ride the roiling waves of our emotions. Compassion helps us understand the source of our difficult feelings and opens our heart. With an attitude of balance and kindness towards our stormy emotions they begin to dissipate.

One with Nature

Guanyin is often depicted calmly riding on the back of an animal.  It could be a dragon, carp, horse, lion or immense turtle.  She reminds us that we are one with the natural world and that we can trust we are fully equipped to ride out any storm.

Accepting our positive qualities and strengths may feel foreign if we have not had role models to mirror these traits endowed to all humanity. Finding teachers, historical figures or a role model can help us discover our natural capacity to welcome and receive all that life has in store for us.

Check out Journey of the Feminine Workshop , Dec 2019 with Deborah Bowman & Sue Wallingford in Costa Rica!

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