Tara emerging from a rock

During the last 35 years people around Pharping in the southern part of the Kathmandu Valley have noticed that an area of a cliff began to slowly bulge out. It began to look more and more like Tara, the female buddha. At the same time the form of Ganesh also appeared. The place is just below the Asura Cave, sacred to followers of Padmasambhava. I have seen it many times over the years, and can attest that it has gradually become more distinct.

– from Blazing Splendor, the blog of Erik Pema Kunsang 

Anything happening is an opportunity to investigate…

In this case, I can explore this emerging Tara (and Ganesh) as a projection. I can find whatever I see out there also right here. 

What do I see there? Do I see Tara, an aspect of the Buddha mind? Do I see mystery and magic there? Do I see deception? Do I see gullible people? 

If I see Tara, can I find it here? Can I find a compassion that is unfiltered by stories? A kindness towards whatever is happening… towards experience, myself, others? Can I notice what arises in each of the sense fields as emptiness? As awakeness itself? Insubstantial? 

If I see devotion, can I find it here? Yes. I can find devotion to stories, whenever I take them as true. And I can find devotion to truth, to sincerely find what is more true for me within the realm of stories, and also what is more true for me than any stories. 

If I see mystery and magic, can I find it here? I find mystery in… Anything existing at all. In whatever is happening. In awakeness. In the play. 

If I see deception, can I find it here? Yes. I deceive myself whenever I take a story as true. (In this case, if I take any story about this as true, I deceive myself.) 

If I see gullible people, can I find that here? Yes. Again, I am gullible whenever I take a story as true. And I am gullible when I am not smart about how I go about certain situations. And again, I can find several specific examples. 

Exploring projections in this way helps me become more familiar with the dynamics of projections in general, and also become more familiar with what is (already) right here. It also helps me relate to this particular situation with a little more clarity. I may be less caught up in taking stories about it as true. (And less needy about seeing something particular out there. Since I am more familiar with certain qualities and dynamics here, I am less caught up in blind aversions and attractions towards it out there.)

And it can also be explored in any of the conventional ways.

For instance, what does this mean for the local people? How do they see it? How does it impact them? How do their stories about it function as a guide for their life? What needs does it meet in them? How does all of this vary among people? (Anthropology, psychology.)

And what is really happening with this Tara? Does it emerge? Is it a hoax? A natural phenomenon? People touching the rock and gradually wearing it down to reveal a Tara? Something we cannot readily explain? (Science.) 

Initial outline…


  • projection, find whatever I see there also here
    • find tara here
    • find mystery/magic here (that anything exists, that things happen)
    • find deception here
    • find gullability here (whenever I believe a story, I am gullible – deceive myself)
  • anthropology
    • explore what it means for local people, how it impacts them, how their stories about it functions as a guide in their life
  • science
    • what is really happening? is it really emerging? is it a hoax? is it a collective delusion? 

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