In Buddhism, mythological beings called Bodhisattvas personify wisdom and compassion. When Buddhism moved to China, a masculine Bodhisattva of compassion was transformed into the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin. Tonight, at the Zen group, we were informed about the significance of Kuan Yin who is represented by a picture on a scroll hanging behind the altar. I was reminded of Poul Anderson's account of the goddess, Nehalennia:
"Hers are the well-being of mortals and peace among them." (See here.)
- as well as the prayer that he wrote to the Virgin Mary. (See here.)
It is unusual to be reminded of a work of science fiction when receiving instruction in spiritual practice.