Quan Yin


The Goddess of the Compassion and Mercy.

(There’s different spellings to her name, like : Kuan Yin and Kwan Yin )

For a couple years, I’ve been resonating with Quan Yin’s energy and subconsciously connecting to her. With it only becoming really apart to me in the last couple of days. When I met this women in my old home town ‘Glastonbury’ through some old friends. She showed us her new work space, having some of her paintings on the wall. With the one standing out to me the most being Quan Yin (not knowing it was her). Since then I have been researching more into ‘her’.

This is Annanel Du Boulay’s website – who i met with recently, if you’d like to know a bit more about her and her work she’s done over the years.

So, let’s get started…

Kuan Yin was originally the male Buddhist bodhisattva named Avalokitesvara. Avalokitesvara is also a patron saint in Tibetan Buddhism.

The Sanskrit name “Avalokiteshvara” means “the lord who looks upon the world with compassion”. Translated in Chinese, the name is “Kuan Shih Yin” or Quan Yin.

It was sometime during the eighth century that the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara transformed to a female. How this exactly came about is uncertain.

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva has great powers and can help all sentient beings. His skilful means are limitless and he can appear in any form in all the six realms of existence to relieve the suffering of the sentient beings who live there. He vowed to rescue those who call on him when they are in suffering, for example; when caught in a fire, shipwrecked or facing an attack.

In the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha said that if a suffering being hears the name of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva and earnestly calls out to the bodhisattva, Avalokiteshvara will hear the call and relieve that being from his suffering. According to the Huayen Sutra, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva transforms himself into forms that suit the nature of those to be helped.

Quan Yin is portrayed in many ways. You can find images of Quan Yin holding the pearls of illumination or a bundle of ripe rice, pouring the nectar of wisdom and compassion from a sacred vase or meditating and holding her hands in sacred mudras.

Her name is short for Guan Shi Yin. “Guan” means to observe, watch, or monitor; “Shi” means the world; “Yin” in this context means sounds, specifically sounds of those who suffer. Thus, Guan Yin is a compassionate being who is the “Hearer of the Cries of the Suffering World”.

You can also find Quan Yin holding children or giving food – all being expressions of her divine loving energy.

The terms “compassion and mercy” are actually not the best interpretation of Quan Yin’s energy. The energy Quan Yin expresses is connected to what a mother feels for her child – It is fiercely loving and protective, a much stronger energy than what we usually associate with compassion.

The Buddhist saint Miao Shan was a Chinese princess who lived in about 700 B.C. It is widely believed that the feminine form of Quan Yin was derived from her.

This is how Quan Yin functions — as a symbolic bridge to the imaginal world, an experience of the spirit of paradise. She helps us understand ourselves in a new way and redirects our consciousness, freeing us to live compassionately by pointing at the insightful wisdom that reality is actually a symbolic, not a literal experience.

When we pose a question that expresses a real “cry from the heart”, Quan Yin is there for us. She expresses her compassion through practices, divination, dreams, and visions that affirm the bond between the human realm and the world of what is considered divine. From this connection, flows the experience we call “paradise” or a direct “acquaintance” with the source of reality.

In her hands, Quan Yin may hold a willow branch, a vase with water or occasionally, a lotus flower. The willow branch is used to heal people’s illnesses or bring fulfilment to their requests. The water has the quality of removing suffering, purifying and defilements of our body speech and mind, and lengthening life.

Mount Putuo is sacred to the goddess Kuan Yin. It is an island in the South China Sea southeast of Shanghai in China.

This place has been visited by pilgrims for centuries. Many claim to have seen the goddess standing on a sea monster riding through the waves.

Just a bit of info, if you’re interested in this subject area. I recommend looking up related topics to ‘her’ ; Buddhism, Taoism, Yokihi, Princess Miao-Shan, The Universal Gateway.


Love and Light x

2 responses to Quan Yin

  1. Thanks for this nice article! Just a small remark: The spelling “Quan Yin” is certainly wrong. In the common Chinese transliteration (pinyin), her name is “Guan Yin”, but versions with K or Kw are accepted. “Quan” in pinyin sounds like “Tshüen”, that is very different.


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