Tara, the Tibetan deity of compassion, comes to mind when I think of equanimity in the midst of suffering. Sometimes her very posture expresses a wise compassion: she is half in an active, caring pose, ready to protect and care for beings, and half in a meditative position, symbolizing the lightness of being behind her compassion. Her emotions are in the service of wisdom. Tara's compassionate wish is to appear to billions of beings in whatever way they need and whatever form they can relate to, in order to release them from their suffering.

How can we embody this mix of lightness and inner freedom with the loving warmth of caring? How can we preserve our tenderness while not being overwhelmed by the obstructive forces of our negative emotions?

Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy