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 Dakini's warm breath

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Mayflow
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PostSubject: Dakini's warm breath   Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:17 am




I'll start putting the book here shortly.
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PostSubject: Re: Dakini's warm breath   Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:41 am

Introduction

ENCOUNTERING THE DAKINI

'WHEN T H E G R E A T Y O G I N Padmasambhava, called by Tibetans Guru
Rinpoche, "the precious teacher," embarks on his spiritual journey, he
travels from place to place requesting teachings from yogins and yoginls.

Guided by visions and dreams, his journey takes him to desolate forests
populated with ferocious wild animals, to poison lakes with fortified islands,
and to cremation grounds. Wherever he goes he performs miracles,
receives empowerments, and ripens his own abilities to benefit others.

When he hears of the supreme queen of all dakinls, the greatly accomplished
yogini called Secret Wisdom,1 he travels to the Sandal Grove cremation
ground to the gates of her abode, the Palace of Skulls. He attempts
to send a request to the queen with her maidservant Kumari. But the girl
ignores him and continues to carry huge brass jugs of water suspended
from a heavy yoke across her shoulders. When he presses his request,
Kumari continues her labors, remaining silent. The great yogin becomes
impatient and, through his yogic powers, magically nails the heavy jugs to
the floor. No matter how hard Kumari struggles, she cannot lift them.

Removing the yoke and ropes from her shoulders, she steps before
Padmasambhava, exclaiming, "You have developed great yogic powers.
What of my powers, great one?" And so saying, she draws a sparkling
crystal knife from the girdle at her waist and slices open her heart center,
revealing the vivid and vast interior space of her body.

Inside she displays
to Guru Rinpoche the mandala of deities from the inner tantras: forty-two
peaceful deities manifested in her upper torso and head and fifty-eight
wrathful deities resting in her lower torso.

Abashed that he did not realize
with whom he was dealing, Guru Rinpoche bows before her and humbly
renews his request for teachings. In response, she offers him her respect as
well, adding, "I am only a maidservant," and ushers him in to meet the
queen Secret Wisdom.

This simple maidservant is a messenger of her genre, the dakinl in
Tibetan Buddhism. As can be seen from her name, Kumari, "beautiful
young girl, the crown princess," she may be humble in demeanor, but she
is regal and commanding in her understanding of the nature of reality.

Like many dakinls, she teaches directly not through words but through
actions. Specifically, she teaches with her body, cutting open her very heart
to reveal her wisdom. She holds nothing back, sharing her nature with
Guru Rinpoche himself.

Kumari demonstrates that her body is not as it
appears. While she may be young, graceful, and comely, the object of desire,
she shows her body to be empty and as vast as limitless space; in her
heart is revealed the ultimate nature of reality.

And within its vastness are
all phenomena, all sense perceptions, emotions, thoughts, and cognitions
as a mandala of deities arrayed in the vivid splendor of their raiment,
ornaments, and jewelry, with demeanor both peaceful and wrathful. Looking
into her heart center, the practitioner is looking into a mirror, seeing
the mind and the entire world in dramatically different perspective. One
cannot see such a sight without being transformed.

Kumari represents the most significant class of enlightened female
figures in Tibetan Buddhism, the wisdom dakinl. In yogic literature and
lore, she and her sisters appear to practitioners, men and women alike,
during rituals and during retreat to give teaching, direction, and challenge
in meditation practice.

According to the Tibetan tradition, as a female she
has a unique power to transform the practitioner and to confer power. Her
power comes from her lineage of realization, representing the enlightened
nature of mind of both yogins and yoginls. Her mind is the expression of
the essence of pristine wisdom, the fundamental wakefulness inherent but
undiscovered in all beings. Her female body is vibrant with vitality,
uniquely bearing and birthing that pristine wisdom.

Yet at first the great Guru Rinpoche, considered the second Buddha
and known for unfailing omniscience and sophisticated skillful means,
does not recognize her.

What does this mean? The biography of the great
master is known in Tibetan as a liberation story (namthar) that portrays
the inner spiritual journey to enlightenment. The events in this biography
are not historical fact in the Western sense. They trace in mythic, symbolic,
and visionary fashion the transformation of conventional mind into awakened
awareness. This biography and others like it in the Tibetan Vajrayana
tradition are beloved blueprints for the spiritual journey of every practitioner.

Why does Guru Rinpoche not recognize Kumari as a realized dakinlwoman?
This event in Vajrayana lore is paradigmatic. In many sacred biographies,
even the most realized teachers do not immediately recognize the
dakinl, whose ambiguous, semiotic quality accounts for the richness and
variety of her lore. She may appear in humble or ordinary form as a shopkeeper,
a wife or sister, or a decrepit or diseased hag.

She may appear in
transitional moments in visions, her message undecipherable. If she reveals
herself, if she is recognized, she has tremendous ability to point out obstacles,
reveal new dimensions, or awaken spiritual potential. It is essential
that the Vajrayana practitioner not miss the precious opportunity of receiving
her blessing. But when the time is not yet ripe, or when inauspicious
circumstances are present, the dakinl cannot be seen, contacted, or
recognized. When this occurs, the potency of the moment is lost and realization
is missed.
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