I wanted to share pictures of a perfect day in early spring this year where I live in Wisconsin. But why is a perfect day listed in my internal files of charnel grounds?
That day was hard mentally and I was given the suggestion to go outside to walk out my thoughts and to breathe my emotions. The world can become very loud for me and I was concerned when I arrived at this wetland trail that there would be people there to ruin this already anxiety filled trip. I threw on my pack and hat to head down the trails and to my guttural relief, I saw no one there. "For once," I thought, "I can have some quiet around me."
Always clawing up from my subconscious was not having a sangha to belong to, or a female teacher, and worse - not having anywhere to find Vajrayogini. Everything felt so vapid to me that day and I felt more lost than I ever had. And per usual, my thoughts went to the subconscious - no joke, I was fixated on this search like I was drowning. All around me I saw groups following this teacher doing that practice who knew so much and there I was, wanting so badly to practice and belong but none of those teachers felt right. And this day out in the woods, I cried as I walked on the soft pine needles. I didn't know this was a charnel ground and I was lost in its deep recesses.
I remember suddenly as I was walking a feeling of surrender, call it a deep understanding even, that came over me. I had no idea where it came from, but I realize now that I had held on and begged long enough to Her because She answered me in my surrender. The forest grew quiet and the sound of vehicles in the distance went away. Out of me came Vajrayogini's mantra and it echoed in every step, every breath, every leaf that moved, every rain drop that came down, the wind, the sunlight, the clouds, the bark of the trees - She heard my sorrow. I stopped walking and really opened my eyes then, knowing that it would all be okay even if this day wasn't that day.
A few days later, Dakini's Whisper and Khandro-la appeared on one of my daily searches. I am so grateful to realize that day in the wetlands I really wasn't walking alone, and at the moment I felt so unheard I truly was heard. Vajrayogini's mandala is the charnel ground and that is the place I belong surrounded by Her trees, Her rain, Her sunlight, Her everything. I belong to Her. Within those grounds, I found my heart teacher, Khandro-la, and a sangha to belong to where we practice ancient traditions I somehow know. I am so grateful for the charnel grounds in this lifetime.