I don't know how to start this or how to finish it, but the middle feels like the inside of a peach -- packed with juice, bursting out the moment the pithy edge begins to bite inwards. And so, there by the grace of Her go I ...
Last night, I loosely planned out my Saturday morning of, "If I wake up early, I'm going to go get fresh donuts and if I'm feeling it, I'll stop at the grocery store," and that plan hinged on me waking up early enough to not deal with the crowds of people who too like fresh donuts and empty grocery store isles. This is Wisconsin on Super Bowl weekend after all, and if you know what I mean then you know what I mean. My plan was executed at 0700 this morning and trolling around the store heading towards the self-checkout, I found a pheasant jerky stick for Tsok next week. While I was pawing over the flavors, I thoughtlessly left my cart in the middle of the isle.
And then, there She was - Vajrayogini! .. just like Khandro-la said happens in grocery stores.
She was coming up behind me and I anticipated Her needing to get around my cart with Her own. I felt Her energy before She was able to ask me to move and as I first saw Her, I was intensely drawn to this emanation of Her. In form, She was clothed in near rags with a scarf covering Her hair, She wore the coolest purple fur boots, Her face was marked with some kind of active disease, and Her green eyes were so clear and big that, as I made eye contact, it took my breath away. I moved my cart aside for Her, and it took everything inside me to focus back on the jerky. I felt joy and sadness and awful nervousness and exhilaration, and reigned in the need to somehow speak to Her while, just down the way, She looked at some frozen meat.
I had to pass behind Her to continue on to the bread isle before the checkouts and still, I resisted speaking to Her. What would I say? -- what could I possibly say that would be worthy of Her? What if She laughed at me like She laughed at Yeshe Tsogyal? -- I think I might spontaneously combust on the spot of She did that. Seeing Her as a human like me, I thought that She may not want to be spoken to. I wanted to look at Her and I don't even know ... just stand beside Her, but how freakishly ridiculous would that be? And so, I continued on to eventually land myself at the self-checkout next to Her.
I don't know if you ever do self-checkout, but I rather enjoy sabotaging myself right off the bat with my reusable bags and how the scales pick up their weight in relation to the approved weight of the item, so I'm usually pretty good at flagging down the employee woefully assigned to the self-checkout lanes. And it just so happened that this womxn -- this emanation of Vajrayogini, needed assistance too. After I found an employee for us, She said something to me about ... something ... and I cannot remember what specifically, but I replied, "Yes! It's really annoying." We made eye contact again, and I could see such depths within Her. In that moment, if She would have asked me to slay a dragon in the parking lot I would have done it with my bare hands.
She needed assistance again while I was scanning my items and I noticed that She had to squint at the screen even when Her face was close to it. And it's no surprise that at the same time, Her and I finished checking out. I pulled my cart away first as She was putting Her bags into Her cart. I said, "Have a good day," as I passed by Her. I don't know if She responded, but what I do know is that as I exited the store I was overwhelmed with the need to pray through the embodied feelings of loss? .. sadness? .. like I had just lost something, but I couldn't remember what it was.
Mother, please bless Her.
Mother, please heal Her.
Mother, please give Her only what You know She needs.
Mother, please increase and multiply Her food.
Guardians and Protectors, please protect Her.
Dakinis, please watch over Her.
Mother, please make Her feel safe in this world.
And just like that, I found my way aimlessly home to my four walls greeted by my two sleepy cats at the front door. I made coffee and ate a heart-shaped donut with pink frosting. Freyja, my cat, and I shared the first moments of coffee together on my meditation cushion. I sometimes read to her songs of Dakinis from the book 'Luminous Melodies' and today, we found A Song by the Dakini Queen of Splendor [p.34]:
Don't be distracted from where there is nothing to mind!
Samsara by virtue of distraction is similar to a dream
If realized, this is like a person waking up from sleep
As far as I am concerned, I have not seen any samsara
Here I still sit with cold coffee and Freyja behind me snoozing, contemplating my morning as the day turns into the afternoon where I again get to see the face of Vajrayogini in my teacher, in the faces of fellow students, and reflected in my own. I still laugh at myself when I find surprise in the synchronicities that happen in my life, like a donut run that aligns me with Vajrayogini, because honestly, this juicy path of fierce faith requires interactions like that. I think that this tantric path is mired with contractual obligations we vowed to fulfill, and there is no failing because as the Song by the Dakini Tuft Topknot [p.30] says:
Hey! If there is no duality, there is no bondage or freedom
If there is nothing to identify, there are not obscurations
If there is not self and other, there is not desire or hatred
If there is nothing to mind, there is no distraction