2019 has been a very momentous year for Dakini’s Whisper, and its members. It saw the first of DW’s own retreats, one in Europe and one in the U.S., that brought together students from all over the world. This was only possible due to the deep commitment of our dear teacher – but also of the students.
It is profoundly moving to consider how people from across different countries and cultures are genuinely connecting with such a rare path, coming from a single, seemingly ordinary woman who lived a thousand years ago far far away in high Tibet. So many things must be aligned for us to have this precious opportunity, which in itself is but momentary in the grander scheme of things. Just like a mara asked Shakyamuni Buddha to postpone his enlightenment just a little bit, our minds often play games promising great things in the future… tomorrow, tomorrow. But for once, we can be confident that our great fortune is here today, and we can instead be sure that it will not last – if we don’t realize it.
2020 will see the deepening of our paths and of our traveling together individually. It is only possible through the profoundly compassionate, yet relentless commitment of our teacher. Looking back at my life, and also at those around me, it is nothing short of miraculous.
May all sentient beings benefit.
The end of 2019 marks a period of growth for Dakini’s Whisper. In April, we held the first Dakini’s Whisper retreat in Sweden, as well as retreats in the U.S.
Our membership is growing, and we have volunteers coming forward, doing valuable transcription work. We have members on four continents. This international dimension of our community brings much richness to our community, even if it makes scheduling complicated! Feedback from members not only keeps us connected but also strengthens our performance. Khandro-la’s vision and Dakini’s Whisper activities function because of the support and generosity of volunteers. Thank you to everyone for the generosity of both spirit and time.
One of the things that I find so beneficial about our community is the open-hearted sharing and the sense of connectedness and affection. Our collective willingness to look deeply into ourselves no matter what we might find seems like the breathing heart of Machik’s intent.
My prayer for the new year is the Dakini’s Whisper will continue to be meaningful for all of its members. As well I pray that our small number of members (5) in Australia grows from strength to strength and that our plans to host Khandro-la in Australia in 2020, come to successful fruition.
DW Volunteer Coordinator
I joined my path towards awakening with Dakini Whisper’s in the Spring, 2019. As a recent retiree from hospice work and a longtime practitioner of the Buddha’s teachings, I was committed to a more contemplative life. I felt that in Dakini’s Whisper I had discovered my longing for genuine guidance. I dove into the teachings and learning opportunities with focus and enthusiasm. My spiritual path has become quite lively with the visualizations, melodies, drumming, chanting, recitations, and dancing of Subtle Body classes, Ganden Cho practices, and the Five Dakinis retreat!
Feeling frighteningly inspired by Machik’s life and teachings that are so directly taught by Khandro-la, I see that this is a daring, fierce, and joyful journey of fearlessness, let there be no doubt about it. In fact, there is much about the journey that I find counterintuitive and uncomfortable. These direct experiences give me a glimpse of the awakening presence that is so near yet sometimes feels so far and inaccessible.
And so, in 2020 I am jumping off the cliff (as Khandro-la says) with fellow, like-minded travelers of whom I have already become quite fond. I recall a quote attributed to Chogyam Trungpa, “the bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.”
AH! AH! AH!
DW US Pith Coordinator
Today, as I was doing my evening practice at the house I’m sitting, I found myself reflecting back to almost exactly one year earlier when I was staying at the same house and practicing in the same room. I had just encountered Dakini’s Whisper and at that point was reciting the Vajrayogini 8-line praises, fumbling through a few of the Subtle Body Training exercises as best I could, and longing to bring together the melodies and damaru part for our Cho sadhana.
Much has moved in my life since then, and much has also moved within our community. We gathered together in Sweden then dispersed, and more of us coalesced together in Oregon during the summer before parting ways. We’ve undertaken new practices and familiarized ourselves more deeply with old ones. At the same time, there is something that hasn’t shifted, which I think is the inspiration that each of us carries with us. For myself, it is easy to imagine that I have lost the thread of that inspiration, but when I stop and survey the footprints of the path that has led me here, it is unmistakable.
Our lives continue to move in their own directions, and sometimes we meet together in virtual space and other times we do not. But the most important thing that we share, I think, is our practice. Whatever our sidetracks or stumbling blocks (I’ve found plenty of them) we are persevering in the same direction, following after the masters, who I pray we will meet in ever-deepening intimacy.