Forum Posts

(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Jun 01, 2022
In Ask Khandro-la
Khandro-la, in the last Palden Lhamo Tea Offering you asked us if we had an Indigenous Peoples drum to play. I wondered: is our damaru not okay for this practice? And if not, why wouldn't our damaru work for Palden Lhamo? I'm looking into Indigenous Peoples drums now - here in Wisconsin I have the humble privilege to be surrounded by many tribes and their culture and so, I've been thinking of heading to northern Wisconsin on a day trip to find the perfect one. And last, do you suggest we get a set of symbols as well? Thank you, Khandro-la!
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
May 24, 2022
In Ask Khandro-la
Today, the red string I received at the Vajrayogini Empowerment broke. I admit to a pang of sadness in my chest as it twisted off my wrist into my other hand. I've heard from practitioners in other lineages that when this happens it reminds us of impermanence, or that it signifies the completion of a karmic cycle. What is the view in our lineage, if there is one at all, behind a red string from an empowerment finally giving up its last thread? .. and, what do we do with it when it can no longer be worn? Thank you, Khandro-la!
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
May 10, 2022
In 21st Century Experiences
Here is the statue of Palden Lhamo I received from Nepal last week. My main alter was the last thing to be completed after my move and I was waiting on Her arrival. I always get a kick out of the table I use for my alter - an antique library table my father found at a courthouse where he grew up. The table was used in my parent's home and I grew up being yelled at to, "Use a coaster!" It even has ink stains on it from where the ink well sat and the spray of ink is a reminder of the age of the piece because it was a quill feather pen. Somewhere, I hope people are turning over in their graves knowing it's used for tantric practice now! Anyway, since She has arrived my space feels .. not just protected, but full and yet spacious. Behind her are stained glass leaves in a bud vase my father gave me a long time ago too. I didn't realize he resounds in many of the items I have - even down to the pottery tea pot that belonged to him which I use for this practice. I could go on, but some things are best left unspoken and held inside my heart. EMAHO!
Palden Lhamo Statue content media
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
May 09, 2022
In Ask Khandro-la
Khandro-la, in a recent teaching you mentioned that in the future, there will be no need to practice tantra because everyone is not living in degenerate times. I've continued to land on the same question rumbling around in my mind since that teaching, which is: If there is no tantric practice then that means we [tantric practitioners, bodhisattvas] have essentially succeeded at beings being awakened and in a liberated state where there is no need for tantric practice. It's almost like this answer is so simple, but I just cannot land on it. I cannot imagine a plain of existence without meeting Vajrayogini and being a tantric practitioner. Does that then mean I've only existed in degenerate times? Thank you in advance! A la la.
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Apr 30, 2022
In Meeting the Dakini!
It's been an impactful last two months for me and in this last week, I have seen the clearing beyond the woodline and have made a B-line towards it. I can talk at you all day about the rough feelings, the awkward asks for help, the anxiety that had settled into my chest, and even the cusp of a mid-life crisis I've seen the glimpse of at the edge of this charnel ground. The look of not exhaustion, but of sheer annoyance has etched itself onto my face as my wild hair and dirty feet continue to carry me to the edge of this ashline. I further imagine myself beating my damaru as the hollow reminder that I asked for this obstacle. Missing a weekend teaching to be with family, I rolled up the driveway and walked in the door. Annoyed. Sour. The noises of laughter and chopping of vegetables only brought out, "I'm going to the Temple," in me. I couldn't even give a greeting in the state I was in. I walked out the back patio door and down the short trail to the back stupa area of Deer Park. My routine is to walk two and a half times around it, stepping out of that round to go up into the Kalachakra Temple, and when I'm done there, I complete the rest of my three rounds to head back up the trail to the house. On repeat, I chant Vajrayogini's mantra and in the temple, I kneel before Her tapestry and tear my heart out. But that day, there I was ... ... newly kneeling when I saw it - a mouse at the foot of HHDL's picture, which is in front of Vajrayogini. "If there's ever a place to die ... you did good, little one." I was going to leave it until I was done and then take it outside, when suddenly it started making noises! I crawled over to it and this little thing must have been just older than a baby because it had fur and claws, but with its eyes still closed and its mouth making little sucking sounds. I went to the other shrine area in the temple and found a roll of paper towel to pick this baby up with. Outside it was so cold and windy, and with how the baby was acting I knew it was stunned and needed care - so I couldn't just set it down to figure the world out itself. Had I done that, I believe that would have been negligent and so, it and me went around the stupa three times while I chanted Vajrayogini's mantra aloud for this little one to hear. I petted its head while I walked back up the trail to the house. There, in a container with more paper towel, sunflower seeds, and a cap of water we sat together on the patio steps. It opened its eyes to look at me as I spoke to it and petted its head some more. After a bit, I found a place sheltered from the wind, though in the sunshine, under a shrub to set this little one in the comfort and security of the container. Sometime shortly after that, when it had gained enough strength and fortitude, it was no longer in the container when I went out to check on it. I knew the little mouse left on its own accord because nothing else was disturbed around where the container was, nor was anything within the container, and the water was still in the cap. I walked back in the house now ready to join the world myself. Did you hear that? .. a wee mouse cracked my heart open.
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Apr 30, 2022
In Ask Khandro-la
Khandro-la, in the Vajrayogini Long-Sadhana you added in the Tea Offering to Vajrayogini .. I am so grateful to have that. Will you please share the traditional, suggested, and lineage specific offering for this practice? I saw elsewhere in the text a mixture of red sandalwood paste with beer was mentioned, but wasn't sure if that was also for this offering. Other offerings for Guardians and Protectors include alcohol, but we only use black tea for our Tea Offering to Palden Lhamo. And so, I ask for your guidance! Thank you!
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Apr 26, 2022
In Meeting the Dakini!
Before my father died, he gave me a portrait of St. Francis of Assisi. It's a dark painting both in essence and color, with only the light revealing half of St. Francis' face, the skull, and outlines of the monk's robe. My father found this artwork behind construction paper in the office of a Jesuit nun who was living at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She did not like looking at [the essence of darkness] and so, she covered it; when it was discovered by my father, she gave it very willingly to him. It hung in my parents' home for years and years, and the contemplation of St. Francis on another saint's skull always fascinated me because I was always taught to fear death in the Christian faith. Moving into a new home isn't something I do often and I say that with a lot of trepidation, so I've been pausing on where to hang St. Francis - if at all - here on my new walls. But The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi crossed my path a few days ago rewritten by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and it moved me from fear and loss back into a place I can thrive from again: THE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI (with additions from Lama Zopa Rinpoche in brackets) Lord [Buddha], make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is discord, unity. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is error, truth. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is sadness, joy. Where there is darkness, light. O divine master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled [happiness for the ego] as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; It is in dying [having practiced] that we are born to eternal life [from happiness to happiness up to full enlightenment]. May all beings effortlessly attain the transcendent blissful state of omniscient Buddhahood.
A Vajrayogini Tsok Prayer Offering content media
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Apr 22, 2022
In Ask Khandro-la
Khandro-la, you mentioned a book on Tsongkhapa's commentary on Naropa's Six Yogas. I was only able to find one that fit that bill and wanted to ask you about it before I bought it. Here is the link: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/1559392347/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A30UH7RV1UCIV3&psc=1 If you would be willing to make a different suggestion and point me towards that if the one above isn't a good choice, I would greatly appreciate the direction! A la la.
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Apr 12, 2022
In Ask Khandro-la
Khandro-la, will you please share the Palden Lhamo mantra song that you played in SBT and for our Tea Offering? I looked on YouTube, but couldn't find it .. so I thought then that maybe if you shared the artist, that would lead me in the right direction! Thank you!
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Apr 03, 2022
In Ask Khandro-la
Khandro-la, will you please explain which days are determined as Personal Tsok Days and as Vajrayogini Cho Tsok days by the Moon's phase? I believe it's the 25th day of the lunar calendar for Vajrayogini Cho Tsok, but how do I determine our Personal Tsok Day? Thank you!
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Apr 03, 2022
In 21st Century Experiences
I'm moving homes in two days. I hate moving and not for the obvious reasons, but because of the mental coordination that comes with a panic disorder, inner adult temper tantrums fueled by anxiety, and simple worry that makes me question my self-grasping nature. I have realized this move is the first one that I've been able to use these "bad" traits for "good", lending them to lead the way into precise focus and skilled action. Living my practice off the cushion as Khandro-la teaches is going pretty well, though I'm painfully recognizing what I'm avoiding: my meditation room. I'll regularly stand in its doorway holding my tea refusing to start packing it because it makes me emotional to leave a space I have blossomed in; I don't become attached to much in this lifetime, so this is really difficult for me. The decision to move was very sudden and necessary, full of blessings and others' kindnesses along the way, so from the worldly context nothing is "wrong" and even from a charnel ground point of view, nothing is "wrong". Yet here I am, grasping onto a space that was my cave - the one I'd crawl to in tears, the place that held me while I grew with my heart teacher, the first space I allowed myself to be vulnerable in. Vajrayogini has taken my pleas in prayer to bring the obstacles onto the path, and Vajra Dakini is Her skillful method for this time in my life. Tomorrow is the last day I have where I can pack before the moving starts, and I've decided to make the whole of tomorrow the day to pack up my meditation room. I'll sit on my cushion with my coffee in the morning like I usually do and it will be the last time I will do that in its four walls. Just like now, I'll let the tears of grief out and dig deep for the faith of what is to come. I imagine this isn't the first time I've done this .. I imagine a past lifetime where the rock face shifted, forcing me out with my cushion in one hand and a statue of Vajrayogini in the other to wander the mountains for another home. This time is no different for this wandering yogini, I guess. I wonder if I cried then too. And there is the focus coming back ... the courage through the tightness of my chest, the fierceness through the lump in my throat, the thanksgiving that I am still practicing my personal dharma, the pride that I am Vajrayogini's body, speech, and mind ... that there but for the grace of Her go I into this new part of the charnel ground.
Context of a Yogini content media
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Mar 21, 2022
In 21st Century Experiences
After my morning routine and with other daily stuff squared away, I throw out my yoga mat in my living room and hit my compiled vinyasa playlist to flow to. Vinyasa is about breath and the movement that comes with that breath .. and the next and then the next. And more so for me, is the embodiment of my feelings I need to feel to flow through the rest of my day in a healthy way - whether there be none to compartmentalize or if the day feels really heavy - I need my time on this mat just as I do on my cushion. We can't feel our feelings in our head [or mind] and so to move me in the cultivation of my off-the-cushion-yoga-mat-practice, I use music to elicit and move the feelings that need to be found. Yoga has also become more important to me over the past year since Khandro-la has taught us that our subtle body is an integral part of our tantric path, and the continuation of her subtle body teachings require more than one class a week to integrate (for me at least). My playlist updated over the weekend to host a song entitled 'This Little Light of Mine' by Will Sampson & Message to Bears. I almost skipped it to start my practice because the old gross feelings of my Christian upbringing were starting to surface .. the memory of little Kate standing in a group of kids singing this song in a church basement while all of us held up our pointer fingers made my chest catch. Being thrust into that religion wasn't my choice, but I decided to be equanimous about this and play it anyway - it was a good song to start with and hey, maybe I needed to figure out why little Kate decided to make an appearance on this Monday morning. Well ... Left hand on my heart, eyes closed holding the tears, standing on my mat, breathing into my lower gate, and hearing Khandro-la's voice remind me to laugh at appearances, I realized that this song little Kate sang with such gusto was actually the most beautiful Bodhisattva song a child could have learned. Khandro-la spoke yesterday in her teachings about the spark we all carry and dare I say that hearing this rendition of my childhood created deeper faith in myself that I've been on this path from the very start. I came with this spark and I'll leave this world as that spark - this little light of mine, and just as we are called as tantric practitioners to be a lamp for others in this world I'm going to let mine shine as brightly as I can. Happy Monday, little Kate. "This Little Light Of Mine" This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. Every day, every day, every day, every way, Gonna let my little light shine. Light that shines is the light of love, Hides the darkness from above, Shines on me and it shines on you, Shows you what the power of love can do. Shine my light both bright and clear, Shine my light both far and near, In every dark corner that I find, Let my little light shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. Monday gave me the gift of love, Tuesday peace came from above, Wednesday told me to have more faith, Thursday gave me a little more grace, Friday told me to watch and pray, Saturday told me just what to say, Sunday gave me the power divine To let my little light shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. Shine, shine, shine, shine, shine.
This Little Light of Mine content media
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Mar 19, 2022
In 21st Century Experiences
Presently - as in real-time - I'm waiting on the maintenance crew to show up at my apartment. The window of time is dwindling, so it'll be soon, and on a Saturday this really isn't what I want to be doing - waiting around for strangers to show up at my door, and as a bit of personal rebellion I'm staying in my house clothes too! The reason they're showing up is because I have leak .. well, the building does and it's coming into my apartment - my bedroom specifically through a crack around my window. The management team tells me it's no big deal because of something the roof went through this last week, but to me it's a really big deal. And 48+ hours later with a stream of water that hasn't really let up, I'm running out of towels and patience. My partner, in trying to lighten the mood, made a comment to me just now (which prompted me to write this) saying, "This is such a nice place to live that even the elements want to be inside!" I laughed like a crazy womxn at this simple jest. I realized that the Dakinis were laughing at me too - especially Vajra Dakini with Her water qualities! *sigh* Why hadn't I realized this before he said that to me? Personally, I've held myself together pretty well with all these water issues in a new building and I'm not trying to come off like I would have in the past with that - I realize how I'm holding myself together now is centered, vulnerable, raw even. I'm more annoyed than anything that things "just aren't working like I want them to", rather than filled with anxiety and projecting that outwardly. Most of this shift in how I deal with things that are difficult for me I attribute to the glimpse of understanding I have of emptiness .. because none of this really matters, you know? Sure, the leak(s) are annoying and make me pause about how others are handling issues concerning my space, but I have a roof over my head, warmth while it sleets outside these walls, and honestly, I have nothing to really complain about with this leak. If Vajra Dakini is trying to tell me something after all this time, well, I'm finally able to listen to Her!
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Mar 18, 2022
In Subtle Body & Therapeutic
I always imagine myself as "the lone wolf" Vajrayogini courageously walking through this world with my khatvanga in hand, and my personal theme song the bones both She and I wear simultaneously jingling in unison. Some days, our charnel ground is the cereal isle filled with terrifying aspects of the human existence and other days, it's the inner landscape of a perfectly performed practice on my cushion. I didn't realize the feeling I was holding as the embodied Vajrayogini until I saw Palden Lhamo in the charnel ground last weekend in class. My Vajrayogini suddenly felt utterly safe, like She didn't have to hold up the world during the time I danced in the shared charnel ground next to Palden Lhamo. The security and protection I, as Vajrayogini, felt was the reminder that I am never alone - no matter what aspect I find myself in ... no matter where I am in the charnel ground. Gratefully, I'm a Dakini dancing in the charnel ground this lifetime around being allowed a precious human life. Within me is Vajrayogini with skillful wisdom and method, so that I can embody all aspects of who and what I am. Guardians and protectors allow the freedom to find liberation as we live our personal dharmas day to day. How beautiful of a labyrinth the charnel ground became as we all danced our way in and out again to the center. And all this understanding is attributed to my teacher, Khandro-la, for showing me how to dance. I pray for her protection and long life!
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Feb 23, 2022
In Subtle Body & Therapeutic
Uchima, the Severed-Headed emanation of Vajrayogini holds the energy of a flash of lightening hitting the top of your head sending you into blissful dance. Oh my, is She terrifying in Her graceful posture! Khandro-la skillfully lead us in our lineage's movements of Refuge and Bodhicitta before we looked outside our four walls and saw the charnel ground of ash and smoke! There, the Dakinis danced in honor of Uchima and beckoned us to come into their circle. I was in awe of my embodiment of the energies in this particular subtle body class! The inner bliss of being in a charnel ground with others was empowering, allowing me to be the most authentic I have felt in a long, long time. I was very grateful for being given this opportunity to learn about Uchima through my teacher's eyes!
He he, Ha ha, Ho ho! content media
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Feb 22, 2022
In In the Charnel Grounds
"In solitude, we are least alone." - Khandro-la This past weekend, Khandro-la gave a commentary on Machik's Five Slogans and what I most appreciated is how she broke down the five slogans within the three classifications of charnel grounds - outer, inner, and secret. The charnel ground we find ourself in is where the dakini arises and the five Dakinis weave in and out of all three. She dances in her different energies to the background music of our damaru and bell as our demons join her. It's all the same to a Dakini. We in the nirmanakaya too weave in and out of all three charnel grounds - the outer is where we physically find an ideal environment with adverse conditions to plant our feet for divine tantric practice, the inner is where our landscape darkly shifts to fear and we dance with it instead of leaving our footing, and the secret is where when the demons sing songs of forgetting who and what we are, we divinely belly laugh alongside the dakini. Samsara ... nirvana ... it's all the same to a Dakini. Machik Labdron was the Dakini who taught us the path of severance through her wisdom of Cho practice. Cho is cultivating the path of letting go of things that are good, bad, and ugly - it's all the same just by another name. It's about finding a different approach to how you live your life through working with your demons and seeing them as a support, a strength, and a way to transform them into awakened energies. Khandro-la called that "wisdom in disguise". Within this world of the five slogans for cho practitioners, the summation is that we are never alone in our striving for severance from self-cherishing and self-grasping. The fifth slogan is, "Go to the places that scare you," and that reveals to us the three charnel grounds. Those hold the other slogans of giving what we are attached to, confessing faults, helping where we don't think we can help, and embracing what is repulsive. Cho practice allows us to embody the greatness of it all as the dakini walks with us fiercely, alluringly, and lovingly in all our charnel grounds!
The Good, The Bad, & The Inescapable content media
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Feb 22, 2022
In 21st Century Experiences
“These four walls are a prison, even trapping my mind in their grasp. My heart calls out to Jetsun Vajrayogini and in devotion, I will cut myself apart to go back to Her freedom – limb by limb, if need be!” The rage that poured out of Lakshmikara that night would not go unheard. It would resound in the hearts and minds of yoginis throughout space and beginningless time. Indisputably embodying the courageous and ferocious dakini within, Lakshmikara thundered and the charnel ground split beneath her. From the ashes, she picked up the curved knife and with Dakini’s laughter echoing in the ten directions, Lakshmikara embraced her own phenomena and cut off her head! “No more will I only be the offerer, but I will be the offering and recipient of what does not ultimately exist!” Her victory cry can be heard in one word – liberation. Prisoner to no one, Lakshmikara was unjustly labeled as a crazy yogini and that too would resound for thousands of years – even into the 21st century. Our modern experience of obstacles and appearances is no different from hers, where we mistakenly believe that our own true nature is trapped and therefore, splintered. Divine pride created the origination of Uchema, The Severed-Headed Vajrayogini as it coursed through Lakshmikara’s veins. Beheading herself and then walking the streets as a naked, breathing corpse holding her own head, we understand the importance of severance for our own modern wrong views – that we are not divine, that we are not whole, and that we are not fortunate beings living in fortunate times. The awakened dakini within shows us Lakshmikara is one of our female masters giving us more than just a story, but as a phenomenal human example of our deity’s fierce love. How do we act according to our dharma as tantric practitioners of Vajrayogini, especially in Her most electric and severe state? We do that by cultivating our true north through the dakini energies within us as we move with intention according to our own phenomena in this slice of the charnel ground Uchema placed us in. Lakshmikara had the desire for liberation through the severance of self-grasping and self-cherishing motivated with epic divine embodiment, and through that Uchema reveals Her grace to us. Within Her charnel ground we find hope, truth, and liberation. We then realize the energies of Uchema, The Severed-Headed Vajrayogini were always centrally within us, and that we can achieve the judicious cultivation of living our vows in this modern world with skillful embodiment too!
Fierce Grace content media
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Feb 12, 2022
In Retreat
I'm a fan of figuring things out, whether it be within myself or with others, because it allows me to feel grounded, it stops my anxiety in its tracks, and generally, that understanding allows me to connect to the humanity I so loathe. If you've read my previous post, throwing out my back wasn't what really happened and I realize that now over a month later when I am at about 95% "healed". But that's the only answer I have because in the figuring out of how I injured myself, I found more answers in the unanswered. I'd say it was mid-January when I recalled a teaching I heard Venerable Chodron give on purification, where she cited a nun who suddenly had a huge, painful boil blossom on her face. The nun, like me, didn't know how the injury had occurred, but it was there and regardless it must be dealt with. This nun was encountered by someone who off-handedly said to her, "Oh, you're just purifying. Rejoice in the pain and suffering!" I'm positive I recalled that while I was sitting on my couch doing nothing for my physical body except mentally willing the pain to go away. It was a revelation. I mean, I thought maybe it was kundalini energy that I'd opened up too quickly or that maybe I do sit too long during my days without moving my legs like I should. But no, no this purification idea I knew didn't enter my mind to be dismissed. I begrudgingly took the adult steps to schedule chiropractic appointments, find a heating pad and take the meds, and ramp up my Float (sensory deprivation) appointments. I cancelled other outside commitments, avoided as much other adulting as possible, and settled in to listen to what else my body was telling me. I heard Khandro-la's voice tell me, "Breathe into the pain," so I did. Over and over. Nothing subsided for about two weeks, so for about four weeks total, I was contending with something I'd never come up against before. Sure, I'd had injuries in the past, but nothing as present as this - I believe that being present in this pain was one of the answers. That presence alone solidified for me that this was a purification process and I began to welcome the hinderances, even if I sobbed out of exhaustion while making my morning tea. Just before this happened, our sangha did the 2021 Purification Retreat; before that, our Vajrayogini Empowerment. I had apparently asked for something to be knocked loose within me and the last domino fell right after our first Dakini Series II SBT class in early January. I can't tell you what happened internally/emotionally for me in these last weeks because in that there is the unknown (not because I don't want to share), but what I can tell you is that I found a surrender. I gave into a place of stillness that relinquished control over my physical body to where I didn't even think. Simply, I existed and as my late father would have said, "[Did] the next right thing." The connection to my own humanity became so apparent to me in this place of unknown that I began to wonder if that was the point of all this. For so long I've pushed so much away from me ... I guess I could call it spiritual bypassing even, but I couldn't any longer. My body gave my mind no choice but to be still with itself. To date, I still revel in the twinges of pain to remind me to adjust, to find that quiet centeredness, to be okay without having an answer, and to be grateful that I'm (literally and figuratively) still standing. My frame of reference has shifted to that of looking at others through the broken heart of a Bodhisattva backed up with the skillful means of action in the dakini that I find within myself. I also have found new space within myself to maybe find the answers one day when I'm ready for them to be revealed. Last, the profundity of my teacher, her commentary, and her guidance on this path is not lost on me because truly, without her I would never have had the opportunity to find this unknown. art credit: @RovinaCaiArt
Purification is the Answer: An Update content media
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Feb 12, 2022
In Ask Khandro-la
Khandro-la, I was reading ‘Sky Dancer’ today and the marks and signs of recognizing a Dākinī were referenced in the text, though not listed. Will you please share the list what the marks and signs are of recognizing a Dākinī?
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo
Feb 12, 2022
In Meeting the Dakini!
“Teachings tell us there are marks and signs to know when we’ve found a Dākinī and I ponder … just as I see Vajrayogini in the face of all sentient beings, what if I also choose to see the marks and signs of dākinī within them? When I do that, I sense which dākinī is hurting and so goes the train of thought, “What part of my dākinī can help them?” Is it my Karma Dākinī of action that is in the flash of smile alongside the skillful speech of Vajrayogini? Could it be the soft echo of wisdom and ash-covered footprints as my fierce Padma Dākinī calls to theirs from the charnel ground? How can I radiate the light of Vajra Dākinī to allow a feeling of bliss within their day? And the anxiety I see in their eyes my Ratna Dākinī calls out to embrace within Vajrayogini’s loving body, allowing inner child nurturing. How would I show them my own Buddha Dākinī in such a way that they need to help ease their mind? I admit I don’t know the list of the marks and signs of what to look for in a Dākinī, and I challenge myself to find them in my own way through a Bodhisattva’s eyes. In my past I’ve become lost in the contemplation of my own empathy and highly sensitive nature, but what if those heightened awarenesses are the Bodhisattva’s eyes that help a sentient being where no other could? That structure alone allows the self-grasping and the self-cherishing to be utterly cut at the root, offered up in the skullcup, again, to help those where no other could. May my dākinī always dance to help others.” — Personal Tsok Day Meditative Thoughts
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(TK) Kate Thalacker | Dechen Wangmo

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