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shona.collaborationswithnature
Apr 06, 2024
In Dakinis At Your Fingertips
I made this some time ago and it flashed into my mind today as I was meditating….. May our tears of compassion cleanse ALL suffering in this world. May our tears of wisdom move us to action to relieve ALL suffering in this world.
GOLDEN NECTAR DROPS content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Jan 28, 2024
In Diving Into "DAKINI PATH"
At the end of todays New Dakini Path we turned back to the topic of heart break. A physical feeling as well as an emotional one. A misunderstanding made me ask the question 'Why would we want to stop the heart beaking feeling?' We discussed heart break as an opening to compassion and how it can be phsically felt as pain in the body. I then remarked how 'I wouldnt want this feeling all the time' - physical or emotional. Then I realised BUT that is exactly what I need to do! and essentially what this practice is for! This was echoed by other practioners. Thank you for this AHA - may it be used to benefit ALL BEINGS. May I grow in divine courage to be with it. Thank you Dakini, KL and the Sanga - turning a misunderstanding to understanding Ha ha !
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Jan 08, 2024
In Diving Into "DAKINI PATH"
Recently in Patan (Kathmandu valley) I was on the hunt for a statue of I was not sure what, mainly Vajrayogini but I was open to other possibilities. After a long day looking I decided to go to a cafe for some sustenance and there was a little shop in the alleyway I hadn't seen before. I found this statue of Mackik Labdron there. I was told it was the protype for a much larger 3 foot statue commissioned by a lama for a monestary. I failed to ask which one (I will try to find out). I was a bit concerned in the shop as her face looked a bit fierce and I was a bit put off but deep down I knew I was to have her - sternness and all I thought well I need that quality. When I unpacked her and had her in place at home her face no longer seemed stern. Could the statue have changed? Or was I seeing how what I needed to be reflected back to me. Her expression now seems totally calm, inwards looking yet bestowing such compassion. EM A HO
Machik’s changing expression  content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Jan 06, 2024
In Diving Into "DAKINI PATH"
Awakened fierceness and wrathfulness are not the same as the human emotions of anger or revenge etc, they are just, and just the response to a condition. I am thinking of the recent earthquake in Japan - as having combined wrathful qualities of Vajra, Ratna, Padma and Karma Dakinis or water, earth, fire and wind. The earthquake is not tainted with any kind of maliciousness, it is a result of the earth moving, shifting doing what it needs to do in order to maintain or foster balance, equinimity, harmony. Destruction and creation both result from it. It has no preference its JUST doing its job. Have a look here at this animation for earthquakes around the world since only1980. Reminding me of how our sublte bodies change and shift when our bodies move. Are we not a microcosm of the Earth? https://seismic-explorer.concord.org/(https://seismic-explorer.concord.org/) and this image from 1900-2017 looks to me like a windhorse galloping I hope that one day my fierce and wrathful qualties are JUST so - reponding with full awareness for the benefit and bliss of all beings. Until that time I will try to concerntrate fiercely on bodhichitta for myself and others as the prerequisite for the wisdom awareness to unfold. And as hapenstance would have it this image that I created for Karma Dakini for Khandro La's book ( Dakini in the Cotemporary World) and was not published (and was thinking about for this post) showed up on my phone as a memory for today ! ha ha hee hee
JUST FIERCE  content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Dec 10, 2023
In Diving Into "DAKINI PATH"
During 6 weeks in Kathmandu and Langtang Valley I have had intentional and surprise encounters with Vajrayogini - like a huntress she has been my ‘game’. An elusive quarry that sometimes I have glimpsed - or thought I had.…. This past week, I visited 5 temples dedicated to her in Kathmandu Valley and unfortunately not allowed to take pictures inside the sanctums I have gleaned a few from the internet to ‘fill the void’ (haha). Also I had a surprise directive to visit a site near the Tibet border called ‘Khandro - Ma’ at Lang Shi -Sa up the valley from Kyanjin Gompa. It’s a rock overhang with a large stone which is seen as an embodiment of a female practitioner who attained awakening there and gave teachings about 500 yrs ago or more? There is a book about her I am trying to track down. Khandro- Ma site Then there are also the natural features in landscapes where I saw her and in artworks I created. thousand petalled lotus with found steel ties 5 temples in the Kathmandu Valley I was able to recite mantras in a quiet area in all 5 except at Shanku as there was a Chod Dakini Day Tsok going on with many practioners from a nearby Amitaba Monestary. Bijeswori Temple Probably my favourite with the three forms of Vajrayogini shown and I have visited here quite a few times previously. When I sat I experienced a huge rush of feeling and the words “you have no idea how much you are loved” entered my mind. There was a fleeting moment of a vastness of love I hadn’t experienced before. It led  me just beyond the edge of what my usual perception. Whilst there a large group of Tibetan nuns came in also and I had my mala blessed along with theirs touching the deities. Pretty special! 3 forms - image from Tsem Rinpoche website Entrance courtyard Pharping and  the retreat cave of Yeshe Tsogyal. My recollection of the Vajrayogini temple here was over lit by my experience in the Yeshe Tsogyal retreat cave about 10 mins drive and a 5 min walk from the Pharping temple complex with the Asura Cave and which TK had brought my attention to. I wouldn’t have known about it without her knowledge so I am extremely grateful to her. A small entrance led into a very small tunnel into complete darkness. Luckily Dakini had sent me a companion in the form of a young man who was not afraid and in we went. This young man had hung around me for hours while I visited the other temples wanting to sell me a mala. I was sort of grumpy with him the whole time as I was feeling husslec. Anyway he ended up being my hero as he found the cave and once in there his peace was palpable. He steadied me in the claustrophobic environment and I found my fear melting away. I don’t know that I would have been able to stay in there alone. I felt how courageous and out of this world Yeshe Tsogyal must have been to inhabit this space. Sitting in the blackness there was no difference between eyes open or shut. It was a strange sensation to have my eyes open and ‘see’ black. This thought came to me “We / I am the conduit between infinity and solidity. I am nothing and everything . When I open my eyes I see nothing and everything. When I close my eyes I see everything and nothing.” On the way out with a torch I noticed the sides of the cave were confluted looking like ribs and sparkling. It was like we were inside her body - in her heart - and these ribs were oozing  water, just like moistening the heart. I felt elated and humbled. Pharping Vajrayogini temple Vajrayogini at Pharping - from Tsem Rinpoche website stairs leading to Yeshe Tsogyal cave entrance diamond light ribs Sankhu This temple was a little further away from the city and the surrounding grounds were being being repaired so it was a bit of a building site. When I arrived there was a Tsok (or other ceremony ?) with a group of practitioners from nearby Amitaba monastery. No-one spoke good English so it was hard to know exactly what was happening. But I was able to experience a Chod ceremony with drums and thigh bone trumpets. I had to wait an hour for the doors to the deity to be opened and had a very brief appointment with Vajrayogini here. image from Tsem Rinpoche website image from Tsem Rinpoche website Patan - Akash VajraYogini at Ma Boudha I had no idea where this temple was but didn’t need to ask as I was taken directly there by a Newari friend I met years ago. She had no idea she was taking me to Vajrayogini either as this one is within and  upstairs at the Maa Boudha temple. She was as delighted as I! and took me to the next temple also. She had known about Vajrayogini (Bajrayogini) but is now excited to go deeper in. This skydancing form  (Akash) is probably the most beautifully rendered and visible of the temples I visited. Her face is riveting! - so beautiful and freshly painted. The upward gaze to infinity so clear. images from Tsem Rinpoche website (not freshly painted face :) Bajrayogini Temple This one I visited with two other people and it was rush hour ! Many women and school girls attending before school or work began. I was wonderful to see all the slightly different ways and things each person offered. I was able to sit inside and recite mantras and watch. This temple is built over the natural spring (Vajrayogini) and you cannot see that source it is hidden. The main point of devotion is a small rock which sits above the spring. I don’t have and can’t find any images or the actual name of this temple. My local friend just knew about it. I really loved how this one was directly related to the natural elemental source of the devotion - a natural spring. This connection with and in nature is still where I find myself meeting and encountering Vajrayogini /Dakini most easily. 🙏 Lastly I was informed that the natural eternal gas flame at Muktinath is an expression of Vajrayogini - I have visited there also before so that was a lovely new and old connection 🔥 Muktinath  - Jwala Mai It is here that one can find the eternal burning flames of natural gas, or as the Buddhists say: Sale Mebar (burning soil); Do Mebar (burning stone) and Kla Mebar (burning water). The holy flame alongside a spring, in combination with earth, water, fire and air, seems to be the origin of the religious significance of Muktinath, because only here all the elements are present in one place. The small burning flames are hidden in the Gompa on the floor, behind a grid. One wouldn't notice them, if not shown by someone. One has to kneel down on the floor with forehead almost touching the ground to see the small blue flame (behind a grid) that has been burning here for thousands of years. Pilgrims have been coming here for more than 3000 years to witness this natural combination of earth, water, fire and air at one spot. Source text and images from www. nepal trekking online .de 🔥🔥🔥💃🔥🔥🔥 the Machik Labdron statue I found in Patan to take home EMAHO ✨
Encountering Vajrayogini in Nepal content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Dec 07, 2023
In Diving Into "DAKINI PATH"
Today I forgot it was Dakini Day yet managed to find myself in the 4th of 5 Vajrayogini Temples I am visiting in Kathmandu. I was wondering what was special about the day when I arrived and there was this ceremony happening. This the "Bajrayogini Temple at Sakhyu, a Tantric (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantra)Buddhist temple located at Sakwa (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sankhu)in Nepal'(https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepal)s Kathmandu Valley.(https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathmandu_Valley) It is also well known as Bodhisattva'(https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva)s Temple. The temple is actually a sort of temple complex, with the main temple having been built by King Pratap Malla (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratap_Malla)in the sixteenth century.Sakhyu Temple." (Wikipedia) I was included in the receiving and giving of blessings in the form of fruit, flowers amd rice. The temple doors were closed so that no pictures were taken of her highness. In fact in every Vajrayogini temple you cannot take photos.I find this a bit frustrating and wonder why her image cannot be shared. Why so secret? I have this feeling of a suppression of her and her teachings and gifts. I know this is a western perspective yet I can't help feeling we need her to be more visible! I lit a butter lamp as I have done in every temple for our Sangha and lineage masters. Blessings and Happy Dakini Day from Nepal and a holy goat! ♥️🪷❣️ Ps. I have nice video with sound but it won't upload from my phone ....
Visiting Vajrayogini sacred sites  content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Oct 31, 2023
In Diving Into "DAKINI PATH"
I have been thinking and feeling a lot around the river of blessings lately and making some artworks with the idea. Connecting drops of water 💧and drops of golden nectar. Yesterday sitting in a prayer room watching a 'fake' butter lamp flame I saw the drop become the flame 🔥. It was a lovely realisation that this form contains both these elements and their characteristics of fullness, fertility and promise with passion and transformation. Up and down simultaneously in the heart of compassion.
The Droplet and the Flame - a river of blessings  content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Oct 02, 2023
In Diving Into "DAKINI PATH"
Today as we set out on the new DAKINI PATH - An Integrative Pilgrimage to VAJRAYOGINI in the Contemporary World - I glanced down at my table to see the refraction of light through my glass of water. I thought ohhh could this be an expression of the Vajrayogini's subtle body? I took a photo and had a play with it. Blessings 🙏
This way and that way.  content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Aug 30, 2023
In Subtle Body & Therapeutic
I see I am just like the shimmering sea I love sitting on a high cliff watching the sea in it's perpetual flux in any weather. Today I was thinking about the subtle body and there is was below me - reflecting perfectly my inner sense of the subtle body. Thank you Vajra Dakini for this teaching!
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Aug 28, 2023
In Diving Into "DAKINI PATH"
Today was the last gathering for this Dakini Journey and it was so uplifting! We shared our experiences and the creative projects inspired by them. I was astonished and deeply moved by each of our different experiences and expressions in poems, as story telling from the opera to japanese tea ceremony, as artworks and as installation performance! EMAHO! It was so deeply delightful and nourishing being transported into these dakini worlds of silence, monsters, earth elements and whirling dances. I want to thank all the dakinis who were on this sacred journey - together we make more magic for the benefit of all beings! What a great way to 'finish' this joruney as we 'begin' another in the NEW DAKINI JOURNEY coming up. I am so grateful and excited to keep exploring Dakini with Khando La's new book and all the wisdom and fun she, Dakini and the Sangha brings to this path and lineage.
Without beginning or end - encounters with expressions of Dakini. content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Jul 20, 2023
In Journeys & Retreat
During the recent Cho Retreat I offered this artwork and poem for the Tsok feast as i wasnt able to attend in person. So i would like to share it here with an additional connection that I have made with the shadow art image. I have found this image very compelling since it was created and i couldnt quite put my finger on why. Initially i connected it to the Celtic Selkie myth. Yet there was something here being revealed but what was it? During the final Kakyabma - Pervading Sky transmission and commentary I was seeing this image in my mind as we 'imagined' the Cho charnel ground. My skin laid out on the ground and a hungry ghost coming in to feed (or having fed, leaving), connected to my actual body through my feet. Suddenly it made deeper sense. Shona speaking the poem
 Becoming Vajrayogini - The Red Lady and Cho - content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Jul 20, 2023
In Meeting the Dakini!
i just had an encounter with a dakini in a bikini (i think) at the beach. She was 77 and as spritely and soft as a child and wise and kind like a mother. We had a chat about being loved and loving and she told me ALL of me was loved - at which i started to cry.... we talked about Jesus and Buddha being inside us. We talked about stillness and deep listening and the all knowing that arises from there, inside us. She called our encounter a 'divine encounter' and told me the rocks that we had both chosen to sit were a healing place. We parted without any attachment and a scent of silence . Afterwards i felt lighter and needed to be quieter. I have been running around alot - inside and out. Later at home thinking about Buddha nature and the stillness and safety of that i saw in a different way how really being in the present moment fully awakened is the mechanism how we can help all beings at once. The present is the infinite - i dont have to run around to help, being still in the present moment is the miraculous key to helping everything. I suppose this may be called Ultimate Boddhichitta? I think this dakini in a bikini allowed my heart to crack open a bit more and then this thought could be understood more deeply. I will try not to forget it. Feeling deeply grateful for another dakini surprise in my life. EM A HO I love that Dakini ryhmes with bikini and often think about it haha!
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Jun 04, 2023
In Diving Into "DAKINI PATH"
Well after mixing up time and missing the 1st sharing meeting I thought to share this way instead of my very visceral experiences this week of entering Ratna Dakini in the form of cave visits in Northern Spain and Vajra Dakini making her presence loud and clear as the shaper of the earth and the endless current of manifestation which we are swimming in together. The Palaeolithic ochre dot marks of our ancestors spoke to me as a metaphor for the infinite current of creation. I am working in a real river trying to spontaneously play with the currents and revealing the dots that also appear within its flow - the small vortexes of 'solidification' appearing out of a fabric of ripples. It's been an astounding connection to make. With gratitude to the Dakinis. Endlessly Giving and Receiving.
Jumping Into the River  content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
May 01, 2023
In NEW Dakini Journey
Sometimes I recognise when my art making process aligns completely with the teachings of our lineage and I am taught in a direct and experiential way through this creative act - it is quite phenomenal and very exciting when it happens! Making a new work in a different medium opened me up to this teaching of how forms evolve and dissolve out and back into the vast spaciousness through Buddha Dakini. The first image was the first work in the pair and originally the only one i was going to make. It is called SEEDING and is made from moulding Japanese paper over the seeds and seed pods or the 2nd work (called RECEDING) and as empty pockets of air with a thin translucent form they 'appear' from the white spacious background, half formed in the rocess of becoming a solid . And then the second image is called RECEDING since once a form is solid it is already changing back to vast formless space. I deliberately used the form of a droplet referring to a droplet of timeless awareness nectar - and so it was! I spent hours digesting and thinking and feeling how this was revealed to me - it was so enriching. I hope it can speak to you too !
A droplet of timeless awareness nectar - an art teaching..... content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Mar 10, 2023
In In the Charnel Grounds
Today in the Dendok Chikma Cho practice with KL and the sangha I had this feeling of flowers bursting from my heart as we were guided in meditation into Prajnaparamita. Suddenly (and momentarily) I felt an outpouring of joy and compassion. This is the image I had in my mind in a very rudimentary drawing. May all being benefit 🌸😊💞
Flowers bursting from my heart content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Feb 25, 2023
In Meeting the Dakini!
I found 3 fragments of driftwood walking along the beach. I 'saw' that they could fit together and form this passing-cloud / sky-dancer / dakini. I have been posting little 'episodes' of her movements on social media and it was just today that I made the connection to the 3 principles of practice, Renunciation, Bodhicitta and Wisdom. I have called her PUZZLE and her attributes have been that she is totally at ease in any environment and responds to what is there with non-attachment. She has become a bit like a personal avatar for me. A teaching tool. I have her 3 parts in a bag and every now and then I take her out for a walk and place her in random different natural situations. Sometimes she finds aids like wings or puts on a hat for fun or flips upside down or spins her head around. She is very versatile, curious and responsive to any place she finds herself. I called her Puzzle because she is a bit like a jigsaw and the nature of Dakinis is quite puzzling. She has become a bit like a yidam for me. This way of connecting the teachings is 'serious fun' for me. Please enjoy some of her antics of embodied wisdom as she flips and flits and lounges in the aspects of the 5 dakinis ! Her play continues !
PUZZLE - a Sky-Dancer consisting of Renunciation, Bodhicitta and Wisdom content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Feb 05, 2023
In Subtle Body & Therapeutic
In todays SBT experience we explored Fox dakini and energy. The fox is often referred to in mythology as a trickster, using its cunning, alertness, sass and focus to turn things around or upside down! This attribute aligns with Coyote energy too. We discussed other manifestations of fox such as jackal, dingo and wolf. It is so meaningful to embody the animal. Feeling into the way it moves creates a sense of being the animal. The human aspect dissolves a little more - i LOVE this. So being a fox today and tapping into its alertness and awareness of its surroundings I spotted a little Coyote sculpture from Mexico on the shelf behind me. Also its the anniversary of my mum's death and I am beginning slowly to see her very dakini-like qualities. She had red hair at one stage and was as energetic, flighty and focussed as a fox! Here is my coyote/fox/mum addition to my altar at present. Reminding me to look with attention, be a bit crafty and leap around with glee.
Foxy Dakini and Coyote Trickster content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Oct 24, 2022
In NEW Dakini Journey
I met Ratna Dakini when i created an artwork for an environmental art prize. I didn't win that prize but the bigger prize was in the emergent encountering and creation of her. As I played with images of an ephemeral artwork i made on the beach around a rock a figure appeared - howling and/or singing. I imagined 'her' singing and howling out all of creation, replenishing and restoring the earth. So she became The Songstress - Rhythms for Regeneration. I felt her power ad capacity for nourishment and destruction as I made her. When i had finished the artwork I saw reflected back to me Ratna Dakini. Pics of the process end to beginning
'The Songstress' - Ratna Dakini emerges from a rock content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Oct 16, 2022
In Subtle Body & Therapeutic
A few days ago i made this 'artwork' carving out two meandering lines through the layer of discarded waste deposited onto the beach from storms. It wasn't until later when i was playing around with the images that i made the connection to the body mandala and the subtle body mandala! I work intuitively and non-conceptually when i make works in Nature, using what I find available to me at different times and locations - in everyday life. Here are the images which brought to life (for me) the pranic channels inside/outside our bodies as realms and deities of the subtle body or inner dakini. Also an image of the original large scale line work in situ which then i realised was like a charnel ground where i had chopped or sliced through the layer of detritus to reveal the golden nectar pathways underneath. For me this was such a profound and viseral experience and teaching from my 'artwork'. Today in our class I had these visuals of my and universal subtle bodies in my mind and it really expanded my experience. I hope it resonates and benefits you too !
subtle body mandalas emerge from a Charnel Ground in the sand  content media
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shona.collaborationswithnature
Sep 25, 2022
In NEW Dakini Journey
This week in the SBT KL described a position we were in as 'leaning forward with your heart dripping its nectar onto the ground'. I felt that image as a reality expressed through my body and it stayed with me the whole class. Resting in awareness at the end I had this vision of multitudes of dakinis and/or golden nectar pouring out of the heart centre. Here are my 2 very quick drawings of that imagination/feeling. One on the earth, the other in the sky.
Approaching with the Heart content media
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