The Dakini as a Wild Emanation of Enlightenment

Although the Dakini is ultimately not a being and transcends gender, the feminine has a beautiful capacity to infuse hidden wisdom and treasures into her creative expressions. All women on some level are Dakinis.  Through her heart, she can bypass the literal mind, blossoming open love’s infinite dimensions.  This deep hearted sensuous feminine creativity becomes an opening and expression of the Dakini’s unbridled invitation to our true nature.

The dakini’s spirit is wild, naked, fierce, and unabashed.Wild in that her nature is untamable, naked as the bare truth of reality, fierce in her commitment to dissolve our illusory structures, and unabashed in her fundamental essence.

Both men and women can awaken through the dakini, just as one can awaken through enlightened masculine consciousness (I use the terms masculine and feminine primarily but not exclusively as principle energies eg Shakti Shiva, Yin Yang). For the feminine, the dakini can transform chaotic, destructive, or contracted aspects of her being into creative and flourishing expressions emanating from the heart:eg. sensuous, primordial, lovingly fierce, radiant, watery, surrendered and much more. The dakini dissolves the “person” so that what remains is unbounded expression arising and dissolving moment to moment as attuned creative expression. This is the dakini as shakti energy. For the masculine, she can wildly awaken him, sometimes like an electric jolt or sneakily, into the eternal and infinite mystery that is at the heart of reality. He is then able to live as freedom itself with clear action emanating from Source. For all beings, the dakini unconventionally invites us back to our true nature.

“The dakini in her most profound level of meaning is beyond form, gender, and expression, but “she” gives rise to bountiful forms and expressions, which sometime takes the female gender to express “her” essence.”

~ Judith Simmer-Brown, Dakini’s Warm Breath

The dakini is not a logical or linear way to awakening.  She is untamable with infinite petals. “She” can come in visions, sacred embodiments, barge right into the front door of our psyche, or sneak in through the back. My beloved says the Dakini is like a matador waving her red cape; she lures the self straight for the bait. At the last minute she pulls away the cape and into the heart of God the self goes. She dissolves us into the core of our primordial origin.  With the dissolving of what we are not, we arise more as “God’s” love – uniquely, bright, wild, and free. Our ultimate nature is direct, intimate, always here and now.   

There are various interpretations of the Dakini. Within Vajrayana Buddhism, she is the wisdom aspect and one of the most secret and sacred teaching- with a myriad of intricate layers and meanings (resources about Vajrayana Buddhism and the Dakini are listed after this article). Ancient India tantric cults worshipped her as Shakti, the divine feminine energy. Many modern tantra schools define her as an awakened adept sexual healer.  She has also been likened to Kali – as a wrathful deity, who through fierce uncompromising love beheads away illusion for the benefit of all beings. This article speaks about the dakini as an wild emanation of enlightenment.

Wild Untamable Feminine Mysticism

The feminine aspect in all of us awakens quite differently than the masculine aspect in all of us.  My service is to celebrate this difference; not in a dualistic dividing way. Honoring both the sacred masculine and feminine aspects is a balance that benefits all beings to knowing we are ultimately One.  I will detail some of the differences, but wish to preface by saying that although the feminine awakens differently than the masculine, enlightenment does not happen to a man or a women, or any other gender. Our true essence is limitless and undefinable. We are fundamentally enlightened, we don’t become enlightened. Enlightenment is not something attained by special people. Enlightenment is not something one can get or achieve- no matter how many disciplined mantras, retreats, or meditations. It’s not an object that one can gain or seek outside of self. It does not happen to a being at all.  Enlightenment is the natural full realization of our fundamental nature that is always present. Enlightenment arises naturally from the dropping of an illusory identity. The dakini assists in dissolving this illusory identity– liberating the cultural mind/body through compassion, wild mastered ferocity, beauty, wrath, play, and unexpectedly more.
Enlightenment in the traditional sense, which is masculine oriented, such as Advaita Vedanta, is the realization of ones true nature beyond the body and mind as now presence-infinite eternal Consciousness. The ego dissolves as pure Knowing. All there can ever be of experience is the knowing of it. The path to this realization is rooted in practices such as meditation, self inquiry, and stillness. The “I” is not the body/mind, but is known as I Consciousness, I knowing, or I Awareness. Some of the powerful qualities that natural arise from this awakening are equanimity, integrity, vastness, emptiness, and peace which are inherent in our true nature.

Feminine enlightenment, which had been largely suppressed, is more wild, juicy, vibrant, devotional, and expressed through embodiment. SHE emerges from the void as the dance of the cosmos in spontaneous creation. She awakens not through stillness but through what is ever changing. To realize oneself as ever changing, there is nothing to latch onto and the ego drops in the eternal dance of creation. She awakens by entering the experience of the body and senses so thoroughly, going beyond, touching the Beloved as oneself.  She surrenders opens as her true nature more from movement, energy, sensuality, creativity, the earth, and intimacy.  Feminine enlightenment is also emotion filled. However, instead of being contracted and identified by feelings and the mental stories attached, emotions are an empathic oceanic tide opening as love.

“Feminine spirituality is much more about the emanation of love in this moment, feeling into this moment, feeling the texture of this moment through the skin, through the body, and then letting your life become an emanation of love.”
~ Arjuna Ardagh

Enlightenment for the masculine aspect within us all, is experienced as a deep unwavering peace resting within and as infinite Consciousness. Consciousness is the underlying source we all share.  Enlightenment for the feminine principle within us is experience as aliveness – in ourselves and all is the infinitum (humans, flora and fauna, the earth, all planets, stars, galaxies… all experienced creation) expressed uniquely – radiant, wild, and multitudinous. When combined, these two principles are like a torus field, where we fold into ourselves, resting in the peace our pure essence and eternal stillness, and simultaneously (in no space or time) move up and outward ever changing, shining ever more brightly as a one of a kind expression of Infinity.

Luminous Void

YOU are the LOVE AFFAIR of the Infinite Abyss and Everything Arising. You are the miracle in between that love. Simultaneously Nothing and Everything, birthing something exquisitely new in every eternal moment. Written and Produced by Kalista.

In between these two converging principles of enlightenment, is not known through consciousness (masculine) or expression (feminine), but through the core of our heart in the love that is between these two enlightened principles within. We could liken it to a primordial void, the great Womb, or Brahman (reabsorbs and emanates everything from itself.) A color analogy I like to use is this: the color white (which is all colors combined) to represent Awareness (masculine) by which all experience is illuminated (sees all colors at once); a rainbow of colors (which is white through a prism) to represent the diversity of creation and expression (feminine); and black to represent the absence of all color as the voidness of our primordial core. Both the masculine and feminine principles of enlightenment dissolve into the void. What arises is pure luminous potential. Luminosity of being at the heart of the One Infinite we all are.  “I” “You” “We” are the love affair between the infinite abyss and everything arising, simultaneously nothing and everything, birthing a precious one of a kind expression in the eternal now. The dakini points to this love affair as our true nature.

The dakini is known as the Sky/Space dancer.  She is infinite in her expressions yet dimensionless. The space in which she emanates has no form. It’s not a literal sky, but the primordial vastness at the core our true nature. The dakini opens us to the awareness that our true nature is fundamentally spacious, vast, and empty while simultaneously ripe, nectarous with luminous infinite potential.

~ by Kalista