WHO ARE DAKINIS?
THE DANCE OF THE DAKINIS
Dancing in the flames of change,
Delighting in the fires of change,
Ever changing dance of fire.
In the midst of terror and fear,
In difficulties and struggle.
Filling the heart with faith.
Ecstatic, dancing, playful.
Unattached, flowing, free
Dancing inspiration of the Dharma.
Dancing heroine of fearless self knowledge,
Dancing heart of unshakeable confidence.
Dancing free in the sky of emptiness.
Dakini in Sanskrit literally means “sky dancer,” and is the most sacred aspect of the feminine principle in Tibetan Buddhism, embodying both humanity and divinity in feminine form.
When needed, a dakini may appear as fierce and intense or playful and nurturing. At other times she may appear outrageous or repulsive in order to cut through conceptual thinking and mistaken perception. She may appear as a human being, as a goddess, either peaceful or wrathful, or she may be perceived as the general play of energy in the phenomenal world.
In general, the dakini represents the ever-changing flow of energy with which the yogic practitioner must work in order to become realized. Ultimately, all women are seen as some kind of dakini manifestation.
"The dakini is a messenger of spaciousness and a force of truth, presiding over the funeral of self-deception. Wherever we cling, she cuts; whatever we think we can hide, even from ourselves, she reveals. The dakini traditionally appears during transitions: moments between worlds, between life and death, in visions between sleep and waking, in cemeteries and charnel grounds." From Wisdom Rising by Lama Tsultrim.
Dakinis guard the most private details of spiritual practice, so that only those with the purest motivation are able to penetrate its essence. Without the blessing of the dakini, fruition of full awakening is said to be impossible.
On an absolute level, the real wisdom dakini is the boundless quality of luminous awareness. In this way, the great mother Truth is the basis for all the dakinis.