Who is this astonishing feminine presence
dancing in the universal field of battle?
Truly naked, eternally sixteen,
with magnificent dignity she stands
on the breast of Absolute Reality
that assumes the aspect of snow-white Shiva,
his body also naked truth
as he sleeps in supernal contemplation
All blood ever shed in sacrifice or conflict
streams down her brilliant black limbs
like crimson blossoms floating on dark waters.
Her face is diamond bright, clearer than the full moon.
Infinite wisdom energy pulsates
through her mysterious blackness.
Her powerful wisdom laughter
awakens and heals,
flowing in wave after wave of sweet nectar.
This poet is overwhelmed,
singing with tears of rapture:
“Those who long for conscious union with reality
should meditate with constancy
on the dark blue lotus feet of Kali,
enshrined in the secret heart of humanity,
ensuring the liberation of all finite beings
from the illusion of finitude.”
– Ramprasad Sen (as translated by Lex Hixon in Mother of the Goddess)
Today marks the anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, responsible for bringing the teachings of Vajrayana to Tibet.
hung orgyen yul gyi nubjang tsam
Hūṃ! In the north-west of the land of Oḍḍiyāṇa,
pema gesar dongpo la
In the heart of a lotus flower,
yatsen chok gi ngödrub nyé
Endowed with the most marvellous attainments,
pema jungné shyé su drak
You are renowned as the ‘Lotus Born’,
khor du khandro mangpö kor
Surrounded by many hosts of ḍākinīs.
khyé kyi jesu dak drub kyi
Following in your footsteps,
jingyi lab chir shek su sol
I pray to you: Come, inspire me with your blessing!
guru pema siddhi hung
These are images from a few of the monasteries in Nepal, where the Buddhist dharma has taken deep root in the Himalayan villages.
More on the invocation of Guru Padmasambhava may be read here.
I enjoy trekking, hiking, and generally being in the wilderness. Exploring forests, hiking up mountain trails… these are the things I would be happy doing on a daily basis. Being in nature and having time to myself to soak up the energy and bask in the majesty of this universe is the most precious thing to me.
That said, one of the highlights of Nepal is unquestionably meeting the different people. This is true of all my travels, but the people of Nepal have been exceptional friendly and inviting. On my trek to Everest Base Camp, one of the most memorable experiences was meeting the children in the villages along the way.
It is the people you meet and make connections with on any journey that really leave a lasting impression.
In addition to the many villages in the mountains, Kathmandu itself is a vibrant city, full of wonderful people. I spent an afternoon with these kids as they followed me around looking at the different sites and convincing me to try different street foods and treats (and share with them of course!).
Of all the journeys I have taken and will continue to take, Nepal holds a very dear place in my heart. I look forward to returning many, many times.
The dance of tantra is the dance of maya; a dynamic microcosm of life with the panchatattva elements each symbolizing not only parts of our daily life and body, but the primordial elements, the building blocks of the universe. This dance of life will not fit into expectations or preconceived notions; while there may be general guidelines, the nature of this path is that it is unpredictable.
Tantra, whether Kaula or Vajrayana or beyond, is a dance and interplay of energy. At the heart of this energy is the void, Nuit. This is the same Heart of Thelema, a complex philosophy that embodies a western Tantra with the Great Void at the very core of the idea of True Will.
Dzogchen or Atiyoga is considered beyond even the tantras, informing them with their radiant sunyata. In the tantra of Thelema this void or primordial creatrix is called Nuit, the Goddess of Infinite Space and Infinite Stars. This is the reality of the present moment, and the identification that cyclic existence and nirvana – or the radiant pristine awareness of consciousness – are indeed identical, that in fact there is and has never been a separation of these “states” but only a veil (compare “the khabs is in the khu”,Liber Legis I:8) to this preeminent Awareness.
All paths, all gurus, all means, all obligations resolve into One at the level of awakening to the presence of primordial state, free from all limitations and conditioning . The “differences” are skillful means, in order to present as many opportunities as possible to different types of personalities and methods of learning. It is from this resting in the primordial state that natural compassion arises.
The means “pass and are done,” but there will always be “that which remains,” that inexhaustible, incorruptible, primordial Awareness (Liber Legis, II:9)