Do not cringe and make yourself small if you are called the black sheep, the maverick, the lone wolf. Those with slow seeing say a nonconformist is a blight on society. But it has been proven over the centuries, that being different means standing at the edge, means one is particularly guaranteed to make an original contribution, a useful and stunning contribution to her culture.– Dr. Clariss Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
Image: Dakini Power
Tibetan Buddhism offers a unique premise: that to be a woman can actually be favorable on the path to spiritual realization. Padmasambhava, the eighth-century pioneer of Buddhism in Tibet, reasoned that women are better equipped to realize the wisdom of the teachings. Modern teachers have echoed this sentiment. As the Western nun Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo comments, “Many lamas have said that women make superior practitioners because they are able to dive into meditation much more easily than males. This is because many males are afraid of dropping the intellect, especially monks who have been studying for a long time. To suddenly just let that go and be naked in the meditation experience is frightening for them, whereas women seem to be able to manage it naturally.”[i]
A female embodiment of enlightenment is called a dakini in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. But what exactly is a dakini? Dakinis are elusive and playful by nature; trying to nail them down with a neat definition means missing them, since defying narrow intellectual concepts is at the core of their wise game.
Her Holiness Tara Sonan Wangmo