“Vajravarahi, sister to Kali”
Another day, another warrior goddess, we are everywhere. I am again at Goldenstein Gallery a vortex of incredible magic. In walks Estela, a beautiful woman from Argentina. Estela has come to enjoy some art or possibly she has she come so that our lives could touch. Both inevitable, we connect over my art, over her love of the butterfly and her respect for the Buddha. We share stories. She is the founder of the Windrise Retreat Center outside of Grosse Point, Michigan. She is an artist and a woman of wisdom. The mother of five, she is here with her husband, she is clearly loved. A woman in her strength, she shares with me some of her convictions as the matriarch of her family. I am inspired by her presence. After admiring some of my favorite pieces, she adds one to her collection. Thank you Estela.
We talk of spiritual matters, delicious, art and spirituality, another day alive in my passions. We talked of names. She had been gifted with the spiritual name Kali, a wrathful goddess, an Enlightened display. How to understand the blessing in this name of feminine spiritual power? Spiritual names, although they may be taken lightly, are not given lightly. There is power in a name. On the spiritual journey, one seeks to live into one’s name. The name holds an energy that one aspires to embody. I wear mine as the badge of a warrior, ever reminded to live into it’s gifts. I like the story of my name. I will tell it one day.
Kali, the red dakini dances a fierce dance. Surrounded by flames, her fiery presence is most often misunderstood. She is part of a sisterhood of fiery red goddesses found in both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The image shown here is Vajravarahi, sister to Kali. “Vajravarahi: Dance of the Red Dakini” is the last painting I painted as a Buddhist nun. Like Kali, she is a pure display of compassion, a fierce and passionate presence. Make no mistake, these dancing red goddesses are compassionate regard in action in its purest form. With the wisdom of the awakened, she appears in ecstatic dance. Boundless energy generated for the sake of all beings. Fangs bared, drigu (curved knife) held high, she will nash, she will slash whatever binds you to your suffering. She will burn it, cut it, rip it, tear it, like a mother protecting her children she dances tirelessly for the sake of us all. She is a dakini, an embodiment of one of the many facets of Compassionate Wisdom energy alive in the world.
Instructed in my first formal consultation with my Guru that I should study the nature of the dakini, over the last 20 years I have not wavered in that pursuit yet my understanding continues to seek depth. The dakini, the skydancer, female wisdom display of the Buddha’s activity in the world, peaceful or wrathful, she is also known as khandro. I study and observe as I seek to live into a deeper understanding of dakini, of life, my name, my role as warrior.
This original painting is available. I am sure bound for the home of a very particular collector. She is a big energy to have alive in your space. She will need room to breath and the respect of someone who understands at least on the outer level what blessings she brings. Understanding on the inner and secret levels is possible with great practice but not available to all. I make claim to only the very rudiments of understanding with regards to this profound display. Open, I allow the layers of meaning to continue to reveal themselves.
Thank you Estela for the gift of your story, for the gift you are to the world. Thank you for your courage and your strength. Namaste my new friend, Namaste.
“Vajravarahi, sister to Kali”
36″ x 60″ Acrylic on Board
Uptown Sedona, AZ