The Supreme Being is the Dakini Queen of the Lake of Awareness!

by Yeshe Tsogyel

English version by Keith Dowman


The Supreme Being is the Dakini Queen of the Lake of Awareness!
I have vanished into fields of lotus-light, the plenum of dynamic space,
To be born in the inner sanctum of an immaculate lotus;
Do not despair, have faith!
When you have withdrawn attachment to this rocky defile,
This barbaric Tibet, full of war and strife,
Abandon unnecessary activity and rely on solitude.
Practice energy control, purify your psychic nerves and seed-essence,
And cultivate mahamudra and Dsokchen.

The Supreme Being is the Dakini Queen of the Lake of Awareness!
Attaining humility, through Guru Pema Jungne's compassion I followed him,
And now I have finally gone into his presence;
Do not despair, but pray!
When you see your karmic body as vulnerable as a bubble,
Realising the truth of impermanence, and that in death you are helpless,
Disabuse yourself of fantasies of eternity,
Make your life a practice of sadhana,
And cultivate the experience that takes you to the place where Ati ends.

-- from The Shambhala Anthology of Women's Spiritual Poetry, Edited by Aliki Barnstone

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

A few words in this poem might need a little explanation. My notes here don't do justice to the depth of the concepts they represent, but they should help to give you an idea of what's being said.

A "dakini" is represented as a female figure that embodies an awakening aspect of consciousness. Like the mercurial mind itself, a dakini can be mischievous, even wrathful, but also an essential aid in the journey of awakening. The notion also suggests the importance of female as well as male energies in the process of enlightenment.

Mahamudra literally means "the great seal." It is the full realization of radiant emptiness or spaciousness. It is a seal in that it is the confirmation of enlightenment and the resolution of the nature of reality.

Dzokchen or Dzogchen can be translated as "the great perfection." It is a practice built on the nondual truth that perfection or the Buddha-nature is already everywhere present -- it just needs to be realized.

Sadhana is an all-encompassing term for spiritual practice. It can refer to meditation, mantra, austerities, etc.

And "Ati" means, literally, "extraordinary;" here it may be used as another reference to the practice of Dzokchen. So "where Ati ends" would be the enlightenment that comes through Dzokchen.

But these concepts aside, there are several powerful images that grab hold of me.

The "Lake of Awareness"... That's an image that keeps drawing me back to it.

And that line, "I have vanished into fields of lotus-light..." That's such a shimmering line evoking the notion of the disappearance of the ego into the light of realization. Mmm.



Recommended Books: Yeshe Tsogyel

The Shambhala Anthology of Women's Spiritual Poetry Women of Wisdom: A Journey of Enlightenment by Women of Vision Through the Ages Sky Dancer: The Secret Life and Songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyel Advice from the Lotus-Born: A Collection of Padmasambhava's Advice to the Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal and Other Close Disciples Lady of the Lotus-Born: The Life and Enlightenment of Yeshe Tsogyal
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The Supreme Being