Reflections on the Journey

Dakini statueMy life is a journey that leads me down unique and uncommon paths. None has been dead ends…though some took me to closed doors that required inner transformation before they would open. I am a student of paradox. I revel in the duality of nature all the while it vexes and drives me toward madness. As the decades shift me past the midpoint of my personal timeline, experiences around death and dying increase. This seems natural and I am drawn to seeking the support of those who have traveled this path before me.

I recently discovered the poetry of Jennifer Paine Welwood. She self-published a book of her poetry called Poems for the Path. Reading her words impacts me. With fresh eyes, I am seeing the connection. Death of the body is a metaphor for the true death of the ego. I have spent hundreds of hours lying in Savasana , practicing death, in the way of a yogi. In Savasana I surrender again and again to the feeling of death, posing the question, ”what would it feel like if I could lose the sense of my personal self?” What would it feel like to “die before I die?”

A Dakini may refer to the enlightened female principle of non-duality which transcends gender. It may also be translated as a female yogi, an enlightened teacher, who teaches the secrets of the Tibetan Tantric wisdom schools. My gratitude to Jennifer for the following poem, The Dakini Speaks.
My friends, let’s grow up.
Let’s stop pretending we don’t know the deal here.
Or if we truly haven’t noticed, let’s wake up and notice.
Look: Everything that can be lost, will be lost.
It’s simple—how could we have missed it for so long?
Let’s grieve our losses fully, like ripe human beings,
But please, let’s not be so shocked by them.
Let’s not act so betrayed,
As though life had broken her secret promise to us.
Impermanence is life’s only promise to us,
And she keeps it with ruthless impeccability.
To a child she seems cruel, but she is only wild,
And her compassion exquisitely precise:
Brilliantly penetrating, luminous with truth,
She strips away the unreal to show us the real.
This is the true ride—let’s give ourselves to it!
Let’s stop making deals for safe passage:
There isn’t one anyway, and the cost is too high.
We are not children anymore.
The true human adult gives everything for what cannot be lost.
Let’s dance the wild dance of no hope!

As I let myself fall into Jennifer’s world, I feel an inner shift. The gripping loosens. I feel an expansion in my cells as they open to the limitlessness of death. The need to fully surrender grows strong. I feel passionate joyfulness in my gratitude for this life I’ve been given. I laugh long and loud as I dance the wild dance of no hope!

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