I held my gaze steady, concentrating on the mandala's center. A luminous dimension opened up. I felt a deep stillness within me...
Ordained as one of the first Western Buddhist nuns and recognized as a reincarnation of a renowned eleventh-century Tibetan yogini, Lama Tsultrim Allione nonetheless yearned to become a mother, ultimately renouncing her vows so she could marry and have children. When she subsequently lost a child to SIDS, she found courage again in female Buddhist role models, and discovered a way to trans-form her pain into a path forward. Through Lama Tsultrim's story of loss and spiritual seeking, paired with her many years of expertise in mandala meditation, you will learn how to strengthen yourself by following this experiential journey to Tantric Buddhist practice.
The mandala was developed as a tool for spiritual transformation, and as you harness its power, it can serve as a guide to wholeness. With knowledge of the mandala of the five dakinis (female Buddhist deities who embody wisdom), you'll understand how to embrace the distinct energies of your own nature. Through practical, inspiring stories and guided meditations, Wisdom Rising invites you to explore an ancient yet accessible path to help shift your emotional challenges into empowerment and to restore your inner spirit, leading you toward the change you aspire to create in the world.
Lama Tsultrim Allione is the founder and resident teacher of Tara Mandala, a retreat center located outside Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and the bestselling author of Women of Wisdom and Feeding Your Demons. Born in New England, she traveled to Asia in her late teens and at the age of twenty-two became the first American woman to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. Recognized in Tibet as the reincarnation of a renowned eleventh-century Tibetan yogini, she is one of the only female lamas in the world today. She has been awarded the international recognition of "Outstanding Woman in Buddhism" by a panel of distinguished scholars and practitioners in Bangkok, Thailand. In between teaching internationally, she enjoys time with her three children and six grandchildren.
The question that women most frequently ask me is how to integrate their spiritual lives with their everyday lives. The fact that we have to ask that question indicates the extent to which we are alienated from spirituality with a feminine presence, because a reference point in all religious traditions with a prominent feminine presence is an integration of spirit and matter, spirit and the body, which leads to spirituality being inseparable from daily life and to the divine as immanent rather than transcendent.
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines patriarchy as "social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckon-ing of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly: control by men of a disproportionately large share of power." A vast majority of our world is governed by patriarchy, and patriarchal structures govern all major religions. Invariably, patriarchal religions separate spirit or the godhead from the feminine, nature, and matter; in fact, the word matter is derived from the Latin mater, defined as "origin, source, mother."
Both nature and the earth have been associated with the feminine, as in Mother Earth, Mother Nature, and references such as a "virgin" forest, as a place not yet penetrated or disturbed by man. Historically, when the feminine was disempowered or denigrated within patriarchal religions, there has been a parallel disrespect for nature-a failure to see the earth as something sacred that should be respected-and, equally, a view that nature and women are obstacles on the exalted, disembodied spiritual quest for the ascendent divine. Within this context, the natural world was perceived as being con-trolled by demonic powers and women were seen as the gateway of sin and an obstacle to union with the divine.
As the philosopher Elizabeth Dodson Gray says, "[T]o get away from the ordinary, the natural, the unsacred-away from women, fleshly bodies, decaying nature, away from all that is rooted in mortality and dying. `Up, up and away' is the cry of this religious consciousness as it seeks to ascend to the elevated realm of pure spirit and utter transcendence where nothing gets soiled, or rots, or dies."'
Thus, in these religions, we see story lines, beliefs, and rules that control women and their bodies. There are sexual taboos, with the frequent addition of celibacy and chastity for priests or monks, so male clerics avoid physical contact with women and may consider them a dangerous threat to their relationship with the divine. Women are also forbidden equal and empowered roles, especially leadership positions. Women are certainly present in all religions. However, these religions have idealized the masculine and largely disempowered women, who remain under the control of men. Likewise, nature is seen as something to dominate, to use, to abuse as desired, to sub-due and to have dominion over.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAR010 Author: Lama Tsultrim Allione Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 2018 Publisher: Enliven Books ISBN: 9781501115035 Language: English Size: 9.30 X 6.30 inch Pages: 367 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.56 Kg