Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine
“Wisdom Rising is my journey, discovering the Tibetan Tradition, finding the dakinis, finding the mandala and it is also your journey. The book takes you into your own wisdom. It gives you a method to access your own inner wisdom so that you have the strength and the empowerment to create the change you want to see in your own life and in the world”
Interspersed with moving biographical stories, Lama Tsultrim examines the five wisdom dakinis, female deities in Tibetan Buddhism, who embody profound wisdom and the empowered feminine. “They are luminous, subtle spiritual energy, the gatekeepers and the guardians of the unconditioned wisdom and sacred earth.” In Tibetan art, they are depicted as naked, except for ornaments, dancing, wild and powerful.
Each of the five dakinis is associated with a difficult emotion such as depression, anger, arrogance, craving, or envy as well as a corresponding wisdom energy such as equanimity and discernment. The dakinis and these energies are the elements of a mandala, a Buddhist psychogram, a map of our inner world. In Wisdom Rising, Lama Tsultrim teaches the Mandala of the Five Dakinis, a practice that brings together sound, visualization and meditation to help us transform challenging emotions into their wisdom counterparts.
“The mandala is a template or blueprint of wholeness. It has a center and four directions. Associated with each direction is a color, an element, an obstructed pattern and a wisdom. It is a way to understand yourself and also your world.”
“What we’re really doing is taking a part of the psyche that’s been relegated to the unconscious, the fierce, powerful feminine who has been repressed, and we are bringing that energy forward and exploring that energy’s potential for enlightenment,” she writes. “By activating the dakini power within us, we will have an inner resource that should never be underestimated.”
Although the practices featured in Wisdom Rising are based in Tibetan Buddhism, they are accessible to readers of any faith or gender identity. For those interested in mindfulness, this work offers a path to a deeper and more embodied spiritual practice. For those long immersed in Buddhism, it provides rich, new insights into familiar concepts.
Lama Tsultrim places her teachings in the context of recent feminist resistance including the women’s marches, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. She hopes that Wisdom Risingcan help readers “respond with greater wisdom and effectiveness to the distress, challenges, and chaos of our global reality. The journey into the mandala gives birth to a renewed expression of the feminine that draws on ancient wisdom, but is tailored for this time and place.”
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