“The dakinis offer a feminine model that is fierce, wise, spiritual and embodied. They give us the energy of the undomesticated feminine; they are not meek or submissive. They are luminous, subtle spiritual energy, the gatekeepers and guardians of the unconditioned wisdom and sacred earth.” - Lama Tsultrim Allione
Many years ago on my journey I came across a book by Lama Tsultrim Allione called Women of Wisdom. At the time, I was in my early 20s and I remember skimming through the book without actually reading through it in its entirety. It simply remained in my book shelf, and what it did introduce me to for the first time was the principle of the Dakini. A few years later I was drawn to another booked called Dakini Power in my mid 20s—which I did read fully.
A couple weeks ago I felt a strong guidance and calling to read the book Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine. Reading this book now at this juncture on my path, truly crystallized the energy, form and embodiment that I carry within my own being—and find working through me very often in my work with people. After reading this book, I felt the inspiration to write an article on this topic of the empowered feminine, and my wish is that this piece of writing may serve as a catalyst for women around the world to reconnect to the true power of fierce feminine energy and expression. May this article give you the permission to be fierce, true, and resolutely clear.
“The dakini is a messenger of emptiness and also appears in dreams to guide the meditator, and she might appear in real life as a woman with certain wisdom qualities. The dakini is a force of truth….wherever we cling, she cuts; whatever we think we can hide, she reveals.”
This quality of being “a force of truth” is something that I feel strongly moving within me, and is an aspect of my essential nature. Being a force of truth is not passive and complacent, its an active and strong expression. Often we are taught to believe that ‘force’ is negative and is ‘not good’—and consequently, many women do not allow themselves the permission to use force or to be a force. “If in someway we are stuck, the dakini will appear and open the way, push us through; sometimes the energy needs to be forceful, and that’s when the wrathful manifestation of a dakini appears.”
When I learned that dakini’s use the energy of force to serve a greater good and outcome, it allowed a silent inner knowing within myself to relax and open even more into this embodiment and expression. The permission to know that force is sometimes needed, and is healthy when serving a greater good and outcome that requires this dynamic active energy. So many times we are taught as young girls to be meek, complacent, subservient, and that femininity is equated with being gentle, patient, loving and accepting. Yet, that is only one side of the coin when connecting to the totality of our being. The yin and yang nature of feminine wholeness.
For centuries women have been programmed, conditioned and taught to be an artificial construct of what it means to be a woman—which is devoid of true power—which was not welcomed by those in positions of authority for thousands of years. Women have been encouraged to be meek, docile, passive and submissive—and not encouraged to be strong, powerful, and in tune with a women’s true creational active energy; the liberated undomesticated feminine energy.
“The idea of an enlightened, sacred feminine energy that was also naked, dancing, and fierce was something I had never experienced, and it touched me deeply. Dakinis embody and activate the powerful and transformative energy of the feminine. When you think about it, we really don’t have that kind of image of spiritual enlightenment in our world. We have a figure like the Holy Virgin Mother, who is peaceful and nonthreatening, but we don’t have many reflections of female divinity that are active, dancing, fierce, free and wild. So by activating the dakini power within us, we will have an inner resource that should never be underestimated. 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 become repressed, and we are bringing that energy forward and exploring that energy’s potential for enlightenment.”
On my own path, I have had a fierce longing in my heart to connect to spiritual embodiments of enlightened feminine energy, expression and consciousness.
Within the mainstream field of spirituality, it’s very rare that I meet and encounter this vein of true, deep, rich and pure enlightened feminine embodiment, consciousness and expression.
Especially within the Divine Feminine movement, there is still many plastic, contrived and fake dazzling allurements of feminine embodiment, yet many I find that lack true substance, depth, wisdom and richness. Many women think that by calling themselves a Goddess and wearing sexy alluring clothes that this means they are a “Goddess” or “Priestess”—yet what I miss the most is meeting true empowered feminine wisdom embodiment’s that shines the light of primordial consciousness through their being. This has nothing to do with one’s physicality, and is rather a dimension of our being that is often sleeping. In a market that is saturated with glossy ideals and images of empowered femininity, I long for true substance of spirit—the potency and liberating quality and edge of enlightened feminine consciousness.
When I came across the world of the dakini’s, I was awakened to the illumination of an empowered feminine embodiment that is active and fierce, and not just passive, surrendering, gentle and soft.
This quality of an active energy and expression has always been natural to me, and for a long time on my journey I had labelled it as a strong “inner masculine” integration that I had of being able to be driven, single pointed, resolute, and penetrating with how I direct my energy.
After working with hundreds of women around the world, and being a teacher and mentor for women to embody and awaken their full feminine power—I have come up against the greatest repressors of feminine power that exist within the human psyche that keep women playing small. I have seen the mechanisms within the collective feminine psyche that hold women back from being fully unleashed and embodying a pure undomesticated feminine power. There are many deeply ingrained conditionings that are embedded within women’s psyches from such a young age—and especially this “nice girl” conditioning that is a plastic box that severely limits a women’s true potential, power and expression.
One of the biggest inhibitors of women awakening to their power and simply realizing it, is all the mental beliefs and ideas we have been taught about what it means to be a woman that accumulates in our heads. As opposed to fully being connected to this powerful unleashed energy that lives within us all, we block this power by being caged in our mental ideas and thoughts around what is “nice”, “good”, and “acceptable”. This is how we severely dilute the fullness that we are.
“Fierce compassion is not limited to women; in fact, the Dalai Lama is a good example of it. I was once at a lunch with the Dalai Lama and five other western Buddhist teachers at Spirit Rock Meditation Centre in Marin Country, California. We were discussing sexual misconduct among western Buddhist teachers. A woman Buddhist from California brought up someone who was using his students for his own sexual needs.
One woman said, “we are working with him with compassion, trying to get him to understand his motives for exploiting female students and to help him change his actions.” The Dalai Lama slammed his fist on the table, saying loudly, “Compassion is fine, but it has to stop! And those doing it should be exposed!”
All the serving plates on the table jumped, the water glasses tipped, and I almost choked on the rice in my mouth. Suddenly I saw him as a fierce manifestation of compassion and realized that this clarity did not mean that the Dalai Lama had moved away from compassion. Rather, he was bringing compassion and manifesting it as decisive fierceness. His magnetism was glowing like a fire. I will always remember that day, because it was such a good teaching on compassion and precision. Compassion is not a wishy-washy ‘anything goes’ approach. Compassion can say a fierce no! Compassion is not being stupid and indulging someone and what they want.”
This example of the Dalai Lama really struck a cord in me. I often see in spirituality this hazy, wish-washy, complacent energy that is masked as “acceptance and compassion” but is truly missing the back bone of strength, precision, clarity and decisive knowing that cuts through the fog into the heart of what truly matters. What I see in many women is that women have a fear of being fully in their clarity, because embodying clarity is an expression of power. It’s much more safer to play small and be stuck in confusion where “I don’t know” is the predominant expression, than to be bold and fierce, and speak with conviction.
The dakini is existing within us all, and by embodying this fierce energy we allow ourselves to merge with an awakened feminine consciousness. Its an aspect of awakened feminine consciousness that we can connect to, merge with and embody.
“In the Tibetan tradition, fierceness or wrathfulness represents a powerful energy. Wrath is the fastest-moving energy we manifest as human beings, and the fierce or wrathful deities you see in Tibetan art represent the energy that burns away limitations and ignorance. Fierce energy can be thought of as the way a mother animal defends her young, a laser beam of pure energy that hone harnessed and directed is powerful and unstoppable. It is fierceness without aggression, anger, or hatred. Sometimes a wrathful manifestation is more effective than a peaceful approach.”
I have found in the work I do with women around the world, that most often when working 1 on 1 with clients in my mentorship programs that fierce energy and expression is often more effective than a peaceful and gentle approach. Fierce energy cuts through the delusions, entanglements, emotional blockages and mental beliefs like a sword of light. It penetrates and liberates. Especially when I see fear holding back a woman from fully being free, this fierce energy is what cuts through the fear and bondage, and allows her own energy to expand and no longer be constrained by what was holding her back in the past and blocking her from her full freedom.
I once was working on a friend of mine outside a lake in Berlin, Germany. He was laying on the ground as I worked on his energetic structure and was transmitting a lot of light into his subtle system. I then was guided to speak to him fiercely with an energy that was meant to shake him and wake him up from the slumber of fear that has been dominating and controlling his life for a very long time. When I first started to speak with this fierce energy that was like a blazing fire burning through my words, not nice nor calm, I questioned whether it was ok for me to speak to him in this manner. My human structure kicked in, and was subtlety feeling a hesitation to channel this power and energy that was coming through very strongly vocally. Then I changed back to speaking calmly and peacefully, and he opened his eyes suddenly and looked at me and said, “Nicole, don’t hold back. I need to hear these words with this intensity. Yell at me, this is the energy that frees me and liberates something in me the most.”
It was only when I spoke with this fierce resolute energy that it could penetrate his structures and unchain the deepest bondgage in his psyche and consciousness. He appreciated me speaking with him in ferocity, and encouraged me to even yell at him to break and dissolve the demons within. I will never forget this day by the lake, and how I saw very clearly that this energy I am, and can transmit, served his soul’s liberation even more strongly than me being soft and gentle. It showed me the fierce grace of feminine power, and the wrathful manifestation of awakened feminine consciousness that penetrates through the folly and delusions of our human mind.
“We must find the sources to access this fierce dakini power and bring it to bear on what matters to us in our lives, be it emotional, spiritual, intellectual, or political. Meeting our strong feminine energy, we will develop as women, and not as women trying to be like men or asexual beings. We are different, and until that difference is known, owned, and maximized, our true feminine potency and capacity to bring this world into balance will not be realized. The powerful, fierce feminine is very much a part of the psyche, but it is repressed; and when it is not acknowledged because it is threatening, it can become subversive and vengeful. But when it is acknowledged and honoured, it’s an incredible source of power. “
“A dakini is an embodiment of the sacred feminine, a dakini is an enlightened female wisdom being who could appear as a human being or a meditational deity, an embodiment of wisdom, or as a protector of the lineage. In Tibetan the word for Dakini is Khandro, literally meaning “sky dancer,” “she who moves through space”. The wisdom dakinis are fully buddha’s in Tibetan Buddhism. Khandro Rinpoche defines the authentic dakini principle as “a very sharp, brilliant wisdom mind that is uncompromising, honest, with a little bit of wrath".”
I hope that this article on Fierce Reflections of Feminine Divinity—Dakini Embodiments of Enlightened Feminine Consciousness may serve your path, and be a reminder and awakener to a powerful force of light and consciousness that is available to us all—both women and men. It’s not the typical masculine enlightenment expression and embodiment of being even toned, neutral, silent, tranquil and peaceful like a Buddha—it’s the holy fire of enlightened feminine consciousness that is burning, dynamic, cutting, piercing and powerful in its expression to catalyze change and transformation within. It’s potency and movement. It’s the active manifest form of Shakti, and it’s a powerful reminder of a fierce feminine grace that we can merge with when we empty ourselves of the small self, and open our beings to being living embodiments of enlightened feminine consciousness—in service to love, liberation, and the unleashing of our extraordinary potential within us all.
If you resonated with this article and wish to read further writings of mine, I just recently published and released my first book entitled “Soul on Fire: Divine Reminders on the Path of Awakening”. It’s a Soul Luxe Gift Book, that is textbook size containing 412 pages. Click here to learn more about it. And please be free to share this article with any sisters and women in your life that you feel could benefit from receiving the wisdom within this article.
Questions of Inquiry and Contemplation:
What does the essence of the Dakini speak to in you?
How can you cultivate a deeper relationship with the fierce feminine?
What mental belief or concept holds you back from unleashing the full force and potency of the undomesticated feminine within yourself?
What inhibits you from being fully free in your embodiment, expression and totality?
Where in your own life does acceptance and compassion need to be integrated with decisive fierceness — precision of the heart as the Dalai Lama embodied?
Is there a situation in your life that is calling for the fierce manifestation of compassion?
How can you honor the uncompromising, honest and fierce expression existing within your being, and allow her the privilege of coming out into expression?
Do you hold the mental belief or judgement within yourself that being peaceful and gentle is always more loving, and that being fierce and penetrating is not as “loving” or “kind”?
Do you feel a yearning within yourself to deepen in enlightened feminine consciousness and embody the totality of your being? Are you ready to throw off the straitjacket of “conditioned femininity” and break open the chalice of wisdom and Divine consciousness within?