Dear Friends and Members,
I am overjoyed to write to you in these days before our first retreat at Dakini Mountain.
If you have not heard it yet, due to incredible support, we were able to close escrow on Dakini Mountain. Therefore it begins. A new era is dawning.
Dakini Mountain will be our Buddhist retreat center devoted to gender equality and celebrating diversity. I will lead a gathering from June 7th-9th for a Dzogchen meditation retreat and our first time practicing together on the land. I invite you to join me for this special weekend of meditation, mantras, prayers, music, and blessing the land as we celebrate our accomplishment.
This is also the twentieth anniversary of our school. I have been teaching since I was a teenager so these anniversaries carry for me a sense of my own journey as a teacher. I am coming to this land after a long journey since my first dream of founding Dakini Mountain. I am also coming to this land as an indigenous person reclaiming land that long ago was used as an annual gathering place of many tribes. This is why for both personal reasons and with a feeling of calling on support from the ancestors, calling on the Dakinis of the elements and calling on the wisdom from our lineage, I will teach Invoking the 100,000 Dakinis. I feel overjoyed to share this with you and also it feels deeply personal to do so. This is a Vajrayogini prayer from the Khandro Nyingthig, the Dakinis Heart Essence that has continued to be chanted since the fourteenth century. It appears in part of the Precious Garland Chod cycle but originated in the early Dzogchen texts of our lineage. I have usually chanted this as a prayer in grave moments to awaken resilience and courage. But I have never taught it before because I was waiting for Dakini Mountain. This weekend, I will finally teach it and we will chant it in the meadow. I will lead Dzogchen meditation in the rolling hills and forest, and we will have the great luxury and blessing of being together at Dakini Mountain.
Recently I have been reflecting on the power of group meditation practice – listening to others, chanting together with others, sharing with others, sitting silently together, praying for peace together. It can be deeply healing to do group retreat. It is well known that our meditation practice is often deeper in group retreats, but something less well known is the effect of group meditation on healing ourselves from traumas…..
This retreat will set in motion a year of moving in, building, grooming the land, fundraising and accumulating many millions of mantras as we prepare for our grand opening ceremony which will be May 27- May 31st, 2020. At that time we will install the Vajrayogini which will be the presiding deity of the land.
Our weekend on June 7th-9th is an opportunity for us to celebrate our accomplishment in a gathering of members, friends and supporters, for us to pray together and share our aspirations for this beautiful land and for a new era.
Like a flag, suddenly hoisted into the sky, Dakini Mountain will be a declaration of the dignity and beauty of all beings.
Buddhist philosophy has tremendous potential to support gender equality through our teaching of persons without fixed essences and all persons endowed with buddha-nature. Female, male, non-binary, Cis-gender, LGBTQI, trans-gender, beyond gender, religious, non-religious, Buddhist, non-Buddhist, all colors, all races, at Dakini Mountain we celebrate unity through diversity.
Diversity is beautiful.
Diversity is the norm.
The rawness of a wild forest, an open sky, rivers and trees… in the quiet of an open landscape, nature will remind us of our innate wisdom – which is none other than the Dakini principle.