Walking Through the Narrowing Gate of Our Future – Dakini the Skywalker

Dakini the Skywalker c2022 Alice Walker

Dakini the Skywalker * thangka by Myumi Oda, photo by Alice Walker 2022

 

WALKING THROUGH THE NARROWING GATE
OF OUR FUTURE

© 2022 by Alice Walker (January 1st)

 
As we walk
Through the narrowing gate
Of our future
Who will guide and be
With us?
Only those who have known
Suffering:
Those whose suffering
Taught them
To care.
And so, here is a list
Of worthy
Companions:
The Real Anthony Fauci
By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Whose father
Taken from life
before our stricken eyes
Wept
For the children
Of the poor.
The Three Mothers:
Of Baldwin, Martin, & Malcolm,
Who taught their sons
Never to abandon us;
Perceptions of a Renegade
Mind
The story of what a free mind,
So unusual,
Thinks like,
Inflamed, by children of
Immigrants
who searched out
the root causes of
our everlasting
illnesses
And were not blinded
By the “1st world’s” bling.
Passing, the straight lick
with the crooked stick that teaches
blackness is and is not
a color;
And, surprisingly,
Black Fortunes: The story
Of the first six African Americans
Who escaped slavery
And became millionaires.
A demonstration
Of
History That Can Heal
By teaching us
We can pull ourselves out
Of almost anything.

***

Are we not enslaved this moment by our fear?
Are we not smelling the “one magnolia” that sends
our hearts
running
through the swamps?
 
***
 

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Dakini Teachings talk about the need to reflect on our own mind, which is the mysterious home of the Dakinis.

Tibetan Buddhists teach a very simple practice to go deep within our own mind. It is to reflect on all the beings we have been in prior lifetimes: once we were snakes, once we were fish, once we were the monk of a temple, once we were a prostitute. These past lives are all reflected as who we are in this moment. It’s basically the same as how Zen Buddhism teaches coexistence. By understanding the deep interconnectedness, you become a “sky walker”in this universe; in both heaven and earth, you have the freedom to walk through, unimpeded.

The Dakini were originally lower class women who worked on funeral rites, chopping up bodies with cleavers before putting them up on the sky burial platform. So, in this painting the Dakini is holding a cleaver.

This Dakini helps you visualize your body; the symbol of selfhood, being chopped by a cleaver and put into a cauldron made of a skull. The body burns with a cleansing fire and becomes the Amrita, or nectar, offered as a practice of complete surrender to Dharma. ***

From: SARASVATI’S GIFT: The Autobiography of Mayumi Oda: Artist, Activist, and Modern Buddhist Revolutionary