Feminine Wisdom In Leadership: Dakini Teachings From The Tibetan Tradition. An Evening With Judith Simmer-Brown, ABC Home NYC, September 27th 2018.
Tibetan Buddhism offers a paradigm for leadership inspired by the sacred feminine that flourishes in the face of change and fosters community through dialogue. This presentation draws from the dakini tradition of Tibet as well as cutting edge organizational development literature to suggest fresh approaches to authentic leadership.
Judith Simmer-Brown, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Contemplative & Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she has taught since 1978. As Buddhist practitioner since the early 1970’s and student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, her senior teaching specialties include meditation practice, Buddhist philosophy, tantric Buddhism, and contemplative higher education. Her book, Dakini’s Warm Breath, explores the feminine principle as it reveals itself in meditation practice and everyday life for women and men.
The Naropa + ABC Home partnership, co-presented with Garrison Institute & Tricycle Magazine, offers a New York City audience the rare opportunity to experience the practices and pedagogies that lie at the heart of Naropa University, founded in 1974 by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, CO. Through quarterly presentations, performances and workshops featuring Naropa faculty, they endeavor to integrate a contemplative view into society in order to foster the next generation of enlightened leaders.
Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism by Judith Simmer-Brown, Shambhala, 2001.
The primary emblem of the feminine in Tibetan Buddhism is the dakini, or “sky-dancer,” a semi-wrathful spirit-woman who manifests in visions, dreams, and meditation experiences. Western scholars and interpreters of the dakini, influenced by Jungian psychology and feminist goddess theology, have shaped a contemporary critique of Tibetan Buddhism in which the dakini is seen as a psychological “shadow,” a feminine savior, or an objectified product of patriarchal fantasy. According to Judith Simmer-Brown -who writes from the point of view of an experienced practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, such interpretations are inadequate.
In the spiritual journey of the meditator, Simmer-Brown demonstrates, the dakini symbolizes levels of personal realization: the sacredness of the body, both female and male; the profound meeting point of body and mind in meditation; the visionary realm of ritual practice; and the empty, spacious qualities of mind itself. When the meditator encounters the dakini, living spiritual experience is activated in a nonconceptual manner by her direct gaze, her radiant body, and her compassionate revelation of reality. Grounded in the author’s personal encounter with the dakini, this unique study will appeal to both male and female spiritual seekers interested in goddess worship, women’s spirituality, and the tantric tradition.