Wisdom Rising: A Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine explores the principle of fierce compassion, the awakened feminine, and shows readers how they can use this principle for positive change in their own lives 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,” Allione writes. 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, Allione 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.
“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,” Allione 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.
Allione places her teachings in the context of recent feminist resistance including the women’s marches, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. She hopes that Wisdom Rising can 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.”