Muses, Dakinis and Doorknobs
I believe the spirit of enlightenment, the yearning to awaken this great aspiration, is like calling the muse. Great artists and great creative people might cultivate a mind capable of drawing the creative spirit close to them. I understand it used to be personified as the Athenial spirit of creativity.
I didn’t know about muses before, but it certainly sounds like the dakinis doesn’t it?
What we Tibetans would call the dakini might be called the muse in other cultures. An artist or poet might sit with their pen raised in the air while praying or entice the muse to arrive in order for them to be able to put their pen to paper and cause their work to become extraordinary.
The powerful creative energy of the muse is the same as the creative energy of the higher tantric practices. The references in sadhanas to “May the Dakas and Dakinis...” is not ordinary because they are sacred energies connected to transcendent evolutionary development. However, we can make some connection between them. Imagine if the western tradition had this calling to the muse in a spiritual development way.
We must be very careful when we call the muses so that we don’t get the mucus instead. It sounds very similar doesn’t it, but when the mucus comes…., Well, you just might not know what you’re going to get.
Even advanced practitioners, when they are calling the dakinis, must know what they are doing or they are going to call the doorknobs instead of dakinis. Some pretty sad stories have ensued when people thought the dakinis were with them, when in fact they were just doorknobs. Are you with me?
In practice at more inner levels we learn to be careful in discerning which doors to open and which doors to close simultaneously. In general, however, the lower energies need to be reduced and what remains needs to be balanced and stable to act as energetic support for higher practices.
There is a correct balance in the various body/mind energy centers. Normal energies remain in stable balance in the whole body/mind until deep meditation when they are called inside. Without that balance there could be, for example, a lot of investment of energy in the root chakra, so it becomes like a crowded barroom. Like walking into a steamy bar it gets loud or aggressive. It gets crowded with discordant energies that become confusing. If you are very invested there with awareness activating energy in the root center and you are calling forth the muse, it will quickly become calling forth the mucus.
So Buddhism teachings request that you not give a lot of thought about calling the dakas and dakinis for a very very long time to your inner process, because you just don’t know who might answer.