In October 2019 in a letter to friends I briefly mentioned that I’d found myself in a ‘forest of vaginas.’ At first I put the vision aside, but the image stayed with me and I recalled that Milarepa had also had a similar experience.* On reflection the meaning of the image started to reveal itself.
In a forest you are completely surrounded by trees; I was completely surrounded by the essence of femininity; the rigidity of my mind softened; my dry emotional state became moist and rich; I felt the intimate presence of the source of new life and over the next few days the bleakness I’d been experiencing previously relaxed into a happy state of contentment, which continued for some time.
At this time I’d also been reflecting that for the previous 40 years, or more, Padmasambhava and the Milarepa had been my spiritual ideals, my ‘yidams’. They were both human beings who had become Awakened – what if I chose an ‘archetypal’ Buddha as my ‘yidam’, an Awakened Being reaching down to the human realm. What would be the effect of this? So, I decided to reflect for a while on Manjugosha to see what happened.
After a week or so I was shocked to find myself spontaneously sitting, in meditation, in Vajrayogini’s vulva; her inner labia was wrapped around my waist and lap like a blanket and the outer like another blanket over my shoulders and knees. It was warm and humid and there was an atmosphere of earth and blood, and a general feeling of fecundity. I felt deeply fulfilled and contented, with little waves of priti passing through my body. It wasn’t an explicitly sexual experience.
I sat just above her vagina, but at one point I sort of fell forwards into her body– as you might if you were to bow from a sitting position at the end of a meditation. Her vagina became a large tunnel, a cave, and then a chamber filled with brilliant adornments; it was ecstatically beautiful. I was then transported to a dream that I had had many years previously. In this dream I was driving on a mountain road, I drove through a tunnel onto another road that clung to the vertical side of a rugged cliff; this road led into a second tunnel that went downwards quite steeply and gradually transformed into a large cave passage with a rough floor; I was then on foot and the cave started to close in a little and become filled with brilliant glistening stalactites, stalagmites, straws and bosses; soon the path was very narrow and I had to squeeze between these beautiful formations; as I did so they started to come alive and reached out to touch me and gradually absorb me; I gave myself to them ecstatically.
I took this vision as an indication that I should become a devotee of Vajrayogini.
Over the course of the next year or so I made a number of discoveries that convinced me that to accept her invitation was exactly what I needed.
I discovered that Vajrayogini’s seed syllable Vam is contained in an image of an inverted triangle, which represents the ‘origin of existents’, the dharmodaya, the dharmakaya, tathata, and so on, and is also associated with a woman’s sex. This reflected back to the dream I had in the early 1970’s in which I was told that the inverted triangle of a woman’s pubic hair was the symbol of the ultimate mystery. I also discovered** that texts associated with the Guhyasamaja and Hevajra tantras feature Vajrayogini*** and begin ‘Thus have I heard, at one time the Lord sported in the vaginas of the vajra maidens.’
* See the end of Chapter 2 in the Hundred Thousand Songs. Milarepa found himself in a wild valley in which many of the rocks took on the form of female sexual organs.
** See Vajrayogini by Elizabeth English and The Esoteric Community Tantra (Guhyasamaja Tantra) translated by Campbell and Thurman.
***And incidentally, Manjuvajra.
Uttaraloka, Spain 2019