all material copyrighted, Jacqueline Kramer, 2007-2008
I have been thinking about the call of many visionaries, including the Dali Lama, for women to take a leadership role in healing this Earth. In order for
this to happen women first need to become empowered. I thought I was going to Thailand to receive an award for my work teaching Buddhism to mothers
but it turns out I was enrolled in a tutorial on feminine empowerment.
At the awards ceremony I had the opportunity to be surrounded by empowered women from all over the world. Women like the Venerable Bhiksuni Dr.
Myung Korean from Korea, who is in charge of the Bhiksuni order in Korea and head of a university that molds and shapes young Buddhist women. She
was like a mountain. Her power was solid, quiet and rock hard. I can’t imagine her doing anything she didn’t choose to do or blaming anyone for her
challenges. Then there was the Taiwanese Master Bhiksuni Sik Wei Chun. She was like water. Her power was fluid, soft, flowing. She looked like Kuan Yin.
She was in charge of many Bhiksuni in a country that honors the feminine face of Buddhism. Taiwan has more female clergy than male clergy, yet, in Asian
fashion, the men still hold the power. She advocated for working with the men in power, bringing them along in a gentle, kind way. Although her way was
quieter and more traditional than the way of the Korean Bhiksuni she was just as powerful and equally as effective. There’s no doubt about it, she gets the
job done. Then there was the take no prisoner’s fiery style of the meditation teacher from Germany. She hailed from a Tibetan lineage where power and
results are respected. She advocated for just doing it, not asking permission, just taking the power. She said the men would respect us and get on board
once we showed results.
Returning to the United States my tutorial in feminine power continued. I went to see Tsultrim Allione, the meditation teacher who brought the Chod
practice of Machig Lapdron to the West. Machig Lapdron was a Tibetan woman teacher who gained the respect of those around her by her profound
spiritual accomplishments. Tsultrim Allione’s power is like the wind. Her presence is a light breeze but when she guides a meditation the invisible power of
the wind moves through your consciousness changing and rearranging everything. Wind is invisible and quiet, you know it is there by the rustling of the
trees as it moves through.
When I shared these thoughts regarding different styles of feminine power with one of my meditation teachers he asked me, “What does your power
look like?” The question took me by surprise. Like most women I had been trained to be unempowered. Through many years of meditation and spiritual
practice I have learned to take responsibility for my life. Taking full responsibility for my choices has empowered me to make different choices when need be
which is much more powerful than waiting for people or circumstances to change. I was ready to meet my unique expression of power. My power was not like
earth, air, fire or water. What was left? Out of my unconscious came an answer. “My power is like a cat. I wait, listen with my whole body and then when the
time is right I pounce.” The more I thought about this answer the more true it felt.
We are at a time in human history when it is imperative that women awake into their full feminine power. For centuries feminine power has been
squelched, stepped upon, ridiculed and forced into hiding. We succumbed, partly for safety and partly for comfort, to rules made by spiritually immature men
and women. Our power went underground. We learned to express ourselves passive aggressively, seductively and manipulatively. We learned to blame
rather than take responsibility and expect others to read our minds rather than speak up. An unempowered woman is full of anger. That poison has entered
the bloodstream of cultures throughout the world as the unempowered mother nurses the future generation on that deadly milk.
I can understand why many women would rather avoid becoming empowered. Moving from disempowerment to empowerment can be quite
uncomfortable, even painful. When laying blame for our unhappiness on circumstances and people; our husband, our parents, society, the government, we
hide behind a veil of niceness. We get to feel that we are nice and bad things just seem to happen to us. We learn to be nice at the expense of being kind,
creating a pleasant veneer. When we become empowered that veneer is ripped away and we face ours fears and addictions without excuses. When we strip
ourselves of blaming even ourselves for our circumstances we walk naked back into the garden of Eden. Bare naked, we unwrap the gifts of our own unique
form of feminine power.
What does your power look like? This is a question well worth sitting in, walking around in, sleeping and dreaming in. The best thing we can do for our
world and family is to become intimate with our own power. It is from here that the changes necessary to rebalance the feminine and masculine can unfold.
From a place of empowerment women all over the world can develop the ability to protect their families and this planet. Mothers are fierce protectors of
children and family. All children are our children and all sentient beings are our family. We need to apply our empowered maternal fierceness to the
protection of the Earth and all its precious beings. I invite you to explore your unique expression of power this mother’s day month, heal what needs to be
healed, take full responsibility for your life as it is now, find your power and take your place alongside the pantheon of the goddesses.
|May 2008 - Feminine Empowerment by Jacqueline Kramer
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