Aspiration, and the motivation behind it, are one manifestation of Vajrayogini energy. This is so because both are generated from passion; and one level of Vajrayogini, her energy, and her practice is the understanding and right direction of passion. On a mundane level this refers to understanding how one’s passions can birth troublesome situations and conditions. Examples of this include a passion for gambling with the debt and dishonesty that ensues, or one’s passion for independence, thus non-commitment in relationships or to oneself in discipline or diligence, or passions such as attachments to that which is past or no longer serves one’s life and one’s betterment.
In the image of Vajrayogini, the passions and wrong views that create troublesome situations or conditions are portrayed by her garland of skulls. Additionally, she is depicted as dancing on a distraught human being. This is portraying that when we live lower passions and get their results, we end up in situations of despair. Our passions are trampling us, unable to get up from them easily. We are under their weight and control.
Vajrayogini is usually depicted with either one foot in the air and dancing or both feet off the ground in some ecstatic form of flight. She is always portrayed surrounded by the flames of primordial pure Awakeness. She represents the complete enlightened state as well as the delusional passions that one chooses instead.
Vajrayogini (in her Vajravarahi form) is also drinking from a skull cup which represents drinking the poison of wrong views, deluded perceptions, and misdirected passions. This symbolizes emptying one’s mind and sense of self. Doing such in any situation transforms that which is poisoning one’s life into that which brings one’s liberation. As such, then, Vajrayogini represents the power of transformation as well as that which must be transformed. She is Pluto/Venus in a certain regard.
To check in with one’s motive throughout the day, then, is a significant personal practice; one that disallows complacency or autonomic behavior patterns (skull cup again). This practice can, moment to moment, illumine the rationalizations of that which might bring some fleeting pleasure or excitement, yet is poisonous to one’s mind, emotions, or well-being. An alchemy results, and does so incrementally one situation and moment at a time. One’s aspiration refines and purifies; one’s motivation widens. One has begun to see the trap of living heedlessly or hedonistically which cannot possibly bring lasting happiness (Vajrayogini standing on the miserable person).
Vajrayogini is in flight. She is the Queen of the Dakinis, the sky-dancers. This represents having left the field of gravity, which is karma. (Gravity = karma.) Her flight is possible because she has transformed all the root causes of density (meaning the cycle of rebirth, of limitation, and of causes and conditions. These are gravity.) Having strung together a necklace of skull heads, symbolizing that which she has taken on for transformation and her accomplishment thereof, she has taken flight. As such, she is and represents the whirlwind of ceaseless Awareness.
As one practices these daily moments of transformative choice, one creates a garland of skull heads: excuses, empty talk, false-faces, self-deception, and limiting beliefs. Doing so, one powerfully and lastingly transforms long-run karmic patterns and starts to levitate, made lighter by the transformation of one’s mind (and heart). Increasingly, one experiences that the ground is the emptiness of Awareness, the sky-like limitlessness of true potentiality.
Through our day, we can take flight. We can remind ourselves that any given moment is a plexus of gravity, density, and the propensity of a wheel to stay in motion, turning and turning along the same old rut. That moment (any moment) is exactly when to take flight, exactly when to stop and drink from the skull cup of preconceptions and habituated mind-emotion-behavioral patterns. Doing so, we free ourselves from our autonomic tendencies. Doing so, we discover the dance of an awakened life and living awareness.
Downloadable podcast: Generative: Vajrayogini and motivation