Our Lady of the Void: Bardo 3, Yin Zen

Accompanying the Five-Dhyani Buddhas, actually complimenting them as Spiritual Cohorts are various Bodhisattvas. Maitrya is the MahaBodhisattva who compliments Akshobhya and both Avalokitesvara and Mañjuśrī compliment Amitābha. Avalokitesvara is androgynous in that both masculine and feminine energies are manifested. In the later Bardo-stages the feminine, or Yin Energies, manifest at regular intervals as female bodhisattvas and dākinīs. This feminine-yin principle is like a black thread of dark-spiritual energy that runs parallel and provides the striking fertile element that completes all the manifestations of the Tathāgatas. This can be singularly portrayed as Our Lady of the Void. She is the dark principle that freely animates all phenomena in fertile fashion, yet also the void into which they all eventually return—like decaying elements drawn back into a uterine womb. I’m reminded of the Black Dragon, Teresa of Avila, who once wrote that within this Great Deathless Void there is no-thing to see, no-thing to perceive, no-thing to grasp or cling to—just Total Unequivocal Relinquishment of all that is not the Unborn Absolute. Our Lady of the Void reflects the Great Deathless Void of the Unborn Mind—the Mahasunya. Huang Po once wrote of her that many “people are afraid of emptying their mind lest they plunge into the void. They do not know that their own Mind IS the void—the Void where no attachments are left, when subjectivity and objectivity are forgotten…that is the highest form of relinquishment.” Our Lady of the Void is like a Mystical Mother, who at the end of every karmic cycle—Yuga—calls all of her children back home via the dark principle from which they sprang. She is the Via Negativa, or undercurrent, from which the Via Positiva flows; the animating principle that sustains the Cosmic ebb and flow. The following is a Tozen Teaching that articulates the very nature behind this Dark-Yin Zen Principle.

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