Our presence is the way we appear in this world, the role that we choose. It is also the way other people perceive us.
Some people have a really powerful presence, others give the impression that they are hardly on Earth, some have a light feeling to them, others – a heavy one. Some people’s presence oozes dignity, other’s – something very specific, but you cannot really put your finger on what it is…
The choices we make in life, the type of environment and the people that we surround ourselves with, the society – all this impacts our personality, our presence.
When we are engaged in some questionable and dark activities our presence carries these qualities.
When we are on the quest towards our true self, when our aspiration is sincere and we let our devotion touch our hearts we develop a very specific presence or bhava.
We can consciously cultivate our presence.
This happens when we dedicate our life to something, it can be anything: a profession, our social life, a spiritual practice, an art form – it depends on what interests us in life, what ignites our heart or simply keeps our attention because of habit, necessity or choice.
And here is a Question:
Do we actually choose or do we just follow what seems easy and convenient?
What kind of person do we choose to be?
What kind of feeling do we want to infuse our life with?
What kind of energy do we want to have around and within us?
I find that a really beautiful and powerful way to cultivate our presence, especially as women, is practice with Cosmic Powers or Goddesses of Tantric tradition. It is a big part of Mystical Femininity work.
All the Goddesses lead to the ultimate Reality, each has a particular cosmic function, each leads to Self realisation in a different way.
They are all very different but ultimately they all are one – Shakti.
First the Goddess awakens us, our aspiration and devotion, and then we embody Her, we may even start looking like her… And ultimately we reveal ourselves as the Absolute, Atman.
When we practice deeply and sincerely our presence becomes infused with something that may awaken other people, that touches everyone we get in contact with. I find it very beautiful, although it is a side effect rather than the aim of the practice.
When we dedicate our practices to a chosen Goddess, it can take various forms: we may give offerings to the Goddess, honor her, worship her, ask for her blessings, practice meditation on her form…
And yes it will awaken our devotion, which is a really beautiful thing that we can cultivate. It is a very feminine quality too as the nature of devotion is feminine. We cannot do devotion, instead in a yin way we are allowing spiritual presences to touch us. This comes together with a certain awakening of our soul and can make us feel incredibly vast.
If we practice consistently it will also help us cultivate our will. And I consider that cultivation of the will is a spiritual practice of its own. We need will to be beyond ordinary. We need will to be able to change things.
We will also attract blessings of our chosen Goddess into our life. For example if you choose to work with the Goddess Kali who is the Goddess of transformation, you better be sure of what you are asking for, because transformation will definitely come, as it is Kali’s blessing.
But the main reason why we practice with the Goddesses is to internalize the energetic qualities of the deity, to actually become the Goddess in human form.
So with the Goddess practice we are actually downloading her qualities into our being.
And then our presence starts resembling the energy of a specific Goddess.
In Tantric tradition we speak about 10 great paths of knowledge – 10 Great Goddesses.
The ten Cosmic Powers are Kali, Tara, Tripura Sundari, Bhuvaneshvari, Chinnamasta, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi (or Saraswati), and Kamalatmika (or Lakshmi).
Some of them are gentle and their nature is sweet, like Lakshmi, others are fierce and fiery like Cinnamasta or Kali. Tara, for example, has both a very kind side and a very fierce one.
Each of the Vidyas represents a Universal Energy, and to me they all are beautiful.
When one is introduced and initiated into the Cosmic Powers, there will be one or two that they feel a resonance with straight away.
It is worthy to spend time studying about each of them and practicing with each of them, or at least with a few.
And at some point we choose one and focus on her for a period. Or for life.
There are no rules here. There are some people who have dedicated their entire lives to worhip and embodiment of one Goddess and have attained a full Self realisation through such practice.
My Istadevata or main Cosmic Power and Goddess that I have a strong resonance with and a lot of love for is Tripura Sundari. She is also known as Lalita Devi or Shodashi. She is the Goddess of absolute beauty, beauty that is beyond the most beautiful things in this world. She is also the original impulse within our heart, and the very first desire – desire for the Divine…
To me she carries all the qualities I love and aspire to embody. Whenever I connect with her it feels like higher parts of myself are singing in joy and sometimes she takes me to transcendent spaces.
If you want to learn more about the Cosmic powers – there is plenty of literature out there. For example, a book called Tantric Visions of the Divine Feminine: The Ten Mahavidyas by David Kinsley.
And for those of you who feel called to get into the practice and receive some good transmission – in most of my workshops I connect with the Goddesses and offer exercises of embodiment.