In spiritual traditions there is a great emphasis on the masculine without many feminine role models. We’re familiar with Jesus, the Buddha, Krishna, Mohammad, Rama. But the enlightened women, goddesses and saints remain played down and often pushed aside altogether.
In many spiritual traditions women have been considered dirty, bad, evil, corrupt, and sources of temptation. Less frequently women are viewed as strong, courageous, powerful, wise and enlightened. But here are a few elevated souls to contemplate. Any of them would make good role models for the aspiring seeker on a spiritual journey.
- Mother Mary – Here’s a woman who had the courage to trust the Divine and go against all tradition. She risked being ostracized, abused, losing her husband and possibly having her baby (Jesus) taken from her. Imagine the lowly place of women some 2,000 years ago at the time of Jesus’ birth. Women were considered little more than chattel. She was a women of gentle strength and the courage of conviction.
- Hildegarde of Bingen – Hildegarde experienced visions and heard a voice that told her to write and she would heal herself and be of service. Hildegarde studied herbs and plants and wrote her perceptions of their healing properties which are still revered, particularly in Europe.
- Amma, the hugging saint – Amma is a living example of the Divine Feminine. She welcomes people from all races, all nationalities and all backgrounds into her arms. Thousands of people stand in line to await her embrace. In India she practices seva or selfless service to the country’s poor and orphaned. Her works are a message that illustrate the power of nurturing and caring in action. Her feminine ways are transforming the world.
Many of today’s spiritual teachers are women and they write and teach from a different perspective. Think of Joan Borysenko, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Carolyn Myss, Oprah and more. There are certainly mothers, grandmothers, women friends and colleagues who inspire you to connect with the Divine Feminine. Reflect on their qualities today and imagine taking on some of the strength and goodness that they embody.
Bio: Debra Moffitt is the award winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. More at http://www.awakeintheworld.com and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/DebraMoffittAwakeintheWorld