The Yogini Project is expanding this summer.After 6 years of groundbreaking media releases in support of women in Buddhist practice, Inspiration of millions through our social media channels, and extensive platform building, this summer is a threshold for the project, a coming of age.As we prepare for our endgame depth projects – our film on women on the path around the globe and our Yogini Fund to support women in dedicated retreat – we have this year restructured our organization and refined thoroughly our platform that has been built with love these past many years.This includes:
a) extending our content team to several fantastic dedicated women, providing tremendous and extensive new material, both subtle and accessible, with extraordinary new content scheduled for the next years b) new equipment and interview budget for an extended video interview series with some of the trailblazing women both east and west in the dharma c) further platform enhancement and integrations essential for our coming projects
Our budget for these is $17,500-23,000, which will allow for the expanded base for our most significant projects yet, while maintaining support for a steady flow of new media from site content to extensive video interviews, and fresh, vital social media inspiration that continues to touch 100,000s weekly.
When the project was first an aspiration, as it was being founded, the project founder met extensively with Tsoknyi Rinpoche over a year receiving advice.He quintessentialized the project – the essence of it’s purpose – with these words:
“THIS IS FOR CREATING MORE YOGINIS IN THE WORLD”
What are the causes and conditions for that?
As the Dharma spread around the world in recent decades, the question was asked again and again, ‘Well, where are the women?’ Exquisite, authentic dharma was being taught, but the transmission was primarily from traditional societies to modern, gender equality based ones.And the images and role models of women were scarce, though the feminine was woven through the dharma.At the time that the Yogini Project came to fruition however, women actually were and ARE the majority of practitioners in the world.The answer was actually… “Everywhere!”Women are actually blossoming in practice all around the world, in numbers and contexts like never before.But how to provide the visibility, the needed images and praise?We have often felt that The Yogini Project is here to announce a global movement that is actually hidden to its own members!
To meet the needs of those women – and just as much those men who are aspiring for and inspired by more positive and comprehensive images of empowered women, for themselves and others – we have striven to illuminate and fulfill these foremost:
Visibility / Recognition
Respect and Support
Sense of Community, Of Belonging
Empowerment and Development of Faith
Foremost, confidence has come up again and again as the most essential need for women to embark on and moment by moment genuinely engage in the path. Both as being a woman and as an individual.This has also beena primary topic of the sublime teachers we feature.
In the words of Her Eminence Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche:
“Being able to have the confidence that who you are is absolutely fine. That further adornment of the person as an individual by association is not needed.
I think women do tend to have a lot of confidence but at the same time are always looking for affirmation of some kind, that it’s alright to be that confident. So I think in that regard if there is also a project such as The Yogini Project that provides a platform for women to feel confident and assured in that confidence, that as they are, who they are, as a practitioner, that is very fine but further more something additional to that is not needed other than working with your own self. Then I think that is an excellent platform that will be very helpful for many women.”
And Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo:
“Lesson #1 to raise their confidence to realize the path is the understanding of our buddha nature. It is that we identify with all the wrong things really. When it comes to buddha nature, certainly, there is no gender issue. There is no male or female; there is no monastic or lay. It’ss just our pure, intrinsic nature, which we all have and which is the thing that connects us all. Unlike our clinging to our individual identities which is what separates us from everybody. So, as a foundation for our practice is to remember that inherently we are completely pure and completely ok, no matter what our outer circumstances may be. These are just clouds, but the blue sky is always there.”
What we seek with our interviews and all our media is to provide encouragement for women either already committed to practice or just being introduced and encountering the Dharma for the first time to have examples of women who are manifesting the fruits of the practice without needing a limelight to authenticate their qualities. Their qualities are inherent in themselves and their practice – which is precisely where all ‘women on the path’ will eventually find them, they will arise within.
This world now as much as ever needs awakened women, women who are empowering themselves through genuine practice.
PRIMARY RELEASES AND PROJECTS TO DATE
Unprecendented, comprehensive, and expanding multimedia website on all things yogini – the single most hub on women in practice, www.theyoginiproject.org
Cutting edge interview series with some of the most accomplished women in Dharma, known and unknown, in the world today, including:
a) The Yogini Channel – YouTube channel featuring 47 videos
b) The Yogini Archives – Vimeo channel featuring full length interviews from preliminary filming for Women On The Path in Asia, featuring 18 longer interview videos
White Lotus – our short film on Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s cutting edge work with evolving education for nuns
Dakini As Art – our in-house art galleries dedicated to the dakini, supporting female practitioning artists and the activities of The Yogini Project, www.dakiniasart.org
Vast social media with heart – Daily pulses of inspiration, providing visibility, praise, and impetus for the path, for going deeper.With a following of 70,000+ at our fb page (one of the very largest for any Dharma organization) and a weekly reach of 100,000s and an occasional peak of 2 million people per week, we have been touching lives and hearts, transforming paths with praise for 7 years now.
WHAT IS TO COME
Beyond an extensive content schedule for the years to come of unprecedented material to our website, including an upcoming guest article series, this is the list of interviews up ahead for the following two years that we have confirmed, are developing, or are on our wish-list (to proceed with greater funding):
Khandro Rinpoche – renewing annual interview series, confirmed autumn 2018 Jetsun Chimey Luding Rinpoche Khadro-la Sakya Dagmola Rinpoche Anne Klein Judith Simmer-Brown Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel with son, Jampal, together Sangye Khandro Sakyaditha Conference 2019, Australia
– numerous female practitioners and teachers from around the world Lama Tsultrim Allione Lama Lena – Tso Pema Sarah Harding Robina Courtin Ven. Thupten Chodron Ani Dekyi Chodron – Nagi Gompa nun and teacher
Beyond these – and simultaneous with many of these interviews – is:
a) Our primary film project Women On The Path, filming women in practice on 5 continents, capturing women at all stages applying the dharma in the contexts and challenges discovered today on the path.This project will be funded largely through grants from foundations to be developed upon establishing the base support outlined above.
c) Translations of our comprehensive website and media into other languages, primarily Spanish and Portuguese, to support the many women in practice in latin speaking countries in Europe and Latin America.Other languages will follow.
SUPPORT FOR THE YOGINI PROJECT
“Any endeavor that is there to support women as practitioners, that is excellent!I wish the project, The Yogini Project, all success. And I hope that extends towards everyone and more women are able to be supported.”
You have my full support!”
~ Her Eminence Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche
“Thank you for initiating this wonderful project to help promote and support those women whoare dedicated to genuine training on the path.”