Ramakrishna

Ramakrishna lived his life without filters. As a small child, he was not self-conscious or embarrassed by the beatific experiences he enjoyed. As a young man, and when his family needed his support, he provided assistance in ways that wouldn’t impede his spiritual progress or require him to act against his beliefs. When his family…

QuanYin

QuanYin would sit and listen to the ocean flow in and out. Absorbed in the sound of the waves and the silence they left behind, she let go of all thoughts. Without thought these sounds were just vibrations so she became perfectly still. In this stillness she moved toward Enlightenment. As she transcended other types…

Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche)

Padmasambhava was a busy guy. Early in life he decided to abdicate his throne so he could focus on spiritual work. To do this, he traveled all over Asia and learned many different spiritual practices. Along the way he converted demons into guardians and ordinary people into spiritual guides. Rather than wanting what was unholy…

Gytha Nanny Ogg

The Discworld books, by Terry Pratchett, give examples of two extremely powerful women: Esme “Granny” Weatherwax and Gytha “Nanny” Ogg. Often in the stories they are shown as friendly contrasts: Granny as isolated, commanding and powerful; then Nanny as accessible, chummy and energetic. Many are familiar with the stereotype of the lone wolf working away…

Miyamoto Musashi

The Lone Samurai, by William Scott Wilson, relates the following story: On the way to a famous match, Miyamoto Musashi was passing a shrine dedicated to the god of war. He stopped a moment, intending to pray to the god for victory, but when walking to the altar he realized something important. Musashi had never…

Lakshmi

Women are not often seen as Enlightened beings. Instead they are often relegated to supporting roles or are created perfect from the start so they can be arm candy for a hard-working god. Lakshmi, a Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity, is no one’s arm candy. She does not start with a perfect life, but…