Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism (Paperback)

Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism By Judith Simmer-Brown Cover Image
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Description


A fresh interpretation of the dakini—a Tibetan Buddhist symbol of the feminine—that will appeal to practitioners interested in goddess worship, female spirituality, and Tantric Buddhism

The primary emblem of the feminine in Tibetan Buddhism is the dakini, or “sky-dancer,” a semi-wrathful spirit-woman who manifests in visions, dreams, and meditation experiences. Western scholars and interpreters of the dakini, influenced by Jungian psychology and feminist goddess theology, have shaped a contemporary critique of Tibetan Buddhism in which the dakini is seen as a psychological “shadow,” a feminine savior, or an objectified product of patriarchal fantasy. According to Judith Simmer-Brown—who writes from the point of view of an experienced practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism—such interpretations are inadequate.

In the spiritual journey of the meditator, Simmer-Brown demonstrates, the dakini symbolizes levels of personal realization: the sacredness of the body, both female and male; the profound meeting point of body and mind in meditation; the visionary realm of ritual practice; and the empty, spacious qualities of mind itself. When the meditator encounters the dakini, living spiritual experience is activated in a nonconceptual manner by her direct gaze, her radiant body, and her compassionate revelation of reality. Grounded in the author's personal encounter with the dakini, this unique study will appeal to both male and female spiritual seekers interested in goddess worship, women's spirituality, and the tantric tradition.

About the Author


Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., is professor and chair of the religious studies department at Naropa University (formerly the Naropa Institute), where she has taught since 1978. She has authored numerous articles on Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhist-Christian dialogue, and Buddhism in America. She is an Acharya (senior teacher) in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa. A practicing Buddhist since 1971, she lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Praise For…


"A comprehensive, scholarly, and intriguing study of 'dakini,' the feminine principle of Tibetan Buddhism. A landmark study."—Library Journal



"Simmer-Brown has written what is destined to be a classic among vajrayana practitioners, Buddhists of other schools, and readers interested in Buddhism."—Shambhala Sun



"Dakini's Warm Breath is not only readable, but exhilaratingly lucid."—Tricycle: The Buddhist Review



"A scholarly and fascinating exploration into the feminine principle in Tibetan Buddhism."—Bodhi Tree Book Review

"A book-length discussion of dakinis, who are one of the most elusive aspects of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, is a welcome edition to the growing literature on symbols of the feminine in Buddhism. Simmer-Brown skillfully interweaves traditional stories with commentaries by contemporary Buddhist teachers to provide the most complete discussion of this topic to date."—Rita Gross, author of Buddhism after Patriarchy and Soaring and Settling: Buddhist Perspectives on Contemporary Social and Religious Issues


Product Details
ISBN: 9781570629204
ISBN-10: 157062920X
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: December 10th, 2002
Pages: 432
Language: English
Series: Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism