Sky Dancer:  The Secret Life and Songs of Yeshe Tsogyal

Yeshe_TsogyalYeshe Tsogyal, consort of Guru Padmasambhava, is the most famous of the enlightened women of Tibet. Women have a special place in tantra, but except for Sky Dancer there are few writings that present the spiritual practices and evolution of female aspirants. Here women are in an eminent position, and a path of practice is given for present-day initiates to emulate.

A lively biography of one of Tibet’s celebrated enlightened women, with extended insight into women’s role in the Tibetan tradition. Hardly an artifact of the past, Yeshe Tsogyal’s life story and detailed instructions to her disciples here included still provide tremendous inspiration for practitioners of today.  Keith Dowman supplements this translation with a detailed commentary on the historical background to the text, the tantric tradition, Nyingma lineages and the tantric view of women and the dakini.

In the profound sutra system, the dakini is called the great mother: Indescribable, unimaginable Perfection of Wisdom, unborn, unobstructed essence of sky, she is sustained by self-awareness alone…thus it is written in the Great Paramita Sutra. In the precious tantric tradition, desireless, blissful wisdom is the essence of all desirable qualities, unobstructedly going and coming in endless space. This wisdom is called the sky dancer, feminine wisdom, the dakini…” 

~ Dungse Trinley Norbu

Translated with commentary by Keith Dowman.