The dancer of the sky
Author: Keith Dowman
In Tantra the woman occupies a particular place and Yeshe Tsogyel, consort of the great guru Padma Sambhava, is the most famous among the enlightened women of Tibet. Few works deal with the spiritual practice and development of women in Tantrism, and this book is practically unique in the extensive Tibetan biographical literature. The mythical story places the woman in the position of eminence that belongs to her and traces, for emulation by the initiate, a path of meditation and existential practice. Tsogyel's experiences and his detailed instructions to the disciples are as valid today as they always have been. The text is important not only as inspiration, guidance and teaching, but also as a historical work that sheds light on the heroic period of Tibetan history, the period of kings and empire. It is a revealed text, originally written in the ninth century and then rediscovered by Taksham Nuden Dorje, a shrewd and nonconformist teacher, in the seventeenth century. Only now translated in the West, it is a great literary work universally admired by Tibetans for its lyrical beauty as well as for its profound message. Keith Dowman's essays on the historical and religious background, on the ancient Tibetan lineages and on the place of women in tradition introduce the reader to Tantra and clarify the main points touched by the text.