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Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism (Anglais) Broché – 10 décembre 2002

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Revue de presse

"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

Biographie de l'auteur

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.

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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Shallow, narrow, poorly written. Miserably self-centered. I regret I ordered the book, makes one wonder about the Editor. And the commentators.
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x91387eac) étoiles sur 5 17 commentaires
103 internautes sur 103 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9127da20) étoiles sur 5 The Feminine in Buddhist Tantra - The Inside Story 31 août 2001
Par Michael Levin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This book is highly readable, accurate, and informative. Beyond that, it is true to the essence of Vajrayana Buddhist teaching. Judith Simmer-Brown is both chairwoman of the religious studies department of Naropa University, and an acharya, an empowered teacher, of the Shambhala lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. It is inspired and useful reading for the practitioner of Vajrayana teachings, and should also be of benefit to someone who is contemplating that path but has not yet joined it. Her sources include personal meetings with and the oral and written teachings of several great modern teachers including Chogyam Trungpa, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, and Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, as well as many great historical teachers and texts, and the existing academic literature on the subject.

It is written so as to meet all the requirements of an academic contribution to religious studies, and I expect that other reviewers will praise it from that point of view also. There are excellent notes and a bibliography at the end. The subject of the dakini principle has been approached in a variety of ways in recent literature which gives one every opportunity to misunderstand it. So it is necessary to explain that this is not a Jungian interpretation of the feminine as the anima, it is not about goddess worship or modern paganism, it is not a feminist complaint that the Vajrayana exploits women, nor does it interpret Vajrayana as the worship of women (although Vajrayana offers profound respect for women). All of these views are currently available, and Simmer-Brown treats each sympathetically, but the essence of what is to be understood transcends all of them and all interpretations. Judith Simmer-Brown offers up her own feminist background as part of the feast of insight into the dakini.

Vajrayana wisdom is based on the Mahayana view of the three turnings of the wheel of dharma. The first turning of the wheel teaches the four noble truths, and analyzes how grasping and fixation on what we desire leads to further suffering. The second turning of the wheel teaches the emptiness of any true self, and the emptiness of all phenomena. When this vast and profound insight dawns, one is inspired to seek spiritual perfection not just for oneself but for all sentient beings. The third turning teaches that beyond emptiness, beyond any selfness of oneself or the external world, is wisdom and luminosity, inconceivable to the conceptually bound mind. It teaches that all beings have buddha nature, or the inherent capacity to evolve so as to realize this. Vajrayana Buddhism can only be understood within the context of these teachings, otherwise it degenerates into shamanism, magic, or pleasure seeking for personal ends. This book is constantly grounded in this understanding.

Vajrayana is the path of skillful means. It is designed to quicken the progress of those of us with female and male human bodies, and it uses many techniques to engage our bodies, our thoughts and our emotions to achieve realization and liberation. In Buddhist Vajrayana, wisdom is the feminine principle, and skillful means is the masculine principle. The feminine principle, wisdom, is primordial space, the source or womb which gives birth to all phenomena. Therefore it comes first. But both these principles are found in men and women, and their union is what sets the world on fire and produces liberation. The dakini is the personification or symbol of the feminine principle, but in some sense is also beyond gender. This is the core subject of Simmer-Brown's book.

Simmer-Brown's treatment of the dakini is organized around a poem by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, reprinted in the book, which speaks of the secret dakini, the inner dakini, the outer dakini, and the outer-outer dakini. The last of these is the dakini as a human woman. The discussion of these four is powerful and leisurely, and diffuses many possible misunderstandings along the way. The book really covers the entire vajrayana path. It discusses the three roots: guru, yidam and protector. It contains an amazingly lucid discussion of the mandala principle. It discusses the generation and completion stages of vajrayana practice. It explains how the transmission of the dharma across generations is kept both authentic and up-to-date by means of both the ear whispered lineage and the discovered treasure (terma) lineage, and discusses the role of the dakini in both of these. Indeed, the book appears to give away too many secrets, but what keeps it pure is the author's veneration of her teachers, her profound respect and insight into the subject, and the constant grounding of the Vajrayana in the view of Mahayana Buddhism.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants an introduction to the authentic essence of Buddhist Tantra, as well as someone whose specific interest is in the feminine principle or dakini. The title of the book suggests the freshness and living presence of the dakini, the breath as the ear-whispered teachings of Vajrayana, and the breath as the very essence of Buddhist meditation. If you want to know more than what Judith Simmer-Brown's book teaches, you will have to find a personal teacher.
39 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9127da74) étoiles sur 5 A Must Have for Feminists and buddhists 14 janvier 2003
Par B. Hoffman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book is at once both a very much needed manual for serious students of Buddhism as well as a clear and authoritative education for the feminist.
For the Feminist: This is a book that should be savored and closely studied. The wisdom that this research and insight present transcends any idea that anyone--male or female--could have cooked up about any topic adressed here. I doubt that I will ever be able to hold a serious conversation on the subject of gender differences with anyone, male or female, who has not read this book. Every page is filled with the author's insights and detailed instructions gathered during many years of her own personal investigation. Along the way she debunks many previous misunderstandings of respected authors and thinkers who have attempted to prove their biased points of view using Tibetan texts and ideas as their reference points, but have misconstrued the basic meaning due to their own wishful thinking. Simmer-Brown points out that the female mind is neither superior nor inferior to, and not the same as and not different from the male mind. One begins to see that the battle of the sexes has come about from a simple confusion with regard to the mind itself, explained here in terms of the feminine principle of Secret Dakini. Relative differences do exist and when understood properly, become a strength that both genders can draw from. The complex topic of the role of women in religion and for that matter in any society is given a breath of fresh air with keen insights such as:
"For Tibetans, the `feminine' refers to the limitless, ungraspable, and aware qualities of the ultimate nature of mind; it also refers to the intensely dynamic way in which that awareness undermines concepts, hesitation, and obstacles in the spiritual journeys of female and male Vajrayana practioners. The `masculine' relates to the qualities of fearless compassion and actions that naturally arise from the realization of limitless awareness, and the confidence and effectiveness associated with enlightened action."(p.33)
For the vajrayana practioner: This book is a very much needed education and elucidation of the four levels of dakini, explained in plain English, with a logical progression through all of the important points. Your understanding will deepen and you will find inspiration to investigate and practice further. For instance, these insights into vajrayana mediation:
"Deity yoga in Tibetan Buddhism gives traditional expression to the fundamental sacredness of human life, our enlightened natures. This inherently awake nature has no conditioned existence, but it arises in radiant forms ceaselessly throughout our lives." (p.166) "The ordinary chemistry between men and women is a powerful expression of the fundamental dynamic of phenomena. For this reason, the realm of gender relationships if of utmost interest for the tantrika, for the dynamic experienced there exposes the heart of the world. The sharp edginess of women reaches for the blunt pragmatism of men; at the same time, men yearn for the emotional intensity of women. Sexual yearning is, at its heart, no different from spiritual yearning. Appreciating contrast and complementarity is central to the tantrika's life, as is tracing the dance between men and women in the ordinary discourse. And sexual passion is a central expression of this dynamic, which goes to the heart of the tantrika's body and mind." (p. 215)
Future generations of tantric practioners will praise this book highly as a clear and concise study aid, unlocking such mysterious topics as the vajra master, the meditation deity, the protector principle, and women and men.
24 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9127deac) étoiles sur 5 The feminine principle in Tibetan Buddhism 16 novembre 2004
Par Peacock Eye - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The feminine (not: female) principle is very important, even indispensible, in third-cycle (vajrayana) teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.
Whether transcendent as nonconceptual living archetype of primordial Wisdom, or embodied as female "sky-goer" ("sky" meaning "space" as the ground and expanse of all being), the Wisdom Dakini is the Great Mother, the visionary Queen, the subtle body of bliss, Protector of the tantric teachings, Remover of all obstacles to authentic spiritual practice, consort of practitioners in mutual alchemy (subtle spiritual transformation).

How she is seen depends upon the "sacred outlook" of the meditator. Moreover, anyone who doesn't respect her Presence on his or her level of experience, will inadvertently face her fierce, wrathful expression.

This wonderful book is the most comprehensive study I have encountered on the subject of the feminine principle in Tibetan Buddhism, as well as the interaction between the male and female principles in spiritual practice. A must-read for anyone interested.

As a side note: on page 66 of this book there is an exceptionally lovely and beautiful picture of Yeshe Tsogyal ("Ocean of Wisdom"), one of the principle consorts of Guru Padmasambhava.

"The teachings of the whispered lineage
are the Dakini's warm breath"
- Milarepa
20 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91280294) étoiles sur 5 Getting past the stereotype 4 juin 2001
Par Jules - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Despite my curiosity and intrigued fascination with the mystical dakini - likened to angels and guardians of true spiritual practitioners - I've likewise heard the word dakini used to mean "hot babe" by regular people and Dharma practitioners alike. So is there any truth to the dakini being the true mystical feminine energy in the world? The author is keen to show that the dakini is not merely a gorgeous babe, but rather is a profound and vibrant force in our personal spiritual practice. Her main sources are directly from highly qualified lamas and their oral instructions, and she quotes them regularly throughout the book. She also quotes several lineage texts, adding the power of realized beings to her points. What struck me most was how well she melded such a fascinatingly mystical topic to fit such an academic, systematic format as a book - both the academic and metaphysical sides of my mind were satisfied. The only further thing I would have added to the book was an extra chapter or chapter topic describing the dakini practices in the other two schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Highly recommended for people interested in finding the dakini in all levels of their personal world.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91280378) étoiles sur 5 Essential 9 août 2009
Par Matthew Gindin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book is wonderful. As an academic book it is a model of moderate, responsible, rational and empathetic scholarship. As a book on Buddhist teachings it is rich, well-written, informative and inspiring. It is also a much needed corrective to well-intentioned but flawed books like Women of Wisdom (Tsultrim Allione) and Passionate Enlightenment (Miranda Shaw). When I was in University I knew two fellow non-Buddhist students who loved this book for its approach to feminist issues and scholarship, considering it one of the best Religious Studies books they had read. I very much agree, and highly recommend it.
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