Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism by Judith Simmer-Brown
Dakinis—those semi-wrathful feminine figures of Tibetan Buddhist cosmology—get a bum rap today. They often end up serving as poster-girls for goddess-spirituality or as exemplars of the “shadow” for proponents of Jungian psychology. The reality is a lot more complex than that—and much more interesting. Judith Simmer-Brown’s classic study is a wonderful corrective to the popular misconceptions. In the spiritual journey of the meditator, she shows, 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.