The great Khandro, Dakini or Yogini of Tibet, the princess who became a Buddha Yeshe Tsogyal
(This particular image of Yeshe Tsogyal is from a specific practice involving the Khandro that was revealed by the 17th century Tibetan treasure-revealer Tagsham Nuden Dorje who is said to have been a reincarnation of Yeshe Tsogyal’s sexual yoga partner Atsara Salé. The lineage for this practice is held by Namkha Drimed Rinpoche, see here for more information. See here as well for more on this blog regarding Yeshe Tsogyal’s life and exploits)
Here’s the information regarding a further podcast I recently did with Steve James of the Guru Viking podcast, as part of a series of interviews connected with my PhD dissertation on Tibetan tantric Buddhist non-monastic, non-celibate yogis and yoginis. In this interview, Steve quizzed me a little about some issues connected with gender and sexuality in Tibetan tantric Buddhism. I am hardly an expert in (or the best person to be mouthing off about!) the experiences of women in Vajrayana, but I hope that some of what we discussed here will be of use and interest.
Here’s Steve’s list of the topics we talked about along with the relevant links:
“In this episode we explore the realms of gender and sexual orientation, in both textual and social contexts. Ben discusses the complex situation of female spiritual practitioners in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, looking at terms such as ‘khandroma’, ‘dakini’, and more.
We learn about the role of the sangyum, or sexual consort, and find out why Ben’s teacher and co-author Dr Nida Chenagtsang dedicated their book on sexual yoga to abuse victims, particularly those who have been abused in religious contexts.
And finally we discuss the heteronormative / heterosexual perspective of traditional tantric texts, and hear Ben’s thoughts on how to practice sexual yoga in other orientations.
0:00 – Intro
1:08 – Ngakma, dakinis, and female practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism
15:55 – The dakini in traditional and new-age contexts
25:52 – Thoughts on the tantric prohibition against disparaging women
34:31 – The role of the sangyum (tantric consort)
51:52 – Sex with the tantric guru vs Western ethical trends
1:20:30 – Thoughts on practice of sexual yoga in contexts other than the heteronormative
And SoundCloud link here!