Shambhavi Sarasvati is known for making profound teachings about the nature of the self and reality understandable, practical, and always relevant to our lived experience. She has written these books to support and inspire all pilgrims on the path to waking up.
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The Reality Sutras is a handbook of 37 teachings about the nature of the self and reality from the perspective of Trika Shaivism. Shambhavi Sarasvati offers students of direct realization spiritual traditions a traditionally structured handbook with short, sutra-style teachings followed by commentary. The sutras are intended to inform, to guide, and to serve as a source of contemplative material for practitioners.
What kind of book is this?
The Reality Sutras is a handbook of View teachings. I am doing my best to make essential aspects of the View of my Indian tradition accessible to contemporary students. For the most part, I am reporting on what I have discovered for myself through engaging in spiritual practice. My hope is that The Reality Sutras will inform, but foremost that it will serve as a source of contemplative material for practitioners.
You won’t find many footnotes here. I am not making a conventional effort to convince you that I know what I’m talking about or that my tradition’s View of reality is one you should adopt. More than proving something to your intellect, I would prefer to move you. From my perspective, the only desirable proof of my little offering is whatever response of “yes” you discover within yourself, and then whatever unfolds after that. ~Shambhavi Sarasvati
Duality is a theater of communication. Relax the boundaries of your senses, and you will learn to participate in the ceaseless dialog, the unbroken call and response of Reality. ~Shambhavi Sarasvati
How can you stay motivated in your spiritual practice from day-to-day? What is the most fruitful way to work with your teachers? What detours and obstacles might slow you down? How do spiritual communities function as a core practice? What roles do grace and devotion, longing, and loneliness play as you walk your path? How can you both live and die well? The Play of Awakening is a tour guide, a map, and a good friend to anyone on a conscious path of awakening.
Nine Poisons, Nine Medicines, Nine Fruits is a traditional spiritual teaching text about the obstacles, remedies, and rewards we can expect to encounter as we engage in a consistent practice of self-realization. The nine poisons are habits of body, emotions, and mind that distract or delay you from discovering who you really are. The nine medicines are the remedies that help us to recover from limiting patterns. The nine fruits are wisdom virtues that naturally appear on their own once obscuring conditioning is dissolved. Spiritual practices, such as meditation and mantra, help to relax conditioning.
Anxious self-concern is a noose around your neck. You are gasping for air. It’s a situation of radical lack of nourishment. Real nourishment comes from feeling the communicative energy of your circumstance and being able to freely express yourself. You can give and receive with no other motive other than the joy of doing that. Self-concern leaves you with a very small View, a very small circle of experience, a very small set of concerns, and that’s really what we are trying to leave behind when we do spiritual practice. ~Shambhavi Sarasvati
The greatest teaching Tantra has to offer is that everything we need to Self-realize is already present in each moment and every ordinary breath. ~Shambhavi Sarasvati
Pilgrims to Openness offers you direct and powerful guidance for discovering greater freedom and fulfillment in your everyday life. With compassion, wry humor, and insight, Shambhavi leads the reader to understand precisely how our everyday lives can function as spiritual practice—eating, sleeping, moving, working, and relating to other people. “We don’t have to concoct, contrive, or conceptualize a ‘spiritual’ life. The life-process is the process of awakening, and it is already underway.”
In the radiant tradition of Lalleshwari and Mirabai, the poems of No Retreat call out in the intimate voices of prayer, determination, wonder, lament, praise, and unstoppable longing. Written during solo spiritual retreats and periods of the eruption of intense spiritual feeling, the poems report in powerfully raw and honest language about our shared human efforts to wake up and discover more of who we are.
Most Glorious Teacher,
please break down
the rock of my defenses.
Use a sledgehammer!
If these words are insincere,
do it anyway.
Shambhavi brings everything to the page, including doubt. “I have learned I need help,” she writes, “and I practice to remember that.” Help comes in the form of the Teacher she regards as both assassin and friend. Throughout, a spirit of wry self-reflection and playfulness prevails. This compassionate and wise book takes readers by the hand and points us toward our inevitable destination, the one true refuge in the Heart.
Having enjoyed the opportunity to go astray and be corrected by the grace of my teachers innumerable times, I have published this little book based on my own experience. ~Shambhavi Sarasvati
Shambhavi composed Returning as a gift for her students while she was on a personal meditation retreat. It offers twenty-four concentrated bursts of provocation, encouragement, and inspiration for spiritual seekers. Returning is an addition to the ancient tradition of teachers offering intimate heart advice directly from their own experience. With refreshing clarity, humor, and sympathy, Shambhavi speaks from the heart to all those who long for awakening—and who also sometimes feel stuck or lost along the way.