Discover a wealth of readable, reliable guides to understanding Trika Shaivism, Dzogchen, and other direct realization traditions.
TRIKA AND DZOGCHEN ORIGINS
Trika Shaivism is one of the ancient Tantrik traditions of India. You will also see it referred to as Kashmir Shaivism and Shaivite Tantra.
The tradition as we know it today was formed from the confluence of number of direct realization traditions. Some of these are the Pratyabhijña, Kaula, Trika, and Krama streams of Tantra that flourished in Kashmir and the Swat Valley from the early Christian Era until the 12th century.
Dzogchen is a direct realization tradition from Tibet. In its formation, Dzogchen drew from the Nyingma and Bön traditions of Tibet, from Chinese Chan Buddhism, from India-born siddhas such as Garab Dorje and Padmasambhava, and from the sources of Trika Shaivism.
THE PURPOSE OF SPIRITUAL PRACTICE ACCORDING TO TRIKA AND DZOGCHEN
Trika Shaivism and Dzogchen hold a similar, although not identical, View of the process of self-realization. They share the understanding that the purpose of spiritual practice is to directly discover the unconditioned, natural state of existence and to remain resting in that.
Trika Shaivism places somewhat more obvious emphasis on the heart and devotion, while Dzogchen places somewhat more emphasis on mind and nature of mind. Both traditions are based in a profound understanding of the five elements and the necessity of opening the gates of the senses in order to re-integrate with the natural state.
Neither Trika Shaivism nor Dzogchen are belief- or faith-based systems. Practitioners are given tools and guidance so that they may discover their real nature with certainty for themselves.
- The Reality Sutras
A handbook of 37 teachings about the nature of the self and reality from the perspective of Trika Shaivism.
- Nine Poisons, Nine Medicines, Nine Fruits
A map of the obstacles, remedies and rewards spiritual practitioners encounter on the way to waking up.
- Pilgrims to Openness: Direct Realization Tantra in Everyday Life
Foundational and practical introduction to the tradition of Trika Shaivism presented through the lens of everyday experiences of eating, sleeping, relating, moving , working, playing, emoting and doing spiritual practice.
- Tantra: the Play of Awakening
Practical advice for spiritual practitioners.
- Returning: exhortations, advice and encouragement from the heart of direct realization practice
Twenty-four concentrated bursts of provocation, encouragement and inspiration for spiritual seekers.
- No Retreat: poems on the way to waking up
Shambhavi’s poems documenting fifteen years of solo spiritual retreats and periods of the eruption of intense spiritual feeling.
OTHER Books About Trika Shaivism
- Swami Lakshmanjoo: Self Realization in Kashmir Shaivism
Teachings given by an accomplished modern siddha.
- Shaiva Devotional Songs of Kashmir
A translation of Utpaladeva’s gorgeous Shivastotravali by Constantina Rhodes Bailly
- Abhinavagupta’s Commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita
The only English-language translation of the Kashmiri version of the Gita.
- The Shiva Sutras
Received text (Shruti) from Vasgupta. Central text of the tradition and a nondual blast.
- Naked Song
Down-to-earth revelations in poetry by a 14th century Kashmiri wandering yogini.
- Swami Lakshman Joo : Vijnana Bhairava: The Practice of Centering Awareness
Look for this at abe.com if Amazon is out. Be sure to get this version.
DZOGCHEN and other direct realization TEACHINGS
- Heart Drops of Dharmakaya
Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen. Profound and beautiful. For the more advanced practitioner.
- Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State
Namkhai Norbu’s masterpiece.
- See the True Nature, then Let Go and Relax in That (pdf)
An interview with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.
Biographies and Autobiographies
- Diana J. Mukpo: Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chögyam Trungpa
An inspiring and profound portrait of life with a controversial Vajrayana teacher.
- Ram Alexander: Death Must Die
A riveting, blow-by-blow diary of a Western woman disciple’s life with Anandamayi Ma. Very expensive new. Buy it used! Note: You can download a shorter, PDF version of this diary published under the title As The Flower Sheds its Fragrance.
- The Chasm of Fire
Irina Tweedie’s autobiographical account of her relationship with her Sufi teacher.
- Quang Van Nguyen and Marjorie Pivar: Fourth Uncle in the Mountain
The autobiography of a Vietnamese Buddhist “barefoot” doctor who eventually travels to the United States as a refugee. If you want to understand the difference between real healing and spiritual attainment versus attachment to siddhis and sorcery, read this book.
- Swami Radha: Radha: Diary of a Woman’s Search
Beautiful story of a close disciple of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh.
- My Reincarnation
A moving film portraying the relationship between Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and his son Yeshe.