Spiritual Practices Reading List


(scroll down for the 112 practices in the Appendix)

Paul Reps: in Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, in the chapter called Centering, the Sacred Text at the Origins of Tantra are translated and listed: 112 techniques from the Vigyana Bhairava Tantra.

Daniel Oudier: in Yoga Spandakarika, these 112 techniques are listed with a more detailed translation and description. Also recommended: Desire: The Tantric Path to Awakening and Tantric Quest.

Osho: The Book of the Secrets─Volume I-V offer discourses on these 112 techniques. Tantra, Spirituality & Sex contains excerpts from these five volumes.


Lao Tzu: The Way of Life, translation by Stephen Mitchell

Brian Walker: Hua Hu Ching, The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu

Bruce Kumar Frantzis: The Great Stillness, 2 volumes


 Thich Nhat Hanh: The Miracle of Mindfulness, A Guide to Walking Meditation, Transformation and Healing, Our Appointment with Life and many more


Pema Chodron, all her books are excellent.


Ngak’chang Rinpoche: Spectrum of Ecstasy, Wearing the Body of Visions, Roaring Silence, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon


Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan: The Call of the Dervish, Introducing Spirituality into Counseling and Therapy, That Which Transpires behind that which Appears, Awakening


Vigyana Bhairava Tantra

The meditations and practices of Tantra were born, legend has it, out of a conversation between two lovers, Shiva and his consort, Devi, some 5,000 years ago. Shiva and Devi, entwined in a lover’s embrace, were discussing the mysteries of the universe. Shiva, inspired by his lover’s intense desire to know the meaning of existence, composed 112 sutras that were designed to give her the direct experience of how the universe came into being . . . a direct experience in her body. 

Devi Asks:

O Shiva, what is your reality?
What is this wonder-filled universe?
What constitutes seed?
Who centers the universal wheel?
What is this life beyond form pervading forms?
How may we enter it fully, above space and time, names and descriptions?
Let my doubts be cleared!

Shiva replies:

1. Radiant One, this experience may dawn between two breaths. After breath comes in (down) and just before turning up (out)─ the beneficence.

2. As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves up to down─ through both these turns, realize.

3. Or, whenever in-breath and out-breath fuse, at this instant touch the energy-less, energy-filled center.

4. Or, when breath is all out (up) and stopped of itself, or all in (down) and stopped ─ in such universal pause, one’s small self vanishes. This is difficult only for the impure.

5. Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there shower as light.

6. When in worldly activities, keep attention between two breaths, and so practicing, in a few days be born anew.

7. With intangible breath in center of forehead, as this reaches the heart at the moment of sleep, have direction over dreams and over death itself.

8. With utmost devotion, center on the two junctions of breath and know the knower.

9. Lie down as dead. Enraged in wrath, stay so. Or stare without moving an eyelash. Or suck something and become the sucking.

10. While being caressed, Sweet Princess, enter the caress as everlasting life.

11. Stop the doors of the senses when feeling the creeping of an ant. Then.

12. When on a bed or a seat, let yourself become weightless, beyond mind.

13. Or, imagine the five coloured circles of the peacock tail to be your five senses in illimitable space. Now let their beauty melt within. Similarly, at any point in space or on the wall ─ until the point dissolves. Then your wish for another comes true.

14. Place your whole attention in the nerve, delicate as the lotus thread, in the center of your spinal column. In such be transformed.

15. Closing the seven openings of the head with your hands, a space between your eyes becomes all-inclusive.

16. Blessed One, as senses are absorbed in the heart, reach the center of the lotus.

17. Unminding mind, keep in the middle . . . until.

18. Look lovingly at some object. Do not go to another object. Here in the middle of the object ─ the blessing.

19. Without support for feet or hands, sit only on the buttocks. Suddenly the centering.

20. In a moving vehicle, by rhythmically swaying, experience. Or in a still vehicle, by letting yourself swing in slowing invisible circles.

21. Pierce some part of your nectar filled form with a pin, and gently enter the piercing and attain to the inner purity.

22. Let attention be at a place where you are seeing some past happening, and even your form, having lost its present characteristics, is transformed.

23. Feel an object before you. Feel the absence of all other objects but this one. Then leaving aside the object-feeling and the absence-feeling, Realize

24. When a mood against someone or for someone arises, do not place it on the person in question, but remain centered.

25. Just as you have the impulse to do something, Stop.

26. When some desire comes, consider it. Then, suddenly, quit it.

27. Roam about until exhausted and then, dropping to the ground, in this dropping be whole.

28. Suppose you are gradually being deprived of strength or of knowledge. At the instant of deprivation, transcend.

29. Devotion frees.

30. Eyes closed, see your inner being in detail. Thus, see your true nature.

31. Look upon a bowl without seeing the sides or the material. In a few moments become aware.

32. See as if for the first time a beauteous person or an ordinary object.

33. Simply by looking into the blue sky beyond the clouds, The serenity.

34. Listen while the ultimate mystical teaching is imparted. Eyes still, without blinking, at once, become absolutely free.

35. At the edge of a deep well look steadily into its depths until ─the wondrousness.

36. Look upon some object, then slowly withdraw your sight from it, then slowly withdraw your thought from it. Then.

37. Devi, imagine Sanskrit letters in these honey filled foci of awareness, first as letters, then more subtly as sounds, then as most subtle feeling. Then, leaving them aside, be free.

38. Bathe in the center of sound, as in the continuous sound of a waterfall. Or, by putting the fingers in the ears, Hear the sound of sounds.

39. Intone a sound, as AUM Slowly, as sound enters soundfulness, so do you.

40. In the beginning and gradual refinement of the sound of any letter, Awake.

41. While listening to stringed instruments, hear their composite central sound; thus omnipresence.

42. Intone a sound audibly, then less and less audibly as feeling deepens into this silent harmony.

43. With mouth slightly open, keep mind in the middle of the tongue. Or, as breath comes silently in, feel the sound.

44. Center on the sound “AUM” Without any “A” or “M.”

45. Silently intone a word ending in “AH” Then in the “˜H”, effortlessly, the spontaneity.

46. Stopping ears by pressing and the rectum by contracting, Enter the sound.

47. Enter the sound of your name and, through this sound, All sounds.

48. At the start of sexual union keep attentive on the fire in the beginning, and so continuing, avoid the embers in the end.

49. When in such embrace your senses are shaken as leaves, enter this shaking.

50. Even remembering union, Without the embrace, Transformation.

51. On joyously seeing a long-absent friend, permeate this joy.

52. When eating or drinking, become the taste of food or drink, and be filled.

53. O lotus eyed one, sweet of touch, when singing, seeing, tasting, be aware you are and discover the Everliving.

54. Wherever satisfaction is found, in whatever act, Actualize this.

55. At the point of sleep, when the sleep has not yet come and the external wakefulness vanishes, at this point Being is revealed.

56. Illusions deceive, colors circumscribe, even divisibles are indivisible.

57. In moods of extreme desire, be undisturbed.

58. This so-called universe appears as a juggling, A picture show. To be happy, look upon it so.

59. O Beloved, put attention neither on pleasure nor on pain, but between these.

60. Objects and desires exist in me as in others. So, accepting, let them be transformed.

61. As waves come with water and flames with fire, so the Universal waves with us.

62. Wherever your mind is wandering, internally or externally, at this very place, this.

63. When vividly aware through some particular sense, keep in the awareness.

64. At the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety, above a chasm, flying in battle, in extreme curiosity, at the beginning of hunger, at the end of hunger, be uninterruptedly aware.

65. The purity of other teachings is an impurity to us. In reality, know nothing as pure or impure.

66. Be the unsame same to friend as to stranger, in honor and dishonor.

67. Here is the sphere of change, change, change. Through change consume change.

68. As a hen mothers her chicks, mother particular knowings, particular doings, in reality.

69. Since, in truth, bondage and freedom are relative, these words are only for those terrified with the universe. This universe is a reflection of minds. As you see many suns in water from one sun, so see bondage and liberation.

70. Consider your essence as light rays from center to center up the vertebrae, and so rises livingness in you.

71. Or in the spaces between, feel this as lightning.

72. Feel the cosmos as a translucent ever-living presence.

73. In summer when you see the entire sky endlessly clear, Enter such clarity.

74. Shakti, see all space as if already absorbed in your own head in the brilliance.

75. Waking, sleeping, dreaming, know you as light.

76. In rain during a black night, enter that blackness as the form of forms.

77. When a moonless rainy night is not present, close your eyes, see blackness. So, faults disappear forever.

78. Whenever your attention alights, at this very point, Experience.

79. Focus on fire rising through your form from the toes up until the body burns to ashes but not you.

80. Meditate on the make-believe world as burning to ashes, and become being above human.

81. As, subjectively, letters flow into words and words into sentences, and as, objectively, circles flow into worlds and worlds into principles, find at last these converging in our being.

82. Feel: my thought, I-ness, internal organs are me.

83. Before desire and before knowing, how can I say I am? Consider. Dissolve in the beauty.

84. Toss attachment for body aside, realizing I am everywhere. One who is everywhere is joyous.

85. Thinking no thing will limited-self unlimit.

86. Suppose you contemplate something beyond perception, beyond grasping, beyond not being─You.

87. I am existing. This is mine. This is this. O, beloved, even in such know illimitably.

88. Each thing is perceived through knowing. The self shines in space through knowing. Perceive one being as knower and known.

89. Beloved, at this moment, let mind, knowing, breath, form, be included.

90. Touching eyeballs as a feather, lightness between them opens into the heart and there permeates the cosmos.

91. Kind Devi, enter etheric presence pervading far above and below your form.

92. Put mindstuff in such inexpressible fineness above, below and in your heart.

93. Consider any area of your present form as limitlessly spacious.

94. Feel your substance, bones, flesh, blood, saturated with cosmic essence.

95. Feel the fine qualities of creativity permeating your breasts and assuming delicate configurations.

96. Abide in some place endlessly spacious, clear of trees, hills, habitations. Thence comes the end of mind pressures.

97. Consider the plenum to be your own body of bliss.

98. In any easy position, gradually pervade an area between the armpits into great peace.

99. Feel yourself as pervading all directions, far, near.

100. The appreciation of objects and subjects is the same for an enlightened as for an unenlightened person. The former has one greatness: He remains in the subjective mood, not lost in things.

101. Believe omniscient, omnipotent, pervading.

102. Imagine spirit simultaneously within and around you until the entire universe spiritualizes.

103. With your entire consciousness in the very start of desire, of knowing, know.

104. O Shakti, each particular perception is limited, disappearing in omnipotence.

105. In truth forms are inseparate. Inseparate are omnipresent being and your own form. Realize each as made of this consciousness.

106. Feel the consciousness of each person as your own consciousness. So, leaving aside concern for your self, become each being.

107. This consciousness exists as each being, and nothing else exists.

108. This consciousness is the spirit of guidance of each one. Be this one.

109. Suppose your passive form to be an empty room with walls of skin─ empty.

110. Gracious One, play. The universe is an empty shell wherein your mind frolics infinitely.

111. Sweet heartened One, meditate on knowing and not-knowing, existing and non-existing. Then leave both aside that you may be.

112. Enter space, supportless, eternal, still.

For private instruction, Joan will psychically prescribe those practices most attuned to your predisposition, individual needs and level of development. For more info, please click here:  Taoist and Tantric Energy Arts

Current Newsletter