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Desire: The Tantric Path to Awakening Paperback – 22 May 2001

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Desire: The Tantric Path to Awakening + Tantric Quest: An Encounter with Absolute Love + Yoga Spandakarika: The Sacred Texts at the Origins of Tantra: The Sacred Texts at the Origins of the Tantra
Price For All Three: £37.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions Bear and Company (22 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892818581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892818587
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.5 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


The book is like a window opening onto a scented garden that gently beckons the explorer. -- Napra ReView, May/June 2001

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With the obsession in the west of tantra being all about sex (sadly), this book helps to address that notion and illustrates that many of the books about Tantra that focus on sex are selling the practice short. (A bit like a yoga class that focuses solely on the asana and not the more subtle practices and therefore the 'juice' of the practice). I found this a delight to read and it made a refreshing change to have a broader view of the practice that the usual 'pop culture' attitude towards tantra. It has been very useful in reflecting on my desires and aversions and thus deepening my understanding and personal practice.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Duval on 6 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback
Fascinating book, beautifully written. More like this please! I heartily recommend his other book 'Tantric Quest' too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
open to the "luminosity of existence" 27 April 2006
By Al Link and Pala Copeland - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
According to almost all the great world religions including Buddhism, desire is an enemy blocking the path to enlightenment. Contrary to this, Daniel Odier maintains that desire is the only true path to liberation. According to Odier, the primary requirement for a spiritual seeker to fully awaken is simple, direct, personal experience. He refers to his disciplined approach as "micropractices" involving the conscious withdrawal from habitual activities for just a few seconds several times a day. There is no goal in this practice, no seeking to get somewhere or accomplish something, but rather the purpose is simply to be fully aware, fully awake, and fully present to your own divinity in the now moment. Odier describes his Tantric path as "nothing spectacular...lack[ing] in the exotic, the magickal, the extraordinary....there was no ritual other than to breathe, walk, bathe... to look at the earth, the lichens, the trees, the leaves, common objects; to enter deeply into contact with life, reality." He suggests that the "luminosity of existence" pervades everything including you. Odier received direct personal Tantric initiation from a Kashmiri Shaivite yogini, Lalita Devi, in the Tantric lineage of the Tibetan master Kalu Rinpoche which dates back several thousand years.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
An excellent book 28 Dec 2005
By Haggenmueller Oliver - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in learning about tantra, this is an excellent starting point. Written by a professor from the University of California, he describes how he was initiated by Devï. Of course, tantra is still a very exotic form of meditation and considered as a very unusual sexual technique. Odier describes how he learned the technique and what effects it had on him. More important he illustrates how sex can become a way of opening up your mind. After you have read it, you'll want to learn it, but you'll see how the sex you've had so far is nothing comparedd to what awaits you with tantra. At the same time, it is not a guide, but rather an account of Odier's personal experience. Being a university professor of the Western world, this books makes it the more interesting as his description is what we would probably say as well. I definately recommed you to read it!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Part of the way in understanding Tantra 17 Oct 2007
By J. Zeger - Published on
Format: Paperback
Daniel Odier's Desire: The Tantric Path to Awakening is a good introduction to Tantra but I did not lose the feeling that Tantra was just an excuse for licentiousness until I read his subsequent book Yoga Spandakarika. In the latter Odier relays a fuller understanding of and feeling for Tantra. I would read them together as a set.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Wholistic Tantra 6 Mar 2006
By echogrrl - Published on
Format: Paperback
The best thing about this book, for me, is its easy-to-understand (if not always easy-to-practice) wholistic view of Tantric practice. Tantric practice is NOT just about sex -- it's about falling in love with the whole universe on a much subtler level, if I may put it into my own words. Odier mixes chapters that give solid, Western-life examples of new ways to look at the world with chapters on readings from ancient texts. Frankly, the latter are mostly over my head, but the book is engaging enough that I plan to come back to those chapters I didn't "get" on first reading and try again. My two minor quibbles are that the book seems somewhat disorganized, and perhaps related, Odier spends part of the book talking about how Tantric practice is not really or only about sex and part of the book describing the sexual aspects -- with the transition between the two being mostly buried in one of those more mystical chapters. That being said, I am impressed with how accessible AND useful the teachings were, especially the modern-life illustrations of everyday non-sexual Tantric practice.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Micropractices 2 Feb 2012
By Jim Morris - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As with many I read this author's book Tantric Quest on the advice of Raven Smith and HeatherAsh Amara. That book is a charming history of the author's apprenticeship in Kashmiri Shaivism with the yogina Lalita Devi. I enjoyed it enough to see what else the author had written, and found this book listed on
What we have here is a manual of his training in that tradition, a "Third Path" between an ascetic quest for spiritual enlightenment and out and out hedonism.
When I started reading it I flipped to the back for the naughty bits, with chapters on The Tantric Orgasm for Women and The Group Sexual Ritual. Then I laid it aside and didn't touch it again for a couple of years. Later, being stuck for something interesting to read I picked it up again, having forgotten that I hadn't read the whole thing. Surprise! The front of the book is packed with wonderful "micro-practices" that any spiritual seeker can incorporate into their day to good effect. My favorites are quieting the internal dialogue during the day, just by focusing on the breath for long enough to still the jibber-jabber. As he says, if you can do that even for ten or twenty seconds it's a wonderful little relief in the middle of the day. Another that I liked was to think that the food you eat wants you to eat it, the drink you drink wants you to drink it. This little thought completely changes the experience of living.
This is a marvelous book, and this review has not done justice to it. It not only bears reading, it bears rereading, perhaps several times.
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