I discovered Shambhavi Sarasvati when I went looking for Tantra books to deepen my knowledge of the Trika Shaivism lineage. I found The Play of Awakening, which is an accessible, enjoyable, gem of a book. I felt like I was sitting in satsang with Shambhavi, and had many insights and a’ha! moments through reading her words.
I love her approach to Tantra and Self-Realisation – it feels relaxed and grounded in day-to-day life. She says that direct realization traditions, like Trika Shaivism, “offer us practical tools to discover utter naturalness, lightness of being, unconditional kindness, and freedom of expression.” And who doesn’t want to experience that? It’s more concrete than ‘self-realisation’, providing a feeling of aspects of being we can feel.
Shambhavi has been practicing and teaching for a long time, and has a had a daily practice for more than 35 years. That consistency of practice shows in the way she teaches. She exemplifies that naturalness, lightness of being and kindness, things you can hear and feel in her weekly podcast.
I was delighted when she agreed to do an interview with me, affording me a rare opportunity to connect with a dedicated teacher. Our conversation was a watershed for me, and shone a light on places where I was stuck – or fixated, as Shambhavi would say. May you enjoy it as much as I did, and receive as many teachings.
In this interview we explore:
- How Shambhavi found her way to Tantra, in spite of being extremely allergic to anything new-agey or woo-woo!
- The process of making Tantra practices a part of the texture of everyday life, so that they inform your moment to moment experience
- How you know when you’ve found the right tradition or teacher for you
- Why the teacher-student relationship is central to the tantric tradition and is one the most engaging relationship one can have as a human being
- Shambhavi’s bottom line as a teacher: never teach or write about anything that you don’t have as part of your own experience
- How a spiritual practice can make you a more effective activist.