Main content start

Jacob Dalton: "On the Early Development of Sexual Union in Buddhist Tantric Practice: Evidence from Dunhuang"

Thursday June 1st 2023, 5:00 - 6:30PM
Event Sponsor
The Ho Center for Buddhist Studies
Stanford East Asian Library, Rm 224
Jacob Dalton

Well known are the systems of chakras, channels, and wind-energies that are manipulated in conjunction with tantric sexual yoga.  But before all that, tantric Buddhists experimented with other methods.  This talk considers the evidence of two unique tenth-century manuscripts from Dunhuang and what they tell us about how Buddhist authors tied such practices to still earlier, non-sexual meditations from the Mahāvairocanābhisaṃbodhi and the Sarvatathāgatatattvasaṃgraha.

For non-Stanford affiliates who wish to join, please review library visitor access page.


Jacob Dalton, Khyentse Foundation Distinguished University Professor in Tibetan Buddhism, works on tantric ritual, Nyingma religious history, and the Dunhuang manuscripts.  Prior to joining UC Berkeley, he taught at Yale University and held a postdoctoral research position with the International Dunhuang Project.  He is author of several books, including most recently, Conjuring the Buddha: Ritual Manuals in Early Tantric Buddhism (Columbia University Press, 2023).