Some of Tao’s Favorites on Amazon and elsewhere: (Click on any ISBN for more information and to order from

Introductions to Yoga and Indic Esoterica:

Yoga — Understanding the cultural and historical scope:
  • The Shambhala Guide to Yoga, by Georg Feuerstein; ISBN: 157062142X
    A brief scholarly work introducing all the forms of yoga practice, meditative and physical
  • The Yoga Tradition: History, Religion, Philosophy and Practice, by Georg Feuerstein, Ken Wilber; ISBN: 1890772186
  • The Roots of Yoga by James Mallinson and Mark Singleton, ISBN: 9780241253045
  • Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, by Mircea Eliade, Willard R. Trask (Translator); ISBN: 0691017646
  • The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga, by Georg Feuerstein; ISBN: 1570625557

Practical Manuals of Traditional Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Kriya Yoga
  • The Complete Yoga Book : Yoga of Breathing, Yoga of Posture, and Yoga of Meditation/Three Volumes in One, by James Hewitt; ISBN: 0805209697 (A great reference and rigorous overview of hatha yoga methods and an introduction to the methods of Jnana, Raja, Kriya, Karma, Japa, Laya, etc.)
  • Yoga Self-Taught, by Andre Van Lysebeth; ISBN: 1578631270 (A step-by-step, do-it-yourself introduction to the deeper practice of basic through advanced Hatha and Raja Yoga techniques)
  • The Yoga Book : A Practical Guide to Self-Realization, by Stephen Sturgess; ISBN: 1842930346
    Intermediate and Advanced practices of pranayam, kriya, mudra, bandha in Hatha and Kriya Yoga
  • The Textbook of Yoga Psychology – The Definitive Translation and Interpretation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, by Ramamurti S. Mishra, ISBN: 0517564343
  • Fundamentals of Yoga: A Handbook of Theory, Practice, and Application, by Brahmananda Saraswati (aka Ramamurti S. Mishra), ISBN: 051756422X
  • Pranayama: The Yoga of Breathing by Andre van Lysebeth; ISBN: 0041490509 (One of the most thorough western texts on Pranayam)
  • Kriya Secrets Revealed, Complete Lessons and Techniques, by J.C. Stevens, ISBN: 1479109517
  • Hatha Yoga: The Hidden Language – Symbols, Secrets, and Metaphor, by Swami Sivananda Radha, ISBN-10: 1932018131, or Kindle
  • Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha by Satyananda Saraswati, ISBN: 8186336141

Introductions to Tantra

  • The Tantric Way: Art, Science, Ritual, by Ajit Mookerji and Madhu Khanna, ISBN: 0500270880
  • Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy , by Georg Feuerstein; ISBN: 0062516132 (a scholarly overview of mostly Hindu Tantra, and to a far lesser degree, Buddhist Vajrayana)
  • Tantra: The Cult of the Feminine, by Andre Van Lysebeth; ISBN: 157062304X (an excellent introduction to the worldview of Kaula Tantra, and practical aspects of tantric meditation, including mechanics and inner attitudes of Mantra, Yantra, and Maithuna, that are still rarely explained in western texts on those subjects…
  • Desire: The Tantric Path to Awakening , by Daniel Odier; ISBN: 0892818581
  • Tantric Quest: An Encounter with Absolute Love, by Daniel Odier; ISBN: 0892816201 (a wonderful personal account that is an excellent introduction to non-dual kashmiri saivite tantrism and saivite mahamudra)
  • Secret of the Vajra World: The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet by Reginald A Ray, ISBN: 157062772X
  • The Tibetan Art of Good Karma: The Hidden Treasure of the Turquise Way by Nida Chenagtsang, ISBN: 0980823226
  • Introduction to Tantra : The Transformation of Desire, by Lama Thubten Yeshe; ISBN: 0861711629 (an excellent introduction to Buddhist Tantra – Vajrayana)
  • Tantra Yoga, Nada Yoga, and Kriya Yoga, by Sri Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh; 1955, public domain download. A pithy, practical introduction to these three forms of yoga in the Sakta/Saiva traditions.
  • Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses: Spiritual Secrets of Ayurveda, by Dr. David Frawley; ISBN: 0910261393 (A wonderful and practical introduction to the Mahavidya Yogas, deity yoga sadhanas from the late western Medieval period, using mantra, visualization, and yantra yoga)
  • Inner Tantric Yoga: Working with the Universal Shakti: Secrets of Mantras, Deities, and Meditation, by David Frawley; ISBN: 0940676508
  • Tools for Tantra, by Harish Johari; ISBN: 0892810556 (An excellent introduction to mantra, yantra, and tantra, including numerous deity gayatri practices and the Mahavidya yogas)
  • Aghora: At the Left Hand of God, by Robert E. Svoboda, ISBN: 0-914732-21-8 (The Aghora trilogy uses fictionalized autobiography, written in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person voice, respectively, to demonstrate the view, principles, and techniques of the more radical aspects of left-hand-path tantrism. The first volume focuses on faith, devotion, and deity practice, the second on the inner yogas of kundalini, and the third on the unfolding of karma, the observation of it, and approaches of the mature practitioners of tantra in navigating it)
  • Aghora II: Kundalini, by Robert E. Svoboda, ISBN: 0-914732-31-5
  • Aghora III: The Law of Karma, by Robert E. Svoboda, ISBN: 0-914732-37-4
  • Kali’s Odiyya : A Shaman’s True Story of Initiation, by Amarananda Bhairavan, ISBN: 978-0892540488
  • Medicine of Light: A Shaman’s Journey Through Mystic Space-Time, by Amarananda BhairavanISBN: 978-0892541263
  • Tantra Yoga, by Nik Douglas ISBN: 0685401723
  • The Doctrine of Vibration: An Analysis of the Doctrines and Practices Associated with Kashmir Shaivism (SUNY series in the Shaiva Traditions of Kashmir), by Mark S. G. Dyczkowski, ISBN-10: 0887064329
  • A Journey in the World of the Tantras, by Mark S.G. Dyczkowki, ISBN-10: 9788186569429

Sexual Yoga/ Maithuna / Sambhoga Yoga / KarmaMudra/ Taoist Sexual Alchemy and Meditation:

  • Spiritual Sex : The Secrets of Tantra from the Ice Age to the New Millennium, by Nik Douglas; ISBN: 0671537393 (limited availability) (A wonderful historical overview of sacred coitus in ALL religious traditions)
  • Sexual Energy Ecstasy: A Practical Guide To Lovemaking Secrets Of The East And West, by Ellen and David Ramsdale; ISBN: 0553372319
  • Transcendent Sex: When Lovemaking Opens the Veil, by Jenny Wade, PhD, ISBN: 0743482174
  • The Tao of Love and Sex: The Ancient Chinese Way to Ecstasy, by Jolan Chang, ISBN-10: 0140193383
  • Emergence of the Sensual Woman: Awakening Our Erotic Innocence, Women’s Taoist Qigong, by Saida Desilets, PhD. ISBN: 0978865405
  • The Tao of the Loving Couple: True Liberation through the Tao, by Jolan Chang, ISBN-10: 0140193391
  • Karmamudra: The Yoga of Bliss, by Nida Chenagtsang, paperback ISBN: 0997731982 and Kindle (the sexual yogas of Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism as practiced in the Ngak’pa/Ngak’ma ordained householder communities)
  • Tibetan Yoga: Principles and Practices, by Ian A. Baker, ISBN: 1620559129 (includes several chapters on karmamudra principles)
  • The Great Bliss, by John T. Houseman, a lama in the Drikung Kagyu Tibetan Vajrayana tradition, available as a free download here
  • Sexual Reflexology: Activating the Taoist Points of Love, by Mantak Chia and William U. Wei; ISBN: 0892810882
  • Healing Love Through the Tao : Cultivating Female Sexual Energy, by Mantak Chia, Maneewan Chia; ISBN: 0935621059
  • The Multi-Orgasmic Couple: Sexual Secrets Every Couple Should Know, by Mantak Chia (Editor), Maneewan Chia, Douglas Abrams, Rachel Carlton Abrams, Doug Abrams; ISBN: 0062516132
  • Acupressure for Lovers: Secrets of Touch for Increasing Intimacy by Michael Reed Gach, ISBN: 055337401X
  • Sexual Secrets : The Alchemy of Ecstasy, by Nik Douglas, Penny Slinger ISBN: 0892818050 english/ or ISBN: 0892815884 spanish (Maithuna, or sexual yoga, in its many forms, in the asian traditions of Hindu tantra, Buddhist tantra, Taoist alchemy, Bön tantra, etc…)
  • Tantra : The Yoga of Sex, by Omar Garrison (out of print – available used)
  • Tantra: The Cult of the Feminine, by Andre Van Lysebeth; ISBN: 157062304X (contains a number of chapters teaching some of the more esoteric techniques around which maithuna is structured…)

Mantra, Japa & Mantra Yoga

  • Mantra: Sacred Words of Power, by Thomas Ashley Farrand, Thomas Ashley-Farrand ISBN: 1564556972
  • Sounds of the Chakras, by Harish Johari; ISBN: 0892813075
  • Mantras: Words of Power, by Swami Sivananda Radha, ISBN-10: 1932018107
  • Chakra Mantras: Liberate Your Spiritual Genius Through Chanting, by Thomas Ashley Farrand, ISBN-10: 1578633672
  • Shakti Mantras: Tapping into the Great Goddess Energy Within Paperback, by Thomas Ashley-Farrand, ISBN-10: 9780345443045
  • Healing Mantras: Using Sound Affirmations for Personal Power, Creativity, and Healing, by Thomas Ashley-Farrand, ISBN-10: 0345431707
  • Japa Yoga: a Comprehensive Treatise on Mantra-Sastra, by Sri Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, 1942, public domain download ISBN 81-7052-018-5
  • The Power of Mantra and the Mystery of Initiation, by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, ISBN-10: 0893891762
  • Mantra Yoga and Primal Sound: Secret of Seed (Bija) Mantras, by David Frawley, ISBN-10: 0910261946

Tantric Art and Visual Practice: Yantra, Mandala, Ishta Devata, Stupa, Thangka

Kundalini Shakti, Laya Yoga, and the Chakras of the Sat Chakra Nirupana

  • Kundalini: The Arousal of the Inner Energy, by Ajit Mookerjee, ISBN-10: 0892810203
  • Chakras: Energy Centers of Transformation, by Harish Johari; ISBN: 0892817607 (an Introduction to Laya Yoga)
  • The Serpent Power : 2 Works on Laya-Yoga, by Arthur Avalon, John George Woodroffe; ISBN: 0486230589
  • Kundalini: Yoga For The West, by Swami Sivananda Radha, ISBN-10: 1932018344
  • Layayoga:The Definitive Guide to the Chakras and Kundalini, by Shyam Sundar Goswami, Shyam, Sundar Goswami; ISBN: 0892817666

Devi, Shakta Tantra, and the Dakini and Yogini Principles

Gheranda Samhita, Siva Samhita, and Hatha Yoga Pradipika:

Check Nataraj Books in Alexandria, VA, when Amazon is out of stock!

  • Hatha Yoga Pradipika of Yogi Swatmarama, translated and commented upon by Swami Muktibodhananda; ISBN 81-85787-38-7 or Kindle
  • The Shiva Samhita, translated into English by Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vasu; ISBN 81-215-0507-0
  • Siva Samhita: A Critical Edition and an English Translation, by James Mallinson, ISBN-10: 0971646651
  • The Gheranda Samhita, The Original Sanskrit and an English Edition, by James Mallinson, ISBN-10: 0971646635
  • The Gheranda Samhita, Sanskrit Text With English Translation, translated into English by Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vasu; ISBN 81-215-0507-0

Translations of the Tantras and Agamas

  • The Kaulajnananirnaya: The Esoteric Teachings of Matsyendrapada Sadguru of the Yogini Kaula School of Tantric Tradition, by Mukhopadhyaya, Satkari; Dupuis, Stella, ISBN-10: 8177421239
  • Kaulajnana-nirnaya of the School of Matsyendranatha, text edited with an Exhaustive Introduction by P.C. Bagchi, translated into English by Maichael Magee; from Nataraj Books
  • The Yoga of Delight, Wonder, and Astonishment: A Translation of the Vijnana-bhairava, with an Introduction and Notes by Jaideva Singh, foreword by Paul Muller-Ortega; ISBN 0-7914-1074-9
  • Shiva Sutras: The Supreme Awakening, Swami Lakshmanjoo, translator and commentator; ISBN: 1434314057
  • Yoga Spandakarika: The Sacred Texts at the Origins of Tantra, by Daniel Odier; ISBN: 1594770514, a Kashmiri Shaivite text, book also includes a very practical beautiful english translation of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra (not the most linguistically accurate, but brillant for producing the result of the indicated practices)
  • The Heart of the Yogini: The Yoginihrdaya, a Sanskrit Tantric Treatise,
    by André Padoux (Translator), Roger-Orphé Jeanty (Contributor), ISBN-10: 9780199982332 or Kindle
  • The Cakrasamvara Tantra (The Discourse of Sri Heruka): A Study and Annotated Translation (Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences), by David B. Gray, ISBN-10: 1949163024 or Kindle
  • The Concealed Essence of the Hevajra Tantra: With the Commentary Yogaratnamala (English and Sanskrit Edition) (Sanskrit), by G.W. Farrow (Author), I Menon (Editor), ISBN-10: 8120809114
  • The Aphorisms of Siva: The Siva Sutra with Bhaskara’s Commentary, the Varttika (SUNY series in Tantric Studies), by Mark S. G. Dyczkowski (Translator), Paul E. Muller-Ortega (Foreword), ISBN-10: 0791412644

Finding constitutional balance: Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Tibetan Medicine, Western Cuisine, etc…

Qi Gong

  • The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing, by Ken Cohen; ISBN: 0345421094
  • The Essential Qigong Training Course: 100 Days to Increase Energy, Physical Health and Spiritual Well-Being, by Ken Cohen; ISBN: 1591790905
  • The Way of Energy: Mastering the Chinese Art of Internal Strength with Chi Kung Exercise, by Lam Kam-Chuen, ISBN: 0671736450
  • Qigong Empowerment : A Guide to Medical, Taoist, Buddhist, Wushu Energy Cultivation, by Shou-Yu Liang, Wen-Ching Wu; ISBN: 1889659029
  • The Root of Chinese Qigong: Secrets of Health, Longevity, & Enlightenment, by Yang Jwing-Ming; ISBN: 1886969507
  • Emergence of the Sensual Woman: Awakening Our Erotic Innocence, Women’s Taoist Qigong, by Saida Desilets, PhD. ISBN: 0978865405
  • Taoist Yoga and Sexual Energy; Internal Alchemy and Chi Kung, by Eric Steven Yudelove, Mantak Chia; ISBN: 1567188346
  • Awaken Healing Light of the Tao by Mantak Chia, Maneewan Chia; ISBN: 0935621466
  • Path Notes of an American Ninja Master, by Glenn J. Morris, PhD, ScD; ISBN: 1556431570
  • Shadow Strategies of an American Ninja Master, by Glenn Morris, PhD, ScD; ISBN: 1883319293
  • Martial Arts Madness: Light and Dark in the Esoteric Martial Arts, by Glenn J. Morris, PhD, ScD; ISBN: 1883319773

Taoist Treatises and Mystical Art

  • Tao: The Chinese Philosophy of Time and Change (Art & Imagination), by Philip Rawson (Author), Laszlo Legeza, ISBN-10: 0500810028
  • The Taoist Classics, Volume One: The Collected Translations of Thomas Cleary, by Thomas Cleary, ISBN-10: 1570624852
  • The Taoist Classics, Volume Two: The Collected Translations of Thomas Cleary, by Thomas Cleary, ISBN-10: 1570624860
  • The Taoist Classics, Volume Three: The Collected Translations of Thomas Cleary, by Thomas Cleary, ISBN-10: 1570624879
  • The Taoist Classics, Volume Four: The Collected Translations of Thomas Cleary, by Thomas Cleary, ISBN-10: 1570624887

A note on these book recommendations:

Spirituality and Religion, east and west, are rife with abuses of power. There is not a major lineage or practice circle in which this has not been the case – both patriarchal and matriarchal. Even in the quest for the expansion of spirit, human nature remains riddled with flaws, especially where fealty and unquestioning obedience is expected, demanded, or offered.

Please note that when I post links to books, I do so as a source of insights, worldviews, and techniques within, never as a wholesale endorsement of the personality, cult of personality, or personality flaws, of the author or lineage of the author, and never as an endorsement of every idea within the book. Take note, explore, experience, expand, process, digest, absorb, eliminate, striving always for personal sovereignty, compassion, self-love, and humanity.

Feel free to condemn the actions or words of the authors, while still advancing useful ideas and techniques they have put forward. Monetary/power/sexual assaults and abuses, homophobic, misogynistic, racist, and caste/classist writings are indeed atrocious. Techniques and principles for evolution and expanded consciousness, wisdom and compassion are sublime. Throw out the bathwater. Keep the baby.

Learn to bloom out of the simultaneously nutritive and toxic muck of our collectively equivocal, ambivalent, and prevaricating inter-dependently originated aggregated ego-personalities. Blaze, in radiance, in and beyond all of that.