May 16- 23, 2011  

A Retreat with Vijnana Bhairava

Dr. Bettina Bäumer

The Vijnana Bhairava is a root Tantra of Kashmir Saivism which teaches 112 ways (dharana) of entering the Supreme Consciousness, comprising meditational practices as well as practices leading from ordinary experiences to enlightenment or divinization. It is one of the most extraordinary spiritual texts of the Indian tradition, also because of its highly practical nature.

The retreat will combine text study of the Tantra with meditation, periods of silence and meditative walks in nature.

Proposed daily program:

  • 2 sessions text study
  • 4-5 hours meditation
  • recitation of Stotras of the Kashmiri Saiva tradition
  • sharing



  • some experience with meditation
  • knowledge of Sanskrit is helpful in understanding the text, but not a necessary requirement


This text can be practiced independently from belonging to any particular religious tradition.


Dr. Bettina Bäumer, direct disciple of the last Acarya of Kashmir Saivism, Swami Lakshman Joo (1907-1991). She has translated the Vijnana Bhairava into German and English and taught it a number of times in Europe and India. She has authored and edited books on Indian philosophy, art, aesthetics and spirituality, with special focus on texts of Kashmir Saivism (Abhinavagupta). Living and working in Varanasi she is currently Visiting Professor in Religious Studies at the University of Salzburg (Austria).

Literature recommended:
Vijnana Bhairava or Divine Consciousness, Text and Translation by Jaideva Singh, Delhi (MLBD) 1979 ff.
Vijnana Bhairava, The Practice of Centering Awareness, Commentary by Swami Lakshman Joo, Varanasi (Indica, 2nd ed. 2007)

Cost: no fees prescribed, but we request a donation towards the travel fare and other expenses of the teacher and the organisers.