Sally Kempton photo

A Spiritual Path with Sally Kempton

Episode 2

A Conversation with Sally Kempton

Shortly after Sally Kempton shed her robes Swami Durgananda after 20 years in Vedic tradition of Siddha Yoga, it was mid-2005 she as ventured down California's coastal Highway 1 to a video shoot at Esalen Institute in Big Sur that Mark was producing for his friend Shiva Rea. Running late, Mark was frustrated by the very slow car driving in front of him, even honking his horn a few times, only to pull into Esalen an hour later still behind that little car, and now fearing the worst, that this could be Sally Kempton. It was, yet she was unaware of the annoyed driver behind her, and soon this gave way to a few laughs and Mark's sigh of relief. Thus began a conversation that became an ongoing seventeen-year ritual of sitting together, even driving together, and conversing about everything – yoga, tantra, teaching, writing, science, politics and sharing in the whole of it all. 

Episode highlights:

  • Tuning into spirituality as the graceful, loving, omnipresent awareness of deeply benign energy one can tap into amid all of life’s circumstances;
  • Bringing spirit, shakti, eros, into everything;
  • Tantra as a diverse array of practices;
  • Having a daily yoga practice that pertains directly to daily life;
  • Cultivating complete awareness of being fully and brightly alive;
  • Receiving teachings from an inspiring source;
  • Being a feminist while living the life of an initiated swami;
  • Tantric initiation and matters of caste and gender;
  • Opening to all of what we feel and experience in ways we can face with abiding love.


Practicing yoga since the early 1970s, internationally respected teacher Sally Durgananda Kempton is a master at transmitting meditation and at applying spiritual, yogic and tantric teachings to daily life situations. Sally spent 20 years as a swami in a Tantric Yoga tradition. A deep practitioner with profound knowledge of both the traditional and the contemporary aspects of inner life, she is the author of The Heart of Meditation, Awakening Shakti, and Doorways to the Infinite, and she wrote Yoga Journal's monthly "Wisdom" column for many years.


  • Sally Kempton's Website

  • Sally Kempton's Books

    • Meditation for the Love Of It: Enjoying Your Own Deepest Experience

    • Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga

    • Doorways to the Infinite: The Art and Practice of Tantric Meditation

    • Awakening to Kali: The Goddess of Radical Transformation


  • Lisa Miller, The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and the Quest for an Inspired Life
  • David Gordon White (ed.), Tantra in Practice
    • Kiss of the Yogini
    • The Alchemical Body
    • Sinister Yogis
  • Alexis Sanderson, Tantric Foundation: Meaning in Tantric Ritual
  • Dominic Goodall, Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions: Essays in Honor of Alexis Sanderson
  • Douglas Renfrew Brooks, TheSecret of Three Cities: An Introduction to Hindu Śakta Tantrism
  • "Vijnana Bharava," in Daniel Odier, Yoga Spandakarika
  • Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe), The Serpent Power
  • Mabel Todd, The Thinking Body
  • Ian Macnaughton, Body, Breath, & Consciousness: A Somatics Anthology
  • Anya Foxen and Christa Kuberry, Is This Yoga? Concepts, Histories, and the Complexities of Modern Practice