Any thoughts on Jerome Edou's book for an interested but not particularly well informed reader? Recommended, or would you suggest looking elsewhere?
I'm no expert on Machig, but I have read Machig's Complete Explanation
, Sarah Harding's overview of Chod in the Intro to one of the volumes of Kongtrul's Treasury of Knowledge
, Edou's book about Machig, the Chapter in Allione's Women of Wisdom
on Machig, and Lion of Siddhas
about Padampa Sangye. I'd recommend all of them, Edou is a bit dryer then the rest, but still informative.
In the terma tradition, I think the main practices people do are the Longchen Nyingthig "Laughter of the Dakinis," the Dzinpa Rangdrol Chod (from the terma cycle of Do Kyentse), and the Throma Nagmo chod (from the Throma cycle of Dudjom Lingpa). I am unfamiliar with any commentaries on the first two, but the later practice has the Saraha Nyingthig as it's core text and a bunch of supplemental texts, which will be in the next edition coming out soon from Light of Berotsana.
In the Dudjom tradition the person completes a very ati flavored ngondro and is introduced to Trekcho and the View before embarking on in-depth chö practice, so the whole thing is very much based on the View from the beginning. As I understand our tradition, people who have accomplished the practice then can do activity rituals, if they like, based on that accomplishment and in harmony with the View, not a quasi-shamanistic approach. Even the classic healing ritual (there are many in the cycle) the Chang Bu, is a profound teaching on Dzogchen.