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White Lama: The Life of Tantric Yogi Theos Bernard, Tibet's Lost Emissary to the New World
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White Lama: The Life of Tantric Yogi Theos Bernard, Tibet's Lost Emissary to the New World

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  36 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
An amazing, often overlooked story of the man who brought Yoga and Tibetan culture to America. Theos Bernard’s colorful, enigmatic, and sometimes contradictory life captures an intersection of East and West that changed our world.

After years of forcibly stopping foreigners at the borders, the leaders of Tibet opened the doors to their kingdom in 1937 for Theos Bernard. He
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Harmony (first published January 1st 2011)
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Elly Sands
Feb 16, 2012 Elly Sands rated it really liked it
Although the subject matter truly interested me and it was obviously very well researched, I'm sorry to say that I found this book to be a tedious read. So much information was given, names, dates, places, that I felt overwhelmed. I'm sure a scholar would rejoice at all the compilation of facts but myself being a lay person it boggled my little mind! I did read it in it's entirety but at times it felt like a burden. I'm still glad I read it. It's a thorough portrait of Theos Bernard who wanted t ...more
Jun 21, 2011 John rated it it was amazing
Impeccably researched and well-written account of a fascinating figure--Theos Bernard--who in the end manages to remain a bit elusive as a personality. But his pioneering journey into Tibet and his efforts to bring Tibetan Buddhist and Hatha Yoga teachings to the west, along with a kind of primer on Tibetan culture, are the true heart of this book. If you have any interest in Tibetan Buddhism, the history of yoga in America, the history of Tibet and China, and the real goal of yoga, this book wi ...more
Brook Cosby
May 25, 2011 Brook Cosby rated it it was amazing
This book is a wildly captivating journey into an unknown chapter in the history of Yoga in the West... and into the rapidly disappearing record of Tibet pre-1959. Veenhof's narrative voice is engaging and conversational. And Theos Bernard's story is so remarkable, it's hard to believe this book isn't a work of fiction! I loved it and am already looking forward to re-reading.
John Distefano
Jul 24, 2013 John Distefano rated it it was amazing
Savored the reading of this most interesting book! It was one of life's greatest adventure's through reading! I had looked forward to all the exciting/inspiring adventure,to which each chapter really served well to hold in store for me. This is truly the type of book, that certainly seems to appeal to the highest, or Divine within me. I only wish that there were as many great books like this to read, as the number that Theos Bernard had managed to bring back to the Western World. It was also abs ...more
May 01, 2014 Elena rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-stuff
I bought this book out of curiosity and I am happy I did. A commendable biographical book written by Buddhist practitioner and mountain guide Douglas Veenhof, the story of Theos Bernard enchanted me. The thorough research done by the author is obvious and at times can be tedious, but this book is not a fictional novel and this has to be kept in mind when you are reading it. Nevertheless, the life of the White Lama is fascinating enough for the reader to drift between stark real facts and the mag ...more
Sep 03, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it
Very interesting and informative on Bernard's contribution to Tibetan studies and yoga. The theme of Tibetans amazed by unprecedented sincerity and interest got sounded a bit often, but overall a thoughtful and objective account that was generous to Bernard and his associates. The book shines with some incandescent passages from Bernard's letters and journals.
Jul 12, 2012 Matthew rated it really liked it
such interesting stuff, such exciting adventures, but the book failed to totally grab me as a narrative. the subject is fascinating but the book, while very well researched and compiled, was a little tedious. nonetheless, i would recommend to anyone interested in tibet, tantric studies or just plain 'ol travel narratives.
Apr 14, 2012 Douglas is currently reading it
Very authentic and unusual story. A minor error about Krishnamacharya. I knew him and studied with his son in India for seven years. (if you read it ask me) All was not ideal in Tibet. Terrible punishments to anyone out of line. A little tedious reading with the amount detail. I still have 200 pages.
Oct 29, 2011 Danie rated it it was amazing
This book not only outlined the life of Theos Bernard from newspaper articles, letters, and other accounts, but it also gave a fairly good history of Tibet, it's culture, and religion. I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in Tibet and it's spread to the U.S.
Jul 13, 2011 Bob rated it it was amazing
Some amazing images of the culture of old Tibet.
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