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The spellbinding, untold story of Theos Bernard, the pioneer of Hatha Yoga and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy in the Western world
The Life of Tantric Yogi
Theos Bernard, Tibet’s Lost
Emissary to the New World
By Douglas Veenhof
It is estimated today that nearly eighteen million people in North America alone practice some form of Yoga at studios, gyms, or clinics. As popular as this practice now is, it is difficult to imagine that less than a hundred years ago, if a student wanted to take up yoga, he would have had to travel around the world and spend months trying to penetrate secret societies of Asian sanctuaries. In 1937, Theos Bernard changed all of that.
In WHITE LAMA: The Life of Tantric Yogi Theos Bernard, Tibet’s Lost Emissary to the New World (Harmony Books; May 10, 2011; $27.50; Hardcover), Douglas Veenhof tells the colorful story of Theos Bernard, a pioneer of Hatha Yoga, Tantra, and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy in the West. Self-described as the “first white lama,” Bernard was the third American ever to set foot in Tibet and may very well have been the first American ever initiated into Tantric practices by the highest lama in Tibet. When he left this sacred land, he was sent home with fifty mule loads of the finest editions of essential Buddhist scriptures from government and monastery vaults and in many ways was the first person to bring such insight into Tibetan practices in the Western World.
In WHITE LAMA, Theos Bernard’s life, works, and eventual disappearance are chronicled in a stirring work of narrative nonfiction, loaded with rich characters such as Charles Lindbergh, Lowell Thomas, Ganna Walska, and W.Y. Evans-Wentz and supplemented with fascinating original photographs from Theos’ trips to Tibet.
Part biography, part adventure story, and part history of the Tibetan people in a way that has never been told before, WHITE LAMA takes an intriguing look at Tibet in the first part of the 20th century and pays homage to the visionary man who introduced Tibetan Buddhism and Hatha Yoga to the Western world.
About the Author:
DOUGLAS VEENHOF is a former mountain guide and an award-winning journalist and has been practicing and studying Buddhism and Yoga philosophy for many years.
The Life of Tantric Yogi Theos Bernard, Tibet’s Lost Emissary to the New World
By Douglas Veenhof
May 10, 2011 • 978-0-385-51432-3
$27.50 • Hardcover