HOW THIS BOOK CAME TO BE

 

 

In 1913 Charles Webster Ledbeater, an Englishman who had lived and taught in Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon)  made knowledge of the chakra system available to the West in his classic work, “The Chakras.”  For decades he was the principal authority on this system, although knowledge of it was widespread in India, made available there by such venerated figures as Swami Satyananda Saraswati, the founder of Bihar Yoga University. In the second half of the twentieth century, Harish Johari, who grew up in Bareilly and Haridwar in northwest India, came to the U.S. and Europe each year teaching and publishing.  He wrote another classic work, “The Chakras: Energy Centers of Transformation,” and a number of other books. He was also a remarkable artist. And he recreated the ancient game Leela, based in large part on the chakras, with a game board and book. (It’s still available.) The three authors of the present work studied with him for about twenty years when he was in the West until he crossed over in 1999.  Pieter Weltevrede was his principal art student, using Johari’s methods, and continued to develop that artistic style. He came to the U.S. every year as Johari had done, and stayed not far from Kooch and Victor’s home. A few years back the three of us concluded that it was time to move Johari’s work along, bringing our own knowledge and experience into it. Victor received his Ph.D. from UCLA, and was a professor of psychology at Sonoma State University for more than 40 years. Kooch studied with one of the most insightful Jungian scholars in America, and with a leader in somatic psychology, biofeedback, and humanistic psychology. And of course, running through everything was Pieter’s art. He began as the book’s illustrator, and as we worked, became a coauthor. And of course Inner Traditions / Destiny Books had to be the publisher, because they had published all Johari’s English-language works and Pieter had also worked as illustrator on a number of their other books. So here it is!