Exploring Chakras: Awaken Your Untapped Energy, by Susan G. Shumsky
New Page Books, 1564146561, 265 pages (+ notes and index), 2003
The explanation of the chakras Shumsky gives on page 15 is far more detailed than any I have encountered before. The charts and illustrations contain in this book offer a unique perspective on chakras.
The first chapter answers basic questions about the foundation of belief in, and knowledge of, chakras is simple, easy to understand ways. It contains less than dozen questions, yet succeeds in setting the groundwork for what is to follow.
Shumsky does not claim to be able to convey all the necessary knowledge in this one, relatively short, book. And she does recommend finding a teacher to help you work through the rather intense experiences you might expect to encounter if you decide to pursue further studies in this area. Her book is intended as an introduction (albeit an intense introduction).
This is not a book only about Eastern thought. There are references to quantum theory and other aspects of Western science as well. These references are kept as simple as is practical, but a fair understanding of current scientific terms would be a definite advantage.
Throughout the book Shumsky takes the time to explain the foreign (mostly Sanskrit) words which are unavoidably part of the explanations f this topic. She explains the roots of the word and relates it to concepts anyone can understand. It won’t make you proficient in Sanskrit but, by the time you finish reading the book you won’t be staring blankly when you see or hear these words.
The book is abundantly illustrated with black and white drawings and images of Eastern deities. Once again, it serves to make these ideas and deities easier to relate to.
Unlike many authors, she continues to give short reminders of the meanings of the foreign words throughout the book. She is also adamant about pursuing the yoga she teaches with a qualified teacher AND medical approval, both of which are very good pieces of advice often overlooked in other books aimed at the general reader.
This is one of the best explanations of the chakras and how to access them and benefit from that access that I have ever read. Of course, it can’t replace personalized instruction, but if you take the time to read this book, and let the concepts within work through your various levels, you will more than amply rewarded. This is not an instant formula for learning about chakras. It involves some serious study and some very hard work. The rewards are definitely worth the effort in my opinion.
There are plenty of charts to help simplify the absorption of information for those whose minds are attuned to that method of relating.
The last 54 pages are composed of exercises and techniques designed to help you begin the stimulation of your chakras, and you should be well prepared to begin that work by the time you arrive at that point.
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Mike Gleason (1951-2012) dedicated his time to sharing his knowledge and opinions with others, and spent years reviewing books for the Pagan, Wiccan, Witch and magickal communities.