Reading The Chakras

My Short Review of Eastern Body, Western Mind, by Anodea Judith

eastern body, western mind

Studying the chakras was new to me, so this was one heck of a book to dive into. It’s so chalk full of information that I refer to it often. It’s funny: ever since I started reading this book, I notice people talking about the chakra’s all the time now! Similar to learning about the enneagram, understanding more about the chakras helps me understand the various aspects of ourselves and the complexities of what it means to be human.

Connecting the spiritual with the physical is fascinating to me, so I was thrilled that there is so much research and ‘evidence’ which links these planes to each other, as well as to the mental and emotional planes.

Prior to reading this book, I identified myself as a relatively integrated male. After reading it, I soon discovered that there is a lot of femininity in me, and that there is a LOT of integration work that needs to be done. I subsequently found a rolfer who primarily focused on my 3rd and 5th chakras, as he felt that they were notably weak. Now after ten sessions of exploration, I now feel so much more powerful and expressive.

Referring to the Chakra At A Glance pages are particularly helpful for me, as they provide quick refresher courses on how to identify imbalances and find practices which help heal. This is particularly useful when relating with coaching clients and I don’t have time to re-read whole sections.

Now as I work more with tweens and teens (teaching meditation), I think more about the development of chakras in youth, especially the first four chakras. Thoughts toward what it means to feel secure and safe at different ages, explorations around simple exercises on emotional intelligence, curiosity about a teen’s need to chart unknown territory, and feelings about the heart bonds between children and their parents – all of these happen for me on a consistent basis now.

Reading this book has also emphasized for me the importance of developing a stronger connection with the body. Listening to my chakra centers for signs of imbalance helps me more clearly understand why I may not be feeling aligned. Maintaining my yoga practice remains super important, as I feel that it opens the channels around all of my chakras, allowing energy to move and blockages to open.

I am also fascinated with the Character Structures that are laid out and how one may be able to partially diagnose traumas by looking at how they hold their bodies, how they speak, and what they do. I definitely want more practice with this in real life, and to see the ways my body speaks for my subconscious.

It will take me years to understand most of what this book has to offer. There is so much wisdom in how the human body works, and the internal and external signs are always there for us to glean it if we pay the right kind of Westernized, analytical attention. While the book is not an easy, linear (forgive the pun) read, I recommend this book often to people who were once like me – unaware of the physical intelligence of what we are.


Here is a free pdf of the book:

Author: Sean Fargo
About Sean Fargo At the peak of his career as Director of Asian Operations for AsiaEXP, Sean Fargo traded in his worldly aspirations to explore the inner life by ordaining as a Buddhist monk for two years in the Thai Theravada tradition. Since disrobing in 2010, he has supported thousands of meditation practitioners at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, facilitated mindfulness classes in San Quentin and Solano State Prisons, and has lead several workshops at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education teen retreats. A dedicated student of spirituality and mindfulness, he has studied with Jack Kornfield, Analayo Bhikkhu, Phillip Moffitt, and many other teachers in the US and Asia. His teaching path is guided by Guy Armstrong, Senior Teachers Council member for both Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Insight Meditation Society. Founder of, he offers secular mindfulness e-courses with certifications available for personal and professional skill sets. Enrolled in New Ventures West's Coaching Certification Program, Sean expects to certify as an Integral Life Coach in November 2014. He graduated with honors from University of California at Santa Barbara’s Global Studies Department in 2000. Sean offers private instruction to adults, teens, companies, and organizations. Contact Sean Fargo for more info.

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