The Teacher

In brief

Driven by the compulsion to simply no longer suffer and to be happy, I was drawn to spirituality. I studied and trained in many forms of yoga and meditation, as well as some healing modalities. I have sat in Satsangs and in long meditation retreats as well as studying spiritual literature and western psychology.

My initial yet superficial results (ie. becoming temporarily happy), led me deeper down the rabbit hole. I realised how deeply unconscious my life had been until that point (2003) and my emotional wounding and character liabilities became more and more apparent…

I became determined to awaken from the painful slumber of unconsciousness, find meaning and discover the innermost truths of life and death.

I felt it was important to establish myself as a dedicated yogi before being ready to teach a complete system of yoga and meditation. So I practiced for many years and travelled all over the world meeting various teachers and gurus. I became a Jignasu Sannyasin with Bihar school of Yoga and a qualified Agama yoga teacher and Satyananda yoga practitioner before creating ‘The Heart of Tantra’. I have now reached a point where I am committed to the simplification of the process of awakening; leaving out anything which I have not experienced myself as effectual.

I feel that it is easy to get lost in ‘spiritual practices’ and to not properly consider our real intentions for walking the spiritual path.

My approach to both teaching and self-practice is ever evolving but my commitment to the unfolding of Truth is constant. The workshops and lessons I teach reflect that dedication and are suited to both those with some yoga / meditation experience and those people who wish to explore deeper dimensions of reality.

This said, I also cater for those who come to yoga as a form of physical or psychological therapy (I myself initially came to yoga out of a feeling of deep dissatisfaction with life and without even a real notion of awakening, enlightenment or liberation.)

My Path to Yoga

At quite a young age I had some powerful experiences of what I now realise could be referred to as ‘void’ states; glimpses of a reality which is very peaceful, simple and indescribably beautiful. These experiences blew apart my sense of personal subjectivity and opened my eyes to the deeper, unified truth of who I Am. Though these experiences were sporadic, I secretly nurtured this new found depth. A profound sense that there was something far more to material existence gradually took hold of my consciousness and an inner yearning followed.

As a child I was blessed with asthma, which meant I was forced to be more aware of my breathing and as a result I noticed how this affected the subtle fluctuations of my mind. I used to concentrate on the various qualities of my breathing in order to relax before sleeping…years later I realised was using techniques akin to basic Buddhist mediation and the preliminary practices of yoga nidra. Through this, I eventually learned to observe my thinking mind and unwittingly developed some faculty where my consciousness would rest peacefully within itself and I would simply become profoundly still and silent. During these experiences I remember lying in bed perceiving my sense of self very differently to my usual every-day waking state.

Much later I began intuitively asking: ‘Who am I?’, ‘What is this ‘I’ feeling?’, ‘What is the meaning of life?’. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was my first yoga (yoga: a deliberate and methodical approach to seeking truth) akin to jnana yoga.

Without teachers or any kind of guidance and growing up in a family, schooling system and society which was benighted to the subtle, formless reality, an unquenchable longing, (for what I did not really know…simply something more), took hold of me and manifested in my teens as a turbulent, nostalgic depression.

In my early to mid twenties I travelled across the globe for years together. Burning with angst and a sense of meaninglessness that gnawed at me continually. I tried out all kinds of things that I naively believed would make me happy. I have some wonderful memories and I had a few ‘peak experiences’ but nothing really changed and the deeper feelings of emptiness and melancholy intensified and eventually in my despair I was guided, through grace alone, towards a path of spirituality.

This began with various forms of self-enquiry similar to Atma Vichara and later energy work including martial arts, reiki and chi gung. I then began certain forms of Buddhist meditation and eventually in 2003 I began Hatha yoga and spent a year in India experimenting with various forms of asana focussed Hatha yoga and meditation.

Influences

My Yoga practice began with some years of Iyengar Yoga which gave me a solid physical grounding in asana and a little pranayama. I balanced this with Goenka Vipassana meditation and reiki before finding Satyananda Yoga which opened the door to a more integral approach to spirituality and the various yogas. This eventually drew me to India for a second time and to Bihar School of Yoga where I partook in a four month residential course. Eventually around a year later I took Jignasu Sannyas and was given the spiritual name Devamurti.

Very much in congruence with Satyananda Yoga, which is a distinctly tantric system, I found Agama yoga; a very powerful and deeply meditative practice. I studied in Rishikesh, India for a couple of months with Agama before going to Thailand to take the three month teacher training course under the guidance of Swami Vivekananda Saraswati. I studied and practiced with Agama most days for around eight months and I continue to utilise some of those powerful practises almost daily.

Years later I was blessed to meet my teacher Aisha Salem and be with her in satsangs and retreats in UK and abroad. She has heavily influenced my understanding of awakening and radically propelled me along the path to wholeness.

Another teacher who has greatly influenced me is Anadi. Through his meditation retreats, writings and private meetings I have simply changed how I perceive reality, myself and consciousness itself.

Prem Baba is another guiding light in my life and his psycho-spiritual approach to awakening (in particular shadow work) is one of the most detailed, erudite and practical that I have come across.

Similarly, listening to Adyashanti speak eloquently about his experiences of awakening has been a great boon in my life and though I have only sat with him once I consider him one of my teachers.

I strongly resonate with the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism and I have found the best teachers for this to be Igor Kufayev and Peter Wilberg. Both remarkably learned, intelligent and realised.

My highest teacher is life Herself: uncompromising, ruthless, efficient and lovingly devoted to my awakening.

Personal Practices

My own practice includes the mainstays of Hatha Yoga (asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha and cleansing kriyas), as well as silent sitting, japa, expressive movement, self parenting and journaling.

Whenever possible I enjoy devotional singing (bhajan / kirtan).

Some other things that are imperative though I cannot really call them ‘practices’ are:

1. The Shamanic (red) path of ‘medicina’, ritual and ceremony

2. Self enquiry (tapping into the deeper intuition of Who I Am beyond the mundane).

3. Moment by moment mindfulness.

4. To be constantly in communion with how I feel. That is to say to earnestly strip away the layers of conditioned numbness, positivity, suppression, defensiveness and so forth, that inhibit me from really taking responsibility for what is moving through my system and keeping me from wholeness. 

 

Devamurti