About Akilesh

IMG_1518.jpg
 
 

About my spiritual journey...

I was a spiritual seeker for over two decades. It started in my teenage years when, struggling with existential depression, I was fortunate to meet an extraordinary teacher, Swami Bodhananda Saraswati. Slowly, over the course of thousands of hours of discussion, I learned the fundamentals of Hindu mysticism, or Vedanta.

That was just the beginning of my quest, however. I quickly learned that powerful mental and emotional obstacles kept me from fulfilling my spiritual potential. Over the course of the next decades, I discovered and worked through those obstacles through intense (and often very frustrating!) self-exploration, experimentation, and through the application of eastern and western philosophy, literature, and psychoanalysis. I've seen how the central mystical insight Vedanta presents interacts with these other fields in the context of personal spiritual obstacles.

At a certain point, something clicked, and I discovered what I had been looking for. I realized who I was -- and just as importantly, who I was not.

This is not to say that all mysteries were resolved. I do not believe that is possible or even desirable. Yet it became exquisitely clear that what I had been looking for in its deepest, most central, and necessary aspect was nothing less or other than my true nature.

My quest goes on, moment by moment and day by day, to integrate that knowledge into the way I experience and live my life, and to help others advance on their paths to their unique experience of that universal truth.

My more conventional credentials...

One of my qualifications as a seeker is that I've criss-crossed many bodies of knowledge to find what I was looking for! I hope to shorten the search for others.

Education:

  • Juris Doctor, Harvard Law School
  • Master of Information Systems Management from Carnegie-Mellon University
  • Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology from the City University of New York.
  • Fellow at the Writers' Institute of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Other publications:

In my younger days, I co-authored, from the seeker's standpoint, a book-length dialogue on Hindu philosophy entitled Irreverent Spiritual Questions. More recently I have published essays in Philosophy Now, the world's largest-circulation philosophy periodical, in The Millions, a prominent online literary journal, and in Lines of Flight, a contemporary publication encouraging innovative thought on philosophy and contemporary society. I have also had short fiction published in non+x, a journal of contemporary Buddhist cultural criticism, and in the literary periodical Literate Sunday.

Feel free to reach out if you have other questions.

Warmly,

-Akilesh Ayyar