Through his story, Kaushik speaks boldy and honestly, but at the same time with a beautiful and gentle energy to inspire each of us. His wisdom and writing come from his own personal awakening, after living with depression and anxiety for 20 years. Today, Kaushik is a beacon of light for so many, as they embark on, or continue along their own path of awakening.
My journey of awakening and personal expansion
Ten years ago, when I was 40 and had gone through a difficult marriage and divorce, I was searching for solutions to depression and anxiety. In my search, I ran across Tolle’s The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, but it didn’t really make any sense to me at that time. Nonetheless something about it was appealing because I did read it a few times over two years. At about the same time I tried the Vipassana Meditation retreat, which is a rather serious ten-day silent journey into insight meditation. In the very first session, I wanted to bolt. I would have, if I had found transportation.
I think like most of us I have always had the nagging feeling that something is off, that life can and should be much more flowing than it is. These experiences convinced me that what was wrong was not something outside, but rather inside. But I didn’t know how to go about exploring this. So my life continued — eventful and clumsy and unconscious, and there were difficult periods of depression and anxiety.
A few years later I was in emotional pain from a break-up, and I suppose I was open in a way that I had never been before, and the Power of Now suddenly made complete sense.
I was in-between jobs at that time and took the opportunity to travel (in India) and to explore more deeply.
My Inspirations and Influences
From Eckhart Tolle I learned about presence and acceptance. But I found that presence did not really resonate—I think the mind can create a place it calls presence, and this mind-conjured presence feels boring and lifeless. That taught me that we must develop self-honesty. It’s so very easy to fool ourselves.
The The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-Being taught me how to release.
Over the years I’ve explored meditation and Tolle and Bryon Katie and A Course in Miracles and Krishnamurti and Patanjali’s _Yoga Sutra and others.
With practice and time, I’ve settled on techniques of Awareness and Release.
My Positive Life Changes
I would describe myself as half-awake. I have the confidence now that there is an easy, joyful, loving way to be, where life and living are one, and I’ve had glimpses of this. I am confident that this is accessible to everyone. We all put in a great deal of effort to be in this conditioned, painful, and delusional mess, and awakening is a process through which we are able to shed what is false in us.
My process is now effortless. Emotions are experienced and usually quickly released. I can be present. I can work through fear.
I have confidence and ease and presence, but these are not yet enduring. There is still resistance. I have not yet surrendered.
My Next Steps as an Evolving Being
To continue to let go of resistance.
My Advice to Others
Learn to be Aware (be present, meditate, practice simple awareness). There are many practices and methods. I like the simpler practices of “observing thought”, bringing attention to the inner body, and effortless meditation.
Learn to Release. There are many good techniques. Explore my website—Beyond Karma, as well as the Sedona method, EFT, Byron Katie and others.
Allow, with patience and love. Know that allowing is not something you do — it is something you stop doing. You stop resisting.
It’s not useful to cling to beliefs, concepts, ideologies and methodologies, not even spiritual ones. Keep coming back to the mystery of openness. Beliefs only get in the way. My favorite quotation is Seng-T’san’s “Do not seek Truth; only cease to cherish beliefs.”