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My Story
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My Story

As a teenager I was intensely drawn to anything that fed my spiritual curiosity. Half-resolved on the idea that after school I would travel to India, I was instead quite literally intercepted by my future teacher. Though out of the blue, it was in hindsight an appointment with destiny. "Do you meditate?" he asked, suddenly standing in front of me. I told him that recently I'd been listening to an alpha brainwave tape. He chuckled. Then, transfixed by his gaze, in no uncertain terms he indicated that I ought to throw it away. We talked for a while about this and that. But it was an encounter that left me feeling as if I'd been struck

by a bolt of lightning. Upon finishing school, and after my first (miserable) attempt at university studying psychology, I dropped everything and under his guidance went into a year of full-time meditation training. A training that was profoundly oriented towards direct experience and the awakening of super-sensible vision. It was an initiation into a tradition of Seers. That year practicing every day, seven days a week, ten hours a day, set me on a path that I continue to follow today. I spent some time working as a journalist for a technology magazine in Sydney, but following six years of intensive practice and training, in 2002 I set out for London to lead courses all over Europe. After that eventful and busy phase of travelling and teaching, I returned to Australia to enter again into full-time practice.


It was at this time that I encountered the 'deep waters' of meditation. Beyond all possible conception or imagination, beyond all possible preparation or anticipation, beyond all description, I went through several enlightenment experiences, the fruitions of which continue to resound today. Contrary to what one might expect at this point in such stories, rather than usher in an idealised life of spiritual contentment and ease, the experiences entirely upended my life and turned everything upside down. In the sheer nakedness of spirit, the seeker died. I was un-homed. Lasting more than a few years, it precipitated what has been referred to as 'the dark night of the soul'. Yet, paradoxically, the ever-present quality of timeless peace, ageless being, and the unborn magic of its stillness remained with me, and still now remains, always. The boundaries of sensory reality, which once seemed concrete, have gently faded away. The divine mysteries are alive and there is much to give. And in our current epoch, despite the cliché, time really is of the essence.


The purpose of any genuine spiritual path involves realising our true nature as its primary aim. With its foundation in yogic vision, The Beyond Within has been created for anyone from any background — whether or not they have prior experience — that wants to develop a meditation practice with spiritual depth. Aphorisms and philosophical views may be interesting, even spark flashes of insight, but do not bookend experiencing. 'Enlightenment' is not necessarily all of one flavour or kind. No matter how much one gains in knowledge and spiritual insight, the wondrous and unfathomable mystery of existence remains. I am decidedly not a guru— and in any case the era of gurus has passed. Rather, The Beyond Within is more like a platform or node in a network, passing transmission and sharing experience in the spirit of fellowship.


I am forever indebted to my teacher, Samuel. Profoundly unique, Visionary. A polymath.

With blessings,

Ashok Zaman

ॐ गम गणपतये नमः

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha!

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