Monday, February 1, 2016

Meet Ashwin Bhatt

My name is Ashwin, and I live on the Central Coast of New South Wales, in Australia. I am a proud father of 5 fantastic children, and have 3 beautiful grandchildren.

I have been fortunate enough to have jobs that have taken me to many places, including most central Asian, European and SEA countries as well as North America and Canada, before we settled in Australia. In our future travel plans are South America, Burma, Cambodia, Nepal and Japan.
In the course of my working life, I have been involved in a range of companies and roles, primarily in the technical fields of electronics, communications and IT. I have most enjoyed work when the roles have converged with extremely challenging rugged or remote environments, rather than the large corporate environments I have also worked within. Coming from a mixed race background and having travelled widely, I have experienced a wide range of cultures and religions. I particularly enjoy places such as Papua New Guinea, where people live simple and happy lives, close to nature, and where nature often remains untouched by modern progress.What little spare time I have, I like to spend outside. I spent a reasonable amount of time renovating our house inside and outside, in the past I have done lots of scuba diving and surfing, and enjoy spending time near or in the ocean.

Meditation was suggested to me as a way of assisting with particularly stressful challenges I faced. After investigating the health benefits, I decided to start practicing meditation on a regular basis. Through my reading, I inevitably encountered Zen. I was found that Zen closely aligned with my own life approach, with no religious aspects or dogmas, and with a focus on a life philosophy I believe I should strive to uphold. I spent some time researching Zen, and as a result I discovered Silky Oak Zen on the Central Coast of NSW, close to my home. 

At first I was reticent to visit the Zendo, being unsure of what to expect. After overcoming my initial apprehension, I found the community at Silky Oak Zen to be extremely friendly and welcoming. I enjoy sitting with the group at Silky Oak Zen, and have learnt a lot from the teacher, Hoka Matt. While I travel often with work, I always enjoy sitting while away, and preferably outdoors. While in PNG, I became a good morning food source for the insects while I meditated outside! At home, I much prefer to sit outside, something about being closer to nature and all its activities is extremely relaxing.

I am now looking forward to taking the next step and further progressing with my knowledge and practice of Zen.


Ashwin Bhatt

January 2016

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