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If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.
-J. Krishnamurti

MY STORY

Psychotherapist | Yoga-Mindfulness Trainer | Educator-Facilitator | Gap-Year Coach |
Youth Mentor | Nature Experience Facilitator

Hello and Namaste!  I am a free-spirited human being in service to life. I grew up in a little village in the central-west part of India. From attending a local, Marathi medium school in my village to pursuing a master's degree in psychology at Harvard, my journey has taken me in diverse spaces around the world. 

​The seeds for my self-exploration were planted early in my childhood by my grandfather.  As a youth, he had served the country, alongside Mahatma Gandhi, in the freedom movement. Grandfather lived his life as a farmer, embodying values of truth, courage, simplicity and selfless-action.

​As a child, my father introduced me to ‘Anapana’ - Mindfulness of the Breath, which I would practice with him every morning. I later attended my first intensive Vipassana meditation retreat at the age of 17 in the blessed presence of S.N. Goenka ji. This was the beginning of a lifelong journey on the path of 'Dhamma'--Pali word for 'The Law of Nature'.

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On the banks of river Ganga, Rishikesh
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Upon graduating from a business school (Symbiosis), I decided to take a 'Gap-Year' and traveled across India, to explore social entrepreneurship (Jagriti Yatra) and to work with young people (Ashoka Youth Venture). I also studied the principles and practices of Ayurveda, Natural Healing and Yoga. During this gap year, I stumbled across 'Teach for India' and dedicated the next two years of my life to serve in a socio-economically disadvantaged community. Teaching children changed my life. I discovered my passion for working directly with young people. It now gives me great joy to help them navigate their own purpose and pathways in life. After graduating in psychology from Harvard, I took another 'Gap Year'. A brief stint at an innovative project-based school (EdVisions) in rural Minnesota inspired me to come back to India to engage with 'hands-on' educational initiatives such as Swaraj University and Shikshantar. This exploration further took me to a remote indigenous community where I lived on a farm. The experience was profoundly transformative and opened my heart and mind to holistic ways of learning and living. Since then my journey has evolved, presenting many diverse opportunities and engagements in the field of education and mental wellbeing, working with wide-ranging populations around the world--children, teenagers and adults in varied settings--indigenous, rural and urban communities. A personal crisis, along with a profound questioning of life and the numerous intricacies and contradictions within the world I was navigating, led me to explore the teachings of J. Krishnamurti. I had the opportunity of serving as an environmental educator at a forest school that he established. This marked a crucial point in my journey, enabling me to rekindle a deeper bond with the natural world and reconnect with my inner child. Around this time (2016), I also pursued a 'Mindfulness-Based Counseling' program. The training aligned beautifully well with my Vipassana practice and my inclination towards Buddhist psychology. The pandemic brought alive the need to prioritize holistic wellbeing at the personal and collective level. Integrating my journey so far, I now operate at the intersection of education, mental health and eco-conscious living. I am passionate about experiential, holistic learning and exploring the creative potential of education for a fundamental, radical transformation in human consciousness. I recognize Yoga & Mindfulness, Nature Connection, Eco-Conscious Communities, Gap-Years and Off-Beat Travel, Deep Listening, Inquiry-Oriented and Contemplative Dialogues, as important components of this process. My dreams are that of a more beautiful, joyful, kinder and greener world for all and I enjoy contributing towards its ongoing unfolding.

WHY I DO WHAT I DO

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Vipul with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

I have a natural inclination towards alleviating human suffering and enabling human potential to thrive. In my journey of reclaiming my own wellbeing, mindfulness, yoga, counseling and nature have played an important role.  I also discovered my natural gift of being a deep, empathetic listener and someone who is genuinely interested in unraveling the mystery of the human mind. I strongly believe that when individuals, families and communities prioritize holistic wellbeing, we would have a world where everyone is thriving. How we educate young hearts and minds is crucial in this process. It gives me immense joy to work with them. I hear an emphatic call for all of life on our planet Earth.  'Mindful Being' is my humble response to serve towards a more beautiful and compassionate world.

CREDENTIALS

Master’s in Human Development and Psychology - Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

This full-time, in-person master’s degree program at Harvard prepared a strong foundation for me as a research-practitioner in the field of education and psychology.  It offered me wider exposure to cutting-edge theories, frameworks and innovative models–drawing from neuroscience, developmental psychology, cognitive science, adolescent and adult development, group counseling and constructivism.

Mindfulness and Presence Oriented Psychotherapy® -Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai & Just Being Center, Pune

This advanced 2-year training brings together interpersonal neurobiology, attachment-work, somatic and energy psychology, parts-work, trauma resolution and mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral work.  Key principles of Buddhist Psychology form the base of this training and relevant exposition to other contemplative wisdom traditions is blended into the program.  My earlier two-year distance-degree in M.Sc. Counseling and Psychotherapy from IBMS, AP set the foundation for me to build on during this course. Also, my personal daily practice of Yoga and Vipassana Meditation greatly complement this approach to psychotherapy. The training is developed by Sandy Dias Andrade.

Yoga Certification from Bangalore, Rishikesh and Cambridge

I have attended a full-time residential course for Yoga Instruction (SVYSA University, Bangalore), Karma Studio, Cambridge, MA and the study of Yoga-Vedanta at the Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh amounting to a total of 1000+ hours of formal training.  I design workshops and retreats combining Mindfulness, Yoga and Buddhist-Hindu philosophy and practices

Certificate Course in Mindfulness-Based Counseling from Just Being Center, Pune

This one-year diploma course is experiential and practical. It trained me to listen with empathy, compassion and from an embodied presence.  It also refined my skills for holding a facilitative, inquiry-oriented space for individuals and groups.

ASSOCIATIONS / CLIENTS 

Past & Present

PHOTO GALLERY

Some of my Teachers, Mentors and Inspirations in life. Deep Gratitude. 

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