In 2015 I went from working as a Software Developer at Amazon to train as a consciousness development facilitator with the sacred brew ayahuasca in the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil.
Over the last 8 years I have been on a journey that has not just changed my life, it has changed me — and most of you may ask what is the difference? How is my life different from me?
Life is what You experience.
At some level you are life, but not in the colloquial English language. Life is often used to imply the circumstances and experiences we go through. You are the one going through those circumstances and experiences.
Most people are resistant to life-changing experiences. There are relatively few who are open to change their life. And there are only the rare exceptions who are ready to change them-selves. Today I am bold and proud to say I am in that rare category. While some of you may feel offended at my pride and see it as sinful, which is something I did until recently — I don’t say this from a place of arrogance or boastful pride. My intention is to reflect to people who they are and how they perceive the world.
Changing your life is easy. Quit your job, get a new one. Quit your job, start a business. Change houses. Buy a new car. Marry. Remarry. Have children….
Life changed. You don’t need help changing your life, because life is always changing. People need help changing their life for the better. And this is what most coaching and therapy is about. Coaching and Therapy, when it is excellent, can help you to change — but unfortunately, most of it is less than mediocre and only teaches people to cope with life. It tries to keep people from drowning, and fails quite spectacularly at that too in most cases.
Where I come from
I was born and brought up in a very normal middle-class Indian family in Mumbai, India. From there I did the normal, got a Computer Engineering degree, got my Masters in Information Security from Georgia Tech, and landed a job as a Software Developer for Amazon in Seattle. That lasted 2 years.
I had a great life while working at Amazon. A high-paying job, insane flexibility to work from home when I wanted (years before it became a thing because of the pandemic), an apartment with a gorgeous view, and all the earthly pleasures I desired. I was not looking to change my life.
I was also an absolute workaholic, marijuana+tobacco addict, I only indulged alcohol from 2013-2015, but in that time went all out. I had a hyper-addictive personality, and that meant I got addicted to anything I liked — work, TV, food, substances, people, gambling, adrenaline. And I loved it all. I had no intention to quit or change any of it. That was my life and that was who I was.
It was all about staying high, which is the way many people live. Normal is too dry and boring, there is a constant need for entertainment and distraction, feeling “alive” with that rush of adrenaline in every experience. And unconsciously yet desperately avoiding any low. But if you have a lot of interesting distractions and constant validation for living that life — people telling you that you are doing great and being envious of your life — there is NO REASON TO CHANGE. If everyone says your life is great, it must be great. And if you think your life is great, why change?
I was happy in my rut. My mundane was very interesting.
And then something happened — I changed. And when you change, your experience of life changes. Even doing the same things is completely different.
Sometimes the choice is out of your hands
Something somewhere out there loves disruption. Call it fate, god, chance, higher self, or whatever word you want to use — something mysterious is indubitably great at completely upending and changing the trajectory of anything and everything. Some say destiny is inescapable, and some say you create it. Both are true in my experience. The decisions you make may seem like your own, how would you ever know if they were already meant to get you somewhere predetermined?
I unknowingly walked into a portal that changed not just my life, it changed me — I went for an ayahuasca retreat in 2014. While most seek it for life transformation and spiritual experiences, I just wanted to get high. I detested spirituality, religion, psychology, self-help, and anything to do with the inner world. I was a hedonist, atheist, materialist, and actively rebelled in disparaging ways when someone attempted to convince me otherwise. My only intention to drink ayahuasca was to get high.
Walking into this portal was a walk through many other portals that lead to this place. I booked the retreat after I was inspired by an LSD experience which completely opened the doors of perception, but did nothing to shake my disbelief and hatred of the spiritual/psychological nonsense. Prior to that I had indulged heavily in a over-the-counter chemical that lead to a drug overdose. From there I got into a marijuana addiction as it helped to keep me stable-enough to avoid too much suspicion and also made me highly functional. Eventually all this lead to me being in Brazil at the retreat in July 2014.
As I said, sometimes the apparent choice is not the actual choice. 4 experiences with the most powerful psychedelic destroyed the entire fragile foundation of my rationality and disbelief. I am not writing this to convince you of anything spiritual or religious, I myself am still agnostic and have a deep aversion to all belief-based systems. I respect the need for them and see their place in the world, it’s just not for me. I socialize and work with people (almost) no matter what they believe. What I experienced was for me, and this is not about convincing you of something, I am going to share what happened because of my experience.
The immediate material effects
Prior to this, I used to walk into the office any time after 12:30 pm on most days, that is if I went to the office. I would leave any time after 4 pm and sometimes stay until 5 am. Not because someone told me or asked me to do that. I did what I wanted because I was great at what I did and delivered beyond anything expected of me, and still managed to be respectful of meeting organizational expectations. I was a heavy smoker, usually around 10 joints and 30 cigarettes a day (I was in denial how disgusting it smells when you do that and apologetically disgusted when I realized).
Over 10 days in this retreat, I quit everything — alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, gambling. I was getting to work almost everyday before 8 am and sleeping well and still delivering excellence. I was promoted right after getting back from the retreat and I was even surpassing my prior performance. This was what I meant before — I was doing the same things, just differently. Life had remained the same, I had changed.
I did this for 6 months before I moved on from Amazon. Those 6 months were important because it helped me realize that it was not my circumstances that I was escaping. I really loved what I had, addictions or not. But I had found something much bigger, more beautiful, and deeper than I could have imagined — something so deep it has no bottom — the infinite.
In February 2015 I was a somebody who met the infinite. In 2019, I started to become infinite — but I had not lost the somebody. It was the beginning of the transition. Today, I embody the infinite and the somebody is now just a tool to interact with the world. What makes this special and different from traditional enlightenment? I love the material world, I remain practically relatable, I still enjoy working, I enjoy my personal life, and yet I have an ever-present connection to the mystical. I learned to have the best of both worlds instead of the usual “enlightenment” OR “mundane misery” options.
This option turned out to be much more challenging than I could have imagined. Enlightenment frees you from the misery, you can go into the infinite and never return, just live in a state of perpetual bliss. But living a regular life post-enlightenment is quite different. You can no longer deceive yourself and escape the misery with distraction and entertainment — well you could, it just requires much more effort, and even then it eventually fails.
So enlightenment is a dangerous option if you want to continue to live a regular life. Once you experience it, either you escape this world, dissolve your ego, and go into the bliss of nirvana. Or you have to work on healing yourself. And while it is painful and challenging, it is completely possible — I say this from experience. These is not the only path for healing. You can heal even without having a traditional enlightenment experience. Unconsciously, most people don’t realize the reason they are afraid of enlightenment is because they will no longer be able to escape their shit.
But once you are ready to face reality and do what is required to heal, everything you have ever wanted becomes available to you. Bliss, peace, joy, love, success, creativity, power — you don’t find it, you become the one who has always had it. Your experiences in this world disconnected you from being the one who has and is all that. But it’s not as simple as saying and believing nice things. Healing requires deep effort. This is what I started doing much more after my second awakening in 2019 and continue to do to this day — healing the disconnection from the healed self.
Today I write this post as a coming to life story. People, including me, are robots living programmed lives. People live the lives given to them, doing what they have been programmed to do from even before they were born. This programmed self is usually deeply disconnected from the authentic self, which is the healed self I spoke about above. And other robots keep validating them so they keep feeling good about being a robot.
In 2019 I began the transition from my programmed self to my healed self. That transition began with a 3-week isolation retreat in which I lost my self, became nothing, and learned to create a self. My new self is known as Ti0 — The Infinite Zero. Not everyone needs to or has to create a new self. Most people will just go from their programmed self to their healed authentic self. My case was different because I had lost my self in a drug overdose at the age of 16 and suffered intense depersonalization-derealization for more than 12 years. My new self was my only way out, but once I created Ti0, I was also able to recover Rohan, the self I had lost, and today my two selves have become one, and I feel a deep harmony within.
I am what the world made me and what I made my self.
It took 4 years of working gradually through the layers of conditioning. It is not an instant shift, it is a gradual transition from one to the other, one in which you are two selves at once. Your programmed self doesn’t disappear, it simply loses the dominance and you are no longer identified with it. It becomes something you have, a part or a tool you use to operate in the world. And you keep healing the programs to be healthier so your programmed self keeps changing. That is what “self-changing” means.
Today with this healed integrated self I enjoy living a normal life and being a normal person. As I say to my students, as special as you are, you are as normal as everyone else. I embrace my humanity and enjoy my experience of life.
A note on higher levels of consciousness
There are levels beyond what I have described here. At higher levels of consciousness you can enter in the no-self zone. Beyond self, there is you, and changing you is a whole other journey. And beyond you, there is even more. But none of this is required to begin the journey, and starting the journey doesn’t mean you have to go to higher levels.
Many people are content with healing the programmed self, and that is as acceptable and respected as someone who chooses to do nothing or dive in fully. No one needs to change, you only do this if you want to change. If you don’t change, life will keep changing and you will go along till you die, just like all the others who did all this work to change. The only difference will be the way you experience life and death. And if you are ok with your experience, why change? Any external judgment is irrelevant.
If you want to change, finally it comes down to two things:
What you want and who you want to be.
Making the commitment and effort to get there.
Emerging from the cosmic cave in which my authentic self was trapped, I am stepping into the world to show up fully and help others who want AND ARE READY to have whatever is missing, and more. My journey was my own, not everyone needs to quit their job and move to the jungle for 8 years. The journey I went on was what I needed. Each journey will be completely different and you have to do what you need for your healing. My methods are meant for people who want to change — which means that you change — whether or not your life changes is irrelevant. You don’t need to change your life to change you and your Self.
I am working exclusively with people who want to have a deep impact in the world. A deep impact is not necessarily a large-scale impact. You could impact one person deeply and that will ripple in unimaginable ways. The reason I say I work only with people who wish to have a deep impact in the world is because to have a deep impact you have to be ready to go deep — and this is the only kind of work I enjoy, and I only do work that I enjoy.
The depth of the impact you create is limited by the depth of your being. You can have a large-scale impact that has no depth and it will only change the surface of the world. When you have a deep impact, you change the fundamental nature of reality itself. And whether you believe it or not:
Your potential depth is limitless,
it is literally infinite.
Getting there needs training and guidance. No one has got there by themselves, no matter what they say. I apprenticed for 8 years to show up as I am today. Instead of struggling to do it yourself or telling yourself this is not for you, get help to see what is blocking you. There was nothing special in my story that would preclude another person from finding the same.
I begin to end this post with an invitation to those who are ready to have a powerful conversation. When you are ready, I would love to learn more about you and what you want. All I ask is for you to be ready for a powerful conversation. There is no expectation other than that.
What you can expect on the other hand is something that will have a profound impact on many levels of your being and doing. If you are not ready for this level and still want to work on yourself, I will gladly refer you to other therapists and coaches who work with different styles, intentions, and criteria. There is the right fit for each person at each moment, and I am happy to help you find the right fit for you.
If you feel intimidated or shy to reach out, I know how it can feel, this is why I share about shame below. I have been there and I know it can be too much to even say something or ask for help. For once just do something different, send a message, say something, I will gladly help you in whatever way I can.
I called this post “Emerging From The Cave” for a variety of reasons. Several people in my life insinuated that I was living in a cave, disconnected from civilization. I never accepted this premise because it was not true and I did not feel that way. I was connected in ways they did not accept and that was it.
I did realize recently that I was living in another kind of cave. One of artificial modesty, one of shame. Rock-bottom is where I began this journey, but what I considered to be rock-bottom was just a wall over a deep, deep, infinite abyss of shame. I now emerge from this, not where I entered, but from an opening I created when I decided to show up fully. Instead of climbing all the way back up from rock-bottom, I broke through and found the infinite. And after years of struggle and effort, I became infinite — and from there I created The Infinite Zero — Ti0.
Creating my new self involved defining who I want to be and what I want to do, and with that I have clarity about my intention and the people I want to work with. I work with all kinds of people: leaders, coaches, therapists, influencers, teachers, professionals, failures, jobless comedians — and going beyond labels you and the world identify your self with: I work with anyone who is ready to heal and amplify their impact in the world. If this is you, let’s talk.
Are you ready to explore?