Friends in the Frame - Akāshamitra
‘I feel like my life has been richer and more fulfilling than
I had ever dreamt it possibly could be.’
Akāshamitra does the job of life well. I’ve always been impressed by his ability to discern what the components of a good life are for him, and consciously to nurture and pursue those. ‘When I’m living in the way I want, I feel free, creative, generous and happy; and I know the things I need to do to put that into place.’ And specifically the things that he puts into place are ‘engaging in a creative practice, meditating, teaching, doing my work in the right way, being in harmony with people that I know and love, and taking time and space to reflect’.
Such a clear vision of what makes life work for him is backed up by many capabilities and a steady determination. This is demonstrated by his long-standing pursuit of music-making and DJ-ing, leading to a Master’s in electronic music composition and many interdisciplinary sound and music projects. It’s also seen in his professional life, currently as a programme manager for the Karuna Trust, a charity that works in India and Nepal.
Akāshamitra is a committed, ordained Buddhist practitioner. This is represented in his portrait in Vairocana, the primordial Buddha-figure that Akāshamitra chose as his yidam (focus for meditation). Vairocana is associated with white, the colour that has long held a deep fascination for Akāshamitra – hence the snowy backdrop. Bruce Lee is seen flying across the mountain peaks, as one of Akāshamitra’s childhood heroes, and a fitting symbol of his dynamism, energy and love of physical activity.
Akāshamitra is a very reliable, consistent and warm-hearted friend. He is very good with people, and shows a real interest in their lives. He’s also very witty and playful – hence the cheeky monkey on his shoulder! It’s a delightful quality, and one I celebrate in him.
How I know Akāshamitra
We met properly at a Buddhist retreat in 2007 – we were both on the cooking team. It was a good way to get to know someone quite quickly. I remember going for a walk with him and thinking to myself, ‘This is a guy I’d like to be friends with,’ as he was very warm and straightforward. A few years later we were in a group of men who were on the training path to Buddhist ordination. He carried on towards ordination and I didn’t. But we’ve maintained our friendship since, and still share broadly the same vision of life.