Kai Karrel – Biography
I remember being thrilled in reading books or watching movies with any hint of a spiritual world where ancient masters were holding the secret keys to unveiling the mysteries of the universe. I was so excited and in awe when reading ‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach, watching ‘Kung Fu’ with David Carradine and of course my inner world was shaken with the meeting of ‘Siddhartha’ by Hermann Hesse. Following in the footsteps of these spiritual giants, I started practicing different forms of spiritual practices, religions, martial arts, and healing modalities.
I devoted my life to the exploration of the mystical, the unknown or unknowable. After living for over 15 years in an Ashram setting, with asking only one primary question, what is my truth, who am I really; I have realized that my perspective is inherently different from most practices or most spiritual traditions, yet holds true to any mystical philosophy and true religion in its essential connected form.
Throughout my life, I had the fortune of walking the path of a Hindu priest, a Bhakti Yogi, a Raja Yogi, a curandero, a Zen-Buddhist meditator and an orthodox Jewish Hasid. I got inspired by the Christian mystics, Sufi masters, Tantrikas, Peruvian Shamans and so many others. If there was one pattern which kept showing up, it is that in walking the path of traditional practices, directing towards a ‘seek and ye shall find’ kind of philosophy, or perspective, where the “answer” will always be found where I am currently not. If only you’d practice this meditation, or humbly recite this prayer, then… then… the promised-land will be revealed.
When following this methodology, “answers” do occasionally appear, there are numerous ‘a-ha’ moments, but those are fleeting, transient. I’ve come to realize that the challenge, wasn’t the path I’m walking, it wasn’t the type of practice I was practicing, but the way I was posing the question, and the subtle attempt to find a fixed, solid, non-moving “target”. I kept seeking a certain experience, certain states of consciousness, a very specific state of being. When you walk a number of diverse paths, even some which conflict with others, you can’t help but notice that this form of searching is in its profundity very similar if not exactly the same.
A Bhakti Yogi seeks to disappear when falling in love with their beloved, the Zen monk attains Nirvana when merging into the ocean of consciousness, this attempt towards disappearance, is inherently the exact same attempt whether you’re a Yogi, a Christian mystic, a Tantrika or a Buddhist monk. The difference is not in the path, but with the flavor of existence, you’d find when you disappear.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
~ Oscar Wilde
When this understanding finally dawned on me, my life has completely shifted. After years of practicing, what I now consider, an external discipline, I have finally come home – realizing I have never left, and that my curious nature is in it of itself the door I’ve been looking for all along. I’ve chosen Tantra and the Native American Shamanic path as the all-encompassing teachings through which I share most of my ideas, as the canvas on which I paint an integral holistic view of what is possible in the evolution of consciousness, in the new paradigm of human growth.
More than anything, expressing my personal views around the redefinition of spirituality feed me the most. I’ve taken it almost as my life’s mission to be of service and start charting a new map where the roads of mysticism, spirituality, and religion truly take us back to ourselves and are expressions of the infinite form of art I call the “Art of Falling in Love with Yourself”.
Throughout my own spiritual journey, I’ve met so many teachers, gurus, instructors, and guides. I have seen the damage that following a predetermined path, teacher or unreachable goal can potentially be for a seeker, and thus I hold freedom and self-exploration as my highest values. The most important tools I believe you should have while embarking on such a journey are doubt, discernment, and constant re-evaluation. My workshops and classes are founded in these ideas, and inspire more than anything else an attitude of self-inquiry and full authentic expression.
I’ve been traveling all around the world, facilitating workshops and retreats, helping others return back to themselves. I’ve been working with thousands of spiritual seekers and hundreds of clients, drawing upon my vast knowledge of different traditions, practices, and religions. But in essence, I have one clear message, the path in begins with radical acceptance. Seeing yourself just as you are, without judgment, without expectations, without hoping or waiting for a specific experience to occur.
You — have already happened.
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
~ Joseph Campbell