"What's Paradise for You?" is an ongoing project. Whenever I meet this particular person that has a spark of life and inspiration to share I ask him or her the same six questions, starting with "What's Paradise for you?". The person just speaks and engages in the flow of words and ideas, bringing in his or her unique collage of life.

Every human is just so utterly unique. When we start to recognize this, joy will never find an end.

Rishikesh, April 2020

Bhupat (39) expresses a clash of cultures: born in the UK, parents from Africa, Indian roots

What’s Paradise for you?

So paradise for me… I guess there are two possibilities. The first one is a little bit more easy: One part of it would be external. And the external part of paradise would be to see harmony amongst the humans and nature and humans with humans. That would be paradise externally. And paradise for me internally is the… – I guess I have to be careful how I say or put this: But paradise for me is the journey that I am partaking in at the moment, through the realizations that happened. Paradise for me is listening to my heart or my soul and therefore listening to the truth. And then paradise for me would be nothingness, emptiness. No desire. No worldly belongings. Just pure emptiness. Just to be, or to merge back, or to go home. I can’t speak about going home, because I’ve not gone home yet. So I guess, you know, I can’t go to that extend. But paradise is now. That’s what paradise is for me. To be. I think I could elaborate, but I don’t think I need to. Less is more.

Do you live for yourself or do you live for others?

I have lived for myself previously. I have lived for others. But now I realized that I am not even living. I haven’t lived. And I wholeheartedly know that I don’t really exist. So for me it is a difficult question, because actually I am not living for myself, I am living for the truth. That is it. So I am not living for myself, I am not living for others. Just the truth. And we develop along the way, yes? We develop on the way.

Do you have values on which your actions are based?

I can’t say that I have particular values, because values can come from a place of judgement. This is what I realized. Whereas I used to hold values which might have been somewhat identified to my ego. But if I had to use the term values, then I would use it in respect to knowing within yourself the difference between good and bad. I’ve had this conversation with many people and I think some people don’t really understand while it seems to be almost like the law of nature. You wouldn’t create harm upon somebody else in any way verbally, mentally or physically that you wouldn’t want upon yourself. And that’s not just with people. That’s with anything, because everything is equal. So values are a bit difficult. So we can have personal values. Like for example I’d said to you that I was coming and I was in conflict, because I made a commitment to you just to do this and there was this strong value conflicted by another value of what I was partaking in in my room. And I was deep in it and I thought: Ok so this is where I am in duality over here. So I was like “ok find acceptance in what you are doing and what you need to do. Find a mend and then go. Knock on the door. With peace. Otherwise I would have brought some full load of anxiety over your room. And I can’t do that, knocking and not letting go of what I was doing.

Halfway Commitment.

Yes. And we can’t do that. Sometimes it is better to just take a moment to breathe. Find acceptance as quickly as you possibly can. And that is a value, I guess. To have that little conversation with yourself and say “ok, you know what: Just let it go.” Because everything is nonsense, isn’t it. All these things that we create in our mind and all these attachments.

How do you take action?

Consciously? So I am always in a conscious state of mind. More often than not. I think sometimes we can get lost. There’s nothing wrong with getting lost. Depends on what you are doing. If you are dancing when you are lost, when you are free, you are free-spirited. So that action is brilliant. So yes, generally speaking I try to be conscious and behave accordingly to the situation and try – because I am consciously aware – to avoid any emotional agenda coming in. Because that is coming from a bias point of view.

How do you avoid emotional involvement?

Ok for example all this would be action. But if I hadn’t been conscious about the state that I was in or the place that I was in with my practice before coming here, then I would have only brought 50% of my awareness with me and that’s actually not fair on you, the person that I am participating with. Nor is it fair on me, because I’m right in the middle of conflict. I’ve not let go. My mind is somewhere else. So actually when we talk about action, – and this is something that I try to practice on the long way, on the lasting way – we talk about being present. So if you are present with your action that means you are whole, you are fully there. You’ll do right by it.

What does nature mean for you?

There is nature to me in two aspects. One aspect is the one that I feel through my senses. The one that I see. The one that surrounds me, which is the rural part of mother earth. So, you know, plants, animals, mountains, lakes, flora – all those beautiful things. And then the other part of nature is being a true expression. Everything has a true expression of itself. A bird would be a full expression of a bird. A mountain is a full expression of a mountain. A lake is a full expression of a lake. Any sort is a full expression of what they are. But humans aren’t really an expression of who they are. This is where nature lacks. And people say “that’s my nature”, but actually no: That’s the nature of your ego. The one that you’ve accumulated through a source of memory over a course of a lifetime. So actually we are not human beings, we are human doings. So everything is nature in its true expression other than us, which are not. Yeah, that’s nature for me.

Do you have an ideal of society?

Yes. Just wake up. Just to wake up, I guess. People are too exclusive. They need to become inclusive. Because then there are things like politics and, you know, the general public will get involved with trying to join the left wing or the right wing and “this is right for me, this is right for…”. And then it affects generations to come. So everybody is too worried about trying to take care of themselves and their grandchildren, because they are so narrowminded and not realizing actually this affects everybody. People need to be a bit more openminded and stop being ignorant. Essentially if people could stop doing that and see one another as a big family, which could be a long shot, then everything would change. Because that’s the community. You see places like that on your travel and stuff. You see villages that work together. They are not academically educated, but they have a better and truer knowing of what to do, what is right and what is wrong. So yes, no nonsense.