Mumukshu – Becoming a Seeker

“You are a wanting person” ~ Pujya Swami Dayānanda

The brightest full moon of the year is coming up. 

This luminous day is celebrated as Guru Purṇimā – the day we honor the divine role of the teacher who guides us to remove and release all that obstructs the luminosity within.

In honor of that time, I’m offering a 3-part series highlighting 3 keys to the yogic journey with some personal sharing.

This part 1, begins with the beginning, the threshold that must be crossed on the spiritual journey.

That threshold is what my own guru would call “becoming a mumukṣu”.

This is when you realize that all of your various discomforts, dissatisfactions & desires have one root cause – the feeling that you are “incomplete”. 

You realize no material thing, person or circumstance can give you permanent satisfaction or peace you stop seeking “stuff” and you start seeking “self”. If you are lucky enough to sense that true happiness is possible, you transmute normal “wanting” into seeking liberation, and this is what it is to be a mumukṣu – one who is seeking inner freedom.

Read on for a bit of my own journey...

From when I was a very small child – about 4 years old – my mind was filled with constant questions about the mysteries and purpose of life. These played into my birthday wishes, my daily thoughts, and every moment was filtered through them. At the same time I was also highly compelled to be in service – to my younger siblings, my mother, my grandmother.


Both of the patterns of questioning life and caregiving for those around me were dramatically exaggerated when I underwent a family trauma at the age of 10 – the sudden death of my father, followed by my grieving mother relying on me as though I was no longer a child.


I realized then that I seemed to see the world differently than those around me. Even at times when I was in the center of things and was engaged in the pleasures that life had to offer –  family,  friends, performing arts, athletics – I felt like an outsider, a witness viewing it all from above.

Me, on the right, with my younger siblings.

Life seemed “normal” on the outside, yet inner questions haunted me…

Where does sadness come from?
“Why do people suffer?”
“Why do people cause others to suffer?”
“Is true happiness that never goes away possible?”


When I was 16 I began to have mystical experiences that deepened these questions and made me feel more and more that my inner realm didn’t exactly match the outer world.


I began to look for answers in marijuana, academics, intimate relationships, travel, holistic medicine and service & study remote villages living with families in Central America and South Africa… I was looking, looking looking…


By a stroke of magic, when I was 21 years old, I began to take philosophy classes in Eastern religion, texts and teachings.  



This is when the asking, looking, hungering… began to transmute into seeking that had a true POTENTIAL for answers.



This is when I became a “mumukṣu”.



The story will continue in the next installment. 


“A mumukṣu is wanting self, not stuff” – Kaya

mumukṣu | मुमुक्षु

Being a “wanting person” is normal… it is being in ongoing pursuit a million short term fixes to feel okay.  None of it satisfies… and so the wanting never ends.

But the wanting serves a purpose.

When you listen deeply, you realize what you really want is to be permanently at peace.

The beginning of your yogic journey is to transmute “wanting” into seeking. This is “becoming a mumukṣu”.

A mumukṣu seeks mokṣa | मोक्ष – inner freedom, psychological freedom, utter limitlessness itself.

A mumukṣu releases normal “wanting” and prioritizes seeking what truly satisfies – the nectar of your Self.

For this reason, a mumukṣu lives a yogic life.

This is the invitation of yoga, the invitation of yogic scripture and the oral tradition.

Upcoming Programs with Kaya

July Series

Supreme Release Yoga

Deepen your path of practice through blissful repetition that awakens the auspicious spiritual karmas within.  Establish a pattern of yogic journeying that is easeful, accessible & delicious.

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An esoteric + practical journey of storytelling, teaching and transmission of the true meanings of the sūtras like you have never heard before. This Yoga Sūtra program will touch your heart deeply and impact your practice & life directly. 

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