About Markus Atmananda
Markus Atmananda caught his first glimpse of the spiritual aspect of life at the age of eleven. He felt anxious and completely overwhelmed by the bullying and the highly limiting environment he experienced in school, leading him to contemplate to end it all. In that moment, he experienced a strong intuitive sense that there was a path forward where freedom was possible. Following this revelation, he became very inquisitive, often driving his mother to the edge of frustration with his questions about life, meaning, and freedom.
In his early twenties, he began reading about spiritual practices in books he found at the local library. The ones that resonated with him the most were written by Indian authors like Jiddu Krishnamurti and Osho. As a result, he decided to travel to India in 2001 to deepen his understanding of subjects related to Yoga and meditation. During his time there, he was taught Satyananda Hatha Yoga in Varanasi by Pramod Tiwari, attended Yoga philosophy teachings in Rishikesh with a Swami, and completed his first two Vipassana meditation retreats in Dehra Dun. It was in India that he came across the book “Be as You Are,” featuring questions and answers with Ramana Maharshi, which greatly inspired him.
Upon returning to Sweden, he began attending Vipassana retreats and eventually established a regular yoga practice. This period was lonely and quite challenging. He frequently questioned the path he was on and strongly felt that something was missing in his practice. In 2009, after practicing Vipassana meditation nearly every day for eight years, he decided to discontinue it, developing a deep longing for Non-dual Vedanta practices. However, he had no idea where to begin.
Soon after making this shift, he got recommended to meet Nukunu in Denmark. Nukunu was a spiritual teacher that had worked as a therapist at Osho’s ashram in the US during the 1980s and had been a student of the non-dual teacher Papapji in the 1990s. Markus underwent Nukunu’s “Non-dual training,” during which Nukunu gave him the name Atmananda, which translates to “the bliss of the Self.” This training combined therapy sessions that focused on expressing suppressed and dark emotions with tools for releasing them, all alongside non-dual meditation.
Following his interaction with Nukunu, Markus felt a growing urge to learn from more non-dual teachers. He attended retreats and Satsangs with both Mooji and Adyashanti on several occasions. During this time, Markus Atmananda had his initial experiences of longer, more enduring moments of spiritual awakening. For the first time, he felt a strong sense that he was on the right path.
Around 2012, Markus began traveling to India more frequently and received a recommendation to meet a young Swami named Shashwat Ji in Rishikesh. Their brief encounter had a profound impact on Markus, leaving him with a feeling that he had encountered someone very special. He crossed paths with Swami Shashwat Ji again two years later in Tiruvannamalai and began to realize that their meeting was not coincidental, foreseeing future encounters.
In 2016, he found his way to Swami Shashwat’s ashram in Rishikesh, where he began to reside and dedicated several hours each day for many months to practices such as Self-inquiry, mantra meditations, bhajans, and contemplation. This period notably deepened his understanding of spiritual practices at their core. He had the privilege to directly witness the profound effects and immense support that a spiritual Sangha and a teacher radiating silence can offer throughout the spiritual journey. Overflowing with love and contentment, he bid farewell to the ashram in 2017.
Following his return from the ashram, he has been living in his hometown of Malmö, Sweden. Presently, he conducts workshops and Satsangs regularly, both online and in person, sharing his insights about our inner nature.