Living up in the forest hills of Perth, Western Australia, we live a blessed life filled with amazing friends, and beautiful scenery. We have had (and still do have) some of the best teachers in the world, and with their help we have been changing our lives for the better. We are passionate about finding the truth of our lives and ourselves and have refused to settle for a life of mediocrity, drudgery, or unquestioned mundane endeavors. Life has its ups and downs, as we look at the places inside ourselves that many refuse to go near. We fall apart and we find beauty and space, this inward journey is a path of looking for the truth and working to be more whoesome and of better service to the world, people, our environment and each other.
As a popular figure, Candice Aiken, shared many aspects of her life with the world, her website reaching tens of thousands of unique views every month and thousands of newsletter subscribers. In late 2013 she came upon a Buddhist teacher in the Hills of Perth and began to fall in love with the beauty of his teachings and the nature of the sangha around him. She had not seen such care and love in a group before nor had she seen such brightness and love in a teacher. She began to question new areas of her life and became fascinated with these new areas of reality she had not noticed before. She put her online presence on hold and went into something of a 2 year retreat (which you can read more about HERE).
During this time, Candice underwent many life changes, not the least of which was a name change to Deva Prema or Prema to her friends. She started her own natural cleaning business and, making some of her own products, began to employ some good people to work with. She fell for me and together we worked to buy a block up in the hills near our friends in the beauty and stillness of the hills. The sangha of the Vishrant Buddhist Society are some of the closest and dearest friends she has ever had. The love, support and insight she has received from Vishrant and his lovely partner Dakini could not have a monetary value placed on them. Prema has begun to find more fulfillment and wonder in her life than she even imagined was possible, and at the same time is discovering more and more about her own pain and programming as she does the work to take herself apart to become free. Prema, wanted to share more of her journey with more people again so she started up Urban Clarity with Tao.
I found Vishrant very young, at the age of 18, and after what had already been a very varied life, discovered a whole new world of reality I had not known of. I have had many, many profound spiritual experiences since then and have met many beautiful, interesting and/or wild people on my journey. I started a trades company and employed my own good people and friends to enjoy my working life with. I fell in love with Prema and we live together now in the beautiful hills very near to our enlightened teacher Prem Vishrant. Even as I write I am sitting on top of the hill, overlooking our olive grove and the valleys below whilst listening to the birds in the trees in the forest around me.
However the inward journey has definitely been a tough one. There is a lot of work involved in undoing the minds negative programming and discovering the truth, whilst I would not trade it for anything in the world, it is not easy and for all the beauty there is also a lot of pain and unknown in the process. Discovering more about how I tick and putting in the work to change is an ongoing effort and love affair.
After many years of, well what I could describe as no less than amazing, and adventurous involvement with these wonderful people, I became a qualified counsellor and on the society’s request, I have been ordained as an Ajhan with the Buddhist society. With a friend of mine, I am writing a biography of Vishrants as he has led one of the most adventurous lives I have ever heard about, and I have been interested in his journey that ultimately has led to enlightenment back in 1998 and has still been fascinating since. I am the captain of a full contact armoured medieval martial arts club, mostly made up of buddhists so not dissimilar to Shaolin philosophy. We are involved in the sport as we do not harm anyone and can practice present moment awareness and internal calm under fire… and it is fun!
We wish to share some more of our lives and skills and so have created Urban Clarity. For an adventure, we invite you to follow us by checking out our blog each week, signing up to receive our newsletter or follow us on our social media pages which you can find links to below. Ours is a journey of self discovery, both rocky and beautiful.