What do you do?

I’m currently a UX/UI Designer at a financial institution but I have a background in Sound Design so I entered the world of corporate from the world of film making.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m hoping to start a podcast/vodcast where I can invite guests and close friends over for a conversation on topics that people usually shy away from talking about in public. I’d also like to discuss topics that are out of the sphere of the usual everyday South African conversation.

I feel that an honest and uncensored space where a human conversation can take place is needed especially in the current social, political and technological climate of the world today where everyone is keeping quiet for the fear of being targeted for expressing their views and opinions.

We really need to get a conversation going or no one will be heard, we need to start building a bridge between one another especially in a world that is so diverse yet so connected due to technology.

Some of the topics I’d like to talk about on these podcasts/vodcasts are things like psychedelics, consciousness, existence, society, trauma, sex, creativity, religion, philosophy, and technology.

Aaron's story

I have many stories but I’ll tell you the overarching story of my life and that is that I came from an extremely creative background studying film in hopes of becoming a Music producer or Sound Designer but once I graduated I faced the harsh reality that the creative industry in South Africa was still growing. Unfortunately during this time, my father who was the bread-winner of the family passed away so I had to find a way to make money as quickly as possible and staying in the creative industry wasn’t going to work.

So I leveraged off my creative skills from film school and became a Graphic Designer and from there I transitioned into the world of User Interface and User Experience Design where I now work in a corporate environment.

Both the creative and corporate worlds have their pros and cons and I’m learning to balance the two sides of the coin. The corporate world can be soul-destroying so I’m reconnecting with my creative side through photography/videography and hopefully back into music production and sound design.

 

Evolve Fashion Editorial behind the scenes footage by Aaron

Always question, always enquire - You are your own teacher.


Aaron Teng

A tale that set your Soul ablaze?

An experience that I hold dear to me is my recent trip to India where I completed my Yoga Teachers Training course in Rishikesh, the Yoga capital of the world. This trip to India links back to when I first started my journey in self-inquiry in 2013 where I lived in the bush for four months.

I was surrounded by people who asked questions about consciousness, reality, and the mind and this is where I was introduced to philosophers such as Alan Watts and Jiddu Krishnamurti who have played a huge role in my journey through self-inquiry.

I had been reading and exploring topics that the average South African citizen would not have a clue what I was talking about and when I started practicing yoga in 2018, I knew I had to go to India to advance my practice. When I got to the yoga ashram I met my fellow yogis and I was surrounded by people who understood what I had been exploring as they had also been exploring these topics. It felt like I found my family, a group of people who I could finally open up to and speak to because I had kept quiet for so long back home in South Africa.

A list of books that awakened my Soul

I first heard of this book when I was working in the African bush for four months shooting a wildlife series. One of the crew members helped me get started with questioning life, consciousness, and reality. Before the film production ended he told me that if I was interested in questioning further I should look up, Alan Watts, Mooji, Jiddu Krishnamurti, and Tao Te Ching.

This book is one of the most profound books I have read and every time I read it, it offers something new. It is difficult to explain what this book is about because it honestly is too profound to put into words. The human mind can only misinterpret this book’s meaning as it cannot be grasped with the mind. As many determined seekers begin their journey in search of answers, they eventually realize that answers are a desire of the mind and that what they seek is beyond the mind.

Author: Lao Tzu (Translated by Stephen Mitchell)

I was in a weird stage in life and one night, I watched a YouTube video titled “I have no idea what I am doing” by Infidelix. I scrolled down and someone commented  “Suggestion: Book for your journey THE FOUR AGREEMENTS”.

This book helped me realize how parents, friends, and society instill belief systems into us from a young age and because we’re so young and innocent and our minds are so malleable, we agree to these belief systems which influence the decisions we make in life.

It helped me ask myself questions like, “Are you doing this because you want to do it, or are you doing it because the voice of your parents and their beliefs are telling you to do it?”.

Author: Don Miguel Ruiz

Every Friday in the yoga studio we would have Dharma talks and one of the teachers always referred to this book, so one night after the yoga class I asked her for the name of the book so that I could purchase it soon after.

At first glance, this book seems like a story about an ancient war but it is an allegory that holds hidden meanings and is a vehicle to transmit a deeper message within its story.

The Living Gita is a commentary of the original Bhagavad Gita, an ancient text from India. This book has many levels to it and has helped me deepen my understanding of the mind, reality, and the illusion we get caught up in when we identify with the ego construct. 

Furthermore, it has helped me deepen my understanding of yoga, which is not just an exercise but a method of meditation and a path towards experiencing something beyond the limited self.

Author: Swami Satchidananda Saraswati

I got this pocket-sized book when I was in India at a bookstore in Rishikesh where I did my 200 hour Yoga Teachers Training. I bought it because the cover caught my attention but little did I know that this tiny book held so much wisdom and guidance in such a short read.

I had learned so much from my time in India and when I got back to South Africa I asked myself how I was going to remember all these life-changing teachings. Soon after unpacking my luggage, I started reading this book and to my surprise, every chapter helped me remind myself of the core teachings I had in India.

My favorite chapter in this tiny book is “The Law of Giving and Receiving”.

Author: Deepak Chopra

This is another pocket-sized book I got in India along with “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success”. I have been a longtime fan of Alan Watts and his talks on YouTube. He is truly a brilliant “word-technologist” as he uses his poetic flow and deep understandings to explain philosophical ideas that are otherwise very difficult to grasp.

Although a tiny book, it is a collection of short writings by Alan Watts which are deep and profound. This book is a treat for those who are on the path of seeking answers about life and who they are.

Author: Alan Watts

Jiddu Krishnamurti is one of the authors that one of my friends recommended to me as I set out on my journey of questioning life.

This book quickly made it into my top favorite books of all time. Jiddu Krishnamurti asks the reader to enquire within himself/herself the questions, realizations, and observations that he is trying to get across. He does not want you to simply believe in his words through blind faith or to see him as a teacher, instead, he urges people to look within themselves for the answers.

This book does not play games and cuts straight to the point. It is a loaded book that questions ideas, identity, mind, memory, the observer, and the observed. This is a must-read for those who have not realized that their search for Meaning and Truth may have resulted in them trapping themselves in dogma, ideas, and the traps of the mind.

Author: Jiddu Krishnamurti

Follow Aaron


Click on any of the links below to follow Aaron.

Instagram: @theaaronteng

YouTube: The Forever Seekers

LinkedIn: Aaron Teng

 

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