Born and raised in Finland, Tuomas Mäkinen resides at Audarya ashram in the tranquil redwoods of Mendocino County, California. He has devoted the past two decades of his life to spiritual pursuit—both inside and outside the ashram. When not writing, Tuomas draws comics, shovels cow dung, works for the Darshan Press publishing house, and does mantra meditation. The Recovering Materialist is his first book.

 

Why do I write?

The simple answer is that people who have issues need to write about them. And I’ve had issues ever since I was born in a small town in central Finland in 1979. There is something about materialism and the ensuing worldview that has never worked for me: the alienation, the loneliness, the superficiality. But as a kid, I couldn’t express any of it or understand where the angst was coming from, and because of it, I had to imagine alternative views and worlds just to keep myself from choking.

Ask my old friends; they’ll tell you how much I lived in my own head as a teenager and a twenty-something. The only things that really lit me up were spiritual practice and creativity because both gave me a respite from the ruthless monotony of mundane everyday life.

Although I dropped out of high school at eighteen and went to community college to study creative writing, I didn’t truly get into writing until my mid-thirties. First, music and visual arts satisfied that need for reimagining my life, and then, at twenty-five, I met my spiritual teacher, Swami B. V. Tripurari, in the living room of my best friend. He utterly blew my mind, and I decided to leave Finland and my whole previous life to follow this Hindu monk to his ashram in the redwood forests of Northern California. The most intense period of my life ensued, and for seven years, I put everything into my spiritual calling. I kept a spiritual blog for a short period and wrote a personal journal, but there was no time for more writing than that.

In my early thirties, I unexpectedly got married to one of the most wonderful people in the whole world, and we moved out of the ashram. Slowly, I started writing again, and soon it became an obsession. I didn’t know what I was doing, and it was incredibly painful, but I couldn’t put the pen down (Lord knows I tried.)

In 2019, not only did my wife and I move back to our spiritual teacher’s ashram, but I finally got serious about writing my debut memoir that deals with some of the same themes I’ve shared with you in this little bio. With the help of Rachael Herron and her amazing book Fast-draft Your Memoir, I was finally able to convert my flighty, restless imagination into real, tangible words on the screen.

When I finished my first book in the spring of 2023, I had to admit to myself that I’ve always been a writer. I naturally see the world from a writer’s point of view, so I might as well run with it and hopefully create something of substance in the process that will benefit others as well.

Did that answer your questions? If not, drop me a line here.