Avinash was born in 1973, into a fisherman family in Nha Trang, Vietnam. He lived a typical life in Nha Trang as the son of a fisherman, until the age of eight when his father took him and his brother to a refugee camp in Malaysia.
The trip on his father's boat took five days and four nights. The kindness of the UN workers on the refugee camp made a lasting impression on him, and ignited a dream in him to live with compassion and generosity. He remembers one UN worker, "Mr Fred", would sometimes give him presents like ping-pong bats and some coins for sweets. They lived on the Malaysian refugee island for one year, before migrating to Australia.
In Australia, Avinash lived an ordinary life of education, sports, work and relationships. His family lived in a housing commission home and they struggled financially. Despite the fact that he was ambitious and determined to succeed in life, he felt disillusioned and heavy hearted during his teenage years and early twenties. While he was generally kind in nature, he struggled with lack of self esteem and insecurity. He strived to get a good education, and drove taxis to make ends meet when he was at university. In his mid-twenties, he began seeking greater fulfillment, and this took him on a spiritual search across many continents. During this time, he continued driving taxis to support himself.
The biggest influence on his life was Amma (the Indian hugging saint), who he travelled with and assisted as a volunteer for 4 years. In 2009, at the age of 36, he realised the state of no more suffering, and from that moment on, has never left that state of inner peace and happiness. He explains "can you imagine being in a good mood all the time? Well it's like that."
After this experience it was clear to him that this state can be experienced by anyone who wish for it, through living an ordinary life. It is not a requirement to leave our family and live in a monastery or go on a pilgrimage - it is possible in our everyday living. Avinash now spends his time helping others to find their own inner peace. What makes Avinash's teachings unique is that he teaches from the direct experience of the heart. Avinash has lived an ordinary life. His ordinariness is something that we can all relate to and it gives inspiration to live in an extra-ordinary way.