Dr. Russell Razzaque will be at Watkins Bookshop, talking about his book ‘Breaking Down is Waking Up‘ on February 5 at 6.30pm. Dr. Russell Razzaque is a London-based psychiatrist with sixteen years’ experience in adult mental health. Click here to read his full biography and for more information about the event. In view of his talk we prepared few questions for him!
Watkins: Is there any event or encounter in your life that you consider a stepping stone in your spiritual journey?
Russell Razzaque: I can’t say that I can pinpoint a single event. It has been more like a gradual journey moving one step at a time to ever deeper levels of self-realisation, but it is a journey I know I will never end. Indeed, it is my belief that this journey is itself the purpose of life.
W: Which books have influenced your life the most?
RR: Many books have really helped me along in my understanding, and I quote from many of them in my own book. I love Pema Chodron‘s books, especially The Wisdom of No Escape and The Places That Scare Us. Also there’s Adyashanti’s End of Your World. Then there’s the classic work around the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharishi; Be As You Are, and finally the ancient sacred Taoist book, the Tao Te Ching. I’ve probably read it a dozen times and been more amazed each time. They are probably my top 5
W: Do you have a daily spiritual practice?
RR: Yes, I meditate every day (almost). Usually for half an hour but sometimes it can be more and sometimes less. The main thing is consistency – if even for a few minutes. That’s what I believe to be most important and it’s what I teach people myself.
W: What is your idea of happiness?
RR: Family, and beyond that, helping people on their life path and finding meaning in their lives and discovering who they really are and what they are here for.
W: What empowers you in your daily work and life?
RR: My daily meditation practice (mindfulness) probably more than anything else. It keeps me rooted to the emptiness at the centre of it all – the vast powerful ocean of possibility – that is like a reservoir that can be tapped into anytime.
W: An advice to give to Watkins Magazine readers…
RR: We are all meaning machines. We are here to make sense of the word and our place in it and, through that, to find our purpose in this life. We are all precious gifts to the universe and there is a deep purpose to each of our existences. Our task in life is to find a way of understanding the world such that our purpose becomes clear to us. If it’s not obvious right now, then never cease that pursuit. This knowledge and understanding can come through a variety of means, but it will always involve more than understanding through the thinking mind alone.
Dr. Russell Razzaque is a London-based psychiatrist with sixteen years’ experience in adult mental health. He has worked for a number of national and international organisations during his career including the University of Cambridge, the UK Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. He currently works in acute mental health services in the NHS in East London. He is also a published author in human psychology with several books on the subject and he writes columns for a number of publications including Psychology Today, The Independent, The Guardian and USA Today.
Dr. Russell Razzaque
Breaking Down is Waking Up