Asokananda (Harald Brust ; 1955 Germany – 2006 Thailand), studied “Social Pegagogy” (Socialpadagogik) and worked in the field of social work in Germany.
He started to travel at an early age and since 1978 he spent always longer periods of time in Asia, untill he permanently lived there since 1982 – especially between India, Sri lanka and Thailand – studying and teaching Yoga, Vipassana meditation and Thai massage.
He extensively studied Yoga in Sri lanka, where he was temporarily ordained as a Buddhist monk; he undertook intensive Vipassana meditation retreats in Myanmar and Nepal: he started to study Thai massage at the Old Medicine Hospital of the “Shivago Komarapaj” foundation in Chiang mai, northern Thailand, continuing a deeper research study with two of the best Thai massage masters, Chaiyuth Priyasith and Pichest Boonthumme.
He wrote the book “The art of Traditional Thai Massage” (1990, Ed. Duang Kamol) translated in many languages ( in italian “Il Massaggio Thailandese”, Ed. Mediterranee, 1992), and it was the first book ever written about the art of massage even in Thailand, where it arose the interest about this healing practice which unfortunately was, at the time, only known to a few real masters.
He also wrote other books: ” The Yoga of Mindfulness ” , ” Thai Traditional Massage for Advanced Practitioners ” , ” Thai Traditional Massage in the Side Position ” , ” Thus Have I Heard, Meditations in Babylon ” , ” Thai Chi Chuan, Mindfulness in Motion ” ( Coauthor: Chow Kam Thye ).
He created the ” Sunshine Network “, an association of qualified teachers, all personally trained by himself during his long teaching activity in Asia, Europe and New Zealand, whom operates all around the world.
He founded in Thailand a centre for teaching and research, the ” Lahu Village Research Centre “, where up to this days continues the work of deepening the study and practice of the different techniques of Thai massage.