Vaidya Atreya Smith was born in Santa Monica, California in 1956 and began meditation at the age of seventeen. Atreya studied with the American Vedanta Society in Portland, Oregon in the late 1970's to early 1980's. He then joined a spiritual community in 1982 and met his current teacher Sri H.W.L. Poonjaji in 1991. He has lived in India for more than six years from 1987 to 1994. Atreya is the author of six books published in nine different languages on the art of Indian medicine and healing. He has also either written or edited four textbooks on Ayurveda for Western students. He has a degree in Biology and in 2005 was awarded the title of Vaidya (knower of Ayurvedic texts) in Varanasi for his work in Ayurveda. Since 1987 Atreya works as a professional healthcare and is a professional herbalist. He is also trained in Jyotish (Vedic astrology) and currently lives in the South of France.
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