Have you ever heard the phrase, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear?” It’s a “quotation meme” that’s all over the web, and is cited as coming from numerous competing sources, the Buddha and the King James Bible chief amongst them. Its first recorded usage was actually in an obscure nineteenth century book published by the Theosophical Society, a rather unusual organization by most accounts. Nonetheless, it does hold a certain truth, regardless of its origins.
We tend to gravitate towards the sources of knowledge and inspiration that are appropriate to us, given our current level of spiritual development. When we resonate with certain books, teachers or events – chance meetings, for instance, that seemed to hold a special significance – it’s often because of movements beyond what we’re immediately aware of.
Perhaps the same will be true of this list. We’ve selected ten spiritual teachers that are leading the way in a kind of global “spiritual awakening”. Have a skim through and see if any ring true intuitively with you…they might just be the person to carry you onto the next step of your own journey. Let us know what you think of the selections, or your own past experiences with these teachers, in the comments section below.
1. Eckhart Tolle
As the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle has touched and inspired countless lives. Part of what’s makes him so accessible is the simplicity of his teachings, a condensation of hundreds and thousands of years of spiritual wisdom focused around the principle of present-moment awareness.
Tolle’s story itself is equally intriguing. He experienced his first spiritual awakening at the age of 29, after suffering from bouts of anxiety and depression for a long time. After a period of intense suffering, he awoke one morning to find that everything was “miraculous”. He quickly gave up studying for his doctorate and spent several years on park benches in London “watching the world go by”.
2. Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra is unique because he trained as a doctor (an endocrinologist) before becoming disillusioned with some aspects of the Western rational approach. Part of his attraction to many is his blending of a scientific understanding with more esoteric and “New Age” concepts. His is a prolific author, having penned over 75 books, and runs retreats and seminars globally.
His oeuvre of work is huge and spans a range of approaches and ideas. Like many spiritual seekers of his time, he studied under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi before going on to set up his own teaching institutions, centered around the idea that happiness lies beyond the Western reliance on and pursuit of material possessions.