Sometimes, people will ask me about teachers; about teachers that I am following or teachers that I might recommend. I like to say that the right teaching is already finding you, but that’s just my perspective. In Truth there is only one Teacher, and that Teacher is YOU. It’s all right here, as YOU.
But let’s set that aside for a moment and answer the question. Instead of me telling anyone what to read though, I suggest that we turn it into an exercise; one that allows you to assemble your own list. We often get stuck on one or two teachers, and begin to align our views with theirs. To truly understand who you are though, it may be helpful to expand your frame of reference to include a number of different voices. Doing so can help you open yourself up to new ways of listening. But you don’t necessarily want to get overwhelmed either. So here are a few practical steps to creating your own list:
- First, pick the three teachers whose teaching touch you the most deeply
- Now add two additional teachers who are important to you: but didn’t make your top three.
- Finally, add five more teachers who you just really enjoy listening to.
Focus your time and attention on these ten teachers. Ideally, at least one teacher, in your top 5, should be a living teacher who you can reach out to – even if it costs money to do so. Ideally, two of your top five would be in this category – then you have two different living viewpoints to work with. Study their writings and listen to their teachings. Attend their lectures and retreats if you can. Meet with them personally, if that’s an option. Pay careful attention to what they are saying, and to what they AREN’T saying!
Take time to revisit this list whenever you go through a major shift, or at least once each year. Try examining 5 new teachers each time you review the list; ones that are not already on it. Use that 15 to come up with your new top 3, top 5, and top 10. Don’t let this list become a fixation or limitation though. Be sure to take breaks when you need to, deviate where necessary, and honor what the moment calls you to. This is just a way of focusing, within an expanded frame; giving you access to a choir of voices without drowning you in a deluge of competing distractions.
Here is my current list:
- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
- J. Krishnamurti
- Ramesh Balsekar
- Jeff Foster
- Peter Fenner
- Wei Wu Wei
- Alan Watts
- Ram Dass
Going to 15:
- Huang Po
- Robert Wolfe
- Fred Davis
- Eckhart Tolle
…and 5 More Just for Fun:
- Sri Ramana Maharshi
- Robert Adams
- Ajahn Chah
Honestly, there are so many good ones to choose from… Everyone on my list is there for a specific reason. But then again, only one teacher really matters – and it’s YOU! Teach yourself how to become a proper student – and then allow Life to become your teacher. That’s what this list is really about: becoming a proper student…
Do your part. Pay close attention. And Be ready to test the boundaries of what’s ‘real’.
I love you, Namaste, God Bless, and take care.
~From the Heart of Bradley
Bradley Bemis is a spiritual teacher of nonduality, Self-realization, and living an awakened life. Learn more at http://awakeningintolife.com.