The following teachers are some of the most effective at facilitating people’s movement towards truth, power and freedom. They represent very different approaches to what is essentially the same thing. By learning from all of them, you are better able to formulate a well-rounded and comprehensive perspective. The purpose of the article is not to showcase these teachers specifically, but to demonstrate the importance of finding such teachers.
There are thousands of qualified teachers, it is up to you to find the best. Be wary, all teachers are fallible and none should be taken to be ‘the one’. This being said, it is wise to use external references to speed up your progress.
The following teachers have been chosen for the following reasons:
- an approachable and coherent teaching. anyone can understand
- excellent craftsmanship, powerful explanations and methods
- accessible teachings (books, videos, in-person)
- comprehensive, these teachers cover many of the most important topics
I recommend that anyone who is deeply investigating their existence do plenty of research.
By exposing yourself to a wide range of material you are able to generate a meta-perspective. A meta-perspective is free from the belief that this or that way is true, because it sees all perspectives existing in parallel. When multiple perspectives are seen side by side their relativity is grasped. “If both of these exist in parallel then neither can be absolutely true”. The more freedom you have from anyone perspective the more power you have to see them all.
Hearing different teachers also gives you different perspectives
Some masters went deep into one aspect, while others completely neglected that one and spent all their attention elsewhere. It is wise to use all of these partial perspectives to create your own that includes and transcends them. By hearing many teachers and teachings you get a more well-rounded understanding of any given topic. Reality is vast, and the amount of content out there about reality is staggering. It is wise to expose yourself to as much of it as you can in order to make sense of it all. With the help of the internet and some good books, you are able to extract the best of the best.
We are all different.
And different teachers may be better for your particular mind. While they may be saying essentially the same thing, one teacher’s use of language and a particular frame of reference might be far more effective in your mind. Find what works for you and cater the path to your Self.
Allow your genuine interests to guide your research, as this is what will yield the best results. Without some heart behind it your journey progresses slowly. There is no need for this in the 21st century as the internet gives you access to so much. If the nature of reality is of no interest to you, but the transcendence of suffering is, there are teachers for that. If freedom from suffering is not your thing, but power piques your interest, then go for that! What’s most important is that you are moving forward.
Contemplation is Peter’s go-to method. He teaches us to deeply question every aspect of our own existence with the intent to become ‘directly conscious’ of the truth. By doing this we are able to free ourselves from the domination of ‘self-survival’, and empowered to be in a more effective relationship with Being. His books are excellent guides for your own investigation of self, mind, consciousness, and reality. They take the form of a guided inquiry into your own experience of existence. No stone is left unturned with Peter. Everything comes into question, from emotion to perception, to awareness and existence itself, it is all worthy of deep contemplation.
After reading his books your perspective will be greatly empowered. Your movement towards Truth, power, and freedom will have been greatly expedited. The care with which Peter has crafted his materials is unbelievable. I’ve yet to come across such a powerful teaching.
You can find some fun clips of peter on youtube, but the real stuff is in his books. The Book of Not Knowing, Pursuing Consciousness, and Genius of Being are deep dives into the nature of existence. Peter also runs workshops that focus on experiential insight into existence.
Meditation has never been so precisely, concisely, and clearly defined and taught as it is with Shinzen. He brings an impressive degree of clarity to the subject.
Intentionally demystifying meditation, Shinzen uses scientific organization and thought to categorize and operationally define all the techniques, experiences, tendencies, philosophies, and problems that arise in and as meditation.
Learning Shinzen’s body of techniques has been one of the most powerful tools I have come across in my search for truth and power. They can be implemented in and out of meditation to produce insight and reduce suffering. The power of simply meditating is that it is not cognitive. You don’t have to think about anything or figure anything out, rather you simply pay attention. Training attention using meditation allows you to access and embody deeper levels of consciousness. Without such disciplined training, it is difficult to see or think clearly.
Shinzen’s book Science of Enlightenment provides insight into his system and thought. His audiobook by the same name is also good and completely different. Shinzen’s YouTube channel has a bunch of good stuff on meditation, humanity, and the nature of being.
Shinzen also created the Home Practice Program, which is a monthly in-home retreat with meditations guided by Shinzen via conference call. I’ve done many of these and think they are a great way to strengthen your practice.
Martin Ball is best known for his use of the entheogenic (psychedelic) drug 5-MEO-DMT. This drug is known to have the power to completely deactivate the ego, and catapult one’s experience into some of the most sought after spiritual states and insights into the nature of reality. Martin learned through the use of 5MEO that he is God. He teaches that we are God too, and that enlightenment is the realization and embodiment of this truth. His books, interviews, and lectures are powerful teachings (perspectives) on the nature of self, mind, perception, and reality.
The power of this perspective is its radical nature. He has no reservations about telling it like it is. Rarely will you come across teachers who have had such a radical, seemingly outlandish experience of the nature of reality. By hearing Martin Ball’s perspective, you are opened up to the possibility of radical realization and transformation. Having this as a possibility is useful as it broadens your outlook and deepens your search.
I recommend his book Being Human, And his lectures and interviews on YouTube.
Rupert Spira presents us with what he calls the direct path to enlightenment. Direct implies no process, path, or method. This means you are already what you’re searching for, your only job is to be it consciously. Rupert’s teachings are designed to help you do just this.
Using logical arguments, analogies, and poetic descriptions, Rupert brings you in touch with your true nature. Despite his careful direction and description, he urges readers to stay only with their own experience, and ceaselessly points us back to where we are. Always and only pointing to what is true here and now.
This method is different from the others in its explicit statements of the truth. Where other teachers avoid ‘giving it away’, and advocate hard work and striving towards the absolute, Rupert simply tells you, you are aware presence, and nothing more.
He teaches us that spiritual practices do nothing to make this more true, and cannot actually bring you any closer to the truth. Your only job is to be what you already are. Although you are already what you are seeking, Rupert acknowledges that work may need to be done in order to fully experience and embody this truth. He calls this work yoga.
The power of this approach is that it simplifies and demystifies the spiritual path. It makes enlightenment a real possibility for all, irrespective of their background or degree of consciousness.
Rupert has an active YouTube channel with almost 500 videos. These are a great source of inspiration and direction. His book The Art or Peace and Happiness is a powerful pointer towards your true nature. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the nature of self and reality.
Doing research is essential to your growth
Doing it efficiently can reduce the amount of time you waste on lame teachings and misguided teachers. Keep this in mind! Life is too short to read bad books and watch stupid videos. Make sure that what you’re exposing yourself to is the most powerful and highest quality material out there. The best way to do this is to research your research. Find the experts on the field to see what they have to say. Bring a high degree of skepticism to your research. Without skeptical doubt, you are likely to go down useless and misleading paths.
Never stop. Always be learning.