Teachers

Adyashanti


Adyashanti began teaching in 1996, at the request of his Zen teacher with whom he had been studying for 14 years. Since then many spiritual seekers have awakened to their true nature while spending time with Adyashanti.

The author of The End of Your World, Emptiness Dancing, and True Meditation, Adyashanti offers spontaneous and direct nondual teachings that have been compared to those of the early Zen masters and Advaita Vedanta sages. However, Adya says, “If you filter my words through any tradition or ‘-ism’, you will miss altogether what I am saying. The liberating truth is not static; it is alive. It cannot be put into concepts and be understood by the mind. The truth lies beyond all forms of conceptual fundamentalism. What you are is the beyond—awake and present, here and now already. I am simply helping you to realize that.”

A native of Northern California, Adyashanti lives with his wife, Mukti, and teaches extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area offering satsangs, weekend intensives, and silent retreats. He also travels to teach in other areas of the United States and Canada.

“Adyashanti” means primordial peace.

Open Gate Sangha is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to support the teachings of Adyashanti. Hosting events throughout the United States and Canada, producing books and tapes, and creating this website, Open Gate Sangha has brought Adyashanti’s teachings to thousands of people from diverse traditions. The organization is supported by volunteers who form the heart of the community.



Eckhart Tolle






Eckhart Tolle Spiritual Teacher and Author was born in Germany and educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge. At the age of twenty-nine a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey. Later, he began to work in London with individuals and small groups as a counselor and spiritual teacher. Since 1995 he has lived in Vancouver, Canada.


Eckhart Tolle is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Power of Now (translated into 33 languages) and the highly acclaimed follow-up A New Earth, which are widely regarded as two of the most influential spiritual books of our time.


Eckhart’s profound yet simple teachings have already helped countless people throughout the world find inner peace and greater fulfillment in their lives. At the core of the teachings lies the transformation of consciousness, a spiritual awakening that he sees as the next step in human evolution. An essential aspect of this awakening consists in transcending our ego-based state of consciousness. This is a prerequisite not only for personal happiness but also for the ending of violent conflict endemic on our planet.


Eckhart is a sought-after public speaker and teaches and travels extensively throughout the world. Many of his talks, intensives and retreats are published on CD and DVD. Most of the teachings are given in English, but occasionally Eckhart also gives talks in German and Spanish. In addition to The Power of Now and A New Earth, Eckhart has written a book designed for meditative reading entitled Stillness Speaks. A book consisting of selections from The Power of Now is also available, entitled Practicing the Power of Now.


http://www.eckharttolle.com/home/


Jiddu Krishnamurti


Jiddu Krishnamurti lived from 1895 to 1986, and is regarded as one of the greatest philosophical and spiritual figures of the twentieth century. Krishnamurti claimed no allegiance to any caste, nationality or religion and was bound by no tradition. His purpose was to set humankind unconditionally free from the destructive limitations of conditioned mind. For nearly sixty years he traveled the world and spoke spontaneously to large audiences until the end of his life in 1986 at the age of ninety. He had no permanent home, but when not traveling, he often stayed in Ojai, California, Brockwood Park, England, and in Chennai, India. In his talks, he pointed out to people the need to transform themselves through self-knowledge, by being aware of the subtleties of their thoughts and feelings in daily life, and how this movement can be observed through the mirror of relationship.

Krishnamurti was first discovered by the Theosophists on a beach in India in 1910. He was just 13 years old. Annie Besant, leader of the Theosophical Society at that time, undertook to educate Krishnamurti and his brother in England. Krishnamurti was on a trajectory to be the new “World Teacher” for the ages. Then he took an extraordinary turn. In 1929, at the age of 32 and at one of the enormous annual European gatherings of the Theosophists in Holland, he announced his decision to step down from any formal role or plan to promote him as a World Teacher, resigned as figure head of the Theosophists, and cut all ties to any notion of a religious or spiritual organization. This was followed immediately by a “core” statement, summarized as “Truth Is A Pathless Land: man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection.”

For the rest of his long life, he taught not as an authority but as an investigator looking into life's fundamental issues through questioning all assumptions, and challenging his listeners to do the 
same.

The body of Krishnamurti's work is enormous, some estimate it at more than 100 million words; 60 years of more or less uninterrupted appearances around the world. His charge to the Foundations at his death in 1986 was to spread his un-interpreted, authentic body of work around the world. His talks and dialogues have been compiled and published in more than sixty books and translated into as many different languages. His books include The Ending of Time, Freedom from the Known, Commentaries on Living, Education and the Significance of Life, The Awakening of Intelligence, and The First and Last Freedom.


Mahatma Gandhi


(Mohandas Karamchand) Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, India. He became one of the most respected spiritual and political leaders of the Twentieth Century. Gandhi helped free the Indian people from British rule through nonviolent resistance, and is honored by his people as the father of the Indian Nation. The Indian people called Gandhi Mahatma, meaning Great Soul.

At age 13, Gandhi joined Kasturba, age 12, in a marriage arranged by their parents. The Gandhi’s had four sons: Harilal and Manilal, born in India, and Ramdas and Devdas born in South Africa. While Gandhi displayed loving kindness to everyone else, he was quite demanding and severe with his wife and sons. Use the links below to learn more about Gandhi's relationship with his family.

Gandhi studied law in London and returned to India in 1891 to practice. In 1893 he accepted a one year contract to do legal work in South Africa. At the time South Africa was controlled by the British. When he attempted to claim his rights as a British subject he was abused, and soon saw that all Indians suffered similar treatment.

Gandhi stayed in South Africa for 21 years working to secure rights for Indian people. He developed a method of direct social action based upon the principles courage, nonviolence and truth called Satyagraha. He believed that the way people behave is more important than what they achieve. Satyagraha promoted nonviolence and civil disobedience as the most appropriate methods for obtaining political and social goals.

In 1915 Gandhi returned to India. Within 15 years he became the leader of the Indian nationalist movement. Using the tenets of Satyagraha he lead the campaign for Indian independence from Britain. Gandhi was arrested many times by the British for his activities in South Africa and India. He believed it was honorable to go to jail for a just cause. Altogether he spent seven years in prison for his political activities. More than once Gandhi used fasting to impress upon others the need to be nonviolent.

India was granted independence in 1947, and partitioned into India and Pakistan. Rioting between Hindus and Muslims followed. Gandhi had been an advocate for a united India where Hindus and Muslims lived together in peace. On January 13, 1948, at the age of 78, he began a fast with the purpose of stopping the bloodshed. After 5 days the opposing leaders pledged to stop the fighting and Gandhi broke his fast. Twelve days later he was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic who opposed his program of tolerance for all creeds and religion.

Among the tributes to Gandhi upon his death were these words by the great physicist, Albert Einstein:

“Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.”


Mother Teresa


Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, the future Mother Teresa, was born on 26 August 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia, to Albanian heritage. Her father, a well-respected local businessman, died when she was eight years old, leaving her mother, a devoutly religious woman, to open an embroidery and cloth business to support the family. After spending her adolescence deeply involved in parish activities, Agnes left home in September 1928, for the Loreto Convent in Rathfarnam (Dublin), Ireland, where she was admitted as a postulant on October 12 and received the name of Teresa, after her patroness, St. Therese of Lisieux.



Agnes was sent by the Loreto order to India and arrived in Calcutta on 6 January 1929. Upon her arrival, she joined the Loreto novitiate in Darjeeling. She made her final profession as a Loreto nun on 24 May 1937, and hereafter was called Mother Teresa. While living in Calcutta during the 1930s and '40s, she taught in St. Mary's Bengali Medium School.

On 10 September 1946, on a train journey from Calcutta to Darjeeling, Mother Teresa received what she termed the "call within a call," which was to give rise to the Missionaries of Charity family of Sisters, Brothers, Fathers, and Co-Workers. The content of this inspiration is revealed in the aim and mission she would give to her new institute: "to quench the infinite thirst of Jesus on the cross for love and souls" by "laboring at the salvation and sanctification of the poorest of the poor." On October 7, 1950, the new congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was officially erected as a religious institute for the Archdiocese of Calcutta.

Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, Mother Teresa expanded the work of the Missionaries of Charity both within Calcutta and throughout India. On 1 February 1965, Pope Paul VI granted the Decree of Praise to the Congregation, raising it to pontifical right. The first foundation outside India opened in Cocorote, Venezuela, in 1965. The Society expanded to Europe (the Tor Fiscale suburb of Rome) and Africa (Tabora, Tanzania) in 1968.

From the late 1960s until 1980, the Missionaries of Charity expanded both in their reach across the globe and in their number of members. Mother Teresa opened houses in Australia, the Middle East, and North America, and the first novitiate outside Calcutta in London. In 1979 Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. By that same year there were 158 Missionaries of Charity foundations.

The Missionaries of Charity reached Communist countries in 1979 with a house in Zagreb, Craotia, and in 1980 with a house in East Berlin, and continued to expand through the 1980s and 1990s with houses in almost all Communist nations, including 15 foundations in the former Soviet Union. Despite repeated efforts, however, Mother Teresa was never able to open a foundation in China.

Mother Teresa spoke at the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly in October 1985. On Christmas Eve of that year, Mother Teresa opened "Gift of Love" in New York, her first house for AIDS patients. In the coming years, this home would be followed by others, in the United States and elsewhere, devoted specifically for those with AIDS.

From the late 1980s through the 1990s, despite increasing health problems, Mother Teresa travelled across the world for the profession of novices, opening of new houses, and service to the poor and disaster-stricken. New communities were founded in South Africa, Albania, Cuba, and war-torn Iraq. By 1997, the Sisters numbered nearly 4,000 members, and were established in almost 600 foundations in 123 countries of the world.

After a summer of travelling to Rome, New York, and Washington, in a weak state of health, Mother Teresa returned to Calcutta in July 1997. At 9:30 PM, on 5 September, Mother Teresa died at the Motherhouse. Her body was transferred to St Thomas's Church, next to the Loreto convent where she had first arrived nearly 69 years earlier. Hundreds of thousands of people from all classes and all religions, from India and abroad, paid their respects. She received a state funeral on 13 September, her body being taken in procession - on a gun carriage that had also borne the bodies of Mohandas K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru - through the streets of Calcutta. 


Osho


Osho Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (1931 - 1990) – intensely loved by his disciples, intensely hated by his enemies and controversial all over the world. An enlightened Master with a simple and yet so essential message: ‘I teach you to live tremendously ecstatically in every possible way. On the physical level, on the mental level, on the spiritual level, live to the uttermost of your possibility.’ With this message of celebration Osho inspires and moves many thousands of people across the whole world until this very day.

Osho was a modern Master who used every possible way of communication to reach his disciples. The thousands of discourses he gave over the years are recorded on audio and video and also published in 700 books. From Zarathustra to Zen, about Buddha, Jesus, Mahavir, Krishna, Lao Tzu, Kabir, the Veda’s, Sufi’s, Tantra, Yoga, Kabbalah – Osho has spoken about almost every mystical school. Whatever the subject was, he always pointed out that many roads lead to one single goal: to become aware of one’s true being, one’s innermost core.

Every human being is a diamond within, every human being is a Buddha. Only we have forgotten. We are living our lives in continuous fear, worries, stress and desires, without knowing that there is a treasure of tremendous beauty hidden deep within ourselves. Osho shows us the way back home – in his poetic words, his soft singing voice, his long silences which contain the deepest truth. And in the hundreds of meditation techniques he designed especially for modern man.

‘Meditation is an inner management. There is not much help howsoever to improve upon the outer periphery until we manage the centre in ourselves. To address this centre meditation is the best tool.’

Osho’s vision is that modern people are living in so much anguish and anxiety that they can’t just sit and watch his thoughts. The mind is too busy, full of unnecessary garbage, and the body is too tense. In order to relax we must first give expression to all that we gathered inside us in the course of many years (and lives). Therefore Osho’s meditation techniques always consist of a combination of activity and passivity. First there is an active part in which intense breathing, dance, sounds, movement or emotional expression are the key tools. After this follows a silent stage of passive watching everything that is happening in body and mind. Being aware, being attentively present in the here-and-now – that is meditation. ‘Meditation is just getting beyond the mind and beyond time, and you enter into eternal silence, into eternal life. And once you have tasted that life your whole existence becomes a celebration.’ – Osho.

Osho wanted to create a new human being, who is a living union of the best of East and West. This new human being he gave the name Zorba the Buddha: celebrating and enjoying life as intensely as Zorba the Greek, while being alert, aware, awake like Buddha. With the feet firmly on the ground and yet reaching into the highest sky. With his neo-sannyas he broke with an ancient tradition in which sannyasins (seekers) renounced the world and lived a life of solitude in caves and monasteries. Osho’s sannyasins are living in the midst of the world, accepting and celebrating everything that life offers, yet without being dependent on it.


Paramahansa Yogananda


Paramahansa Yogananda (sometimes spelled Paramahansa Yogananda), 1893 – 1952, was the first yoga master of India to take up permanent residence in the West.

Yogananda arrived in America in 1920, and proceeded to travel throughout the United States on what he called his “spiritual campaigns.”

Hundreds of thousands filled the largest halls in major American cities to see the yoga master from India. Yogananda continued to lecture and write up to his passing in 1952.

Yogananda’s initial impact on the western culture was truly impressive. But his lasting spiritual legacy has been even greater. His Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946, helped launch a spiritual revolution in the West. Translated into more than a dozen languages, it remains a best-selling spiritual classic to this day.

Yogananda’s message was nonsectarian and universal. Before embarking on his mission to the West, he received this admonition from his teacher, Swami Sri Yukteswar:

The West is high in material attainments, but lacking in spiritual understanding. It is God’s will that you play a role in teaching mankind the value of balancing the material with an inner, spiritual life.

The Path of Self-Realization

The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is the soul’s power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God.

—Paramahansa Yogananda from The Essence of Self-Realization

The lasting contribution brought by Yogananda to the West is the non-sectarian, universal spiritual path of Self-Realization.

Yogananda gave this definition to the term Self-Realization:

Self-Realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God’s omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all that you need to do is improve your knowing.

As the means of attaining this exalted spiritual state Yogananda initiated his followers into the ancient technique of Kriya Yoga, which he called the “jet-airplane route to God.”

The path of Kriya Yoga, which combines the practice of advanced yogic techniques with spirituality in daily life, can be learned through the Ananda Kriya Sangha.

Ananda: Fulfilling Yogananda’s Mission

Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Yogananda, founded Ananda Village in 1968 to fulfill Yogananda’s vision of “World Brotherhood Colonies,” or spiritual cooperative communities.

Yogananda dreamed of places where people of all walks of life, not only monastics, could devote themselves to living a life dedicated to “simple living and high thinking” by applying the teachings of yoga to every aspect of their lives.

“Take the best advice I can give you,” he said. “Gather together, those of you who share high ideals. Pool your resources. Buy land out in the country. A simple life will bring you inner freedom. Harmony with nature will bring you a happiness known to few city dwellers. In the company of other truth seekers you will find it easier to meditate and think of God.

—Swami Kriyananda, The New Path

And on July 31, 1949, at a gathering in Beverly Hills, California, he solemnly proclaimed:

“This day,” he thundered, punctuating every word, “marks the birth of a new era. My spoken words are registered in the ether, in the Spirit of God, and they shall move the West.… Self-Realization has come to unite all religions… We must go on — not only those who are here, but thousands of youths must go North, South, East, and West to cover the earth with little colonies, demonstrating that simplicity of living plus high thinking lead to the greatest happiness!”

–Swami Kriyananda, The New Path

Ananda has become the first successful implementation of Yogananda’s ideals. Over the years it has grown into a dynamic international movement with thousands of members worldwide.


Thich Nhat Hanh


One of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today, poet, and peace and human rights activist, Thich Nhat Hanh (called Thây by his students) has led an extraordinary life. Born in central Vietnam in 1926 he joined the monkshood at the age of sixteen. The Vietnam War confronted the monasteries with the question of whether to adhere to the contemplative life and remain meditating in the monasteries, or to help the villagers suffering under bombings and other devastation of the war. Nhat Hanh was one of those who chose to do both, helping to found the "engaged Buddhism" movement. His life has since been dedicated to the work of inner transformation for the benefit of individuals and society.

In Saigon in the early 60s, Thich Nhat Hanh founded the School of Youth Social Service, a grass-roots relief organization that rebuilt bombed villages, set up schools and medical centers, resettled homeless families, and organized agricultural cooperatives. Rallying some 10,000 student volunteers, the SYSS based its work on the Buddhist principles of non-violence and compassionate action. Despite government denunciation of his activity, Nhat Hanh also founded a Buddhist University, a publishing house, and an influential peace activist magazine in Vietnam.

After visiting the U.S. and Europe in 1966 on a peace mission, he was banned from returning to Vietnam in 1966. On subsequent travels to the U.S., he made the case for peace to federal and Pentagon officials including Robert McNamara. He may have changed the course of U.S. history when he persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to oppose the Vietnam War publicly, and so helped to galvanize the peace movement. The following year, King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Subsequently, Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks.

In 1982 he founded Plum Village, a Buddhist community in exile in France, where he continues his work to alleviate suffering of refugees, boat people, political prisoners, and hungry families in Vietnam and throughout the Third World. He has also received recognition for his work with Vietnam veterans, meditation retreats, and his prolific writings on meditation, mindfulness, and peace. He has published some 85 titles of accessible poems, prose, and prayers, with more than 40 in English, including the best selling Call Me by My True Names, Peace Is Every Step, Being Peace, Touching Peace, Living Buddha Living Christ, Teachings on Love, The Path of Emancipation, and Anger. In September 2001, just a few days after the suicide terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, he addressed the issues of non-violence and forgiveness in a memorable speech at Riverside Church in New York City. In September of 2003 he addressed members of the US Congress, leading them through a two-day retreat.

Thich Nhat Hanh continues to live in Plum Village in the meditation community he founded, where he teaches, writes, and gardens; and he leads retreats worldwide on "the art of mindful living."

Teachings

Thich Nhat Hanh's key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live in the present moment instead of in the past and in the future. Dwelling in the present moment is, according to Nhat Hanh, the only way to truly develop peace, both in one's self and in the world.

How do you pronounce Thich Nhat Hanh?

The English pronunciation is: Tik • N'yat • Hawn

However since Vietnamese is a tonal language, this is only a close approximation for how one would pronounce it in Vietnamese. (His name is sometimes misspelled as Thich Nhat Hahn, Thich Nhat Han, and Thich Nat Han.)

By his students he is affectionately known as Thay (pronounced "Tay" or "Tie"), which is Vietnamese for "teacher."

Courtesy: Parallax Press

http://www.plumvillage.org/thay.html

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi


Ramana Maharshi is an outstanding example of someone who realized the Self without the assistance of an external Guru.


Ramana was born in 1879 as Venkataraman Iyer in the village of Tiruchuli, South India. At the age of 12, his father Sundaram Iyer died and Ramana went to live with his uncle Subba Iyer in Madurai. His classmates remember that Ramana had a strong tendency for religious ecstasy even as a student. Others remember his abnormally deep sleeping habits that led to playing tricks on the young Ramana while he was asleep. Apart from that, Ramana was also described as strong and intelligent.

Ramana Maharshi's life took a drastic turn when he was about sixteen years of age. A powerful fear of dying suddenly attacked Ramana - but instead of running away, which he thought was not an option, he decided to face this fear and investigate. Imitating a corpse, Ramana laid down and distanced himself from body and mind, pretending to be as dead as possible. Ramana entered the condition of silent Beingness and from there on knew himself as pure Awareness. All fear of death had vanished once and for all.

After this event, Ramana Maharshi lost all interest in continuing a normal life. Feeling a strong attraction to the Holy Hill Arunachala, Ramana moved there and soon people who met him sought his advice on many matters. The most important questions centered on how others could follow where (seekers felt) Ramana must have gone himself. In answering their concerns, Ramana Maharshi recommended the concentration on "I" or the meditation on "who am I?" as a shortcut to the realization of the Self.

The practice of Self-enquiry (also known as Jnana Yoga) leads us towards clear Awareness by removing our attention from that which we are not. Through persistent probing, fixing our attention on the source of our Being, we regain our real Self; we remember who we are.


Mooji




Anthony Paul Moo-Young, known as Mooji, was born on 29 January 1954 in Port Antonio, Jamaica. In 1969, he moved to the UK and he is presently living in Brixton, London. Anthony worked in London's 'West end' as a street portrait artist for many years, then as a painter and a stained glass artist, and later as a teacher at Brixton College. For a long time, he was well known as Tony Moo, but is now affectionately known as Mooji* by the many seekers and friends who visit him.

Mooji is a direct disciple of Sri Harilal Poonja, the renowned Advaita master, or Papaji, as his followers call him. In 1987, a chance meeting with a Christian mystic was to be a life-changing encounter for Mooji. It brought him, through prayer, into the direct experience of the Divine within. Within a short period, he experienced a radical shift in consciousness so profound that outwardly, he seemed, to many who knew him, to be an entirely different person. As his spiritual consciousness awakened, a deep inner transformation began which unfolded in the form of many miraculous experiences and mystical insights. He felt a strong wind of change blowing through his life which brought with it a deep urge to surrender completely to divine will. Shortly after, he stopped teaching, left his home and began a life of quiet simplicity and surrender to the will of God as it manifested spontaneously within him. A great peace entered his being, and has remained ever since.

For the following six years, Mooji drifted in a state of spontaneous meditation oblivious to the outer world he formally knew. During these years, he lived almost penniless but was constantly absorbed in inner joy, contentment and natural meditation. Grace came in the form of his sister Julianne, who welcomed Mooji into her home with loving kindness, and afforded him the time and space he much needed to flower spiritually, without the usual pressures and demands of external life. Mooji refers to this period of his life as his "wilderness years" and speaks touchingly of a deep feeling of being "seated on the Lap of God". In many respects, these were far from easy times for Mooji, yet there is no trace of regret or remorse in his tone as he recounts these years. On the contrary, he speaks of this phase of his life as being richly blessed and abundant in grace, trust and loving devotion.

In late 1993, Mooji travelled to India. He had a desire to visit Dakshineswar in Calcutta where Sri Ramakrishna, the great Bengali Saint, had lived and taught. The words and life of Ramakrishna were a source of inspiration and encouragement to Mooji in the early years of his spiritual development. He loved the Saint deeply but as fate would determine, he would not go to Calcutta. While in Rishikesh, a holy place at the foothills of the Himalayas, he was to have another propitious encounter; this time with three devotees of the great Advaita Master Sri Harilal Poonja, known to his many devotees as Papaji. Their persistent invitation to Mooji to travel with them to meet the Master made a deep impression on him. Still he delayed the prospect of meeting Papaji for two whole weeks, choosing first to visit Varanasi, the holy city.

In late November 1993, Mooji travelled to Indira Nagar in Lucknow to meet Papaji. It was to be an auspicious and profoundly significant experience on his spiritual journey. He felt it to be his good fortune; he had met a living Buddha, a fully enlightened master. He gradually came to recognize that Papaji was his Guru. Mooji stayed with Papaji for several months. During one particular Satsang meeting, Papaji told him: “If you desire to be one with truth, 'you' must completely disappear.” On hearing this, great anger arose within his mind, full of judgment and resistance towards Papaji. He decided to leave the master's presence for good, but later that day a huge dark cloud of anger and rebelliousness suddenly lifted, leaving his mind in a state of such peace, emptiness and a love towards the master, so intense, that he knew he could not leave. Through 'Papaji's' grace, his mind was pushed back into the emptiness of source.

In 1994, with his Master's blessings he travelled down to Sri Ramanasramam in Tiruvannamalai. This is the ashram at the foot of Arunachala, the 'Hill of Fire', where Sri Ramana Maharshi*, the Sage of Arunachala and Papaji's Guru, had lived and taught. Mooji felt very happy and at home in Tiruvannamalai. He stayed there for almost three months before returning to sit at Papaji's feet once again.

A week after returning to Lucknow, Mooji received news from London that his eldest son had died suddenly of pneumonia. He returned to England. The bliss of earlier years gave way to a profound emptiness and inner silence, imparted by the Grace and Presence of Papaji.

Mooji visited Papaji again in 1997. It was to be his last meeting with his Beloved Master, who had by now become ill and frail in his movements, but whose inner light and presence remained undiminished. A month after returning to London, Mooji received news that the Master had passed away. Of this Mooji declares: "That Principle that manifests as the Master is ever HERE NOW. The True Master never dies, it is the mister that dies. The true Master, that Sat Guru* within, alone is the Real".

Since 1999, Mooji has been sharing Satsang in the form of spontaneous encounters, retreats, Satsang intensives and one-to-one meetings with the many seekers who visit him, from all parts of the world, in search of the direct experience of truth. Few amongst the modern teachers of the Advaita tradition expound the 'knowledge of Self', and the method of self-enquiry, with such dazzling clarity, love and authority. There is an energy that radiates from Mooji's presence, a kind of impersonal intimacy, full of love, joy and a curious mix of playfulness and authority. His style is direct, clear, compassionate and often humorous. Once caught in the grip of his questions, there seems to be no place to hide. So unsparing is his scrutiny and uncompromising stance, that the 'I' concept is inescapably exposed as a mental construction, when viewed from the formless awareness we are.

Pema Chodron






Ane Pema Chodron was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, in New York City. She attended Miss Porter's School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley (Go Bears!). She taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. Pema has two children and three grandchildren.

While in her mid-thirties, Ane Pema traveled to the French Alps and encountered Lama Chime Rinpoche, with whom she studied for several years. She became a novice nun in 1974 while studying with Lama Chime in London. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa came to England at that time, and Ane Pema received her ordination from him.

Pema first met her root guru, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, (the "Vidyadhara") in 1972. Lama Chime encouraged her to work with Rinpoche, and it was with him that she ultimately made her most profound connection, studying with him from 1974 until his death in 1987. At the request of the Karmapa, she received the full bikshuni ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong. She first met Ayya Khema at the first Buddhist nuns conference in Bodhgaya India in 1987, and they were close friends from that time until her death.

Ane Pema served as the director of Karma Dzong in Boulder, Colorado until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to be the director of Gampo Abbey. The Vidyadhara gave her explicit instructions on running Gampo Abbey. The success of her first two books, The Wisdom of No Escape and Start Where You Are, made her something of a celebrity as a woman Buddhist teacher and as a specialist in the Mahayana lojong teachings. She and Judy Lief were instructed personally by the Vidyadhara on lojong, "which is why I took off with it," she explains.

Pema has struggled with health problems in the past five years but her condition has improved and she anticipates being well enough to continue teaching programs at Gampo Abbey and in California. She plans for a simplified travel schedule with a predictable itinerary, as well as the opportunity to spend an increased amount of time in solitary retreat under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche.

Pema is interested in helping establish Tibetan Buddhist monasticism in the West, as well in continuing her work with western Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings. She has written five books: The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times and The Places That Scare You and No Time to Lose are available from Shambhala Publications. She recently completed a new book called "Practicing Peace in Times of War" that will be published by Shambhala Publications later in 2006.


Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (given name: Maruti) (April 1897 September 8, 1981) worked as a simple bidi seller in Mumbai (known formerly as Bombay) but was considered by many an enlightened being and a master of spirituality. Maharaj was world-renowned and admired for his direct and informal teachings, a selection of which are in his most famous and widely-translated book I Am That. Nisargadatta is widely considered to be one of the 20th century's most articulate communicators of the Hindu Advaita Vedanta or non-dualism, uniquely successful in making such previously diffuse ideas accessible to both Eastern and Western minds.

Although he had a Hindu background and upbringing, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's teachings have a universal appeal. His genius is in making abstract ideas clear to everyone. He explained that the purpose of advanced spirituality is to simply know who you are. Through his many talks given in his humble flat in the slums of Bombay, he showed a direct way in which one could become aware of one's original nature. Many of these talks were recorded, and these recordings form the basis of I Am That and his other books. His words are free from cultural and religious trappings, and the knowledge he expounds is stripped bare of all that is unnecessary.

In the words of Advaita scholar Dr. Robert Powell, "Like the Zen masters of old, Nisargadatta's style is abrupt, provocative, and immensely profound -- cutting to the core and wasting little effort on inessentials. His terse but potent sayings are known for their ability to trigger shifts in consciousness, just by hearing, or even reading them."

Biography

Nisargadatta's father, Shivrampant, worked as a domestic servant in Mumbai and later as a petty farmer in Kandalgaon, a small village in the back-woods of Ratnagiri district of.
At 18 Maruti's father died, prompting him and his brother to leave their family behind to find work in Mumbai. Maruti found work as a small-time clerk but quickly opened a small-goods store, mainly selling bidis; leaf-rolled cigarettes. In 1924 he married Sumatibai and they had three daughters and a son.

At the age of 34, Maruti was introduced to his future guru, Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj, the head of the Inchegeri branch of the Navnath Sampradaya by his friend Yashwantrao Baagkar. Maharaj "did not follow any particular course of breathing, or meditation, or study of." His guru told him to concentrate on the feeling "I Am" and to remain in that state.

Sri Siddharameshwar died not long after their meeting, and three years later in 1936 Maruti reached self-awareness, adopted the new name of Nisargadatta and inherited membership into the Navnath Sampradaya sect. He then took off to the Himalayas to further his understanding but eventually returned to his family in Mumbai. It was there that he spent the rest of his life, working as a bidi vendor and giving teachings in his home.

His book "I Am That" achieved international success in 1973 with its first English translation. His new found fame brought him many new devotees from around the world.
Nisargadatta continued to receive and teach visitors in his home until his death in 1981 at the age of 84.

Bob Adamson, Stephen H. Wolinsky, Robert Powell, and Ramesh Balsekar are several of his followers who are still alive; they all teach the wisdom of and have written books about Sri Nisargadatta. A close friend of Sri Nisargadatta and fellow disciple of Sri Siddharameshwar, Ranjit Maharaj, taught in Mumbai, Europe, and the U.S.A. until his death in 2000.

Teachings

Nisargadatta's teachings are grounded in the Advaita Vedanta interpretation of the Hindu idea Tat Tvam Asi, literally "That Thou Art", meaning You are one with Divinity.

According to Nisargadatta, our true nature is perpetually free peaceful awareness, in Hinduism referred to as Brahman. Awareness is the source of, but different from, the personal, individual consciousness, which is related to the body. The mind and memory are responsible for association with a particular body; awareness exists prior to both mind and memory. It is only the idea that we are the body that keeps us from living what he calls our "original essence", the True Self, in Hinduism referred to as Atman.

He describes this essence as pure, free, and unaffected by anything that occurs. He likens it to a silent witness that watches through the body's senses, yet is not moved, either to happiness or sadness, based on what it sees.
For Nisargadatta, the Self is not one super-entity which knows independently, regardless of things; there is no such super-entity, no Creator with infinite intellect, no God as such. What is, is the "total acting" (or functioning) of the Ultimate Absolute Reality along the infinite varying forms in manifestation. This Absolute Reality is identical to The Self.

Nisargadatta also predicates the radical idea that there is no such thing as a "doer". According to him and other teachers of Vedanta, since our true nature or identity is not the mind, is not the body, but the witness of the mind and body, we, as pure awareness, do nothing. The mind and body act of their own accord, and we are the witness of them, though the mind often thinks it acts. This false idea (that the mind is the self) is what keeps us from recognizing our Self. Nisargadatta cautions:

'"The life force [prana] and the mind are operating [of their own accord], but the mind will tempt you to believe that it is "you". Therefore understand always that you are the timeless spaceless witness. And even if the mind tells you that you are the one who is acting, don't believe the mind. [...] The apparatus [mind, body] which is functioning has come upon your original essence, but you are not that apparatus."

“The Ultimate Medicine” by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (edited by Robert Powell)


Wayne Dyer


Wayne Walter Dyer was born on May 10, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan, in the USA. Wayne Dyer is affectionately called the “father of motivation” by his fans. Despite his childhood spent in orphanages and foster homes, Dr. Dyer has overcome many obstacles to make his dreams come true.

His father, Melvin Dyer, was an alcoholic and abandoned the family soon after Wayne was born, and died shortly thereafter. His mother, Hazel, turned Wayne and his brother Jim over to an orphanage when she could no longer take care of them. Indeed, he grew up in a Detroit orphanage. He graduated in 1958 from Denby High School and went into the Navy, where he served from 1958 to 1962.

Coming out of the Navy, he attended Wayne State University where he earned his D.Ed. degree in counseling. He began his career as a high school guidance counselor, and then became a professor of counselor education at St. John's University in New York. 

Dyer began publishing articles in journals and had a successful private therapy
 practice, but his lectures at St. John’s began attracting a wide audience, among more than just students, because of his focus on positive thinking and motivational speaking.

In 1976, at the age of 36, Dyer published his first book, Your Erroneous Zones. Dyer determined to make motivational speaking his lifelong career, and resigning from his teaching profession he began touring the country, promoting his book by appearing at bookstores and doing interviews. Soon, the book was a best seller, and he began appearing on national talk shows such as Phil Donahue, Merv Griffin and The Tonight Show. 

So popular was Dyer’s message of positive thinking that he began making lecture tours, as well as writing new books. His writing resonated with many people, as he was definitely a “self-made” man who proved that positive thinking could bring one success in life.

In the 1990s, Dyer’s work began to take on a spiritual component, with an emphasis on the Tao Te Ching. 
When asked about his religious beliefs, Dyer points out: "My belief is that the truth is a truth until you organize it, and then becomes a lie. I don't think that Jesus was teaching Christianity, Jesus was teaching kindness, love, concern, and peace. What I tell people is don't be Christian, be Christ-like. Don't be Buddhist, be Buddha-like."

Wayne Dyer’s Website

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I plan on updating this page to include more teachers, as time permits. Please check back periodically for new teachers and additional information on each.

Thanks,
Pamela J. Wells