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My 5 Favorite Modern Spiritual Teachers

Updated on September 6, 2012

I have been doing research in the fields of spirituality and metaphysics for over the last 15 years for my own personal spiritual path and to support writing my books and other writing. I have struggled through, with the help of a lot of coffee, some difficult books that contain deeply complex spiritual or ideological viewpoints, but overall I can honestly say that it is rare that I do not gain some insight from almost every book I have read. Throughout all my reading, there are a couple of spiritual teachers that have risen up, in my mind, as extremely significant in today’s spiritual environment. Spirituality is a broad topic, and there are certainly many authors and teachers that have specialized in specific areas of spirituality that are exceptional, but for today, I want to share only those teachers that approach spirituality from a broader perspective.

I picked these 5 teachers because they not only do a great job at presenting spiritual concepts in a way that everyone can understand, but also because simply, they inspire. Several of them have a unique and pleasant style of writing, while others include humor in their writing style. These 5 teachers have made a major impact on my spiritual journey and are a constant reference for me when I seek fresh inspiration or when I do specific work in a special area of spirituality.

Eckhart Tolle

I was first introduced to Eckhart when Oprah featured his book in a 8 week world wide web seminar. I think if I would have read his books before having seen him in person, I might have felt a little differently about him. His writing style does not always match his speaking personality, of which concerning the latter, I am quite enchanted with. After I watched every lesson in the seminar, and simultaneously read his best-selling book, A New Earth, Awakening to your Life’s Purpose, I read all the rest of his books. Plus I watched his DVD lecture series, Findhorn Retreat and anything else I could find about him as well.

Eckhart’s teachings combine some of the powerful messages and spiritual truths from both Western and Eastern philosophies, particularly leaning on Hinduism from the east and Jesus’ teachings from the West. What I really love about Eckhart is his egoless nature in his teaching style. He also can be brilliantly funny in a dry, esoteric way. He is to me, a modern luminary and I strongly encourage you to read everything he has to offer. Besides A New Earth, his other most notable book is, The Power of Now. Eckhart’s books will challenge your current spiritual ideas, but this makes them so important to read in my opinion. These books are not easy reads, and for those just beginning on your deep spiritual journeys, you may want to wait on Eckhart until you are knee deep in some of the more complex spiritual topics.

Deepak Chopra

If you haven’t already read a Deepak Chopra book, what planet have you been living on? Deepak has written 65 books, with 19 of them landing on the New York Times bestsellers list. Deepak has a fascinating and illustrious background. His style is both deeply engrossing and warmly inspirational. Deepak is regularly featured on many talk shows and is even used as a spiritual consultant for many news organizations. I have not read all 65 of Deepak books, but I have read at least 15 of them. I have also been a follower of his for the last 10 years and have watched many of his lectures, including those he has given for corporations such as Sony, Apple, and IBM.

Deepak’s message can sometimes carry deep mystery and he shares the practices and mindsets students should follow to experience this divine mystery. Being Indian, Deepak has a deep core in Eastern philosophy, but his background as a doctor and his wisdom in many religious and scientific subjects, gives his messages a level of authority rarely matched with most modern spiritual teachers.

Deepak is unique in his spiritual teaching because he writes a lot about the spiritual nature of the body, and how the body, soul, and our consciousness interact and integrate with each other. Most spiritual teachers do not include the physical body in their teachings, unless it is at a metaphorical and subtle level. My favorite book of his that speaks to the nature and power of the body is, Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting The Soul.But my overall favorite of Deepak Chopra’s is, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams. Deepak has also written several books about the great spiritual teachers, Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad that are very enjoyable and thought provoking.

Joseph Campbell

Some may not consider Joseph Campbell a spiritual teacher, but his work has directed my spiritual paths many times over. Joseph Campbell is an iconic mythologist and is known for his work in both comparative mythology and comparative religion. He is extremely knowledgeable in all world religions and ancient and modern myth. I think as Joseph continued his work, he began to develop deep insights and awakenings, so that his work began to take on a tone of teaching as opposed to informing. Ultimately, his work has influenced many to a higher spiritual perspective.

George Lucus, creator of the Star Wars series, credits Joseph Campbell’s work as being a major inspiration in the creation of Star Wars. Christopher Vogler, a Hollywood screenwriter, was also highly influenced by Campbell, which led to the development ofDisney's The Lion King. You may also be familiar with one of the most famous bylines of Joseph Campbell’s, which is “Follow your Bliss”.

Campbell’s work is extensive and much of it is academic, since he spent a much of his career as a college professor and lecturer. My favorite book of Joseph Campbell’s is Pathway’s to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation. It is not always easy reading, and he goes into a great deal of depth about historical origins behind specific mythological characters, but the insights gained from comparative mythology and how they are applied in culture, society, and religion are both insightful and enlightening. More recently, a DVD was published called Finding Joe. This is an amazing DVD sharing some of Joseph Campbell’s main philosophies and I highly recommend it. I found it very inspirational and moving.

Mike Dooley

Mike Dooley is my fun, fun, fun author. He is a Law of Attraction guru and you may have seen him featured in Rhonda Byrne’s movie and book, The Secret. I have read several of Mike Dooley’s books, with my favorite so far being Infinite Possibilities. I also have several of his Notes from the Universe CD’s, which I listen to in my car over and over again.

Despite writing on basically the same topic in his books, he has done a great job keeping each book fresh, new and equally inspiring. I have read books from all of the teachers from The Secret, and by far, Mike Dooley is my favorite. His books are just fun to read and I am always inspired by them. In fact, if I feel in a slump and need a pick up, I pick up a Mike Dooley book and I never regret it.

Mike’s main message is about the principles of the Law of Attraction, but for those that are on the fence about that principle, I still think there is much to be gained by reading Mike’s books.

Wayne Dyer

Wayne Dyer, sometimes called the “father of motivation”, is of course on my list. I have read almost all of Wayne Dyer’s books and surprisingly enough, each one has a special meaning to me and a unique inspirational quality. I have also watched many of Wayne’s lectures and am an avid follower of his radio broadcasts as well.

Wayne can sometimes come off a little promotional, meaning that I sense sometimes an egocentric tendency to reference his other bodies of work or himself within his current book and lectures. But, nevertheless, I find him to be excessively intelligent and well rounded in his spiritual approaches. His work is well researched and his writing style is very agreeable and enjoyable.

My favorite two books of his are; The Power of Intention, a classic for both spiritual and personal motivation and inspiration, and his newest book, Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting. Wayne Dyer is now in his early 70’s and in his latest book, I found a new wisdom and presentation style that I had not seen before. This, in itself, was very inspiring. Even though his books are always well researched and presented, in this last book I got the feeling that he had a renewed sense of enlightenment about his topic.

I recommend Wayne Dyer books to anyone. But for those specifically on a spiritual path, and especially for those just beginning a spiritual path, Wayne Dyer books are a must read in my opinion.

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Well, there you have my top 5 favorite modern spiritual teachers, but I can’t end the article without at least mentioning a few of my others favorites. The work from these other authors is deeply thought provoking and inspirational, but they may not have made my top 5 because they only had 1 or 2 book in publication or they may have been too specialized in their spiritual principles. But please check out some of these other authors in your quest for spiritual empowerment:

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Anthony De Mello
  • Dalai-Lama
  • Osho
  • Paramhansa Yogananda
  • Huston Smith
  • Thomas Merton
  • Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Marianne Williamson
  • Gregg Braden
  • Ramana Maharshi
  • Napoleon Hill
  • James Allen
  • Albert Einstein

Nice to meet you!

Joleen Halloran is the author ofFinding Home - Breaking Free from Limits under the pseudo name of Joleen Bridges. This book represents over 10 years of research and inspiration in personal and spiritual empowerment and provides readers with a pathway to overcome limits and discover authentic divine qualities in their lives and to live a life of unbounded freedom. .

Additionally Joleen is the owner of ZoomIT Marketing, a social media and internet marketing coaching and training company. Joleen's business background includes extensive experience in project management, leadership, specializing in motivational techniques and corporate culture.

Beyond Joleen's professional life, she is an avid reader and researcher of books and other materials related to her profession, but also to her special passion, which is metaphysical and spirituality topics. You can find out more about Joleen's book at her books website,www.breakingfreefromlimits.com. Additional articles of a spiritual and inspirational nature can be found at the book's website as well. The book is available for purchase at Amazon and at a discounted price directly from the books website.

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    • allsynergy profile image

      allsynergy 4 years ago from Finland

      That was quite a list. Thanks. Good Hub!

    • InglenookObserver profile image

      InglenookObserver 4 years ago from Southwestern Wisconsin

      Joleen, Thanks for your share. This is what a personal path is all about. Sharing our own experience with others can lead to an important realization. We are not alone. We can't know that, unless we are in our own spiritual group, or share things in this way. Just another proof that we are not alone on our individual paths. Thanks again.

    • g-girl11 profile image

      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Hi! I agree with your recommendations, but never read anything by Mike Dooley, and don't remember him from The Secret, either. But I will definitely read him now! Thanks for the hub.

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