One of my great interests the past 15 years has been spiritual “awakening” or “enlightenment.” The following resources are the clearest that I have found along my journey. Hopefully they will help make your spiritual path easier and quicker than it might otherwise be.
In general, the most impactful books are at the top of each section. However, all of the following resources/teachers are the very best of what I have experienced.
Section 1 – Books on the Process of Awakening or Enlightenment:
“Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer https://amzn.to/2GjO9tT
“Awareness” by Anthony De Mello https://amzn.to/2I1aJEQ
“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle https://amzn.to/2pGQplw
“The End of Your World” by Adyashanti https://amzn.to/2I0NMBy
“Become What You Are” by Alan Watts https://amzn.to/2G08Ewk
Section 2 – Teachers that Point Toward Enlightenment Through Stories:
“The Surrender Experiment” by Michael Singer https://amzn.to/2pCpvu9
“Illusions” by Richard Bach https://amzn.to/2IJYVYF
“Stillness Speaks” by Eckhart Tolle https://amzn.to/2G1Cu3x
“The Way to Love” by Anthony De Mello https://amzn.to/2GloDV6
“Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach https://amzn.to/2G0ISYH
Section 3 – How to Spot a Fake Guru:
In my experience, 90% of spiritual teachers are actually spiritual narcissists or are teaching from the perspective of a spiritualized Ego. They may have experienced an awakening for a moment or a month many years ago, but they are not currently living and teaching from that place. Such teachers can be very damaging to students. It’s akin to going to a self-proclaimed dentist who has looked into a few mouths, read a few books, did some research on Google and now practices dentistry.
True spiritual teachers come from a place beyond their own mind or self. They teach from a fully realized perspective which is unmistakable and quite rare. The spiritual teachers listed above all write from this place. The following resources will help you avoid fake gurus and cult leaders.
“American Guru” by William Renner https://amzn.to/2INP6Jj
“Enlightenment Blues” by Andre Van Der Braak https://amzn.to/2DRH6mK
“The Mother of God” by Luna Tarlo https://amzn.to/2DPZxbN
“The Guru Papers” by Joel Kramer https://amzn.to/2IOePRX
Fake gurus also exist in the Millennial generation. Here are two very recent exposes on Bentinho Massaro and Teal Swan, who had developed considerable online followings before these articles were published.
For a more light-hearted approach to the subject of fake gurus, watch the insightful movie “Kumare”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXUzG6YKuvo
JP Sears does this brilliantly here as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3H6-NQ6hfA
This fascinating new Netflix Original documentary series about Osho called “Wild Wild Country” is also a reminder of what can go wrong when people blindly join the mission of a guru and the leaders of their organization.
In short, if a teacher asks for money (other than buying an occasional book or attending a retreat), wants you to “join their mission,” or asks you to submit to their will in any way, walk away. This is not a true spiritual teacher, but someone who needs you to work through their own unresolved psychological issues.
Section 4 – Authors that Help with the Psychological/Interpersonal Aspects of Awakening:
Most spiritual seekers eventually come to realize they have personal work to do on attachment, boundaries, projection, shadow, trauma and/or childhood programming before any awakening can be abiding (permanent). This typically requires some form of personal inquiry (journaling) and/or psychotherapy. The following resources are some of the best that help with this process.
“The Way of Liberation” by Adyashanti https://amzn.to/2G1xMmu
“Mindsight” By Dr. Daniel Siegel https://amzn.to/2I3LzWi
“Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie https://amzn.to/2Ga9X88
“Facing Love Addiction” by Pia Mellody https://amzn.to/2PnSaxV
“The Body Keeps Score” by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk https://amzn.to/2GhAy6p
“Trauma and Recovery” by Dr. Judith Herman https://amzn.to/2UtndMC
For self-development, The Hoffman Process is the best course I have ever done.
Section 5 – Resources that Improve Your Diet and Detox Practices:
Consciousness can be directly related to the state of your body. As you become healthier and clearer, you may have more energy for expanded awareness (a major illness or personal tragedy can also accelerate this process). It’s not about a specific dogma, such as being vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto or a yogi, but becoming acutely aware of what food and environment makes your particular body and mind thrive. This is part of why I focus on EMF pollution – addiction to wireless technology and having unhealthy living environments is a major hindrance to expanded human consciousness and is actually diminishing the potential of humanity.
“Outstanding Health” by Dr. Michael Galitzer https://amzn.to/2ITNQaq
“The End of Alzheimer’s” by Dr. Dale Bredesen http://amzn.to/2CDzns3
“Dirty Genes” by Dr. Ben Lynch https://amzn.to/2JceQ62
“Tripping Over the Truth” by Travis Christofferson http://amzn.to/2HDoURf
“The Complete Guide to Fasting” by Dr. Jason Fung http://amzn.to/2ENppGg
“Nutritional Balancing” by Dr. Lawrence Wilson https://amzn.to/2IL52fo
Paradoxically, in order to directly experience what spiritual teachers are pointing to, you will have to let go of all techniques, teachers and ideas that you have about awakening or enlightenment. This means you will let go of everything seen above. However, this can take time and everyone goes through their own unique process of discovery where having real teachers is both practical and important. The guides above are who I (and many others) have come to trust and hopefully they will help bring you to a point of grace, where everything falls away and you begin to live from a place of presence, love and freedom. This is ultimately what true spirituality is all about.