Paul Brunton: A good friend along the way

Paul Brunton died in 1981, so I never met the man, but there was a period Paul Bruntonof time in which I read a number of his books, and found them inspiring. Like the works of Ouspensky, however, I did not continue to find what I needed. I recommend reading a book or two, but don’t expect a complete philosophy. Look at Paul Brunton as a fellow researcher sharing his experiences. He had tremendous knowledge gained from years of travelling the globe and meeting spiritual teachers, yet he never found a final answer. Continue reading “Paul Brunton: A good friend along the way”

Vernon Howard: The practical mystic

This is my second attempt at a review of Vernon Howard. I read his Mystic Path to Cosmic Power (despite the comic book-like title) several times over vernon howardthe past few years. I found it inspiring, but lacking in practical advice. His New Life Foundation recommended I read Solved — The Mystery of Life and listen to the Field of Diamonds lecture. Once again, although at times inspiring, he left me wondering what to do to realize the Truth he made so obviously desirable. I wondered if there was a secret teaching not explained in the books and tapes, but a helpful fellow at the Foundation said there was no hidden teaching. Continue reading “Vernon Howard: The practical mystic”

P.D. Ouspensky: We are machines

I still remember the excitement of reading P.D. Ouspensky’s Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution for the first time. It was my first spiritual book and every page was packed with insights into my psychology. Our studies must ouspenskybegin with our selves and not with the heavens. Ouspensky drove home the idea that in our present state we are machines, that we are a conglomeration of voices rather than a unified whole, that we react rather than do, and that we must observe our machines in order to change. Continue reading “P.D. Ouspensky: We are machines”

Eckhart Tolle

I envision the spiritual landscape as an ecosystem in which teachers occupy varying niches. When one passes away, another moves in to fill the niche. Eckhart TolleEckhart Tolle fills the niche left by Jiddu Krishnamurti: that of world-travelling teacher trying to spread the message of a new way of living to as many people as possible. Like Krishnamurti, I think Eckhart Tolle will be with us for many years. Continue reading “Eckhart Tolle”

Adyashanti

Adyashanti presents a blend of Zen and advaita teachings that’s become relatively popular in the West Coast guru scene. A reader mailed me a DVD of his which I dutifully watched, then put on the shelf. Adyashanti reviewIt wasn’t that I didn’t like what I saw — I wasn’t sure of my impression. On one hand, I saw a witty, soft-spoken American with an Indian-sounding name, smiling a lot, pausing for long silences, and talking about how we are already that which we seek. Yet I couldn’t dismiss him outright as I also felt an undercurrent of seriousness and honesty. Continue reading “Adyashanti”