We have been turning to gurus since the dawn of times to evolve spiritually and intellectually. These people appear once in a while, have a great impact on the lives and minds of people, and then fade away, leaving a legacy like no other. We all know great gurus and thinkers like Buddha, Jesus Christ, and Confucius, but what about the gurus of modern times? There’s a number of spiritual leaders that are shaping modern day thinking and philosophy as we speak, and we guarantee there’s a lot they can teach you, too. Here are 8 most inspirational modern gurus you can learn from.
Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.
Eckhart Tolle may be the most user-friendly modern day guru who speaks the language of contemporary men and women. Like many others before him, Eckhart Tolle takes the ancient knowledge of Buddha and Jesus Christ and transfers it to the modern age with its unique set of issues and problems. Yet the answers always remain the same because the nature of human mind and consciousness is always the same. And by understanding this nature one can come to a deeper understanding of self and the Universe around.
To read: The Power of Now, New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
Truth is a pathless land.
These words lie at the very heart of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s teachings. One of the most inspirational thinkers, philosophers, and teachers of the 20th century, J. Krishnamurti believed that freedom of thought and action is not something that needs to be obtained and worked for. This is something every human being possesses since the very birth. In order to reach the inner truth, one should not turn to religion, dogma, rituals, psychological or philosophical techniques. One should look deep inside himself devoid of any expectations and ideas that come from the outside world. With this clear mind he’ll be able to learn more about himself than any other way.
To read: A Dialogue with Oneself, Commentaries on Living, The Impossible Question
The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.
Founder of the Chopra Foundation that aims to educate human beings about mind, body, and soul, Deepak Chopra is a contemporary Indian-American guru that knows just as much about modern culture as he knows about the ancient Ayurveda. He speaks about food, sleep, work, relationship, and the steps one should take towards building a more meaningful and blissful life.
To read: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, The Return of Merlin, The Path to Love
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
Tibetan Buddhists believe that Dalai Lamas are the reincarnations of Bodhisattvas who come to this world over and over again to teach and help all living beings break free from suffering. Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th Dalai Lama and the spiritual leader of Tibet, who had to flee the country when it was taken over by China. Dalai Lama travels the world spreading the teachings of Buddhism and beliefs in love, compassion, and cultivation of warm-heartedness. He talks about the nature of mind and how to reach peace shifting your focus from physical needs to spiritual values.
To read: Happiness, The Heart of Meditation, The Book of Joy
Idiots do things they don’t like. Intelligent ones do what they love. Geniuses learn to do what is needed joyfully.
A philosopher, thinker, and a mystic, Sadhguru might very well be the most well-spoken modern guru you’ve ever met. He’s using all the amenities of modern social media to spread his word and help all those seeking advice. He’s taking part in TV interviews, gets videos posted on YouTube, and at the same time builds modern temples (like the famous Dhyanalinga Temple near Coimbatore) and Ashrams (The Isha Foundation) where anyone can come seeking knowledge and inspiration. He doesn’t turn away from modern culture, economics, politics, and yet he leads a spiritual life devoid of riches (most of his income goes to the Isha Foundation). If there’s any question you have about life, love, death, and literally anything else, hit YouTube and you’ll definitely find something interesting on the topic.
To read: Essential Wisdom from a Spiritual Master, Life and Death in One Breath
Don Miguel Ruiz
Life is very, very simple and easy to understand, but we complicate it with the beliefs and ideas that we create.
Don Miguel Ruiz is best known for his work The Four Agreements, a set of simple, yet essential rules that will guide you to building a happy life, all the while digging deep into who you truly are. At the heart of his philosophy lies ancient Toltec knowledge and neo-shamanic beliefs that state the inter-connectedness of everything and pay great attention to nature.
To read: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Wisdom, The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship
True happiness is when the love that is within us finds expression in external activities.
Also known as the ‘hugging saint’, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, is one of the most known spiritual leaders in India, who welcomes everyone into her loving arms. It is said she has given more than 33 million hugs everywhere starting from the United States and ending with Africa. She travels to give relief to her children, which is all of the humanity. Her religion is love and her main principles are those written in the ancient Vedas – action (karma), knowledge (jnana), and devotion (bhakti). She often speaks about the nature of mind and the importance of meditation to reach peace and mindfulness.
To read: The Eternal Truth
You fix your life, and your business, and your world by fixing yourself.
Geshe Michael Roach is the first American to ever receive a Geshe degree at Tibetan Sera Monastery. After spending 20 years studying, he went on to popularize Buddhist teachings and created his own simple techniques that guide to mindfulness and realization of one’s true potential. Despite being a businessman and social activist, his books are filled with great wisdom put into simple words with techniques that are incredible in its accessibility. In Michael Roache’s texts you’ll find the principles of karma explained and well-illustrated, and the whole idea of cause-and-effect shown in a new light.
To read: The Karma of Love: 100 Answers for Your Relationship, How Yoga Works: Healing Yourself and Others with the Yoga Sutra