“There are no Masters living in the world, for Mastery is attained beyond the world. There are advanced students. There are students of great accomplishment. But there are no Masters living in the world. Perfection is not found here, only contribution. Whoever remains in the world remains to learn the lessons of the world. The lessons of the world must be learned not only in your individual life, but in a life of contribution as well.” — Steps to Knowledge
If mastery cannot be found within the world, then who are these top living masters? They are advanced students – skilled practitioners. They have surrendered to the source of Grace within themselves and become empty vessels from which Heaven can express itself.
They are not Gods, Avatars or perfect individuals. Understanding what enlightenment is allows us to see them for what they truly are: intermediaries between the state of physical separation and our inherent spiritual reality. Such people have great gifts to give. Nonetheless, they remain human beings.
This list of top living masters will be controversial. How can one possibly judge and evaluate someone’s spiritual contributions? We certainly do not have the vantage point to pass such judgements. Besides, even the smallest gift or the simplest gesture can be a great spiritual teaching if it comes from Spirit. Nevertheless, we wish to highlight these gracious individuals who have inspired us to reach deeper within.
Marshall Vian Summers
Marshall Vian Summers is the most important man alive today. This is a bold statement but given the magnitude of the times we live in, bold statements are entirely appropriate.
He is far more than an enlightened guru or spiritual master here to remind us of our spiritual origins. He is the Messenger. God has spoken again. In humanity’s great time of need, God has spoken again. It is nothing less than a new Revelation for humanity. As with Buddha, Jesus and the Muhammed, it continues the great series of transmissions from the Creator.
The most important part of this New Message is the Steps to Knowledge spiritual practice. It is a pathway for anyone who wants to reconnect with the inner source of truth within themselves. This is enlightenment. Preparation is needed to experience true purpose and meaning in life. Steps to Knowledge is a gift to all spiritual seekers – especially those that have not been able to fully give themselves to humanity’s existing spiritual traditions. To humanity’s great benefit, millions will practice it one day.
Sadhguru is a prime example of what can be accomplished in the world if one walks with Spirit. Enlightenment is about contribution. Everyone has a calling – everyone has a certain design that can be used to uplift the human race. A being working in tandem with Spirit – a veritable bridge between Heaven and Earth – gives with power and potency. Sadhguru’s life is a good demonstration of this.
Enlightened at a young age, he gave up his burgeoning public works construction business for the spiritual life. His bold industriousness could have made him a very wealthy man. It’s this incredible daring and energy that makes him such a potent force for giving in the world. Aligned with the greater spiritual forces within, his creativity and talent for getting things done are used to good effect.
A great example is Sadhguru’s Project Greenhands. This organization’s aim is to increase his native state of Tamil Nadu’s forest cover to 33%. What does this have to do with enlightenment and spiritual advancement? Everything! It’s all about giving the gifts you came here to give. What do you feel drawn to? Where can your talents be used?
Eckhart Tolle is without a doubt the most popular spiritual teacher of the modern age. His books are everywhere. He has brought spiritual practices like living in the moment and inner listening to a wide swath of people who normally would not give spiritual topics a second glance. Thank you Oprah! For this alone he deserves a mention on this list.
Spiritual advancement, enlightenment and the fulfilment of our spiritual purpose is a potential that rests within us all. It is not a privilege reserved for the monastic or small groups of adept practitioners. Many more people need to step up and give the gifts they came here to give. The future of humanity depends on it. Eckhart Tolle has done a fantastic job of bringing spirituality to the masses. This can be a useful bridge to more serious and complete spiritual practices.
Adyashanti can articulate spiritual truths better than almost anyone. One can’t help but feel a sense of peace around this man’s gentle presence. This is a strength but can also be a weakness. The last thing the world needs is more spiritual seekers lulled into a sense of blissful complacency. That being said, his insights are a true contribution to humanity’s spiritual heritage.
Zen was his initial spiritual practice but he had to leave it to achieve true spiritual union. This irony should not be lost on the practitioner. At some point, even the most useful ideas lose their usefulness and must be dropped at the gate. Spirit can never be defined or limited by our ideas, even ones found within the richness of the Zen tradition.