Lessons from seven great spiritual teachers

There are many spiritual teachers who can give us wisdom. Although they use different ways, their aim is the same, to make us aware of our divine self and how we can live consciously as spiritual beings having a human experience.

Today, I want to share with you seven great spiritual teachers, some well-known, others not so well-known, who in their varied ways can help us be ourselves- a spark of the Divine.

1. Lao Tzu: “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are the greatest treasures.”

Remember that your thoughts, words and deeds create thoughts, words and deeds that other people have to deal with. If your thoughts, words and deeds are elevated, they will elevate the thoughts, words and deeds of others.

Read my transcribed version of the Tao Te Ching.

2. Shunryu Suzuki: “If you want to get perfect calmness…you should not be bothered by the various images you find in your mind. Let them come, and let them go. Then they will be under control. ”

Let go of everything like clouds that pass through the sky.

Read Shunryu Suzuki’s book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.

3. Pema Chodron: “What you do for yourself, you’re doing for others, and what you do for others, you’re doing for yourself.”

None of us is isolated. We are all in this together.

Read this wonderful introduction to Pema and her work, Pema Chodron Primer.

4. Carl Rogers: “Each person is an island unto himself, in a very real sense; and he can only build bridges to other islands if he is first of all willing to be himself and permitted to be himself.”

We cannot be somebody. We have to be ourselves. Only by being ourselves, we can connect with others in a meaningful way.

Read Carl Rogers’s thoughts On Becoming a Person.

5. Wayne Teasdale: “If the ecological crisis, for example, is to be solved and if we are to promote genuine justice and thus bring real peace to the planet—and with it the possibility of improving lives on every level, not just economically, socially, and politically, but spiritually, psychologically, and intellectually—then, just on a practical level, we need to have all of the religions working together.So many of the wars in history, thousands and thousands of them for the past five, six, seven thousand years, have been related to differences in Truth claims. If we can evolve beyond that problem, then I think there’s some chance that we could retire the whole institution of war and begin to focus on the peaceful evolution of humanity.”

We have to see the core common truths in all religions and achieve an interspirituality that will bring about peace.

Read Wayne Teasdale’s wonderful essay on Spirituality as a Primary Resource in Promoting Peace

6. Abraham Maslow: “The great lesson from the true mystics … [is] that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s backyard.”

Everything that we do in our daily life can be made sacred. Sacred, not in the sense of religion; but sacred, in the sense of evolution of ourselves to the highest peaks that are possible, which many have called the Divine.

Read this essay by Abraham Maslow regarding the possibilities of The Farther Reaches of Human Nature.

7. Thich Nhat Hanh: “Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, and the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.”

When you sit down and watch your breaths and thoughts come and go, the breath slows down and thoughts settle down like mud in muddy water in a glass settles down. The water in the glass becomes clear, our mind also becomes clear and we feel a sense of well-being. We all want this presence, whether we know it or not.

Read this wonderful book by Thich Nhat Hanh on The Path of Mindfulness in Daily Life- Peace is Every Step.

I hope these teachers have helped you become aware of the person you really are.

May the Divine bless us all.