The Book of Enlightened Masters: Western Teachers in Eastern Traditions
This is the definitive and complete book about a phenomenon which did not exist a hundred years ago, but is now growing rapidly and dramatically changing Western culture -- the rise of Western (mostly American) teachers, who fill the role of guru or master.
A few books have appeared on some narrow aspects of this astounding phenomenon; this is the first book to survey the entire field. Encyclopedic in its scope, The Book of Enlightened Masters includes biographical essays on 140 spiritual teachers, giving their life stories and an account of their teachings. Yet it is also a user-friendly introduction, with a survey of the teachers and their teachings, a historical narrative of how and when the movement developed, and an evaluation of the issues raised by it.
A century ago, there were no Western masters-no Westerners who were, for instance, Hindu swamis, Zen roshis, or Sufi sheikhs. Now there are many such teachers, with millions of followers. Starting from scratch, the West has produced its own spiritual teachers in traditions that until recently were utterly alien. And in the last quarter-century, a number of independent teachers have appeared, who belong to no single identifiable tradition.
The Western masters have not merely transplanted the Eastern spiritual traditions to the West, they have transformed these traditions by their distinctively Western approach: innovative, entrepreneurial, and combining elements from previously unconnected Eastern traditions.
The new teachers are changing Western culture by making available a view of the human condition which is new in the West but very attractive to large and growing numbers of Westerners, an approach Dr. Rawlinson calls"spiritual psychology". Spiritual psychology holds that human beings are best understood in terms of consciousness and its modifications, that consciousness can be changed by spiritual practice, and that there are enlightened masters who have done this and can teach others.
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The book of enlightened masters: western teachers in eastern traditionsUser Review - Book Verdict
Not limited to Buddhism, this volume attempts to document all those, past and present, who could be said to teach in the West from the perspective of an Eastern tradition. This includes teachers of Sufism as well as self-styled teachers such as Gurdjieff and Alan Watts. Rawlinson (retired, Buddhism, Univ. of Lancaster, England) presents a useful source for patrons who are curious about a particular teacher or lineage. This fascinating, opinionated, and ambitious book is suitable for any library but will be most at home in larger public and academic collections. (LJ 7/97) ...
Review: Book of Enlightened Masters: Western Teachers in Eastern TraditionsUser Review - Brad VanAuken - Goodreads
This 650 page book takes a scholarly approach to profiling the Eastern and Western teachers and gurus who brought Eastern thought (Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism and New Age thought) to the West. It ... Read full review
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