It is not unusual for me to spend days attempting to choose something to write about when my mind is a blank. While in that state, this month, I received an email that was an FYI that I might be interested in a YouTube message of non-duality by Rupert Spira. I paid no attention to the email. I was busy thinking about a subject for my column. Then I got another email asking if I knew the link to get the Robert Spira YouTube.
I felt like God was tugging at my sleeve saying for me to take a look at this YouTube. I obeyed. It was good but Spira was so soft-spoken I lost interest in his message and looked up his biography and beliefs.
I believe, sometimes, we are not led directly to what we need to see and this YouTube led me to researching spiritual leaders, then to Amma, an Indian Guru, then the Facebook page: Buddha at the Gas Pump.
The implication of the title: Buddha at the Gas Pump (BATGAP) is that ordinary people are experiencing higher states of consciousness once thought to be rare and difficult to attain.
This page attempts to dispel skepticism and misconceptions by week after week, allowing otherwise ordinary people to relate their experience of spiritual awakening. Those listening can become convinced that genuine and permanent spiritual awakenings are not just a pipe dream, but are real and are becoming relatively commonplace. These podcasts may be seen as videos on the YouTube channel www.youtube.com. Also see the main site: https://batgap.com.
And so it goes on Internet … all around the Mulberry Bush.
I love writing this column because I come away knowing much more than when I started. But before I got distracted with that page, I realized another year had passed and Watkins 2018 list of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People — spiritual teachers, activists, authors, and thinkers that change the world — had been published in the UK. So that is where I went next … to see the 2018 ‘100’.
In 2011, Watkins started publishing the 100 list with the goal of celebrating the world’s living spiritual teachers; 16 pages is dedicated to interesting details, bios, photos and highlights about each person on the list. To make the list: 1) the person must be living as of Jan. 1. 2) The person must have made a unique and spiritual contribution on a global scale. 3) The person is frequently googled, appears in Nielsen Data, has a Wikipedia page, and is actively talked about throughout the Internet.
Additionally, Watkins is highly selective and did their best to remove candidates who spread messages that were hateful or intolerant. These people are from all walks of life and are not necessarily pastors in churches. I’m familiar with many of them because I have their books and CDs. No. 35 has been in the news lately and is considering running for the office of President of the United States.
Sorry, I’ve used up all the space allowed so I cannot tell you more about these leaders; look at my next column, March 26, to see what characteristics they have that makes them influential spiritual teachers.