Today I’m giving you another recommendations post; this time, spiritual teachers.
I’ve chosen just three people to focus on, three people whose work I have experienced first hand. All three are mystics, all three live in or near the San Francisco Bay Area but teach internationally, and all three are, as far as I’m concerned, the Real Deal.
I don’t mean that they’re perfect: they’re still human beings with feet of clay. But what my experience of them tells me is that they can catalyse your spiritual development and help dramatically shift your perceptions.
Llewellyn Vaughan Lee
Llewellyn Vaughan Lee is a Sufi mystic and lineage successor in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Sufi Order. His upbringing was in the UK, but he went to northern California to found the Golden Sufi Center after working for many years with Irina Tweedie, author of Daughter of Fire.
Llewellyn’s specialism is dreamwork, and he integrates the ancient Sufi approach to dreams with the insights of Jungian psychology. While Sufism traditionally eschews the concerns of the world, Llewellyn’s recent writing and teaching has focused on spiritual responsibility and global consciousness in this time of global crisis.
I have only attended two seminars with Llewellyn, and did not interact with him directly, but the quality of his presence and the simplicity of the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya meditation technique changed me profoundly.
T. Thorn Coyle
T. Thorn Coyle is a Pagan, a mystic and an activist. Her body of work extends from teaching, mentoring and spiritual direction, to writing books and creating sacred music, to non-violent activism on social and environmental issues, to regular work in a soup kitchen.
I first met Thorn, as a teacher at a Reclaiming Witchcamp, in 2003. From 2005 to 2008, I undertook a two and half year apprenticeship with her and a group of other seekers from the UK and Europe. The work we did together coincided with a period of dramatic change in my life, and enabled me to step more fully into my life, with confidence and passion.
Thorn’s work is always shifting and developing, as she herself continues to learn and grow: the work she is doing now will not be the same as the work I did with her some years ago. But what I can say with absolute confidence is that Thorn has deep wisdom, a warm heart and a wicked cackle, and she doesn’t let you get away with anything. She knows when you need a challenge, when you need comfort, and when you just need to get down and do the work!
Don’t let the ‘golden girl’ picture fool you. Miranda is a power to be reckoned with, channeling grace and catalysing people’s healing process and spiritual awakening like no-one else I’ve ever experienced.
Originally from Australia, Miranda moved to the UK in the 1990s, and then to California in the mid-2000s. I got to know Miranda very well, first as a regular attender at her weekly A Course In Miracles study group during 1994-1995, then as one of the first students, mentors and trustees of The Interfaith Seminary, which Miranda founded in 1996 and led for ten years.
Although I have not worked with Miranda since her move to the States, my understanding of her current approach is that it is a synthesis of Self-Inquiry, spiritual psychology, and focus on Divine Feminine grace, embracing our everyday human experience as an entry point into the depths of who we truly are.
In my experience, Miranda has absolute clarity about the nature of reality, the purpose of spiritual practice and the nature of healing, and puts that clarity to work with amazing effect.
Which spiritual teachers have helped you along your way?