This is really beautiful book to give a wide and sophisticated view on the teachings of Non-duality and oneness.
The teachers are down to earth, and clear in what they are saying, and for me it's like a fine-filtered whiskey - an amazing compilation.
It must have taken time and effort to interview all these people, and I am very grateful for the energy that one can get just by reading it, and particularly by watching the DVD version.
This book is profound, and serves both as a wonderful introduction and an expert's treatise.
Bear Jack Gebhardt:
Premananda has done us all a huge, huge favor in bringing all these wise guys and ladies together in this beautiful tome.(Check out the table of contents--- you'll see what a gold mine this is.) I love this book. The physical book itself is beautifully made, yet the rainbow of contents shine even brighter. It was brought to my attention through my study of and with Rupert Spira, one of the brightest lights of our time, who is one of those interviewed. When the book arrived, I found new material from a host of my old favorite teachers and seers, and many I had yet to encounter. What a treat! Premananda pretty much asks the same questions of all those interviewed--- which itself is very revealing-- but is not rigid or insistent. He does a beautiful job of interviewing--- perhaps because he himself is very clear about advaita/non-duality and teaches it in Europe. Thus, there's material in these interviews that can be found no where else. I'm surprised there are so few reviews. After reading about a gazillion books in this arena, I am confident that this particular book deserves much more attention than it's apparently getting. My advice? Buy it. Right now. You won't be sorry. (If you are, I'll buy your copy and send it to my own friends!)
This book really penetrates to the heart of the questions people ask when they are on a 'spiritual search': Who am I? What is enlightenment? What is the world?
Each spiritual master presents a different view of these questions, but they are all answered from a space of intelligence and incredible clarity. Each person offers something new to the book, really beautiful insights into the nature of enlightenment, especially how it is not something personal to be gained. Tony Parsons, Karl Renz and Om Parkin are all people I have loved watching and reading before, but I was really taken with others I hadn't heard of; Padma and Torsten, Rupert Spira, Christopher Titmus. They are all so genuine, and express the vast in such simple language, often using lovely stories and metaphors to express that which often they say is inexpressible.
As much as any book can help towards understanding the nature of enlightenment, if there is indeed no true personal understanding, this one really brings the most powerful questions into an alive and beautiful space, which is projected by all the masters in their own different ways.
The book also has pictures of all the people interviewed, showing them in their normal surroundings.
What beautiful people, and what a beautiful book.
The second part of Premananda's project trying to give a comprehensive view over modern day spiritual teachers. Or Masters as they are called, since it is a basic premise of the book that both interviewer and interviewed are enlightened beings - although several of them deny the concept of 'personal enlightenment'.
This basic situation does that what we get is not exactly Socratic dialogues but rather a lot of mutual back patting. Just as Premananda goes out of his way - only with the 'idiosyncratic' Dolano is a little bit of healthy friction - to not disagree with his partners. Whether they say sadhana is a hindrance of a prerequisite or whether they say mind should be 'destroyed', doesn't really exist or just be left at it is, Premananda is all friendliness and agreement.
The book actually contains interviews with 13 European 'Masters' and one Jamaican and neither Miten & Premal, Michael Barnett or Christopher Titmus seem to have any connection with Ramana Maharshi.
The books force is that we get so many different views on spirituality, enlightenment, meditation. And all involved are certainly very articulate and reflective. The energy wizard Barnett, the nihilistic trickster Tony Parsons, the beautiful couple of Torsten and Padma, the youngest and in many ways the most convincing.
The basic weakness may be it's insistence that self-inquiry, using Ramana's question of 'Who am I' is the royal way to the highest spirituality and it's total misrepresentation of other paths. Not least a complete misunderstanding of Premanada's first master Osho and his teachings.
None the less an interesting and engaging read that definitely can inspire on the road to ....
Buy it nowAlso available as eBook
R e v i e w s ( D V D )
WOW !!! what a film .. truth been spoken ... wonderful energy of the masters, also female masters... just watch the film and you will come to silence ...
This DVD is part 2 of the series 'Blueprints for Awakening', with the first being 'Indian Masters.' While the first is beautiful and illuminating, these European Masters really spoke directly to me, and I think probably to many people! They are all involved in this incredible awakening, and many have a strong tie to Ramana Maharshi. They all answer the same questions put to the Indian Masters, 'Who am I' 'What is enlightenment?', but they obviously use their western minds to express the inexpressible.
What results is a wonderfully clear, and often very absolute view of spirituality and enlightenment. This was especially embodied for me with Tony Parsons, who openly states that in fact no one gets enlightened, it's totally impossible for the mind to deal with it! And yet it is completely available for us to see, given that Tony was and is a completely normal bloke, but you see in his eyes that he lives in a space that defies explanation or limits. Most of the masters point out that nothing is necessary for enlightenment, something of incredible to me, and I imagine, to many others viewers.
It can often seem like the people are talking about enlightenment as if they have it all sorted out, and that there is some key to it, or some club you can join if you believe them....but for me, I really saw the genuine passion they have for this awakening, and how it has revolutionized their beings and brought them all into freedom.
This possibility lies waiting for anyone and everyone who wants to see it. If that's you, this film is an enormous neon signpost.
I have seen this film a couple of times, but its amazing quality again and again brings me to silence.
Very beautiful music, beautiful pictures and touching dialogues.
"European Spiritual Masters" is a very interesting addition to the Indian Masters film. The wisdom of the European Masters is expressed in a very clear, intelligent way. Basically Indian Masters and Western Masters are talking about the same, but the Western Masters transformed the ancient teaching into a language and syntax, which is much more easy to understand for "Westerners". Let's say the Western Masters don't seem so exotic, but sharp as a razor. Their words will shake your mind and leave a peaceful silence.
European Masters is totally unique, in that there are fourteen Spiritual Masters interviewed over a defined format of twelve questions.
What I loved about this book was the diverse expression of Freedom. Each Master responds to the questions in a unique way, if you don't like one, another is sure to appeal. So what you get is each Master pointing to the same from a different place, and that's what gives this book its richness. Fourteen unique expressions of freedom which leave you savouring the rich taste of each Spiritual Master.
The twelve questions relating to the teachings of Sri Rammana Maharshi provide the background for a complete and thorough exploration of freedom. Premanander's interviewing connects with the masters in such a way that it avoids the dry repetition that is possible repeating the same 12 questions. The master's responses are explored and Premanander is clear to ensure the reader gets answers with substance.
The inclusion of Deva Primal and Miten add insight into devotion which offers a different perspective from the central theme, though for the purist its inclusion may seem like a diversion.
If you are serious about freedom or just want to read something completely different to the standard spiritual fare then this is the book for you.