Feb. 11, 2016. We are delighted to share with you Watkins’ 2016 list of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People – spiritual teachers, activists, authors and thinkers that change the world.
Watkins bookshop in London has been encouraging spiritual discovery and providing seekers with esoteric knowledge for over 120 years. In 2011, we started publishing the 100 list with the goal of celebrating the world’s living spiritual teachers. Our special magazine issue features 16 pages dedicated to interesting details, bios, photos and highlights about each person on the list. As you read through this list, we hope that you feel as inspired as we are by each individual’s significant impact.
There are plenty of newcomers on this year’s list including the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, psychologist and author Daniel Goleman, physicist and environmental activist Vandana Shiva and poet and philosopher Mark Nepo (see the interview on page 26 in the Spring issue, no.45).
2016 Spiritual 100 list at a glance:
|1 Dalai Lama||35 Thomas S. Monson||68 Ajahn Brahm|
|2 Pope Francis||36 Gary Snyder||69 Gary Zukav|
|3 Desmond Tutu||37 Alex Grey||70 Anita Moorjani|
|4 Eckhart Tolle||38 Pema Chödrön||71 Tony Robbins|
|5 Deepak Chopra||39 Francis Chan||72 Robert Bly|
|6 Paulo Coelho||40 Mooji||73 William Bloom|
|7 Alice Walker||41 Vandana Shiva||74 Michael Bernard|
|8 Rhonda Byrne||42 Rob Bell||Beckwith|
|9 Alejandro Jodorowsky||43 Amma – Sri Mata||75 James Redfield|
|10 Oprah Winfrey||Amritanandamayi Devi||76 James van Praagh|
|11 Matthew Fox||44 Iyanla Vanzant||77 Fritjof Capra|
|12 Louise L. Hay||45 Rowan Williams||78 Tara Brach|
|13 Jaggi Vasudev||46 Neale Donald Walsch||79 Mark Nepo|
|14 Graham Hancock||47 Ali al-Sistani||80 Steve Taylor|
|15 Arianna Huffington||48 Julia Cameron||81 Starhawk|
|16 Elizabeth Gilbert||49 Byron Katie||82 Huston Smith|
|17 Ram Dass||50 Robert Thurman||83 Caroline Myss|
|18 Robin Sharma||51 Bruce Lipton||84 Adyashanti|
|19 Sri Sri Ravi Shankar||52 Dan Millman||85 Richard Saul Wurman|
|20 Karen Armstrong||53 Jack Canfield||86 David Frawley|
|21 Jon Kabat-Zinn||54 Prem Rawat||87 Seyyed Hossein Nasr|
|22 Marianne Williamson||55 Dadi Janki||88 Thomas Keating|
|23 Martin Seligman||56 Brian Weiss||89 Richard Gere|
|24 Rupert Sheldrake||57 Daisaku Ikeda||90 Gangaji|
|25 Sam Harris||58 Richard Bandler||91 Elaine Pagels|
|26 Richard Bach||59 Richard Rohr||92 Lee Carroll|
|27 Thomas Moore||60 Clarissa Pinkola Estés||93 Lynne McTaggart|
|28 Don Miguel Ruiz||61 Gregg Braden||94 Mantak Chia|
|29 Esther Hicks||62 David Steindl-Rast||95 Sogyal Rinpoche|
|30 Justin Welby||63 Stanislav Grof||96 Malala Yousafzai|
|31 Andrew Weil||64 Doreen Virtue||97 Shakti Gawain|
|32 James Lovelock||65 Thich Nhat Hanh||98 Michael A. Singer|
|33 Ken Wilber||66 Jack Kornfield||99 Sharon Salzberg|
|34 Daniel Goleman||67 David Deida||100 Claudio Naranjo|
To discover more about each spiritual teacher, get a copy of issue 45,Spring 2016.
There are several factors that were taken into account when compiling the list. The main three criteria are:
1) The person has to be alive as of January 1st, 2016 2) The person has to 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 By taking into account the amount of times that a person is googled or how many times their Wikipedia profile is viewed, the list gains a highly democratic and transparent parameter. Additionally, we were highly selective in creating this list and did our best to remove candidates who spread messages that were hateful or intolerant. Ultimately, this list is meant to celebrate the positive influence of today’s spiritual teachers.