I have met and corresponded with several modern gurus, some of whom receive my highest recommendation, some a moderate recommendation, and a few who I feel may be or are harmful. Francis Bennett reminded me of my duty is to warn potential students against the latter, while promoting the former.
One teacher who should be warned of is Rajiv Kapur, a former student of mine who coauthored a book with me. Rajiv is a liar, has actively bad mouthed me to others, denied me as his awakening teacher, denied Robert Adams, and has used my Sangha as a springboard to fill his own, and to support others in his own Sangha.
Rajiv even told some of my closest students he believed that some parasite from my cats had invaded my brain causing dementia. This was not said in jest. Rajiv just does not understand or experience emotional openness, interpersonal honesty, nor does he value openness and discussion. He considers such as a mental illness, and that the highest form of practice is silence, which allows him to do many things, and get away with them by hiding behind silence.
Rajiv has inflicted great pain on some of my students, and publicly denied these painful acts and refused to discuss them openly with those students and myself, saying he is taking a position of dignified silence.
He should have said of "Self-protective silence."
Rajiv is a typical Indian guru, calm, composed, and aloof on the surface, but beset by inner emptiness and pain, even while using students to promote his Sangha and become a Hollywood Guru. He hides everything in silence, and as he puts it, is dead inside until a loving student approaches him, and then he finally feels love in himself, which goes away when the student leaves his presence.
My favorite line of Rajiv's is when he told a student of his, who had told me about some of his actions, that by telling me (Ed), "You have cast a dark shadow over our sacred love."
Unlike Ramana, me, or Robert Adams, his grand-teacher, he charges for Skype sessions and online lessons, teaches chakra meditation, and badmouths our lineage, all acts completely at odds with Ramana Maharshi, who he now claims is/was his sole guru and inspiration.
Others related teachers, like Deeya, have my highest respect and greatest love. She is a gentle flower who needs a lot of support, love, and protection, and is not cut out to go the guru route, which she has admitted to many. Crowds of people overwhelm her. She likes small groups for intimacy.
I still recommend students to go to Deeya on a quiet, one-on-one basis, or through her Quantum Touch classes. She has the highest integrity and is a magnificent healer, but she does not like the public life, and faded from ours as "Too much pressure!"
More than that, she has the gift of psychic powers and an easy ability to transition to different dimensions and dwell in ecstatic states for days and weeks at a time, a psychic ability of which I am still striving to attain.
I also highly recommend Swami Chetanananda in Portland, who is extremely generous as a human with his teachings, direct healing work, and material things. However, he never stops moving and newcomers may find him difficult to get close to due to the size of his ashram and Sangha, almost 2,000 people in Portland. But he is from a lineage of great masters, such as Rudi and Nityananda, and is a practical, down to earth Tantric Guru. I love his presentation in this video of a quatralogue between him, Sw. Shankarabanda, Master Charles =, and Andrew Cohen.
Also I love Shankarananda as a brother and a friend and I am sure he is doing fantastic work for students in Australia.
Francis Bennett is another recommendation because of his humility and depth, and easy accessibility. We have communicated off and on over the past three or four years. He has integrity and clarity, and deals with the emotional aspects of spiritual pain. There are a few others that are popping up here and there, and are not so famous as to be unapproachable.
I also recommend Jan Esmann, but he has a thin skin and often takes credit for things he should not. He refused my offer of friendship on Facebook because three of my former students now are with him, including Waldo, who publishes his books. Apparently he is afraid of offending Waldo and losing a publisher.
But he thoroughly understands the Emptiness/Bliss apparent dichotomy and can transmit awakening through Shaktipat for those who are ready.
I have one special mention, and that is of Eric Pepin, also in Portland. Many pooh, pooh Eric as a New Age salesman, and he certainly is not shy in that department, with a wide array of DVDs and courses for sale at increasingly expensive prices.
But I read two of his books and like them. He has a way of restating and reframing spirituality that is incredibly powerful, and offers techniques of meditation to enter the world of energies and dimensional travels. But his organization, Higher Balance offers much that is free and helpful; however, the size of his organization means you are unlikely to get that close to him. Nor can I gauge the depth of his teachings, because his books are written basically for beginners and focus on Subtle Body energies, psychic phenomena, and astral travel and getting students to take his classes. I have not seen him touch on the Manifest versus Unmanifest Self, and the mechanism of the origin of Consciousness.