By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, FEB 29: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has topped the Watkins 2020 list of 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People. The Tibetan spiritual leader’s name aced the list among other world dignitaries including Pope Francis (2), Greta Thunberg (3), Thich Nhat Hanh (7), Russell Brand (6), Desmond Tutu (8) and Bob Dylan (16) along with many world renowned artists and authors.
The Watkins’ 2020 list came out in print in the Spring issue #61 of Watkins Mind Body Spirit magazine on Feb 29. Watkins bookshop in London has been encouraging spiritual discovery and esoteric knowledge for over 120 years. Watkins’ 100 list started in 2011 with the goal of celebrating world’s living spiritual teachers.
The magazine issue features 16 pages of details, bios, photos and individual highlights about each person on the list. The 2020 list includes spiritual teachers, activists, authors and thinkers that have impacted the world in different ways. This year’s list also includes David Lynch (10), Sadhguru (13), Alice Walker (18), Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (29), Robert Thurman (56) and Pema Chodron (57).
There are three factors that the magazine considers for the listing of the names; the person has to be alive as of Jan 1 2020; the person has to have made a unique and spiritual contribution on a global scale; the person is frequently googled, appears in Nielsen Data, has a Wikipedia page, and is actively talked about throughout the Internet. The magazine asserts that the list is ultimately meant to celebrate “the positive influence of today’s spiritual teachers”.