Leeds Met lecturer is named as one of world's most spiritually influential people
Steve Taylor, who is the author of several best-selling psychology books including 'Waking From Sleep' and 'Making Time', has been included in the list, featured in Mind, Body, Spirit magazine, at number 31.
The list, which is created every year by the magazine, is based on several key factors, including the number of Google searches, book sales, and visits to a person's Wikipedia page.
Number one in the list is the Dalai Lama, with the Pope not too far behind at number three and Oprah Winfrey at number seven.
Steve does most of his teaching on Leeds Met's BA (Hons) Psychology and Society, together with the University's new MA in Interdisciplinary Psychology.
His blog on Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness) is very well-read, attracting between 50,000 and 60,000 readers per month, and his Facebook page has around 13,000 fans. He also runs popular online courses based on his book Back to Sanity.
Steve commented: "It was a surprise to be included in the list, as I think of myself mainly as a psychologist; but most of my books are about psychology and spirituality - looking at peak experiences, higher states of consciousness and potentially higher states of human functioning. 'Spiritual' is one of those words which means different things to different people - for me, it's about investigating what lies beyond what we think of as normality. It's great that my books and other writings have begun to have some influence."
One of Steve's main research interests is 'awakening experiences'; moments when our normal awareness intensifies and we feel a sense of connection and meaning. He investigates the causes of these experiences, and how we can gain access to them. Steve's work also examines the sources of psychological suffering - why is it that human beings find it so difficult to live in the present, and inside themselves? His research also shows that many awakening experiences - and indeed, many permanent shifts of consciousness and identity - are triggered by intense psychological turmoil, such as depression and loss.
The full list of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People of 2014 can be found here: http://www.watkinsbooks.com/review/watkins-spiritual-100-list-for-2014
Image: Steve Taylor (left) with Eckhart Tolle, author of 'The Power of Now', and number 2 in the list.