Teachers who have inspired me: Budhadasa Bhikkhu
He was a Thai ascetic -monk who believed all religions are the same. “those who have penetrated to the highest understanding will feel that the thing called ‘religion’ doesn’t exist after all. There is no Buddhism; there is no Christianity; there is no Islam. How can they be the same or in conflict when they don’t even exist?” He studied the original Pali texts with an eye to discovering the simplicity which has become surrounded by rituals.
He also was the author of A handbook for Mankind, which is available free in electronic format: http://www.buddhanet.net/budasa.htm Also he wrote the ABC’s of Buddhism which is available as a pdf: http://what-buddha-taught.net/Books6/Buddhadasa_Bhikkhu_ABC_of_Buddhism.pdf
I wish to thank buddhanet.net as well as what-buddha-taught.net for making these available to all of us seeking wisdom. They both have many other sources of information.