Mirabai Starr, award-winning author, teacher, and grief counselor, chats with Ram Dev about mysticism and how to harness our grief for self-transformation.

Mirabai Starr is an award-winning author of creative non-fiction and contemporary translations of sacred literature. She taught Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years and now teaches and speaks internationally on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialogue. A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss. Check out her latest book, Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics, and learn more at MirabaiStarr.com.

An Allergy to Religion // Christian Mysticism 

Mirabai describes that after growing up in a secular Jewish family, she had somewhat of an allergy to Judeo-Christian religions. However, by her thirties, she fell in love with the Christian mystics. She feels this is now the heart of her career and her dharma. Many of us who grew up uncomfortable with western religion may not have been exposed to the more mystic elements. Ram Dev reads us a poem about grace by Saint John of the Cross, one of Mirabai’s favorite Christian mystics. 

If you would like to hear more from Mirabai tune into Ep. 32 of Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck: Fierce and Tender Wisdom with Mirabai Starr
Grief as an Opportunity // The Depths of the Heart (18:20)

Grief is something we will all experience. We may grieve for the loss of someone we love who has died, an old relationship, or for global tragedies. Though the grieving process is painful, it can also be an opportunity for self-transformation.

“I think that my experience of grief and my work as a grief counselor is about helping people to actually be with the power of that experience as a transformational invitation.” – Mirabai Starr

When we are suffering, our hearts are open. If we can sit in that space and harness our grief, we can bear witness to the most vulnerable parts of ourselves.

“Grief is the most horrible, wonderful opportunity for finding depths of the heart that years of therapy probably are just beginning to touch.” – Ram Dev

Source of Healing (40:01)

How can we show up as a source of healing and grace for the world? Mirabai and Ram Dev discuss the tools given by various religions from Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and more. On some level, we are all experiencing pains and difficulties. Meditation will open your heart and increase your capacity to be with what is, whether that is grief or joy. Focusing your practices onto compassion for not only ourselves but for the world creates healing forces.

For more on grief and global problems tune into Ep. 69 of The Road Home: Grief, Heartbreak, and the Pandemic with Heather Coleman

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