Wednesday December 13, 2017

Mirabai Bush speaks about her root-teacher Neem Karoli Baba (Part 5)

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By Nithin Sridhar

mirabai
Mirabai Bush

During a time when people across the world are struggling hard to manage work-related stress and balance professional and personal lives, Mirabai Bush has helped thousands to harmonize their lives and optimize their outputs through contemplation and mindfulness practices.

She is the co-founder of The Center for Contemplative Mind and Society and teaches contemplative practices and develops programs that apply contemplative principles to organizational life. She had also helped Google create its ‘Search Inside Yourself’ program, and was one among those who introduced Buddhist practices in the West in the 1970’s.

She traces her spiritual practices to her root-teacher, Neem Karoli Baba and other masters in India from whom she learned various Hindu and Buddhist meditation practices. In an exclusive interview with NewsGram she spoke about her life, her work, and her stay in India way back in 1970’s.

Interview with Mirabai Bush- Part 5 (Concluding part)

Mirabai Bush and Neem Karoli Baba

Neem Karoli Baba was the root-teacher of Mirabai Bush and others like Larry Brilliant, Ram Dass, and Krishna Das who were with her. Speaking about her time with Neem Karoli Baba and his teachings, Mirabai Bush said that Neem Karoli Baba never taught them any practices. Whenever any of them wanted to learn meditation from S.N. Goenka who was their Buddhist teacher, he used to say “of course, of course. Go to the course.” She further said that, he did not teach them Kirtan (chanting) as well. But, Maharajji would have kirtan done when he came in (to give Darshan) at different times. So, they kind of figured out that they could practice Kirtan as well.

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Neem Karoli Baba

She gave the example of Krishna Das, who was one among Maharajji’s western disciples who had a very good voice and whose Kirtans are now played in many of the Yoga studios in the US. She added that Krishna Das’s album was also nominated in 2013 for the Grammy Award.

Returning back to the topic, she said: “So mostly we just sat and we drank tea. When people came to him, occasionally he would give them some advice. He really did not talk about philosophy but only gave simple advices. He is most famous for telling three things: love everyone, Serve everyone, and remember God.

“One time, Maharajji said to me: ‘Never go where there is no love.’ So, when I came back to the United States, I thought that ‘never go where there is no love’ meant just staying with people who are loving. So, I did that at first. But when I started working with Seva Foundation I thought that the message must have been bigger than that. I felt that if I am loving, then I can go anywhere, because I will bring love with me. So I started trying to create loving situations like the work in Guatemala. Then, in the recent years, the message has changed for me. Now it means that I should just be there and be aware of or be able to discover love that is in everyone.

She said that in the last 20 years she has been working on The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, and it aims to bring these contemplative practices into mainstream secular settings so that common people are benefited. She has been working with corporates, judges, lawyers, academic professors, ex-gang leaders, and with the army. She said: “I found that it’s always just us. If you can be present enough to be here and see the purity in any human being, then it is always there.” It may be people in the army or those who are in the corporates, but beneath all the outer stuff, there is always a heart. She described this ability to see the inner heart in others as the “greatest gift that Neem Karoli Baba gave to me.”

Mirabai Bush about her name

When asked about how she got the name “Mirabai”, Bush cheerfully stated that she got that name from Neem Karoli Baba. She continued: “It’s a tradition with a Guru, to be given a name, a name that acts as a practice for life. You reflect on ways in which you can embody what that name stands for. And Mirabai philosophically stands as an embodiment for loving God as a lover. I was young when I was given that name and I felt it was great. The day Maharajji gave me my name, he asked-‘Do you know who Mirabai was?’ But, I did not know.

“So, from another devotee who was present there, I got to know about the story of Mirabai, how she was a queen but gave up all worldly goods to sing for Krishna and love Krishna. I also came to know how her in-laws did not wanted her to worship Krishna and when they could not stop her, how they tried to get rid of her. I was also told about how a snake sent by her in-laws turned into rose petals when she opened the basket. I started admiring all these stories and I just felt that it was a very wonderful name.”

And she laughingly recounted how, after she got her name, her then husband John got up and ran out of the temple. She said: “Maharajji sent Ram Dass to bring him back and when they both returned, Maharajji asked John ‘What’s the matter?’ John replied that he did not wanted to be the husband who keeps his wife from God! To this, Maharajji replied: ‘No. You are Krishna. You are the one she loves!’ So, it’s been a great name for me and people love to say it.”

She mischievously added: “If you Google Mirabai Bush, then there is only one name and that’s mine!”

Mirabai Bush about her current project

At the end of the interview, when asked about the projects she is currently handling Mirabai Bush shared about her teaching programs and how she teaches various groups of people including students in the Amherst College. She said that she is also working with Ram Dass on a book titled “I am Dying” that attempts to give a contrast between the culture surrounding death in India and the West.

More in the Series:

Mirabai Bush speaks on Mindfulness and its application in Google (Part 1)

Mirabai Bush speaks on her stay in India and the Guatemala Project (Part 2)

Mirabai Bush speaks on Yoga and its uprooting (Part 3)

Mirabai Bush speaks on Right Livelihood & Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (Part 4)

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4 Best Yoga Asanas and Their Benefits

Yoga keeps your mind relaxed and helps you to stay fit and healthy. Try these 4 asanas for an overall good health

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yoga asanas
Yoga Pose.Pixabay
  • Yoga is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual practices that originated in ancient India
  • These 4 yoga asanas will help you to be in shape

“Yoga is the journey of self, through the self, to the self.” – Bhagvat Gita

Weight loss, a strong and flexible body, glowing beautiful skin, peaceful mind, good health – whatever you may be looking for, yoga has it on offer. Yoga is all about stretching our body in different forms and meditation.

Here are 4 best yoga asanas to keep your body toned-

1.Tadasana

Tadasana strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles.It helps to develop good posture and calms down the nervous system.

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Tadasana.pixabay

2. Parvatasana

Parvatasana strengthens the muscles of the arms and legs.It tones the spinal nerves and sends the good flow of blood to the spinal region.

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A variation of Parvatasana. For the original asana, you need not raise the leg in the air as depicted here. Pixabay

3. Vakrasana

It is intensely twisted posture which helps in reducing back problems and fat reduction on the belly. It also increases spine blood flow to abdominal.

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Vakrasana, Wikimedia

4. Bhujangasana

It strengthens the spine, chest, shoulders, abdomen and buttocks. It helps in reducing indigestion and acidity problems.

yoga asanas: Bhujangasana
Bhujangasana.wikimedia commons

-prepared by Pragya Mittal of NewsGram| Twitter @PragyaMittal05

 

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Here’s how you can keep up with your fitness this Diwali!

Do you wish to celebrate a celebrate guilt-free Diwali? Read on!

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Diwali does not mean you will have to compromise on your health, Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 17, 2017 : Saying no to sweets becomes near impossible around Diwali, making many conscious of their weight, calories and sugar level going up. Be active and restrict to two drinks to enjoy festivities with full fervor.

Here’s how you can keep up with your fitness this Diwali! Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal and Preeti Kakkar, nutritional expert at Credihealth, have listed what people can do to celebrate guilt-free Diwali:

  • Plan your day: If one meal goes for a toss, make sure the rest of the meals are on track. For instance, if you’ve reserved a table for dinner, then make sure your breakfast, lunch and snacks are balanced and healthier.
  • Festival and alcohol: Just restrict to two drinks. Alcohol dehydrates your body. Avoid taking cocktails and aerated drinks too as they give you just extra calories.
  • Be active: Physical activity will keep your metabolism active too. No matter what, engage in at least 20 minutes of physical activity every day. It can be in the form of dance, walk, jogging or yoga. You may find it hard to believe, but Surya Namaskar is the best way to fight exhaustion.
  • Don’t give up on sweets: It would be a crime to cut out the sweets entirely during this season. So, choose the healthier options and watch your portion size. Go for dry fruit, phirni, kheer, dark chocolate and date mithai instead of other sugar-loaded sweets.
  • Hydrate well: Don’t wait for the thirst to strike. Keep hydrating yourself at short intervals. Moreover, it will keep you stay full and energized in the rush of all preparation. (IANS)

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Hillary Clinton finds Yoga, Alternate Nostril Breathing helpful for Relaxation

Hillary Clinton has found alternate nostril breathing yoga technique as a mantra for relaxation and peace after her loss in 2016 Presidential elections to Donald Trump.

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Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton VOA

Washington, October 12, 2017 : Hillary Clinton has demonstrated on national television how to perform yoga through alternate nostril breathing exercise. It is quite interesting to see Hillary Clinton has discovered the mantra to deal with stress.

In the aftermath of United States Presidential elections 2016, Hillary finds sitting cross legged on a yoga mat and practicing long inhale and exhale breathing techniques quite helpful. Hilary mentioned that she has been practicing it for quite some time and it has come across as a very helpful way.

The Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton has recommended yoga for everyone to try for relaxation. Yoga is an ancient Indian technique of pre-Vedic Indian tradition that involves physical, mental and spiritual training to relax the mind and body. Promoting the idea of practicing yoga for relaxation seems to be working well for Hillary, who found a new way out to live life and find peace after her loss to Donald Trump in 2016.