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In 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 2
Mirabai Bush and the Seva Foundation’s Guatemala Project
Mirabai Bush was involved with the Seva Foundation’s Guatemala Project for 10 years. When asked to share about the work done in Guatemala, she said that when she and her group were in India, her guru Neem Karoli Baba had sent Larry Brilliant to WHO to work for the eradication of smallpox that eventually became a success. After they returned to the West, when Neem Karoli Baba died, many in her group felt that they should do something to give back to the people of the Indian sub-continent.
The medical people in her group decided to work on treating cataract using non-conventional methods in Nepal and till date, Seva has managed to help more than 3 million people in Nepal, Cambodia, India, etc. Meanwhile, said Bush, in 1980’s there was a terrible violence in Guatemala and some people had come across the border to Mexico as their villages had been burned down.
When they met the widows who had crossed the border into Mexico, they felt that they should do something about it. She said: “When we heard what was happening, we just thought- ‘this is so bad.’ We thought ‘look what we were able to do in India and Nepal, so of course we could do something here as well.’ We then did not know anything about the kind of community development that was required in Guatemala. But, the next year or so, Guatemala had their first democratically elected president and the country became more open….
We went down there into the villages and sat there on the ground listening to people, mostly women as most of their men had been killed. We listened to them and tried to figure out how to help them build their villages. They had no money, no animals, no seeds or tools.
“We wanted to help them by empowering them and not by disempowering them by saying ‘Ok. We have come from the north and will provide you with everything.’ We created amazing partnerships with the villagers there (and helped them to rebuild). One of the villages El Triunfo in which we had worked was also awarded by UN for being a model village. So, we worked there for 10 years until the peace accord was signed and then we turned over the work we did to the Guatemalan agencies.”
Mirabai Bush, her Catholic background and her first visit to India
Mirabai Bush had visited India for the first time in 1970’s. When asked about her stay in India, Bush said that she had originally thought of staying in India for only two weeks. She had come to India overland through Europe, Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan. She stayed in different places to try and understand how other people were living. She said that at the time, the US was at war with Vietnam, and she was trying to discover a different way of seeing the world.
The very first day after she had reached India, she heard about a meditation course being taught at Bodhgaya by a Burmese meditation teacher. When she went there, she says: “It was very powerful. I had never done anything like that before. It really showed me things that I had never glimpsed before. Then, I stayed there for a couple of months doing meditation. Shortly after that, I met Neem Karoli Baba; that further changed my life and I continued to stay in India for another 2 years.”
Regarding her Catholic background and her first impressions when she had visited India, she said that she was raised up as a Catholic and studied in a catholic school right up to Georgetown graduate school. She continued: “I loved God and used to attend every mass. But, after I divorced my then husband, I was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. So, I was very disappointed. I had not been practicing as a Catholic for some years before I visited India. I was just disenchanted with that.
“I was not looking for another religion, but I was looking for a way to understand the world that made sense to me. Many people in America identify themselves as religious, but it is a very secular society. What I loved about India is that, when I had got to India, I felt like the spirit was everywhere. I found that people were devotional and non-judgmental, and they were very welcoming.
“And then, I met Neem Karoli Baba and he was so amazing. He was of course a Hindu and was devoted to Hanuman. But, most of the time, he seemed to exist in this realm that seemed completely beyond us. He just seemed present for all of us. We would sit for hours and hours with him and it just became a part of who I was. I was always a kind of person who was drawn to service. So, Maharaj-ji’s (Neem Karoli Baba’s) dedication to Hanuman was totally right to me.
“I did not feel like I no longer had this Christian upbringing as it would always be there. Maharaj-ji used to talk a lot about Jesus. He used to say ‘you should meditate like Christ. He lost himself in love.’ Then, we all used to kind of melt. Maharaj-ji was really an embodiment of unconditional love. I was sitting there and I could feel myself changing without a word being exchanged.”
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Between zoom meetings, webinars, you're walking a tight rope to balance work from home and domestic chores, in all this its easy to forget about taking care of yourself. It's imperative to squeeze in a few hours to indulge in yourself, whether its a massage or a hair spa treatment.
It comes with a range of accessories which includes the 40mm Airwrap long barrels, 30mm Airwra barrels, a Firm smoothing brush, a Soft smoothing brush, a Round volumising brush, the Pre-styling dryer, a non-slip heat-resistant mat to place your styler on, a Storage case and even a Filter cleaning brush. A Storage bag (Iron/Fuchsia) securely stores your Dyson Airwrap when you're on the move.
The different styling attachments cater to unique hair needs and are designed for different hair styles. | File
The different styling attachments cater to unique hair needs and are designed for different hair styles. For instance the 30 mm barrels create and set voluminous curls. With clockwise and counter-clockwise barrels for symmetrical curls. The 40 mm barrels create and set loose curls or waves. The Firm smoothing brush creates a straighter style with less frizz ad fewer flyways, with firm bristles engineered to control unruly, frizz prone hair. The pre- styling dryer takes hair from wet to damp, ready for styling. The round volumizing brush directs air into the hair to give body, and the bristles create tension to shape hair as it dries, Ideal for limp, flat hair. To create a sooth, blow-dry finish. With soft bristles engineered to be gentle on the scalp.
It features three precise airflow speeds, to suit your styling and four precise heat settings, including constant cold shot. The cold shot immediately deactivates the heating element, for cooler air to set your style. The Coanda to curl barrels harness an aerodynamic phenomenon and the Coanda to smooth which uses Dyson brushes to attract hair to the surface of the brush, propelling air along the hair strands for a smooth, straighter style. It's powered by the Dyson digital motor V9, a 13-blade impeller spins at up to 110,000rpm, generating 3.2kPa. Powerful enough to produce the air pressure needed to create the Coanda effect. The intelligent heat control measures airflow temperature over 40 times a second, intelligently controlling the heating element to keep the temperature under a 150 degree Celsius. Preventing extreme heat damage. "Great styling and takes lesser effort than the usual blow drying. Saving lots of visits to the salon, absolutely love it!" says a salon regular who switched her weekly visits to the salon for the at home Dyson experience. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Dyson, hair, hair styles, styling, airflow, non-slip heat-resistant mat, Pre-styling dryer, olumising brush, smoothing brush, Dyson Airwrap
An international team of astronomers has identified 366 new exoplanets, using data from the NASA Kepler Space Telescope's K2 mission. The findings, described in a paper published in the Astronomical Journal, showed a planetary system that comprises a star and at least two gas giant planets, each roughly the size of Saturn and located unusually close to one another.
The discovery is significant because it's rare to find gas giants -- like Saturn in the solar system -- as close to their host star as they were in this case. The researchers cannot yet explain why it occurred there, but it makes the finding especially useful because it could help scientists form a more accurate understanding of the parameters for how planets and planetary systems develop.
An international team of astronomers has identified 366 new exoplanets, using data from the NASA Kepler Space Telescope's K2 mission. | NASA
"The discovery of each new world provides a unique glimpse into the physics that play a role in planet formation," said lead author Jon Zink, a UCLA postdoctoral scholar. The findings could be a significant step toward helping astronomers understand which types of stars are most likely to have planets orbiting them and what that indicates about the building blocks needed for successful planet formation, acoording to the study. "We need to look at a wide range of stars, not just ones like our sun, to understand that," Zink said.
The term "exoplanets" is used to describe planets outside of the solar system. The number of exoplanets that have been identified by astronomers numbers fewer than 5,000 in all, so the identification of hundreds of new ones is a significant advance. Kepler's original mission came to an unexpected end in 2013 when a mechanical failure left the spacecraft unable to precisely point at the patch of sky it had been observing for years.
But astronomers repurposed the telescope for a new mission known as K2, whose objective is to identify exoplanets near distant stars. Data from K2 is helping scientists understand how stars' location in the galaxy influences what kind of planets are able to form around them. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Astronomers, discover, possible, exoplanets, telescope, mission, planets
By Dr Anil Batra
The winter comes with its own set of hassles. New moms have to be careful because they have to take care of themselves and their babies. It becomes imperative to protect babies from the harsh season. The immune system of newborn babies is developing, which makes them susceptible to respiratory infections. But, you can take preventive measures to keep your child warm and safe. Newborn babies need extra care until their immune system becomes stronger to protect their bodies from the harmful effects of viruses and bacteria that usually become more active in the winter season. A drop in the temperature can aggravate different processes in the body, therefore, moms need to take extra care of newborn babies during winters.
New moms can follow the given tips to take care of their little ones and protect them from the harmful effects of harsh winds blowing outside.
Keep the temperature warm in the baby's room: Use a portable heater in the baby's room to keep the temperature warm. The air becomes dry due to the excessive use of a heater. Therefore, keeping a humidifier to balance the moisture levels.
Apply moisturizer: The baby's skin is very sensitive and the harsh, dry, and cold air can make the skin dry. Therefore, apply a good moisturizer to keep it soft and smooth. Choose a moisturizer made of milk cream and butter, especially for children. This will keep the skin of your baby soft.
Massage: Massage is important to keep your baby's skin soft and healthy. Massage helps to improve the blood circulation in the body that helps in boosting strength. Use a natural oil to massage the body of your child. Make sure the room is warm where you massage the baby.
Massage helps to improve the blood circulation in the body that helps in boosting strength. | Photo by Khoa Pham on Unsplash
Avoid using heavy blankets: You can comfort your baby by laying a light blanket to keep your baby warm. Avoid using a heavy blanket to cover your baby during winters because your baby would not be able to move his arms and legs while sleeping. In this process, your baby may pull it up on its face and this can cause respiratory distress. Thus, use a light blanket and keep the room temperature optimum.
Dress your baby comfortably: Choose comfortable dressing for your baby. Avoid wrapping your baby in thick sweaters, gloves, and socks. This will restrict its movement and he/she will become irritable. Choose clothes depending on the room temperature. The clothes should cover his/her baby but should not restrict movement. You can use light gloves and socks to cover your hands and feet to keep your baby warm at night.
Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is the most important activity that can keep your baby healthy. Breast milk consists of required nutrients and antibodies that will enhance the immune system of your baby and will protect him/her against diseases. During breastfeeding your baby will feel warm and cosy that will also give him comfort.
Avoid using a heavy blanket to cover your baby during winters because your baby would not be able to move his arms and legs while sleeping | Flickr
Maintain proper hygiene: Mothers should be careful when handling newborn babies in winters. You will be the first point of contact for your baby. Therefore, make sure you keep yourself clean and healthy. Wash your hands before handling your baby. Germs can easily enter your baby's body through your dirty hands. Therefore, make sure you wash your hands or sanitize them before attending to your baby. Also, ask visitors to wash their hands.
Take care outdoors: If you want to take your child outdoors make sure it is not freezing temperature. Take your child out for fresh air only if the temperature is not too cold and remember to cover your baby properly before taking them out. Taking your baby out will help to give fresh air and will improve their health.
Common issues that may arise in newborn babies during winters:
Winter brings flu and other viruses that can easily spread and affect anyone. Common issues that may arise in newborn babies during winters include the following:
- Skin allergies
- Digestive issues
Parents can take care of their newborn babies from various diseases that may affect them in the winters in the following ways:
* If your baby suffers during the winter season, you should consult a pediatrician.
* You can give a homemade solution if your baby suffers from a cold. Check with the doctor and you can only give a saline solution or nasal drops.
* Keep your baby well hydrated. Keep breastfeeding your baby and also give water if necessary.
* Cuddle your baby lovingly and give him warmth along with other precautions.
* In the first winter, you can take preventive measures to take care of your little ones and keep them safe. Maintain proper hygiene and keep your house warm. Avoid visitors if your child is not feeling well.
It is not necessary to give a bath to your baby every day. You can bathe your baby after 2-3 days in winter. | Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash
How often to give a bath to your baby in winter?
It is not necessary to give a bath to your baby every day. You can bathe your baby after 2-3 days in winter. You can sponge bathe your newborn every other day in winter. Check the temperature of the room before giving a bath to your baby. The room temperature should be warm and comfortable for your baby. Check the temperature of the water. Make sure the water is not too hot or cold. The temperature of the water should be right for the body of your baby. Check the temperature by touching the water with your elbow or wrist. Use mild soap and shampoo to bathe your baby in winter. Also, apply oil and moisturizer to the skin to keep it soft and prevent skin allergies. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Winter, care tips, newborn, baby, hygiene, breastfeeding, blanket