Wednesday January 16, 2019

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

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By Nithin Sridhar

mirabaiDuring 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 4

Mirabai Bush and the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

Mirabai Bush is a co-founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and served as its Executive Director until 2008. Her website describes her work with the center thus: “Under her direction, The Center developed its programs in education, law, business, and activism and its network of thousands of people integrating contemplative practice and perspective into their lives and work.”

Speaking more about this, Bush said: “Back in the early 1990’s, meditation, yoga, and other practices were beginning to be used in health and healing. It became clear that they were very effective. So, we thought that maybe these practices could be beneficial in other sectors of American life as well. At that time nobody was doing that. So, we just started giving retreats. We invited people sharing common interests and common professions. We started with people who were kind of successful, mid-career, or those who were at the top of their field. For example, in law we would get partners from major firms, professors and judges. The way we did it in the beginning was just people who knew other people. We did not put out an ad or anything as nobody at that time would have responded.

In the beginning we started by creating the only retreat centers in this country that were simple and funky as people at that time were not used to these practices. So, we had to create places where they could lay on a couch or have food that they recognized. We did everything we could to eliminate resistance and just allow them to experience these practices and it was amazing.

“We started by giving grants so that people can develop a course that integrated some of these practices into their coursework. For example, an economics professor who became more meditative and contemplative himself, realized that at the heart of every economic decision is desire. So, he taught his students a basic mindfulness practice of noticing how desires arise and then falls away. After making the students practice, he would take them to a mall. When they walked through the mall they began noticing the sensations in their bodies and how they got pulled by something that they liked.

“This made them more sensitive to desire. And then they started looking at how economic decisions could be made and how economic theory could be developed. The realization that desire is ephemeral and is just a thought, it changed their understanding and made their study of economics much more personal.

“So, basically the Center has helped people to apply the concepts of mindfulness and other meditative practices in their own lives and professions.”

Mirabai Bush on Right livelihood

Speaking about the concept of “Right livelihood” that is promoted through her various courses and retreats, Mirabai Bush said that “Right livelihood” essential means that people must make sure that their work should not harm others and they should use the work as a vehicle for personal spiritual growth as well as for creating an environment wherein other people can also grow and contribute to the group as a whole. One way she has accomplished this is by meditation and yoga into the professions of people and then discussing the running of the whole organization starting from its mission by keeping in mind about helping everyone to grow in beneficial way.

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

Next Story

Yoga Gaining Popularity in China As a Healthy Lifestyle Choice

The China-India Yoga College recruits undergraduates and postgraduates at Yunnan Minzu University

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Yoga gains popularity in China, more colleges to come up. Pixabay

The China-India Yoga College that was founded in June 2015 in Yunnan as part of a Delhi-Beijing cultural exchange program, plans to expand its training locations as yoga has been gaining popularity in China as a healthy lifestyle choice.

The college opened its first branch on Saturday at the Yunnan University in the city of Lijiang as part of its nationwide partnership with universities in cultivating high-level yoga professionals, Xinhua news agency reported.

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Representational image. Pixabay

A total of 50 branches would be set up to boost yoga education and teacher training, according to Chen Luyan, dean of the China-India Yoga College, as it spreads beyond its location city of Kunming in Yunnan Province.

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Nearly 100 yoga teaching and training centres would also be built to provide teacher training courses, yoga workshops and non-profit courses, Chen said.

The China-India Yoga College recruits undergraduates and postgraduates at Yunnan Minzu University. (IANS)