Saturday September 21, 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)

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What’s Common in Several Bollywood Divas? Find it out Here

Deepika Padukone: If you want to have a svelte figure like Deepika Padukone, then the formula is a mix of cardio, gym, dance and yoga

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What ties Kareena Kapoor Khan, Deepika Padukone, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Jacqueline Fernandez and Alia Bhatt together? Their love for yoga.

The Bollywood divas credit their fitness level to their yoga routine. IANS takes a look at the stars who took to yoga and inspired many others to follow suit.

* Kareena Kapoor Khan: It is known that Kareena’s fitness journey is a result of yoga, exercise and a strict meal plan. She first stunned one and all with her ‘size-zero’ look in “Tashan”, and continues to set fitness goals with her workout regime. The actress might not be on social media, but images and videos giving a glimpse into how she adds yoga to her regime have surfaced on the social media making one thing clear — she is super-focused on getting fitter each day.

* Shilpa Shetty Kundra: For many, she is the poster girl for yoga. She has yoga DVDs, a YouTube channel of her yoga clips, and a fitness app, where she has a #MindItYogaProgram.

On her love for yoga, Shilpa had told IANS: “One of the very important things that yoga has taught me is to be emotionally secure and stay centered and connected to myself… Yoga helps to align our body’s chakras and strengthen our inner confidence. Once you are emotionally strong, how people perceive you, does not affect your personality. Yoga is the need of the hour.”

* Bipasha Basu: She is a yoga freak, and has several yoga DVDs and videos to prove it. In fact, Bipasha along with husband and actor Karan Singh Grover, gives couple goals by doing couple yoga. She says “he is a true Yogi. My inspiration everyday”.

* Alia Bhatt: She is another celebrity who practices yoga regularly. It is believed that she practices ‘Ashtanga yoga’ at least two times in a week, and also credits yoga for her glowing skin and toned physique.

* Malaika Arora: She has been inspiring everyone for long to add yoga into their lifestyle — and her social media is a testimony to it. “Yoga is a way of life that motivates you, grounds you, tones you mentally and physically, makes you mindful and invokes a feeling of happiness in you,” said Malaika, who co-founded Diva Yoga, and has invested in yoga and wellness startup SARVA.

* Jacqueline Fernandez: She likes to call herself ‘Yogini’, and says yoga is an integral part of her life. The actress holds yoga sessions and uses her social media to share images doing yoga, especially pole yoga.

Deepika Padukone and Kangana Ranaut
Deepika Padukone and Kangana Ranaut. (IANS)

“In the past couple of years, yoga has slowly become an integral part of me, and I am so proud of how far I have come… It has been 10 years in Bollywood and million points to yoga, for being my ultimate stress-buster,” Jacqueline said.

* Kangana Ranaut: Yoga is the secret behind Kangana’s toned figure. The “Queen” star has been practicing yoga for a while now and expressed her love for the ancient Indian art in an interview to a magazine. She said: “Yoga is a gift and I actually think that I have survived due to it. Through meditation, pranayam and yoga postures, I could vent out a lot of restless energy.”

* Deepika Padukone: If you want to have a svelte figure like Deepika Padukone, then the formula is a mix of cardio, gym, dance and yoga.

* Sonam Kapoor: Her fitness mantras include yoga, work out and pilate. Opening up about her struggle to lose weight, Sonam had shared that yoga helped her achieve the goal.

“I pushed myself too hard at spin classes, did power yoga for hours at a stretch, and developed an unhealthy relationship with food. Some weeks, desperate to drop a couple of kilos, I would simply not eat,” she said.

* Mouni Roy: She became an Internet sensation — thanks to her yoga poses. Recently, she posted a series of yoga videos of her trying out various asanas of the fitness regime — setting fitness goals for many.

Other stars who practice yoga regularly include names like Lara Dutta and Bhagyashree.

Also Read- Actor Arjun Kapoor Discusses About Pros, Cons of Stardom

Deepika Mehta, who has trained Alia, Jacqueline, Katrina Kaif, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Deepika, and is associated with Tata Sky’s value added service – Tata Sky Fitness, says yoga makes one’s quality of life better.

Mehta said: “In today’s world finding a mindful practice is very important for people because we have so much distraction, technology and stress. The technique of yoga gives you distance from the stress of your life and helps to calm your body and mind. Yoga is extremely important for a healthy life as it gives you a great sense of health and fitness.” (IANS)