Friday, March 07, 2014
Mirabai Starr, named for the ancient poet of India, is giving an amazing 9 month workshop on women mystics. See The Shift Network for more information.
(from The Shift Network)
by Mirabai Starr
Dear Broken-Open beings,
When I was thirteen, I was cast in the lead role of a musical play about the life of the 15th Century East Indian mystic, Mirabai and the name stuck.
Like my namesake, who was on fire with love for Krishna, I have walked a path of longing and ecstasy. Life's most shattering moments have broken me open, and love has made the most ordinary experiences unutterably beautiful.
I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again: We are all mystics.
This doesn't necessarily mean we are all inclined toward ecstatic states, passionate poetry, and devotional singing. What it means is that union with the One is our birthright and we are each capable of having a direct and transformational encounter with the Sacred.
The mystics of all traditions are not simply wisdom figures to be elevated and admired. Rather, they have left footprints in the sand, and we are invited to follow them--to walk where they have walked and love as they have loved--and be changed by our journey, into something clearer, more peaceful, more alive to the holiness of every moment, and thereby energized to help alleviate suffering in this world.
The poet-saint Mirabai was born into wealth and privilege, and tossed it all away to run after the God of Love. Her life was dedicated to singing and dancing for her Beloved, and juicy mystical poetry flowed spontaneously from her lips whenever she entered into a state of deep prayer and praise.
Mirabai embraced a life of radical simplicity, not to make a political statement but because all her needs were met in the union with God that unfolded in her heart. She was forced into an arranged marriage at a young age, and her husband's family so strongly objected to her devotional activities that they tried to have her killed, but every weapon dissolved in their hands. Unconditional love was her only defense.
Mirabai is one of the many wisdom figures whose lives, teachings, and poetry we will explore in The Way of Feminine Mystic. Focusing on specific themes--such as creativity, stewardship of the earth, contemplative life, and the connection between grief and spiritual longing--we will draw on the legacy of women mystics from the Christian, Jewish, Sufi, Hindu, Buddhist and Indigenous traditions.
Immersing ourselves in their sacred field, we will absorb their grace, learn practical tools from their struggles and their triumphs, and allow our own lives to be uplifted and transfigured so that we may serve from a place of abundance.
This course has so thoroughly seeped into my heart and psyche that I have begun to dream about it early every morning. I can't wait to share the fruits of the dreaming with you.
We begin this journey into the arms of our most Beloved, tomorrow (has begun, but you can still register at Shift Network--you can get recordings of any you have missed).
You can register to join us, here: The Way of the Feminine Mystic
Until then, I'll leave you with this poem by my namesake, written in 1498:
My Beloved has come home with the rains,
And the fire of longing is doused.
Now is the time for singing, the time of union.
(picture found on internet)