Mirabai tells her story of life after the passing of Neem Karoli Baba in 1973 and how his teachings were responsible for evolving her understanding of love.
Leaving her community in India, Mirabai asked the question, “How can you be in a world you are not creating and still go where there is no love?” Finding direction in the wisdom of her guru, Mirabai set out on a journey that took her and her family across the world. In her journey, she experienced and learned to see love in everyone. Learning that there really is no them and us. Instead, it is all just us and everything is love.
“Never go where there is no love” – Neem Karoli Baba.
00:55 – Mirabai discusses life after the death of Maharajji. Along with husband, child, and friends, Mirabai lives in California with no money, but strangely happy.
04:45 – In America, however, a reliable income is often needed eventually. In the spirit of the teaching’s of Maharajji, the group chose the Mandala to put on t-shirts to sell. Seemingly, overnight the endeavor blossomed into a widely successful business, Illuminations. The employees there applied Maharajji’s philosophies to their business practice, such as giving away their profits to the poor. As a result, the group grew incredibly close and remains so to this day.
10:40 – After leaving the states, Mirabai began working with Seva Foundation in Guatemala. This was a time of war and upheaval in that country. Despite the suffering around them, the people of Guatemala showed love and kindness that was unexpected for their situation.
14:00 – The experiences in Guatemala taught Mirabai an important lesson. What Maharajji meant by, “Never go where there is no love,” is that when we see and experience the love in others there is nowhere we can go where there is no love.
21:00 – Mirabai shares a story of being reminded of this lesson when she was reached out to by an Army chaplain. The chaplain needed assistance in bringing relief to his soldiers who were suffering emotionally. As a pacifist, Mirabai was emotionally torn with the idea of working with the military. However, she came to appreciate that the position of those who worked in the military are in. That they too are people, and who provide more of a service than simply destruction.
29:00 – Eventually Mirabai began work with the Army, conducting studies on how meditation and other practices can be helpful for caregivers in the military. Her studies inspired many military programs that integrate various eastern practices, such as West Point’s Yoga Club (featured in photo) designed to build resilient soldiers. The research team brought together a round-table of influential teachers, including a friend and fellow Be Here Now Network podcaster, Sharon Salzberg, to discuss the possibilities of their contemplative practices with Army researchers and officials. Word spread of the gathering and members from nearly every department of the military gathered at the National Cathedral to participate.
33:30 – The event opened with soldiers sharing their stories of unreal suffering. This was followed by an incredibly deep moment of meditation and presentations led by Sharon and another speaker. When the round-table was finished, Mirabai was left with such a feeling of love and empathy for the soldiers there. Really appreciating how misled she was by her initial bias towards them and the work they did. Having been reminded in the end how alike everyone is. Mirabai concludes with looking at how the work we are doing is at the heart of change in the world, and that everything is love.
Photo via West Point