From Zen Peacemakers:
Mirabai Bush is Senior Fellow and the founding Director of the Center on Contemplative Mind in Society, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage contemplative awareness in American life in order to create a more just, compassionate, and reflective society. She has designed and led contemplative trainings for corporations from Monsanto to Google, led a survey of contemplative practice, and directed a Contemplative Practice Fellowship awards program with the American Council of Learned Societies to explore such practices in academic courses. She is currently directing a study for the US Army on promoting resiliency and performance among Army medical and chaplain caregivers through mindfulness training. The Center also sponsors a program to bring contemplative practices into social justice organizations and into the profession of law, engaging law students, law faculty, and attorneys in an exploration of the role of contemplative practice in legal education and the practice of law.
Mirabai formerly directed the Seva Foundation Guatemala Project, which supports sustainable agriculture and integrated community development. She co-developed Sustaining Compassion, Sustaining the Earth, a series of retreats and events for grassroots environmental activists on the interconnection of spirit and action. She is co-author, with Ram Dass, of Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service. She co-founded and directed Illuminations, Inc., in Cambridge, MA. Her innovative business approaches, based on mindfulness practice, were reported in Newsweek, Inc., Fortune, and the Boston Business Journal.
Her spiritual studies include meditation at the Burmese Vihara in Bodh Gaya, India, with Shri S.N. Goenka and Anagarika Munindra; bhakti yoga with Hindu teacher Neemkaroli Baba; and studies with Tibetan lamas Kalu Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Kyabje Gehlek Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and others. She was a student of aikido master Kanai Sensei for five years. She has a special interest in the uncovering and recovery of women’s wisdom to inform work for social change. She has co-taught or co-facilitated such groups with Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Sharon Salzberg, Joan Halifax, Margo Adler, Starhawk, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Terry Tempest Williams, and Vicky Noble.
The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society works to integrate contemplative awareness into contemporary life in order to help create a more just, compassionate, reflective, and sustainable society.
Contemplative practices, including prayer, meditation, yoga, and many contemplative arts, help individuals regain balance and calm in the midst of challenging circumstances. This state of calm centeredness provides effective stress reduction and can also help address issues of meaning, values, and spirit. Contemplative practices can help people develop greater empathy and communication skills, improve focus and concentration, reduce stress and enhance creativity. In time, with sustained commitment, they cultivate insight, wise discernment, and a loving and compassionate approach to life.
While personal transformation does not guarantee the transformation of social institutions, the Center is grounded in the belief that contemplative awareness can assist individuals and groups in identifying the root causes of social problems and finding creative approaches to eliminating them.