Mirabai Bush teaches contemplative practices and develops programs through the application of contemplative principles and values to organizational life. Her work with individuals and organizations includes entrepreneurial project management, compassionate staff-board relations, organizational leadership, public relations, communication, networking, and strategic relationship building all through the lens of contemplative practice in action.
Her spiritual studies include two years in India with Hindu teacher Neemkaroli Baba; meditation in monasteries with Buddhist teachers Shri S.N. Goenka, Anagarika Munindra, and IMS guiding teachers; and studies with Pir Vilayat Khan and Tibetan Buddhist lamas Kalu Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and others; and five years of intensive practice in Iyengar yoga and five years of Aikido under Kanai Sensei.
Mirabai Bush was a co-founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and served as Executive Director there until 2008. 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. Mirabai holds a unique background of organizational management, teaching, and spiritual practice. A founding board member of the Seva Foundation, an international public health organization, she directed the Seva Guatemala Project, which supports sustainable agriculture and integrated community development. Also at Seva, 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, published by Random House.Mirabai has organized, facilitated, and taught workshops, weekends, and courses on spirit and action for more than 20 years at institutions including Omega Institute, Naropa Institute, Findhorne, Zen Mountain Monastery, University of Massachusetts, San Francisco Zen Center, Buddhist Study Center at Barre, MA, Insight Meditation Society, and the Lama Foundation. She has a special interest in the uncovering and recovery of women’s spiritual wisdom to inform work for social change. She has taught women’s groups with Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Sharon Salzberg, Joan Halifax, Margo Adler, Starhawk, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Vicky Noble, and other leaders.Her spiritual studies include meditation study 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 also did five years of intensive practice in Iyengar yoga and five years of Aikido with Kanai Sensei. Her earlier religious study included 20 years of Catholic schooling, ending with Georgetown University graduate study in medieval literature. She holds an ABD in American literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo.Before entering the foundation world, Mirabai was the first professional woman to work on the Saturn-Apollo moonflight at Cape Canaveral and later co-founded and directed Illuminations, Inc., from 1973 to 1985 in Cambridge, MA. Her innovative business approaches, based on mindfulness practice, were reported in Newsweek, Inc., Fortune, and the Boston Business Journal. She has also worked on educational programs with inner-city youth of color.
Mirabai has trekked, traveled, and lived in many countries, including Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Nepal, Morocco, Ireland, England, Scotland, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Germany, Austria, Italy, Pakistan, and the Caribbean. She is an organic gardener in Western Massachusetts and the mother of one adult son, Owen.