Wednesday, July 29, 2015 5:30pm Pacific / 8:30pm Eastern
Rediscover the Ecstatic Path of Devotion
and the Heart-Opening Fire of Surrender to the Divine in all Forms.
If you’ve been on a spiritual path for some time, you’ve likely experienced or heard of teachings founded on the idea of Oneness: the universe, despite its multiplicity is an expression of the ultimate Reality, or the Divine itself.
While there’s an important mystical truth in these teachings, when we see ourselves as solely God incarnate, there’s also something lost: the Beloved Other. Relating to the Divine as a lover is a time-honored spiritual path that many of history’s greatest female mystics have walked with radiant grace. Infused with longing and uplifted by gratitude, this love transforms all relationships. By seeing the Divine in the eyes of others and relating to them with real devotion, we open to the tender blessings of a relational spiritual life. And, if we choose to be with a human partner, we experience more ecstasy through touch, gaze and movement. If we choose to not be in romantic relationship, we experience the touch of wind, sun, and earth as the gentle caress of our lover.
In either case, our devotion to our human relationships, the Beloved Other and the path of duality finds its highest expression in ecstasy, that is both erotic and beyond erotic. It is the loving-presence of the universe pouring down on us, through us, and in us. “I don’t want to be sugar,” Sri Ramakrishna famously said, “I want to taste sugar!”
While you might think this kind of ecstasy would immobilize you, leaving you unable to manage your busy, modern life, the path of devotion is a path of embodied spirituality, in which we look through the eyes of the sacred and see the sacred everywhere, in all things.
St. Teresa of Avila walked this path balancing both worlds. She was a highly integrated human being who was both ecstatic (flying into raptures with the Beloved) and very practical, with her feet on the ground. She ran her convents with the rigor and focus of a modern CEO and was deeply attuned to the practical needs of her flock.
Similarly, the Eastern poet-sage Mirabai offers a template of a female mystic who experienced the upper octaves of delight in her body and mind, a delicious dance with the Beloved that she chronicles in her ecstatic poetry. But she was also an activist and a prophet who left a life of privilege and lived among the poorest of the poor.
Together, she and St. Teresa offer clues for the modern feminine mystic who craves this kind of passionate love-relationship with the Divine while also accessing her inner resources to meet the complexities of modern life.
In this fascinating call event, one of the foremost interpreters of St. Teresa and other mystical teachers, Mirabai Starr (named for the beloved poet-saint of India), takes us into the heart of ecstasy, illuminating the lives of these historical exemplars and exploring divine devotion as a natural ingredient for women (and men) on the feminine mystical path.
The path of ecstatic duality is not, as Mirabai will show, a lesser substitute for non-dual enlightenment, but a practice ground for living in an exalted state while also engaging in effective action in the world.
- How to say “yes” to longing at the core of your pathway to the Divine.
- To claim the beauty of spiritual desire and let it move, motivate and transform you.
- How to become more available to moments of ecstasy in the course of your daily life.
- The power of mystical poetry to evoke sacred states.
- How to approach the reading of the mystics with your heart, a practice known as Lectio Divina.
Mirabai offers us a powerful reclamation of the feminine ecstatic path as equally valid and even essential for the feminine soul to feel truly fulfilled and more fully incarnate here on Earth.
Join us for a fascinating event! And you’ll also hear about the launch of a new live program in which Mirabai will take you deeper into the initiations of a truly feminine mystical path.
About Mirabai Starr. . .
Author, translator of the mystics, and leading voice in the emerging Interspiritual Movement, Mirabai Starr uses fresh, lyrical language to help make timeless wisdom accessible to a contemporary circle of seekers. She has received critical acclaim for her revolutionary new translations of Dark Night of the Soul by 16th Century Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross, The Interior Castle and The Book of My Life, by St. Teresa of Avila, and The Showings of Julian of Norwich. She is author of the 6-volume Sounds True series, Contemplations, Prayers and Living Wisdom. Her poetry collection, Mother of God Similar to Fire, is a collaboration with iconographer William Hart McNichols.GOD OF LOVE: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam – winner of the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for Religion and named one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2012 by Spirituality & Practice – positions Mirabai at the forefront of the emerging Interspiritual Movement.
Mirabai taught philosophy and religious studies for 20 years at the University of New Mexico-Taos, and now speaks and teaches nationally and internationally on the teachings of the mystics, contemplative practice and grief as a spiritual path. Her talks and retreats incorporate silent meditation, interspiritual chanting, sacred poetry and deep dialog. She blogs for the Huffington Post.