Mirabai Starr: The Meaning of Life and Bowing to the Mystery

headshot.3Excellence Reporter: Mirabai, what is the meaning of life?

Mirabai Starr: All I can do is share what gives my own life meaning, rather than proclaim the true meaning of life for all beings, as if it were some secret I agree to reveal.

I bow to the mystery. This keeps meaning luminous and lively every day. By dropping the urge to define and explain What Is, I find that I am more available for the miracle of the moment: the first purple crocus peeking out from a spring snow and lifting her face to the sun; the warm spot of light oozing from a neighbor’s window late at night when I cannot sleep because my heart is breaking for this broken world and I am standing at my window to see which way the stars have configured themselves; one daughter dying alone as her car rolls and tumbles down an embankment and into a quiet stream; the other daughter squeezing my hand as she gives birth to my first grandson.

Whenever I find myself starting to believe I have it all figured out, I remind myself not to believe everything I think. Then my soul unclenches and a childlike wonderment flows through that open gate and brings me to my knees in awe. I feel the interconnectedness of all life in the veins of my own body. I glimpse the voluptuous beauty of three-part harmonies in folk music and the mournful ecstasy of the bamboo flute, and it changes me. I am willing to be transfigured. Even if that means being annihilated. Not in the sense of dead, but rather freed from the illusion of separation from my source, which is love, which I name my Beloved.


~Mirabai Starr writes, speaks and leads retreats on the inter-spiritual teachings of the mystics. Known for her revolutionary translations of John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Julian of Norwich, Mirabai renders mystical masterpieces accessible, beautiful, and relevant to a contemporary circle of seekers. Author of Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation.

Copyright © 2016 Excellence Reporter

Categories: Awakening

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