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A 12-week Program Providing a Sanctuary for Your Heart & Soul
Featuring Interspiritual Teacher & Mystic-Scholar
Mirabai Starr
New Live Program Starts
Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Learn key principles and practices for turning the heartbreaking stages of grief into portals for spiritual awakening and transformation.

Advance on your path of integration with loving guidance and the support of a conscious community.

If you’ve been through a heart-wrenching loss, you know just how hard it can be to navigate your way through the stages of grief. Waves of sadness, anger and depression can buffet us for months and even years.

Meanwhile, there’s often pressure from family, friends and colleagues, who try to force “normalcy” before you may be ready. They may want to “cheer you up” and help you “get back on your feet” rather than meet you as companions in the dark and scary places that arise when you’ve had a profound loss.

This can lead to deeper feelings of disconnection and isolation. It may seem that there are few people who have the time, wisdom and patience to help you navigate your loss in a way that really respects what your soul needs and provides you the safe haven in which to transform your heartbreak into healing.

If we try to avoid or abort our natural grieving process, we derail what can be a journey of profound healing, spiritual opening and transformation.

Working our way, step by step, through tragic losses can play a central role in our spiritual life, since grief tends to crack us open to the depths of life in a way that nothing else can.

As we engage grief in a transformational way, we get much more real about what truly matters. We clarify what we believe in. We commit to loving more deeply. And we engage more in making a difference.

Our heartache can turn into what St. Teresa of Avila called the “beautiful wound,” a kind of pain that actually connects us with the Divine. The wound, even while painful, can give rise, eventually, to the serenity, love and even joy that comes from feeling deeply connected with the Source of all life.

Seen through a spiritual lens, grief is thus a profound opportunity for our evolution — both a deeper embodiment of life as well as a greater connection to Spirit.

It’s no accident that many of history’s most renowned mystics were catapulted into their path of illumination and service through profound losses, tragedies and heartbreak. Such events have a way of bringing us humbly to our knees, willing to face whatever truths and emotions that stir within us. This, in turn, can open us to real surrender.

The “move on” mentality that pervades our culture can thus deprive us of a profound opportunity to experience more compassion, sacred connection and a better understanding of life’s meaning.

That’s not to minimize the loss itself, of a loved one, for example. But our grief can be a portal to a deeper, wiser and richer experience of life, when consciously engaged as a spiritual practice. In this way, the path of loss becomes a journey of redemption and healing.

In fact, each of the five traditional phases of grief, popularized by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, can be experienced as a spiritual initiation. For example, feeling the burn of anger FULLY can eventually open us to our inner fire to create change and feel passion for life again. Allowing ourselves to cocoon within ourselves for awhile can help us shed false images and goals.

Ultimately, grief and loss offer the potential for an alchemical journey in which the darkness and suffering we face can turn into the gold of a deeper life and connection to God.

But we need guidance and support to create a container in which our painful emotions can be metabolized and we can safely enter the heart of the fire to be reborn.

And that is where this 12-week virtual program comes in, a profound opportunity in which you will be guided in navigating your own losses as an alchemical path of transformation.

The course title, Caravan of No Despair, comes from a Rumi poem in which he writes, “Ours is no caravan of despair. Come, yet again, come.” It refers to an attitude of welcome, which is ultimately the path of surrender to what is.

Despair comes when we have given up all hope, which is all too common in the journey of grief. Instead, we are offering a sanctuary in which you will be compassionately guided through the natural stages of grief and loss so that you can open to redemption, healing and the promise of a richer life, without feeling rushed through each stage.

Indeed, it’s vital that we absorb the initiation that each stage of grief offers. Each wave is clearing us out for new possibilities to arise.

The Importance of a Seasoned Guide

Your teacher and guide for this spiritual journey through grief is Mirabai Starr, a beloved spiritual teacher and someone who has faced grief at a profound, soul-wrenching level, including the sudden loss of her daughter in a car accident.

For Mirabai, the loss was both a crucifixion and a journey into deeper spiritual realization. Mirabai has thus walked through the full journey of grief and intimately knows its true, alchemical potential.

Mirabai has also written many acclaimed books on women mystics, including St. Teresa of Avila, and she has walked a path that includes Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist practices — all woven together in a deeply honoring way.

This course is her offering to your heart. Mirabai will guide you to a powerful reclamation of the path of grief as a way to harvest the “soul lessons” loss unearths, enabling you to live your life more deeply.

In the course of the 12-week journey with her, you’ll:

  • Learn how to create a sacred space and enter naked into the luminous fire available to you when your world has been shattered.
  • Discern between consolation and transformation.
  • Approach each of the five stages of grief as spiritual initiations, giving yourself the time you need in each stage and circling back as required.
  • Rewrite the script of what happened and create the ending you prefer.
  • Reframe “denial” as a state of grace and engage your anger as a spiritual warrior.
  • Cultivate compassion for yourself even as you replay the story of what happened again and again.
  • Stop trying to fix your broken heart and instead let yourself reside and rest in the mystery.
  • Accept “what is” without minimizing your loss.
  • Expand your ability to befriend your heartache, pain and longing as allies on the path of ecstatic surrender.
  • Explore the teachings from multiple spiritual traditions that embrace the annihilating power of love.
  • Identify the positive traits that loss draws from you (such as dignity, fearlessness, even humor).

Mirabai will guide you on a profound, tender and sacred journey designed to help you navigate the phases of grief with more grace.

What You’ll Discover in These 12 Weeks

Each weekly, LIVE contemplation and teaching session will build harmoniously upon the next, so that you’ll develop a complete, holistic understanding of the practices, tools and principles you’ll need to navigate the stages of grief in a way that opens you to real spiritual transformation.

Course sessions are on Wednesdays at 5:00pm Pacific.

Module 1: Sitting in the Fire (October 21)

Grief is a natural response to the shattering of the foundation of your life. One of the most powerful forces for radical inner transfiguration is the death of a loved one.

Yet loss takes many forms, and each can be a catalyst for awakening: the ending of a relationship and the circle of friends and family you shared, the loss of a job or career and the community that goes with it, financial security, a serious health diagnosis that reorders your self-image, infertility, innocence. Our culture has conditioned us to get away from painful things, but the world’s wisdom traditions offer us a deeper path, one that invites us to sit in the fire and allow it to transform us.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn somatic practices for being with strong feelings that arise as we explore our losses.
  • Discern between consolation and transformation.
  • Explore the teachings from multiple spiritual traditions that embrace the annihilating power of love.
  • Learn about “disenfranchised grief” and how to give yourself (and others) permission to grieve your hidden losses.
  • Begin to build an altar to your loved one(s) who are gone.

Module 2: Yearning for the Beloved
(October 28)

The 16th-century mystical genius, St. John of the Cross, coined the term “dark night of the soul” and developed a teaching that shows us how to surrender to radical unknowing and allow ourselves to be stripped of all that stands between our souls and the Divine. These and other mystics see deep sorrow as a great spiritual blessing, rather than as a problem requiring a solution.

In this session, you will:

  • Explore the numinous quality that infuses your losses, and access this as a portal to your connection with the Divine.
  • Practice contemplative reading of the poetry of the mystics as a spiritual practice.
  • Learn the love-language from the Song of Songs (Judaism) and the Gita Govinda (Hinduism).
  • Surrender the impulse to mend your brokenness.

Module 3: The Landscape of Loss
(November 4)

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, pioneer of the conscious dying movement, came to see that everyone grieves differently and that science collapses in the face of the mysteries of the heart. There is no map for the landscape of loss, no established itinerary, no cosmic checklist, where each item ticked off gets you closer to success. You cannot succeed in mourning your loved ones. You cannot fail. And yet there are certain common features, and knowing the signposts can help you navigate that wilderness.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn the classic stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.
  • Reframe these stages as spiritual stations.
  • Create a timeline of your losses and look for emerging patterns.
  • Learn about how St. Francis of Assisi walked a path of loss and transformation.

Module 4: Denial as Grace
(November 11)

Denial is not inherently negative. It is, in fact, what saves us from imploding when tragedy strikes. It is a biochemical process that washes through our brains and wraps us in a protective cocoon. It can also be seen as the grace that descends when something terrible happens, the angels that rush in to hold us up as we are hurtling into the abyss. The force of loss can part the veil that separates us from the sacred and grant us fleeting yet transformational access to Reality.

In this session, you will learn to:

  • Yield to the altered state of consciousness that accompanies profound loss, embracing it as an opportunity to detach from the everyday world and abide in a larger field of awareness.
  • Affirm the power of community to respond to a loss and weave a web of support for the bereaved.
  • Identify the positive traits that loss draws from you (such as dignity, fearlessness, even humor).
  • Learn about what current research has to teach us about the effects of trauma on the brain.

Module 5: Isolation as Wisdom
(November 18)

When we lose someone or something we love, we have a tendency to withdraw from the world to protect our shattered hearts. We need time and space to turn inward and assess what has happened. We also may recognize that something holy is going on beneath the surface of the shock and pain, and we are reluctant to be distracted by other people and their opinions about our loss. While the desire for solitude can turn into harmful isolation, it can also be an expression of self-care, and a way of honoring the sanctity of the experience.

In this session, you will:

  • Make a plan to take a day of complete solitude and silence.
  • If you have a tendency to isolate too much, make a plan to sit with a trusted companion and tell them the full story of your loss.
  • Inventory both the obvious and the more subtle ways in which you check out of your experience when the feelings are intense.
  • Learn about Kuan Yin and Tara, and turn to them for refuge.

Module 6: Anger as Protest
(December 2)

Anger is a natural response when something we value is torn from us. Our whole being rises up in protest. Desperate for a place to put the fire, we may lash out and cause harm. Yet when we approach this powerful emotion with loving awareness we can claim the power of the spiritual warrior to cut through illusion and lay the truth bare. Grief may be the first time we experience the ability to set healthy boundaries!

In this session, you will:

  • Make a list of everyone you are mad at with regard to your loss(es).
  • Write a letter of protest to God (or the Divine, the Universe, whatever Higher Power you relate to).
  • Explore the archetype of the Spiritual Warrior across the faith spectrum.

Module 7: Bargaining as Problem-Solving (December 9)

Bargaining can be one of the most vexing aspects of the grief experience. This is that phase where the monkey-mind takes over and you endlessly replay the tape of what happened, in the futile hope that you can make things come out differently. But we cannot think our way through the problem of loss. No amount of righteous indignation, self-recrimination, or wistful “if only’s” will undo reality. The relentless internal monologue can make us feel like we are going insane, but if we are patient with ourselves and remember not to believe everything we think, this process will run its natural course.

In this session, you will:

  • Re-write the script of what happened and create the ending you prefer.
  • Practice self-soothing phrases you can say to yourself when you find yourself kicking your own ass.
  • Learn about well-loved saints and mystics who lost their center, just like you do.
  • Understand that even knowing that this is a natural stage of grief does not make it magically go away.
  • Learn to be compassionate with yourself.

Module 8: Depression as Surrender
(December 16)

When all our efforts to strike a deal with the universe fail, we finally collapse, exhausted and surrender to what is. And “what is” may be really hard to bear. But at this point, there is nowhere left to turn, and so we sink into feeling our feelings at last. We get to be simply sad, without the storyline obscuring the experience. We shift from the head to the heart, and we rest there.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn about what the 16th-century mystic St. John of the Cross meant when he coined the term “Dark Night of the Soul.”
  • Identify times you feel you have experienced the “Night of Sense.”
  • Release the need to know and understand. Embrace the mystery.
  • Practice meditation on groundlessness from Pema Chödrön.

Module 9: Stripped, Shattered & Blessed (January 6)

Rumi says, “The grief you cry out from draws you toward union.” And that’s not all! “Your pure sadness that wants help,” he goes on to say, “is the secret cup.” Do we dare to believe this? Many mystical traditions affirm that the moment we reach out for the Holy One there is an immediate — almost quantum — response. The Beloved longs for us as fervently as we long for the Beloved. The human/Divine relationship is a reciprocal one. The fire of separation burns the boundaries between our souls and our source so that we can reclaim the power of desire.

In this session, you will:

  • Read key passages from John of the Cross on the blessing of the Dark Night.
  • Identify times you feel you have experienced the “Night of Spirit.”
  • Explore the connection between personal loss and longing for the Divine.
  • Learn about other mystical traditions that affirm the necessity of transcending the limitations of the intellect.

Module 10: Acceptance as Integration
(January 13)

Acceptance is not light at the end of the tunnel that signals your grief journey is over. It’s not about glossing over the power of your experience. What happened may never be okay with you, and that’s okay! It is a matter of looking at your loss face to face. It involves taking yourself into your arms and forgiving yourself for being unable to make things be other than they are. The loss may be amputation and that limb may never grow back, but we learn to find a new center of gravity.

In this session, you will:

  • Identify the ways in which you have integrated what happened into the fullness of your life.
  • Notice where you still feel fragmented and split off, and set your intention to reclaim your wholeness.
  • Learn about saints and mystics who have lived with profound loss.

Module 11: Relocation
(January 20)

Once we have come to accept that who and what we loved in physical form is really gone, we are free to cultivate a new, metaphysical relationship. This does not happen all at once, and it is not subject to our ideas about it. Our connection unfolds organically, often quietly, and our task is to grow still enough to recognize the fruits of this love as they ripen and drop into our hands.

In this session, you will:

  • Participate in a guided meditation to access your loved one(s) beyond physical form.
  • Write a love letter to someone you have lost, from a place of renewed connection.
  • Harness the power of your loss to move you more fully into life.
  • Learn about Julian of Norwich and her vision of Christ-the-Mother.

Module 12: This Beautiful Wound
(January 27)

Teresa of Avila spoke about her longing for union with the Beloved as a “beautiful wound” that seared her soul, and yet from which she would never wish to recover. This burning yearning blessed her life. In this age of spiritual cynicism, we are conditioned to repress the devotional impulse and deny the validity of ecstatic experiences. As we integrate our losses and embrace our life, let us reclaim the power of ecstasy as a path home to our true being. From this place of devotion to the Source of all Love, we may find the energy of the heart to help alleviate suffering in this world.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn about the “Transverberation” of Teresa of Avila.
  • Embrace the fire of grief as your connection to your loved one(s), rather than as an ailment to be cured.
  • Make a plan of action for one way you intend to be of service.
  • Compile a list of grief poems, music and films to use as a resource for yourself and others.
  • Complete your altar to your loved one(s).

The Caravan of No Despair Bonus Collection

In addition to Mirabai’s transformative 12-week live online training, you’ll receive these powerful program sessions with some of the world’s leading visionaries and teachers. These bonus sessions are being offered to further complement what you’ll learn in the course — and take your understanding and practice to an even deeper level.

Broken Open
Audio Dialogue with Mirabai & Elizabeth Lesser

Mirabai speaks with renowned author and inspirational speaker, Elizabeth Lesser (frequent Oprah guest and author of Broken Open and Marrow) about Elizabeth’s experience as the donor for her sister’s bone marrow transplant, and companioning her sister as she died a year later. Elizabeth is a gifted storyteller.

Elizabeth Lesser is the co-founder and senior adviser of the Omega Institute, the largest adult education center in the United States, focusing on health, wellness, spirituality and creativity. She is the author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow and A Seeker’s Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure.

For more than 30 years, Elizabeth has studied and worked with leading figures in the fields of healing, spiritual development and cultural change. Her work at Omega has included co-directing the organization, curriculum research, conference weaving, teaching and writing the yearly Omega catalog, a reference book that describes the work of some of the most eminent thinkers and practitioners of our times.

The Many Faces of Loss
Audio Dialogue with Mirabai & Reverend Ted Wiard

Mirabai speaks with her close friend, Reverend Ted Wiard, founder of Golden Willow Retreat for Emotional Healing, about Ted’s transformational experience in losing his entire family and how this impelled him to create a sanctuary for the bereaved in the mountains of New Mexico, where he and Mirabai grew up. Ted will also discuss the ending of a relationship as a profound loss and guide us in how to honor that.

Ted Wiard, LPCC, CGC, is an author, founder and executive director of Golden Willow Retreat. Along with his wife, Marcella, he created Golden Willow from a combined vision of compassion and healing towards all life. Ted is a licensed clinical therapist, certified grief counselor, an ordained minister, a New Mexico certified school teacher and a certified tennis professional. Ted’s passion for working with grief, in it’s many forms, arose from his own personal losses in which he realized there were very few places that offered support and healing from grief. His book, Witnessing Ted: The Journey to Potential through Grief and Loss, is a sensitive guide on the six aspects of grief and the journey to a wiser more authentic life.

Trauma & Transformation
Audio Dialogue with Mirabai & Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

Mirabai speaks with psychologist Dr. Joanne Cacciatore on the effects of traumatic loss. Using a presence and mindfulness based approach, Joanne (founder of the MISS Foundation) has helped thousands of bereaved families honor their children and support one another through unbearable pain and into a life of gratitude and connection.

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore is the founder of the MISS Foundation and currently a professor at Arizona State University. Her area of expertise is traumatic death, specifically child death, and she is an acclaimed public speaker on this topic. Dr. Cacciatore also specializes in counseling those affected by traumatic death and she is a Diplomate in the American Psychotherapy Association. Her work has been featured in major media sources such as People and Newsweek magazines, the New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN, National Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times.

Yoga for Grief & Loss
Audio Dialogue with Mirabai & Karla Helbert

Mirabai speaks with compassionate bereavement care provider, Karla Helbert, whose new book, Yoga for Grief and Loss, helps us engage the tools of yoga to integrate and heal through our losses. Karla engages the full spectrum of yoga practice, from the physical to the spiritual, as a tool for emotional wellness and spiritual growth.

Karla Helbert is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) with a therapy practice in Richmond, Virginia. Karla has worked as a therapist since 2000 and has experience as a psychotherapist, counselor, behavior therapist and group facilitator working with diverse populations of people of all ages, from many different walks of life. Her focus is on loss, grief and bereavement, anxiety management, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and working with people on the Autism Spectrum. She is a certified yoga instructor and an award winning author of two books, Finding Your Own Way to Grieve and Yoga for Grief and Loss.

What Graduates of Mirabai’s Courses
are Saying...

Breathtaking! (read awestruck). The Spirit moved me to register for Reclaiming the Feminine Christ. At the time, I had never heard of Mirabai Starr. What I learned is to trust what I know experientially to the core of my being where the divine animates me. I am here to Be – Love – Belong in service and heal our world... even if that service morphs into a form I never envisioned. I feel grounded and incredibly grateful to be part of an inclusive, worldwide interspiritual community. To be at home with the divine in me: Priceless!
– Kathleen Gibbons Schuck, Blue Bell, PA

I loved this course and didn’t even realize how much I needed it until after we started. Mirabai Starr has the unique ability to create and hold sacred space for others no matter what aspect of the journey they were on. The timing of each module was perfectly orchestrated and the journey we took together was incredible. I leave it feeling blessed to have had such a rich experience of myself and and grateful for having Mirabai as a guide.
– Laura, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Mirabai has shown me through her teachings that the feminine face of God is in the world and beautiful to behold and adore. I am in deep gratitude for the depth of love and acceptance I more fully feel because of her teachings.
– Wendy Langille, Hampton, New Brunswick, Canada

This course draws on a variety of cultural and spiritual traditions. Mirabai is a rich resource on the feminine stories that underpin our understanding about ourselves as women. It deepened my conscious connection to the power of the feminine source.
– Laura, Australia

I truly believe that I am loved and lovable and can hold my head up high for I am a child of the divine feminine and my gifts are needed in the world today.
– Marita Hoffart, Minot, ND

Mirabai is an exquisite teacher and I wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone who is ready for an authentic experience of feminine spirituality.
– Rhonda N., Roanoke, VA

Mirabai has the soul of a poet, the mind of an intellectual and a voice that opens one’s heart.
– Lisa, New Jersey

Mirabai is open, honest, transparent and willing to share deeply from her experience and her heart.
– Patience, Mt. Rainier, MD

Join a Compassionate Global Community

Caravan of No Despair offers some of the most sophisticated online teachings on navigating loss currently available, in a thriving global community of learning and practice.

Join your fellow students and practitioners from across the world in the live interactive conference calls — or in the custom online community — to support and learn from each other, while you expand your paradigm of reality and open your mind.

This international community is also at the leading edge of a movement committed to manifesting a better world for all beings, rooted in an open heart, it stands for the principles of mutual support, cooperation, harmony and reverence for life.

Here’s What You’ll Receive

Twelve 90-Minute Class Sessions with Mirabai Starr

Experience a rare opportunity to be mentored and learn with mystic-scholar and interspiritual teacher Mirabai Starr — from the comfort of your own home. Each class session helps you create the specific skills and abilities to be transformed and safely enter into the heart of the fire of your healing journey.

Twelve Audio Recordings of
Class Sessions

After each class, the audio will be available for you to download in high-quality MP3 format. This way, you’ll never have to worry about missing a session, and you can listen anytime and anywhere — on your iPod, in your car and at your convenience.

Twelve PDF Transcripts of
Class Sessions

In addition to the high-quality MP3 audios, you’ll also receive the entire class transcription in PDF format after each session. This way you can review, print and highlight the most important insights and practices.

Twelve 30-Minute Interactive Group Practice Sessions

Following each class session there will be a live 30-minute interactive practice session. You will be placed in an intimate group with several other participants on the conference call to interact, share and do additional practices to help further integrate the weekly lessons.

Interactive Exercises and Questions for Each Lesson

After each lesson, you will have the option to do related exercises, practice new tools and answer questions in order to accelerate your learning and integrate each week’s lesson.

Online Community

Our exclusive Facebook online community is the perfect place to continue your learning after each class. Here, you can ask additional questions, interact with your fellow students and get access to additional resources to take your learning experience to an even deeper level.

The Caravan of No Despair Bonus Collection

  • The Many Faces of Loss
    Audio Dialogue with Mirabai and Reverend Ted Wiard
  • Trauma & Transformation
    Audio Dialogue with Mirabai and Dr. Joanne Cacciatore
  • Yoga for Grief & Loss
    Audio Dialogue with Mirabai and Karla Helbert
  • Broken Open
    Audio Dialogue with Mirabai and Elizabeth Lesser

An Unprecedented Opportunity to Join in The Caravan of No Despair Live Virtual Training

We at The Shift Network are deeply honored that Mirabai Starr has chosen to partner with us on this live online training. This is a rare opportunity to learn directly from an internationally renowned mystic-scholar and interspiritual teacher whose powerful insights and pioneering work are helping us to understand and navigate grief as a spiritual initiation, one that ultimately can bring us closer to God and our true Self.

Through this powerful online format, you’ll not only save time and money on workshop costs (plus travel, accommodations and meals — which would cost thousands of dollars), you’ll be able to benefit from Mirabai’s teachings and exercises from the comfort of your home — at your own pace!

One of Mirabai’s gifts is her own alchemical journey through grief — and the deep understanding of the process that has come with it. She lives a life grounded in love and creates a teaching environment in which you will feel truly held in a safe and compassionate container as you experience this profound inner journey yourself.

If you want to transform your journey of loss, deepening your being into a new relationship with life and Spirit, then you’ll be well-served to take this unique training.

If you’re ready to take the next step in transforming your heartbreak and growing closer to the Divine, click the register button below to reserve your space now.

More Praise for Mirabai Starr...

Mirabai is an authentic mystic, a true teacher and a wonderful soul. Anyone who comes to her will find their cup will be filled. I recommend her as a person and as a teacher with great confidence and joy.
– Andrew Harvey, Spiritual Teacher and Director

It is with great pleasure and delight that I endorse the work of Mirabai Starr, who I find to be a soul companion as well as a professional colleague. In addition to being a gifted author, Mirabai is blessed with the capacity to inspire others with her wisdom and understanding of mystical theology. I referred to her translations of Teresa of Avila’s great masterpiece, The Interior Castle, while writing my own book, Entering the Castle, because of the excellence of her work. Mirabai is a rare jewel.
– Caroline Myss, Author of Anatomy of the Spirit and Entering the Castle

Mirabai Starr possesses passionate eloquence when speaking about mysticism, making the ineffable tangible and real as eating delicious food that’s good for you.
– Jenny Bird, Singer-songwriter

Mirabai Starr is an extraordinary teacher not because she is so well versed in spiritual teaching — though she is. What makes her teaching so powerful is that her vast spiritual knowledge is rooted in the real experience of being human. Her genius lies in the profoundly humble way she opens her life as a guide to ours. In making this connection she shows us the deep and mysterious spiritual truths that hold all our lives together. A truly gifted teacher, she points us at once to and beyond ourselves. She does all of this with a spirit so light that all who share her presence are also lifted. Oh, did I say that she is also a lot of fun?
– Rev. Bob Thompson, Senior Pastor, Lake Street Church, Evanston, IL

The Ark Bookstore always enjoys Mirabai Starr’s book signing appearances and talks, not only because of her professionalism and gifted speaking ability, but also, (and primarily), because Mirabai’s presence is a manifestation and transmission of her very deep understanding of the spiritual teachings she translates.
– Karin Arielle, The Ark Bookstore, Santa Fe, NM

... Mirabai has a profound respect for our deepest, most ordinary humanity as seekers of Truth. Her presence leaves a residual of joy in the hearts of those she works with, no matter how difficult their lives might be.
– Anne Scott, Author and Spiritual Guide

I have been present during Mirabai Starr’s classes at the University of New Mexico in Taos, on both Philosophy and the theologies of the major world religions... One would expect from such a background that she has gathered and synthesized a dazzling amount of knowledge, but she also brings understanding, and especially compassionate wisdom. These are God-sent gifts that are simply given to her. Her life experiences of suffering and love pour into the cup of different levels of understanding which she offers so generously as a teacher, lecturer, writer and guest speaker. I am enriched and honored by her friendship.
Fr. William Hart McNichols, Iconographer and Roman Catholic Priest

I think the most powerful aspect of being with Mirabai is this: She is keenly respectful of the deep internal beauty that each person brings into a circle or a room or a workshop. She has a way of gently bringing it out into the open so that it is clearly visible to its owner, as well as to the rest of the group.
Judy Langford, Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Washington DC

Mirabai’s words point toward the Ineffable. She has an outstanding gift for language, plus penetrating insight, married to a heart of authentic compassion. Combined, the result is a gentle dynamite for opening and awakening.
Sara Morgan, Psychotherapist and Spiritual Guide

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 six-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. Her newest book is CARAVAN OF NO DESPAIR: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a virtual course?
I have never participated before in an online course. The packaging, presentation, inclusion and Facebook postings created a wonderful, safe cocoon to participate. I haven’t seen a course so well put together ever — not in all the years of taking college classes — and I had my doubts about doing an online course. The wealth of organization and ease of learning materials and support made this fun as well.
– Claudia F., Medford

A: It’s a great way to engage live teachings and each other from the comfort of your home! All you need is a phone line (or an equivalent voice service). If there is more than one person in your household taking the course, you will each need your own line. We use MaestroConference to make it just like an in-person event, where you can ask questions, participate in groups, and deepen your exploration of the course themes.

Please note that dialing MaestroConference from your phone is a regular toll call to California, and your telephone service provider will charge you according to your existing long-distance calling plan. You can also use Skype credit/subscription or Google Voice to dial in to MaestroConference, and you’ll need to use your virtual keypad to enter your PIN and to indicate that you want to ask a question. Other options include calling cards and discount long-distance carriers, and we also have a webcast which is free to use from anywhere in the world.

Q: Can I get benefit from the course if I miss the live classes?
A: Absolutely! You can download the recordings and transcripts of all course sessions from our online media archive, so you never need to worry about missing live calls. You can also engage the full community and leaders on our private community website.

Q: Can you tell me about the Private Course Group?
A: We will have a private community group for all course participants on Facebook that will support you in making connections with others, sharing insights, engaging in discussions, completing homework assignments and exchanging information about events and other activities that can supplement your transformational journey. You’ll have the ability to share your experiences, projects, and growth throughout the Course.

Q: Are there scholarships available for this Training?
A: Yes, we always make a certain percentage of spaces available for partial scholarships, giving preference to those in developing countries or doing important but underpaid work to which they can apply the training material immediately. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please review our guidelines, which include a link to our online application form.

Q: What is your refund policy?
A: Your satisfaction with The Shift Network and this course is our highest priority! We offer a satisfaction guarantee so that you can sample the course risk-free. The deadline to receive a full refund is November 4th, 2015. To request a refund, please click on this refund request form and submit your request. Your refund will be processed within five business days and we'll send you an email confirming your refund. However, we'd love to have a chance to address and resolve your concerns first. If there is something we can assist you with, please email us at support@theshiftnetwork.com, and we'll be happy to help! (No refund requests accepted after the above date or with scholarship awards.)

Q: How can I reach Customer Support?
A: Please visit our Customer Support Center, where you should be able to find the answer to your question or the solution to a problem. And if you can’t, you can submit an online request form and we’ll get right back to you.