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About Mirabai Starr
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.
Starr is author of the six-volume Sounds True series, Contemplations, Prayers, and Living Wisdom; a poetry collection, Mother of God Similar to Fire, in 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 one of the Best Books of 2012 by the website Spirituality & Practice & won the 2014 Nautilus Gold Award for Religion and Spirituality in the Western Traditions; Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss & Transformation, named one of the Best Books of 2015 by Spirituality & Practice; and Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce & Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics, a longstanding Amazon bestseller, & named one of the best books of 2019 by S&P.
Starr taught Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years and now teaches and speaks internationally on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialog. A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss. Mirabai is on the 2020 Watkins List of the "100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People of the World."
Daughter of the counter-culture, Mirabai Starr was born in New York in 1961 to secular Jewish parents who challenged institutionalized religion and were active in the anti-war protest movement of the Vietnam era. In 1972, the family embarked on an extended road trip that led them to settle in the mountains of Taos, New Mexico. There, they embraced an alternative, "back-to-the-land" lifestyle, in a communal effort to live simply and sustainably, values that remain important to Starr to this day.
As a teenager, Starr lived at the Lama Foundation, an intentional spiritual community in New Mexico that has honored the world's spiritual traditions since its inception in 1968. The foundation's focus has always rested on the mystical heart of each path, and Starr was trained from an early age to recognize and celebrate the interconnections between and among all faiths.
She lives with her extended family in the mountains of northern New Mexico.
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Wild Mercy is essential reading for anyone ready to awaken the feminine mystic within and birth her loving, creative, and untamed power into the world.
“Mystical brilliance at its best.” —Caroline Myss
“No one can take us into the fiery and tender depths of the sacred feminine with more skill, humor, clarity, and vibrant naked honesty than Mirabai Starr.” —Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope and The Return of the Mother
We live in a world that has suffered the abuses of an unbalanced masculine rule for thousands of years—but the feminine is rising. “Seeds of feminine wisdom that have been quietly germinating underground are now breaking through the surface,” writes Mirabai Starr. “Women everywhere are rising to the collective call to step up and repair our broken Earth. And we are activating a paradigm shift such as the world has never seen.”
With Wild Mercy, Mirabai shares the subversive wisdom and fierce compassion of the feminine mystic across cultural boundaries and throughout history. From saints and sages, to goddesses and archetypal energies, to contemporary teachers and seekers—you’ll meet women who blazed a path that will illuminate your own.
Each chapter explores a different facet of feminine mysticism through a tapestry of teachings, reflections, and stories, along with a practice for integrating the chapter’s themes into your own life. As you journey through these pages, you’ll explore:
- Taking refuge in contemplative practice with St. Teresa of Avila and the Shekinah
- Longing, embodiment, and union as the heart of feminine spiritual practice with the Hindu poet Mirabai and Mary Magdalene
- Your relationship with the Earth, motherhood in all its forms, and a loving call to action alongside Gaia and Ix Chel
- Community and the web of life with Indra, the Beguines, and female prophets throughout history
- Wild, playful, and compassionate mercy with Tara and Kuan Yin
- Finding joy in creativity and the arts with Saraswati and Chiyo-ni
- More inspiration from archetypal goddesses and amazing women past and present—Julian of Norwich, the Sufi saint Rabia, Pachamama, Sophia, Old Spider Woman, Hildegard of Bingen, Demeter, Kali, and more
Wild Mercy provides a much-needed alternative to the models of religion and spirituality that have dominated history. Here, Mirabai invites you to welcome the wisdom of women back into the collective field where it may transform the human family, heal the ravaged Earth, and awaken the divine love in our hearts.
A fresh and contemporary translation of one of the best loved and influential mystical texts of all time, The Showings of Julian of Norwich brings the message and spirituality of this 14th century mystic to 21st century readers.
Julian of Norwich, a contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer, was an English anchoress in East Anglia. At the age of 30, suffering from a severe illness and believing she was on her deathbed, Julian had a series of intense visions of Jesus, which she recorded and then expanded on later in her life.
Her message for today's readers is simply this:
- She reveals the feminine face of the Divine and reminds us to see
- All our failings are an opportunity to learn and grow; that they should be honored, but not dwelled upon.
- God's love has nothing to do with love and retribution and everything to do with love and compassion.
- In spite of all appearances, all is well.
"The important thing is not to think much, but to love much, and so to do whatever best awakens us to love." —St. Teresa of Avila
Journey to the 16th century to discover the fiery passion of Saint Teresa of Avila, one of Christianity's most inspiring saints. A tireless reformer and the mentor of Saint John of the Cross, Teresa's greatest legacy is her revelation of ecstatic love for God—a love so powerful that it pierces the heart like a burning sword.
Through illness, hardship, and persecution by the Inquisition, this courageous mystic lit the way with her unquenchable spirit to an "interior castle," a place of unimaginable beauty and light where no darkness can touch us. Saint Teresa of Avila gives you a direct link to the living presence of this brave and gentle woman, to draw upon her strength in your own times of need.
Renowned grief counselor Stephen Levine tells us that long after an initial loss has passed and the period of grieving has ended an unattended sorrow lingers, accounting for a host of physical, emotional and spiritual maladies. It is not uncommon then for those with unresolved grief to lean toward addictions or dangerous behaviors or other forms of self-destruction. In Unattended Sorrow, Levine addresses the grief from fresh loss but also attends to the pain and troubles caused by the unresolved anguish, sadness and delayed stress than can accumulate over a lifetime. He notes that we may never entirely overcome sorrows but we can confront them with mercy and self-acceptance that smooths the path to healing the heart.
After escaping his captors, John fell into a state of profound ecstasy and wrote Dark Night of the Soul. Later, he added an important commentary to his poem to guide other searching souls along the arduous path to communion with God. Here, for the first time, a scholar unaffiliated with the Catholic Church has translated this timeless work. Mirabai Starr, who has studied Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism, lends the seeker’s sensibility to John’s powerful text and brings this classic work to the twenty-first century in a brilliant and beautiful rendering
God of Love is Mirabai Starr’s passionate and personal exploration of the interconnected wisdom of the three Abrahamic faiths. She shares an overview of essential teachings, stories of saints and spiritual masters, prophetic calls for peace and justice, and for the first time in print, deeply engaging narratives from her own spiritual experiences. She guides readers to recognize the teachings and practices that unify rather then divide the three religions, and sheds light on the interspiritual perspective, which celebrates the Divine in all paths. It is Mirabai’s hope that this book will serve as a reminder that a dedication to lovingkindness is the highest expression of faith for all three religions.
EARLY REVIEWS FOR God of Love
Mirabai Starr takes us out dancing with the One. God of Love is a confluence of the currents of Judaism, Islam and Christianity all emptying into the great ocean of Love.”
Ram Dass, Author Be Here Now
In a time of division between people, this book which is a masterful blend of research, storytelling, poetry, and memoir is like a sacred magnet, pulling on the spiritual heart of all seekers.”
Elizabeth Lesser, Cofounder, Omega Institute; Author, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow
Mirabai Starr writes of the divine from a luminous gene inherited by only a few. We hear The True Song in each word she attributes to the holy. It is more than just her song; it is the Melody of the Spheres translated by an astute musician. We are always touched by the genuine in her call to the reader to love and love well, to see with the sacred eye of beauty.”
-Ondrea & Stephen Levine, Authors Embracing the Beloved
"Mirabai's book has brought me great consolation."
-Daniel Berrigan, S. J. activist-priest; Author, No Gods but One
This book brilliantly reminds us that in the heart of the Abrahamic traditions there burns a singular divine flame.”
-Rev. Robert V. Thompson, Author A Voluptuous God
A wonderful and perfect’ book. Highly recommended.”
-Rabbi David A. Cooper, Author God Is a Verb
[God of Love] will expand your vision and inspire your search; I recommend it with great joy.” -Andrew Harvey, Author The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
At home in the three great Abrahamic traditions, Mirabai Starr takes us on a deeply personal journey 'Toward the One,' exploring aspects of the 'God of Love' as seen through the eyes of Jewish, Christian and Muslim mystics. This is a book which will delight the seeker of sacred connections between these traditions and those who look forward to a day when Jerusalem, the city shared by all these faiths, will be a house of prayer for all people."
-Reb Netanel Miles-Yepez, Co-Author A Heart Afire: Stories and Teachings of the Early Hasidic Masters
With Caravan of No Despair, Mirabai shares an irreverent, uplifting, and intimate memoir of her extraordinary life journey. Through the many twists and turns of her life—including a tangled relationship with a charlatan-guru, her unexpected connection with the great Christian mystics, and the loss of her daughter—Mirabai finds the courage to remain open and defenseless before the mystery of the divine. “Tragedy and trauma are not guarantees for a transformational spiritual experience,” writes Mirabai Starr, “but they are opportunities. They are invitations to sit in the fire and allow it to transfigure us.”
When a small village was plagued by a wild wolf, it is told that a humble friar named Francis came and met the predator with nothing but his gentle words—and turned the wolf from a menace to a welcome citizen. This graceful man, who spoke to each part of Creation as a sister or brother, has become one of the most beloved of all saints.
In both joy and adversity, Saint Francis served as a bold example of how to live completely and authentically as a follower of Christ. From his survival as a prisoner of war to the series of awakenings that helped him to reform the Catholic Church, Francis drew his strength from his miraculous, loving union with the natural world.
Saint Francis of Assisi is an essential devotional reader for building your personal connection to the spirit of this modest Italian sage. Through stories, prayers, and his own writings, you are invited to share in Francis's nourishing devotion to God, and in his profound compassion toward all living things.
When the humble friar Juan de Yepes felt despair creeping into his heart after months of imprisonment, he cried out to God: "Where have you hidden, my Beloved?" Today, we can hear the answer to his plea in his transcendent poetry and prose, which stand as eternal testaments to Saint John's faith, insight, and courage in dark times. His uplifting masterpieces, such as "The Spiritual Canticle" and Dark Night of the Soul, are revered by spiritual masters of every tradition.
In Saint John of the Cross, you are invited to enter into the mind and heart of one of contemplative Christianity's greatest visionaries. Through his writing and poetry, John of the Cross shares his wisdom for how we can abide in pure presence, which paths we can follow to bring clarity and peace to our souls, and how we can nurture a love that can transform even our most painful trials into an ecstatic communion with God.
THE RENOWNED TEACHER AND AUTHOR'S SPIRITUAL MEMOIR, AS TOLD THROUGH HIS LIFELONG ENCOUNTERS WITH ANIMALS AND NATURE
“I love this book. It feels like a secret treasure bequeathed by Stephen Levine to be opened after his death—an overflowing vessel of insight, humor and literary genius. Animal Sutras may be the best book Stephen Levine ever wrote.” —Mirabai Starr, Wild Mercy
“Stephen was a profound healer of the heart, writer and meditation teacher. In Animal Sutras, his other gifts shine, as a wise poet-naturalist and Dharma storyteller-philosopher, offered here in a lyrical, quirky, playful, and inviting collection.” —Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart
For Stephen Levine, “animal-people” were his greatest teachers. So, at age seventy, he began collecting animal spirit stories and transcendent moments in nature from throughout his life—from the green snake who taught him to meditate as a boy to the generous hen whom predators would not harm, and many more. “Animals have a natural mindfulness,” Levine writes. “They know what they are doing. Humans, who are full of confusion and seldom wholly in touch with their mind/body, need encouragement and technique to live in the present.”
Stephen Levine (1937–2016) was an American poet, author, and spiritual teacher best known for his work, with his wife Ondrea, on death and dying. He is one of a generation of pioneering teachers who made Theravada Buddhism more widely available to students in the West. Like the writings of his colleague and close friend Ram Dass (formerly Richard Alpert), Levine’s work is also flavored by the devotional practices and teachings of the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba. Levine spent many years in the Southwest, including one tending a wildlife sanctuary in southern Arizona, and among the mountains of New Mexico, where Ondrea still lives. His many books include Who Dies?, A Year to Live, Unattended Sorrow, and Healing into Life and Death.