Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation by Mirabai Starr (Author)

On the day her first book came out—a new translation of Dark Night of the Soul by Saint John of the Cross—Mirabai Starr’s daughter, Jenny, was killed in a car accident. “My spiritual life began the day my daughter died,” writes Mirabai. Even with decades of spiritual practice and a deep immersion in the greatest mystical texts, she found herself utterly unprepared for “my most powerful catalyst for transformation, my fiercest and most compassionate teacher.”

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

Mirabai Starr, MA, is an author, translator of the mystics, and a leading voice in the emerging interspiritual movement, using 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; a poetry collection, Mother of God Similar to Fire, a collaboration with iconographer, William Hart McNichols; God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which was named the winner of the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for Religion and one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2012 by the website Spirituality & Practice, and won the 2014 Nautilus Gold Award for Religion and Spirituality in the Western Traditions, and her newest book is Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation.

Daughter of the counter-culture, 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.

Formerly an adjunct professor of philosophy and world religions at the University of New Mexico for 20 years, Starr is a certified grief counselor and speaks and teaches nationally and internationally on the teachings of the mystics, contemplative practice, and grief as a spiritual practice. Her talks and retreats incorporate silent meditation, interspiritual chanting, sacred poetry, and deep dialog. She blogs for the Huffington Post.


Mirabai Starr – Caravan of No Despair – Book Trailer

Join Mirabai Starr as she discusses her new book, “Caravan of No Despair” – a profoundly personal account of her life and her personal exploration of her loss and grief. Produced by – UNM Taos Digital Media Arts.

Sitting with Grief ~ Mirabai Starr

Published on Sep 6, 2016
Mirabai Starr explains how best to accompany grieving.

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