using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : November 2018
bats blindness, largely in Asia. Seva was initially the brainchild of Larry Brilliant, who’d helped lead the groundbreaking WHO smallpox eradication program, but it was brought to fruition by an eclectic team that included Bush, Ram Dass, and the activist– clown Wavy Gravy. “We wanted to give back to India and Nepal,” Bush explains. “We felt like not only the teachers we met there, but also the countries and cultures had supported us beautifully in our time of discovering the dharma.” Steve Jobs—not yet famous—donated the first five thousand dollars. “In the beginning,” says Bush, “we mostly raised money with rock and roll, with the Grateful Dead as our house band and Ram Dass giving talks.” Fast forward to today and Seva has given the gift of sight to nearly four million people and has championed a number of other significant initiatives, including the Seva Guatemala Project, which Bush directed for ten years. Flowing from their work with Seva, Bush and Ram Dass wrote their first book together, Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service. The book, she explains, “explores the roles of the helper and the person being helped, and the impor- tance of seeing beyond the role so you’re just two humans on the planet together. We’re all interconnected. If I help to relieve your suffering then I’m also relieving my own.” By the early nineties, the Seva team saw that contemplative practices such as medita- tion and yoga were being embraced by wider society to enhance health and healing. They began investigating if these practices could benefit other sectors. After two years, the arm of Seva doing this trailblazing exploration split off and became the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. Bush was a cofounder who served as executive director until 2008, and with her at the helm the center developed programs in education, law, business, and activism. “We eliminated obstacles,” says Bush, anything that might prevent people from engaging in contemplative prac- tice. “So, we’d invite a group from whichever sector and we’d hold retreats where they had their own bathroom, comfortable beds, and they could sit in chairs to meditate if they wanted.” It was made clear to participants that contemplation isn’t owned by any one tradition. The retreats spaces were not overt- ly identified with a particular religion, and—though the retreats tended to rest on a foundation of Buddhist practice—teachers from various traditions taught, including Judaism and Christi- anity. The emphasis was on getting the most skilled teacher. “We didn’t want people to reject the practices because the teacher wasn’t very good or because they didn’t like just eating rice and vegetables or sharing a bathroom,” says Bush. “We knew that if the practice worked for them in the beginning then it was going to grow.” Bush learned it was important to tailor the language to each particular sector. For example, she says, “The environmentalists talked about the inner habitat, and the journalists talked about listening to their own story.” For lawyers, “I’d ask questions like, ‘Could you be compassionate for the client on the other side and at the same time be a zealous advocate for your own client?’ Many didn’t think that was possible, but we’d do compassion Above left: For ten years Bush led the Seva Foundation’s project to help villagers victimized by the Guatemalan civil war. “They had nothing—no tools, no money, no food,” she remembers. “And they were amazing.” Above right: Google’s Search Inside Yourself program, which Bush helped develop. It focuses on mindfulness and emotional intelligence. Right: Remember those rainbow and mandala stickers from the 1970s? Mirabai and John Bush created them, and sold millions. LION’S ROAR | NOVEMBER 2018 62