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Mirabai Bush – Mindfulness In Business & Work Life

Mindfulness In Business & Work Life

For over 20 years Mirabai Bush has organized, facilitated and taught retreats, workshops and courses on spirit in action. She teaches contemplative practices and creates and develops programs applying contemplative principles and values to organizational life.

She is co-founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and co-creator of Google’s ‘Search Inside Yourself’ program.

In this interview Mirabai talks about the key principles and practices that create a more mindful workplace. You’ll learn some very practical tips for bringing mindfulness into your work and ways to ground through mindfulness, even on a very busy day.

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Show Notes

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Check out Melli’s blog, events and retreats at MrsMindfulness.com

You can learn more about Mirabai and her programs and books at www.mirabaibush.com




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100 Responses

    1. Kimble Perry

      This session, linked with yesterday’s, was thought provoking. I have been eneterprising all my life and also taught language courses for various professions and businesses. I helped develop a wide selection of business skills while grounding their language skills. Last year I had thought to offer the business realm my “encore career” skills as a psychotherapist . After seeing how this relationship was interpreted by both my professions governing body and the work place contract, I took a step back and away.
      The stress of the work place is self-inflicted and out of synch with the reality that employees’ actually live in, meaning, growing families, aging parents, personal interests, creativity just to mention a few. This rhythm is unnatural in its daily manifestation because actually, work has reached the fevered pitch of an EMERGENCY state of doing and being. Growth is stopped whether it be inner or outer, continuity of rapport and relationships is fractured as people get shifted around or fired, In general, employees find themselves reacting and not responding throughout the day; black and white absolutes are the daily fare, From what I hear you saying, a comprehensive transparent series of mindfulness programs could erode this false emergency which has so compromised mental health in the workplace. Yet, the only people in the UK who are offered these seminars are the managers, leaving the single dispensible employee to deal with stress as best they can, for as long as they precariously hold their jobs.

  1. christina wat

    Few key learnings I want to share :
    1. Mindful listening
    2. Mindful speaking
    3. Mindful practices at work

    Great ideas if we can practice them in a discipline manner.

  2. Martin Benny

    QUESTION: How focusing on breathing and coming back again and again on breathing is a good way to improve openness, receptiveness, curiosity and flexibility? (Definitions below) At first sight, it seems surprising! Thank you very much and have a great day!

    “Consciously bringing awareness to your here-and-now experience, with openness, interest and receptiveness.” (The Happiness Trap)

    “Paying attention with openness, curiosity and flexibility.”

    1. Bryan Caranto

      Thanks for the wonderful talk. I really am proud of what Mirabai has done and contributed not only to her country but also to the world. And of course, I wouldn’t have known all this without this mindfulness summit so I am extending my gratitude to Melli!

  3. Maxine

    Appreciate the incredible effort and time you’ve put into this summit. It is a great way to wake up each morning–getting inspired by some of the greatest Mindfulness educators on the planet. Congratulations, Melli. You are making a difference.

  4. I didn’t know about Mirabai, and I’m glad you interviewed her. I got a lot of take-aways and learned much about everyday mindfulness.

    Melli–I think you are getting your wish with this summit. This has definitely been life changing for me!

  5. Marie Berthe+Lirette

    Hi I am enjoying this with great inspiring life changing committements on my part. Soon to be retired, I now see my time spent breathing again. Since I live in a french speaking community in New Brunswick Canada, I was wondering if you could give me the appropriate french translation of the word * Minfulness* as I do want to spread the word ! Thanks again, I am grateful to have found your summit!

  6. Tobias Schreiber

    Thank you for the living history of one ray of mindfulness as she shines and continues to bless and enlighten the space . Mirabai is such a joy. Melli I appreciate your sharing this mindfulness Summit.

  7. Anthony Hurdidge

    To Mirabai and Melli, thank you for another great talk, this summit has been a breath of fresh air for me, I am learning so much about myself that I want to share it with others. It is an amazing journey.

    Melli, thank you for your final comments about taking the mindfulness concept to others, I have just signed up for a Mindfulness Course, here in the Uk. I have been sharing the ideas from the summit with a few people, who are interested in mindfulness.

  8. Inbal Halali+Blass

    Thank you so much! This summit is a great inspiration for “being the change we want to see in the world” (Gandhi). Melli- I bow with deep appreciation to the kind intentions and true generosity that show throughout this amazing project. I loved Nim Karoli Baba’s instruction to Mirabai: “Love everyone and serve everyone. May the fruits of all of our intentions bring true liberation and love to countless people and being!!! Toda Raba from Jerusalem (“Thank you very much” in Hebrew :))

  9. Kathleen Rutkowski

    Thanks to Melli for putting together this wonderful event and for your thoughtful questions. Thanks to Mirabai for your wonderful insights into mindfulness in organizations.

  10. SueAnne Ding

    Since this subject was touched on at thr interview,
    Melli, I am a housebound patient sufferring from chronic condition for which I realised my main problem is manifestation of ill feelings. drugs were merely controlling my condition and not helping.
    I realised I must learn to “let go” to finally have my body heal itself. So I have been on the quest to learn meditation successfully. But being house bound, unable to go for retreats or even join buddhidt temples early meditation, I had no resource or money to properly start.
    This retreat served me as a GREAT GUIDED INTRODUCTION at freedom of my own desired timing that fits my treatment regimes, at the comfort of my own home without fearing peoples eyes on me in my condition.

    I want you to know how needed this is for people like me. I cant thank you enough Stranger!

  11. Min

    Thank you so much for organising this summit. I have been enjoying the talks at the end of my day and have gained much more wisdom and knowledge about mindfulness than I have thought at the beginning of this journey. ^_^

    – From Singapore

  12. Jim Bright

    Yet another interesting, well structured talk in which I learned a lot. I really like Melli’s interview style and on the days we don’t get to see her asking the questions I feel like there is something missing. That’s not to say those days don’t also have excellent lessons from the experts. I anticipate a feeling of sadness when the summit finishes (I know, that’s not very mindful!). But there will be something missing in the day. Luckily I have lots to listen to, having now purchased audio books from the likes of Sam Harris, Prof Mark Williams and of course Jon Kabat-Zinn ! And we still have sources to tap from the likes of the Sounds True team and all the other great speakers we have been treated too.
    Thanks everyone who has spent time creating the summit, you are truly changing the world from the inside out…one person at a time 🙂

    1. Julie Myers

      I hear what you are saying Jim. I’m going to miss the summit when it is over as well. The amount of different perspectives and ways of integrating mindfulness has just been fascinating.

  13. agi smith

    Hi Melli,

    Agi here in Napa . I haven’t missed a day of the summit and I truly feel a noticeable difference in my life. Others around me have said they notice something different about me too. Feeling continuous gratitude.

    1. Jenny wade

      Me too Agi. I feel so much lighter and able to see connections to others in a curious and grateful way. I have created the space to listen to this everyday and I am learning so much. All layering on top of the profound thought that resonated from the day before. Thanks Melli and Matt and all the speakers so far. love love love

  14. vivianita171@hotmail.com

    I have two questions for the Q&A session:

    1. Do Skilled meditators still l catch themselves being in automatic pilot? Do they still have these moments in which they feel they got disconnected?
    2. What can I do if a have thoughts of great ideas during meditation?

    Thank you,


  15. Helen

    A very uplifting interview. So interesting to discover how the whole Mindfulness movement started out. Thank you so much Mirabai. You have made such a difference to people’s lives.

  16. Darren

    “You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”

    ― Marianne Williamson

    “Mirabai has led her life responding to the speed and fear that drives much of American life and thought with programs for developing a culture of reflection, insight, compassion and wisdom. Having studied with contemplative teachers from diverse traditions, she has focused on the interdependence of social change and individual consciousness, and the potential for reforming secular institutions through practices that once existed only behind monastery walls.

    She has led a diverse network of leaders from most every sector of American life to systematically explore the potential contribution of contemplative practices on American civil life and learning: insight and creativity, compassion and civic engagement, and an awareness of the interconnection of life on earth. The practices–meditation, yoga, deep listening, lectio divina, and others–are drawn from diverse wisdom traditions and adapted to programs specifically designed for each sector: higher education, law, business, journalism, environment, biotech sciences, youth leadership, government, and philanthropy. Her teaching and program development focus on the interconnection of the personal, institutional, and political realities of our lives.”


    I’m involved in a second mindfulness-based course. Again, this coursework mirrors the teachings of all who’ve been guests here at the Mindfulness Summit, particularly today’s guest, Mirabai Bush.

    I’m no Buddhist. In fact, I’ve not felt very welcome in institutionalized anything (religion included) for quite some time. But, I can say that the work that is coming to the secular world from Buddhist concepts, such as mindfulness, have earned my respect.

    Buddhism may be too much for most to swallow whole, but the truth of Buddhist practice, in my experience, suggest that from this root, Buddhism, we find our most helpful constructs from which to work with our minds.

    The Buddha, in my view, is our first (and best) psychologist; the best to this day the earth has ever known.

    Ms. Bush touched on the ‘Eight-Fold Path’ today: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/8foldpath.htm

    If we have the will to work with our thinking, we have the path to changing our being. This is the greatest take-away from todays blessing, for me.

    “Love Everyone, And Serve Everyone.” ~ Mirabai Bush, Mindfulness Summit/2015

    Thank you again, so very much.

    Be Well.

  17. Ed Reifel

    Melli, thanks so much for all of these. I look forward to it every day and it’s always, in some way, grounding. I’ve taken so much away from these sessions, even having been a devoted mindfulness practitioner for years now. I really appreciate you putting this all together. ‘Not’ looking forward to the next one. (ha ha)

  18. Katie Kovach

    This was indeed quite lovely. Being a stay at home mom and rather unconventionally employed, I didn’t think I would take much away from this one. I was pleasantly surprised by the rich stories and how applicable the mindfulness lessons are to everyone, not just business and work life. Thank you for such an authentic and personal interview.

  19. lilly painter

    This summit has enriched my life tremendously.
    Kudos to you Melli, for your leadership.
    Grateful to your guests for everything I have learned.
    As a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism who chants
    Nam myoho renge kyo, I will apply what I have learned here and enrich
    my daily BUddhist practice even more so.
    Thank you so very much.

  20. Eric Dugas

    A speach full of kindness and interesting informations. I have a little bit of problem with the idea of mindfulnss at the work place, because I can imagine that it could be used as a kind of manipulation to make people work in a most efficient way as the principal objective and also because I find it difficult to associate the great values that goes around the meditation and the values that are not always compatible with them in some work places. But, with this interview, I completely felt and believed that it may also be used for the well being of everybody, with the main idea that work is a part of life and being mindfull at work is a way to have a better life, for every person .

  21. Banu Kanibelli

    It was another inspiring and transforming conversation. Melli thank you for this great effort. You are enabling all this pour down to us from many different perspectives and directions. And another thing that came to my mind… Why don’t you have a 32nd additional day, where somebody else interviews you! We would be more than delighted to learn about your story and how this one month transformed you too.

  22. Marjorie

    Hey Melli, I just want to thank you so much for all the wonderful project that this summit is! So many good speakers, great content and you just look an amazing person! Thank u for you give the chance to follow the interviews for free and help mindfulness spread all over the world. =)

  23. anicolville12478758

    Deep bows to you both, and hugs and many warm and happy days. and to dear Vivianita, I always have a pencil and paper near me when I am meditating so I can note down any wonderful thoughts or ideas and then I can return to my meditation.

    Thank you Mellie for this wonderful summit


  24. Jim Bright

    I noticed The Body Shop was mentioned. This was actually a UK business started by the late Anita Roddick. She was also a pioneer in ethical business and did a huge amount of good work for charity while running the successful business. She had done a great amount of work raising awareness of environmental issues and also, to quote wikipedia “was involved in activism and campaigning for environmental and social issues, including involvement with Greenpeace and The Big Issue.” The reason I mention this is because she lived locally to where I lived at the time and I even met her when she came to give a talk about the environment at my school in the early 1990s.

    Just thought I’d give a thought to her and all the good work she did in her life, since The Body Shop got a mention.

    Thanks to pioneers such as these and of course the wonderful Mirabai Bush for all the good work she has done over the years. Truly inspirational 🙂

  25. josie scott

    I’m living in a remote location – certainly as far as training opportunities go, and so the access to this summit is fantastic…have been connecting in every day and now find myself thinking “oh no, what will I do when it finishes”! At least I am aware that I’m having that thought! Thanks once again.

  26. Helena Saray

    Thank you Melli and Mirabai for a wonderful insightful conversation! Thank you Mirabai for sharing your journey, history, and hear about your continuous work. Very inspirational!

    It was also nice to hear an acknowledgement from Mirabai that all these wonderful practical practices that’s happening now around the world has it’s roots in rich history in various teachings and practices for ages and ages…and it was nice to hear Mirabai touch upon some of that history briefly. And what is so wonderful and amazing to me is what each generation brings or adds to these teaching and practices with their great enthusiasm, their own knowledge, and uplifting energy, thus continuing to infiltrate this awakening, practice, and beingness into the mainstream to impact global change for the good.

    Thank you Melli and Team for being part of that!

  27. Jo-Anna Roberts

    Your summit is a huge success Melli. You have created an accessible adventure for all of us around the world who are joining you every day. Thank you! And this was a great talk to show how mindfulness has got to the point of entering the ‘mainstream’. It’s been a long journey with contributions from so many amazing people (many of whom have spoken during your wonderful summit). Great to hear about mindfulness in the everyday context of the workplace – even if Google is not so everyday!

  28. Karen Glass

    Been joining you every day from the atumn sunshine in glasgow. Such a wide range of speakers and all so inspiring. Great to hear a bit of the history from the early days especially today as i circulated the Mindful nation preliminary report of the All pary parliamentary group report supporting the development of mindfulness approaches in public service organisations including health, education, workplaces and the judiciary in the UK. Mirabai’s advice and experience is very relevant to us as we choose what emphasis is helpful for managers and busy clinicians to emable them to give it a go. Thanks

  29. Rachel

    Just want to thank you again Melli for taking the time and effort in putting this all together and sourcing such thought- provoking speakers. I appreciate you including those of us who would not normally be able to afford access to all of this.

  30. sarah

    It’s a fantastic summit, and incredible teachings, Thank you for creating this, I’m learning so much, spreading and sharing the teachings, the ripples continue xxx Really inspiring life and purpose, it was great to hear from Mirabai about her life and journey, what an incredible soul xxx

  31. sarah

    Thank you for this fantastic summit, and incredible teachings, Thank you for creating this, I’m learning so much, spreading and sharing the teachings, the ripples continue xxx Really inspiring life and purpose, it was great to hear from Mirabai about her life and journey, what an incredible soul xxx

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