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.”
In 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.
Mirabai Starr is an adjunct professor of philosophy and world religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos. As a teenager, Starr lived at the Lama Foundation, an intentional spiritual community that has honored all the world’s faith traditions since its inception in 1967. At Lama she encountered many of the leading teachers and timeless traditions of diverse spiritual paths: Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, Jewish, Christian, and Native American. This ecumenical experience was formative in the universal quality that has infused her work ever since. Starr is best known to readers for her acclaimed translations of Dark Night of the Soul by John of the Cross, and The Interior Castle and The Book of My Life by Teresa of Avila.