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Mindful : December 2016
Our most magnetic emotion can pull us onto the right path and show us what we really need. But first we have to lay the ground for passion to grow. Passion Rules By Mirabai Bush Illustrations by Asia Pietrzyk One morning in early May of 2006, I sat drink- ing strong coffee on the patio of the Maison Dupuy in New Orleans. Feeling the sun on my skin and listening to the sound of a nearby piano, I read from Andrei Codrescu, “This is the time when the part of you that is music over- comes the part of you that is silence.” Indeed. Sun and jazz and water falling from a fountain of stone dolphins ridden by small naked water children. Cupids with harps. Wrought iron balconies, like fine Indian filigreed jewelry. The part that is music—six months after Hur- ricane Katrina. There was no way I couldn’t come to this first International Jazz Festival after Katrina—an event that almost didn’t happen this year. One of my life passions is seeking out opportunities to experience the growth, wonder, and delight of being among people who are different from me; realizing how much we humans all share in common while marveling at our differences. New Orleans embodies this better than any- place I know. There, a gumbo of ages, races, and ethnicities co-exist and intermingle probably better than any other place on Earth. The energy and synergy created in this melt- ing pot is infectious. Who can resist the intox- icating combination of music, food, and art; of Allen Toussaint and Laissez les bons temps rou- ler; of sweet, sticky air and the brackish breeze off Lake Pontchartrain? The previous day’s concert was a joyous confirmation of this fact: More than 100,000 people flocked to the still-dazed city—a fierce show of support and commitment that said, Yes, we can overcome. With a neighborly openness I came to expect there, a g uy at the next table said hello and asked me what I do. When I told him I teach mindful- ness, his response was immediate. “That’s not for me,” he said. “I don’t want to be mindful. I am a passionate person. I don’t want to lose that. → Mirabai Bush is an author, teacher, and cofounder of the Center for the Contemplative Mind. December 2016 mindful 57 emotions