Ven. Amy J. Miller: The Meaning of Life

Dharma Event 100216Finding true meaning in life seems to create a deep resonant inner contentment. So how do we get there? Ask yourself, “When I am deeply happy?” This is not just the glee and enjoyment of a beach holiday or one that comes from tasting delicious chocolate.

The meaning of life, although unique for everyone, in its most luminous unveiling, seems to extend beyond the scope of our own self-interest. It involves a fully open hearted experience to face fear, confusion, and other less than generous states of mind with kindness, patience, acceptance, and humor. Then with this greater understanding, we have the potential to offer a fuller manifestation of our fundamental goodness. It then syncs us with 3 spheres of our existence:

  • individual (our relationship with ourselves),
  • community (our relationship with our families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues), and
  • global (our relationship with the planet).

By moving through our pain, we are better equipped to help others in pain; we are no longer denying and escaping, but being with what is as authentically as we can. It is here that we find our connection with unconditional love.


~Amy J. Miller (Ven. Lobsang Chodren) first encountered Tibetan Buddhism in 1987 at Kopan Monastery in Nepal. Since then, she has spent a great deal of time engaged in meditation retreats, study, teaching, and Buddhist center management throughout the world. Prior to meeting the Dharma, Amy was a political fundraiser in Washington, DC and also worked for Mother Jones Magazine in San Francisco, California.

Amy also trained as an emotional support hospice counselor during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco and offers courses and retreats on death and dying and end-of-life care.

A past director of Vajrapani Institute in California and Milarepa Center in Vermont, Amy has also had the good fortune to visit Tibet in 1987 and again in 2001 as a pilgrimage leader for the Institute of Noetic Science in the United States. She has also led pilgrimages to India, Nepal, Bhutan, Darjeeling, and Sikkim for the Liberation Prison Project and Milarepa Center. The next pilgrimage Amy is leading is a trek October 2 – 20, 2017 to Lawudo Retreat Center in the Mount Everest region of Nepal. A 4-day retreat will be included along with a visit to Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s birthplace. See Amy’s website below for more information.

Amy was ordained as a Buddhist nun in June 2000 and has been teaching extensively since 1992. She is the co-author of Buddhism in a Nutshell and a contributor to Living in the Path, a series of online courses produced by FPMT.

Based in the United States, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Amy teaches and leads retreats and pilgrimages around the world. Her teaching schedule and other information can be found at www.AmyMiller.com.

Copyright © 2016 Excellence Reporter

Categories: Buddhism

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