Richard C. Miller: The Meaning of Life and the Wholeness of Being

RM Window 12.5 SnapshotNicolae Tanase: Dr. Miller, what is the meaning of life?

Richard C. Miller: Living from the “wholeness of being” is my answer to the inquiry, “What is the meaning of life.”

As the wholeness of being, I feel myself: everywhere and nowhere specific, as a local and nonlocal presence. As being I feel myself beyond time, space, and lack, need or want. I can feel how my wholeness of being has been — and is always here — independent of all states and circumstances I’m experiencing through my body and mind. I’ve come to realize that the wholeness of being is the fountainhead of my felt-sense of meaning, value and purpose; qualities that are independent from what I’m doing, not doing, feeling, thinking, perceiving, or experiencing.

The words I’m using here are conceptual pointers to my lived-experience as being. And my life has meaning only to the degree that I’m fully living each moment — non-intellectually — from the wholeness of being.

At the end of my life, I look forward to looking back and asserting, “I lived. I loved. I laughed. I served. I spoke from truth. I took risks. I was authentic. I kept learning. I kept inquiring.”

Meaning, for me, is based in how I nourish and live these qualities of love, kindness, speaking the truth, and living authentically — in my relationships with myself, my wife, children, friends, workmates, peers, students, and with all those I meet in the marketplace.

Meaning arrives as I reflect on the quality of thoughts that occupy my mind, and the quality of loving kindness that is present within myself — right now; a few moments ago; and throughout my day.

Meaning arrives as I nourish my ability to “be,” and remain grounded, with my heart open, and my actions authentic amidst doing, working, playing, writing, talking, eating, resting.

In the future, when I close my eyes for the last time and the outer world fades away, I trust I will fall into being, and being love. This is how I’m living each moment. I wonder, how are you living your moments?


~Richard C. Miller, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, author, researcher, yogic scholar and spiritual teacher who, for the past 46 years has devoted his life to integrating western psychology and neuroscience with the ancient nondual wisdom teachings of Yoga, Tantra, Advaita, Taoism, and Buddhism. Richard is the founding president of the Integrative Restoration Institute, co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, founding editor of the peer reviewed International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and a founding member and past president of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology.

Author of iRest Meditation, The iRest Program for Healing PTSD, and Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga, Richard also serves as a research consultant studying the nondual meditation protocol he’s developed, researching its efficacy on health, healing, and well-being with diverse populations that include veterans, women rescued from human trafficking, youth, the homeless, and the incarcerated with issues such as sleep, PTSD, pain and chemical dependency, as well as research on iRest’s efficacy for enhancing resiliency and well-being. Richard leads international trainings and meditation retreats on the integration of enlightened living into daily life.

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Categories: Psychology, Spirituality, Yoga

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