Excellence Reporter: Dr. Miller, what is the meaning of life?
Richard C. Miller: To live from, and related to everyone and everything from “heart-centered presence of being” is my answer to the inquiry, “What is the meaning of life.”
As heart-centered presence, I feel myself connected to myself, to everyone, and to everything around me. Especially with eyes closed, but even with eyes wide open, as heart-centered presence I feel how I am both a local and nonlocal presence that feels everywhere and nowhere specific. And when I fully stop and experience my presence of being, I feel how ‘it’ and ‘I’ am beyond time, space, and lack, need or want. I feel how heart-centered presence of being has been — and is always here — independent of all states and circumstances. I’ve come to realize that living from presence gives rise to 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. 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 each day, as I imagine I will at the end of my life, I enjoy 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, purpose and value, for me, is based in how I nourish and live these qualities of love, kindness, speaking 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 experience my innate and spontaneous 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 dissolve 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 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 founder of iRest 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, Integrative Restoration – iRest, 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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