Spiritual Psychology for Innately Spiritual Humans is a No Brainer cover

Spiritual Psychology for Innately Spiritual Humans is a No Brainer

Dr. Lisa Miller invites you to unlock your spiritual potential on a mind bending journey through the dimensions of spirit and science.

More enlightening moments from a riveting Deadly Departed interview with host Jock Brocas and trailblazing psychologist Dr Lisa Miller. Bringing spirituality to the forefront of scientific inquiry with powerful evidence that validates how normal the paranormal really is and why humans are innately spiritual.

A bold new paradigm for health, healing and resilience

Dr Lisa Miller, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Clinical Psychology Program at Columbia University Teachers College and the founder of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute, the first Ivy League graduate program in spiritual psychology. Her groundbreaking book The Awakened Brain gifts us with a comprehensive unveiling of spiritual neuroscience, the mysteries of consciousness and her illuminating personal story of awakening.

Aptly described as a bold new paradigm for health, healing and resilience, Dr Lisa Miller’s ‘hands-on’ book also shows us why the awakened decision is the better decision, the awakened brain is the healthier brain and the awakened life is the inspired life.

Spiritual Path Talking Points

  • How painful experiences serve as gateways to spiritual growth and awakening
  • Longing for a child and coming to terms with the haunting possibility of infertility
  • Deep despair leads to paying attention to the loving and guiding universe
  • Encountering an ultimate, sacred presence
  • Belief in the existence of spiritual beings called ‘trail angels’ sent by God
  • How significant challenges and moments of uncertainty shaped their understanding of parenthood and unconditional love
  • Recognition of synchronicities, guidance and love received from a divine force
  • How a Lakota healing ceremony marked a major turning point
  • An extraordinary blessing

Painful experiences are gateways to spiritual growth

Dr Lisa Miller: As a scientist… it was important to me that The Awakened Brain be about a personal journey, about the deep hard data of our lived inner experience, every bit as much as the outward science. And so, The Awakened Brain is really about my journey on a spiritual path, as we all have a spiritual path, and how some of the most painful times in our lives… are actually the gateway to a spiritual awakening.

Dr Lisa Miller: I, like many people in my thirties, wanted to start a family. And my husband and I, at that point, had done everything by the book that we had wanted, to set up our lives in a sort of outward way… He was working as a lawyer in New York. We had an apartment, and we had friends. And I had made my way through a PhD program and was now clinical psychologist…

I sort of pulled the cord…Now. Now is time. We will start our family. As if humans made life. Right? So, there we were, and we started to, so called try, as we understood it at that time. And after this went on for about 6, 8, 10 months, I started to get this haunting feeling, like, wait a minute, what if we can't conceive? You know? And it was so horrifying to me that I pushed it out of my mind…

I wondered in my heart if we were in the wrong place

Dr Lisa Miller: I went further down this path and further down this path, and we started to feel… not just disappointed, but after a while, a longing, depression…You just hit rock bottom. We said, okay, let's get help. So, we went to an excellent fertility doctor on the upper west side where we were living. No baby. We thought, let's search the northeast. I'm a clinical scientist. Let's find the highest rates of conception. We went to that office. No baby.

And as we went further down this path, IUI, IVF, second IVF, I started to get this haunting feeling that, you know, the message from doctors was, you're healthy you're healthy. We can get you pregnant. Again, the human control, implicit in all this. But I shared and wondered in my heart if we were in the wrong place. It just didn't feel that it was our path, if this is where we were being called.

But this hunger to have a child was so great that I kept going. And I said, let's go to the people who invented IVF… And there we were, pretty despairing, pretty depleted, but hopeful. My heart still knew it was inauthentic. Our path was inauthentic for us.

Recognizing spiritual interventions

So, sitting there post IVF…they put the fertilized eggs back in…My husband being very sweet, he sat beside me in solidarity on bed rest… We splurged for a very nice hotel in Rittenhouse Square. We click the remote…and on the TV there's only one channel…so we're clicking, clicking one channel… the only choice we might watch was an excruciating, 4 hour documentary on an orphan…

We're on our 7th in vitro, third team, trying to get pregnant. Human control. Pulling out the stops. And what comes back to us from the universe is the voice of a little orphan, through a translator, standing in a garbage dump. And he says, I don't care that I live in the trash. He's literally living in trash. I don't care that I can't go to school but it hurts so much to not be loved. I sniff glue to make the pain go away of not being loved. The orphan said all I want is love.

So, here we are on this really kind of, you know, solipsistic. Let's get that baby that has, you know, your looks and your humor and… my resilience and… let's get that baby that's us in a very material sense and a very human control sense, like air traffic control to control the variables.

And the universe says… This boy could have been your child. All he needed was love, and all you needed was a child. He could have not been living in a garbage jump in pain, and you could have not been on this, now, 3 and a half, 4 year journey. So, the message is pretty clear. And my husband, who is really the sort of gracious civilian in this journey, looks over at me and says, you know, there's a child out there for us. Wow… We knew. And once we got that picture, we started to see more and more helpers and healers showing up on our road of life.

Surrendering to the divine

Jock Brocas: More and more…. synchronicity started coming in tenfold from the other side.

Dr Lisa Miller: Absolutely. The most glorious, of course, is…my mother…she may not even know it. A plain clothes shaman… And she's the first to call. And she said… I just wanted you to know, our neighbor…has just adopted the most beautiful little boy. His name is Robert Paul, and he's so wonderful. And he's from Russia. And just so you know, here's the information. Wow. Love you. Bye.

Jock Brocas: You know what? It's crazy because…that in itself is a spiritual intervention…reading that in the book as well, I was like, you know what? They're meant to have it, but it's not meant to be in the material world. It's got to be surrendered to the divine.

Dr Lisa Miller: This gracious loving guidance, this sacred divine… held, guided, loved…at all times. And what were we doing? We were fighting. We were swimming upstream… One more in vitro. One more in vitro human control. Put the pieces together mechanistically. And who I call God…divine spirit or sacred force of life, was really ushering us down the road.


Listen carefully and pay deeper observance to synchronicities

Dr Lisa Miller: We were at a fork in the road. And I quiver to think if I hadn't listened, right? Although, we know if we don't, we do get another chance but the volume's turned up. We're in such a loving guiding universe. We do gather multiple chances. But that that was a major fork in the road, and we started listening more carefully and paying more deep observance to the synchronicities that really usher us along our path.

So, this continues. One night… I'm in bed, sleeping next to my husband, and I feel a presence coming. I can feel the presence coming closer and closer. And I sit up set up. And time and space opened up. This is at about… 3AM… time and space open up, and it's numinous… and a very sacred presence comes. And the message is, if you are pregnant, will you adopt?

It's …very sacred, very sacred. Very regal is not quite the word… It’s an ultimate presence… a profound presence… an ultimate sacred presence. And the message was clear, and the voice was deep and resonant…like an ohm…And I, in… the ultimate sacred presence, of course, was very honest. And I said, honestly, no, no… If we got pregnant at one of these IVFs, I'd go with that baby. And so, we continue further down the path…and I have more in vitro, more in vitro. And can you imagine what this does to the body? You know?

Jock Brocas: I know you mentioned that you were you were suffering physically from all of the injections and the holes in your system.

Dr Lisa Miller: They take out maybe 20 eggs at a time. I seem to respond quite prolifically to this medication. I thought, well, you know, for me and our path, this didn't seem fluid…after about our 9th in vitro, I just have this sinking feeling in my heart that we're still in the wrong place and that we've sort of strayed now. We're not sticking to our path.

And as I step up to our front door of our home in the country, a peaceful, quiet place that used to be a fishing cabin, a tiny…lovely place, on the front door there's something moist and wet, and I can't tell what it is. I haven't seen this before. I lean forward and it's a dead embryo. I'm walking back from an invitro, and there's a dead embryo on my doorstep. It’s irrefutable what this means, right? … It's clearly far too un-probabilistic to have happened by chance. In the years before and in the 20 years since, there's never been the dead embryo on my front step.

Jock Brocas: That's a sign. That's a sign and a half.

Dr Lisa Miller: And it's of guidance, right? And as excruciating as it is…completely depressing…I look closely, and it's a dead duck. A beautiful dead duck embryo. And I just, you know, it's too depressing. It’s the middle of the day, I go in… I lie down on the couch in my study and I go to sleep.

And then I hear… I'm woken by this tapping on… my sliding glass door looking out to the river. And I get up, and I'm like, who could that be. And it's a mama duck. And she's brought me something of great comfort, of great value to her. She's brought me a plump juicy worm… Never has a duck before, never has a duck since, come right out of the river up the stairs to the porch to my study to bring me a plump juicy worm. She lost her baby. Yeah. And she was comforting me for losing mine.

We are loved and held and guided by spirit who I call God, the great force of life, and we show up for one another. Whether it is my mother, the shaman…or a fellow living being – mother duck… And as painful as that was, I felt such love and I felt that… this is a buoyant path. We are not alone here. We are never alone.


Trail angels help us meet synchronicities

Jock Brocas: I know that you had a spiritual outlook before, but this seemed to be the moment.

Dr Lisa Miller: You know, Jock, in my path, it's almost like there's rounds, like there’s an upward helix… more and more, coming ever closer. And, so the presence came back. Again, in the night, I sat up. It was about 3 AM. Just woke up suddenly. There's almost a rhythm as the presence comes and asks, if you were pregnant, would you adopt? And I said, I am so much closer… But truthfully, if this instant I got pregnant, no.

But I could feel I was… getting what parenthood was. It's like not my schnoz and my husband's sense of humor… So this goes further and I get a call from another trail angel, as I call them, those who help as we meet synchronicities… emanations of of spirit. And this is my older cousin. My name is Lisa Jane. My big cousin is Jane. I'm little Jane. She's big Jane. It's always been that way, and she's sort of a guide who's extremely frank with me. You know? Told me unwanted things.

And she calls, and she says, hey, little cuz. I know you're having a struggle and you're having a hard time. And I'm wondering if you might come out here to a healing ceremony of the Lakota. And I said, well, I'd love to come, but I, you know, I have this appointment in Pittsburgh. She's like, well, the healing ceremony is in 3 days. And it worked out, Jock, that I went first to our appointment in Pittsburgh… and then to big Jane’s.

Jock Brocas: You were at the wrong place at one point, weren’t you. You had to actually redirect.

Dr Lisa Miller: Oh, oh, yes. You're good. So we're in Pittsburgh, and we're with a clergyman's daughter… who was recommended by my mother… And this beautiful woman has helped bring together… probably… 800 families. And her walls are lined with photos of beautiful radiant families, you know, a little baby and parents or children who are adopted.

I was feeling like I was starting to be in the right place. There was so much unconditional love. I was feeling like this feels right. She leans forward and she says, you've gotta be very honest with me. I've made hundreds of families, brought them together. You've gotta be honest. What do you want in a child?

And the nuance of what do you want can play either way… It can sound a little bit like trying to get pregnant… And I said, you know, I don't care if this child is a boy or a girl. I don't care what race this child is, but please, a child who can love. And my husband leans forward and kind of puts his shoulder in my space and says, yes, all that, but kind of a girl. And I say, but foremost, a child who can love.

And with that, I went from there to South Dakota to the call answer the call of Big Jane. And she said, I want you to know that I've gotten permission from the head of the Lakota community here in South Dakota that you might join us in a healing ceremony. I've done a lot of work with this tribe, and they have as a favor to me, have welcomed you. Wow. So I go to the healing ceremony…Each person in the Lakota community stood up in front of the entire community and spoke of why he or she had come.

We go around the circle, and it comes to big Jane… It felt so good to have Big Jane speak for me in this moment. She's come looking for her child… And they all look, and they get it… And big Jane says, I wonder if we can help her find her child sitting here in the sweat lodge. And and we go around, complete the circle…and we pray. And at the end, the fire’s put out and we send up the prayers… And in my mind, I could see the same numinousness.

An extraordinary blessing

So that night, that very night, a call came into my machine in New York. I picked it up early the next morning. But to this day, I feel so grateful to God, so grateful for the loving infinite guidance of God. The call comes in from Russia. We have found the Miller's child. We have wonderful girls. Mr Miller had asked for a girl, and we can give you a girl. But this is the Miller's child, and this is a son.

Wow. We had been praying for sons. And my son now, of course, is called Isaiah for one world… Lakota for the people who helped us find our child. It was an extraordinary blessing… And soon the video comes, and he's radiant. It's an angel come to earth.

And that night, after I've seen Isaiah, I've seen our boy, I feel the presence coming the third time. And I know now, of course, and it's coming closer, in the sacred rhythm of approach and the numinous opening in the night. And the presence says, and I feel I may know what they're going to ask, if you were pregnant now, would you adopt? Absolutely. This is my spiritual son.

And that night, we conceived naturally his sister, kind of a girl, his spiritual twin. That night, after 5 years of all the best infertility doctors, this was not a mechanistic control problem. This did not live in the province of human control. This was about a sacred path. This was a divine intervention.

Jock Brocas: Yes. And it exemplifies not a human condition, a spiritual condition. It exemplifies who we are as spirits having a human experience and not the other way around.

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Photographer: Linda Summer


Website: Jock Brocas

Website: Dr Lisa Miller

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