Listen to the Newest Earth Charter Podcast Episode with Dr. Lisa Miller on the Importance of Spirituality in Education and to our Well-being


In this latest episode, Mirian Vilela talks with New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Lisa Miller about the importance of spirituality in education and to our well-being. As a professor at Columbia University, Dr. Miller founded the Spirituality Mind Body Institute to nurture a more spiritual society in institutions, businesses, schools, and homes. The institute focuses on the pillars of research, education and development, leadership, mental health and wellness, and nature and ecology. In this podcast, Dr. Miller discusses the need to foster spirituality in education and the findings of her research on spirituality and human well-being.

First, Dr. Miller explains that while religion is completely environmentally and culturally transmitted, we are born with an innate physical capacity for spirituality. She emphasizes that religion is not a requirement to fulfill this need for a transcendent relationship, but that it can be experienced in different ways. She explains that this innate spirituality is being socialized out of children which she believes is resulting in many of the emotional and mental health problems in today’s societies.

In response to this, Dr. Miller created the Collaborative for Spirituality in Education to develop spaces for spirituality in K-12 schools. She states that the most important work for a parent, teacher, or caregiver is to strengthen children’s spiritual form by modeling this behavior. In this conversation, she comments on her book The Awakened Brain.

Dr. Miller’s work in spirituality parallels many of the Earth Charter’s tenets. For example, both emphasize the connectedness of all living things and the environment. Dr. Miller states that society must move away from a mindset focused on attaining material wealth and instead pursue the “deep in-and-of-itself of living” and improved quality of life. This idea echoes with the idea we find in the Earth Charter’s which says, “when basic needs have been met, human development is primarily about being more, not having more.” Additionally, both Dr. Miller’s work and the Earth Charter recognize the importance of moral and spiritual education for sustainable living.

Learn more about Dr. Miller’s work here:

https://spiritualitymindbody.tc.columbia.edu/ & https://spiritualityineducation.org/

You can also read more about her work in her books: The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life (2021) https://www.amazon.com/Awakened-Brain-Science-Spirituality-Inspired/dp/198485562X  and The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving (2015). The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving: Miller, Dr. Lisa: 9781250033833: Amazon.com: Books