Donna Quesada: You mentioned AA and your husband, Tommy Rosen, has done a lot of work in the area of bringing Yoga and oneness to the problem of addiction.
We are hoping to talk to him soon. Someone said to me the other day, that relationships are really the hardest thing in life. And so, I’ll ask you, being married to a fellow Yogi… Can you imagine being married to or having a relationship with someone that doesn’t have a similar practice? How has that helped the relationship?
Kia Miller: For us, it’s been enormously helpful because we speak the same language. And what I will say is that Tommy’s work in AA, doing the 12 steps… Becoming radically self honest which is part of that process and dealing with resentments right away… He was my greatest teacher at the beginning of the relationship. He’s incredibly intuitive, so he knew the moment that I had some resentment going on, and he would call it out and we’d talk about it. And that has been the root of our relationship. Communication. And it’s so uncomfortable. I’m British. We sweep everything underneath the carpet. And it gets more festered until it poisons the whole situation. I have not been able to do that. Not even for a second in this relationship. I’m a slower processor. It takes me time. He might be able to work through it and I’ll be like “I need a moment.”
Donna: I know what you mean by speaking the same language. You can say “that triggered me” or something like that, and that might not be the way we would phrase things with someone that doesn’t have a practice, where you can speak in that kind of language.
Kia: It’s like the idea of praying at the same altar. We have very similar values so that’s really helpful. We are both committed to self-excellence. We are both committed to honesty. We are both committed to being awake in our lives, and I think that the reason that intimate relationships or any relationships are so challenging, is that the people become a mirror to us. Again, the moment I point my finger out and I make it about someone else, it’s really about me. And to be able to recognize that. We make it about somebody else when we are working through that victim consciousness. So we have to use these provocations that happen in relationships as an opportunity to see our own blind spots. If we don’t consciously see them, then they are going to wreak havoc in those relationships.
Donna: It’s been called the highest yoga. Relationships.
Kia: It is. I mean, I don’t have children and I imagine that is an even higher Yoga, but it’s a very high practice and I’m very grateful for it in my life.
Donna: What has been the most important part of your personal practice?
Kia: Ah… It’s changing over the years. First of all, I think just a commitment to practice. And in the different ways that practice has changed. Being very physical, to being very energetic, to being very still and deep. And then starting to understand what I need, and when I need it, and how much I need, had been part of it. Perhaps something that really helps me is to remember to have fun and to stay curious. I’m curious about the human condition. I’m curious about what is possible if I can get beyond myself. And sometimes I sit to meditate and it’s really hard to get beyond myself, and I recognize that, and it helps me to build compassion for the human condition. And some days I get way beyond myself and I get a taste of that nectar of true freedom. And that, like honey draws a bee, or nectar draws a bee… That draws me back in again and again.
And I just remember to stay curious and remember that every day is a new day. And just because yesterday was challenging doesn’t mean today will be. Just because yesterday I felt like my heart blew open and started to radiate 10 billion suns doesn’t mean today will be the same. And I think that brings a certain humility as well. The ego can’t attach to the fruits of our practice because they are not ours to attach to. I think especially when we are dialing into subtler and subtler places… It’s like Rumi’s beautiful poem where he says “we are knocking on the door but the handle is on the other side.” And so, my ego can’t claim ownership for the awakenings that I have because I can’t dial them in. At least not yet. I just have to keep humbly staying present and showing up. And when they arise, I can enjoy them and my ego can rest knowing that it was not the doer.
Donna: What is the ego to you?
Kia: It is the eye that is attached to a certain identity. It is the eye that would claim ownership of something. It is the eye that shows my attachments. It shows me my sense of ownership of things. It shows me my aversions. It shows me my fears when I’m trying to claim or manipulate life because there is a level of fear. It is all of that. So for me, when I’m trying to claim something, I know that I am in my ego. And I know that it’s a part of the strength within me, as well… That I have a self identity that gets me on the mat and working on myself. And it is, for me, to not fall into all of the myriad of mistaken identities that are available to any of us, at any time.
Donna: Do you think that meditation is necessary for somebody who might be thinking about a journey? Taking a journey of awakening?
Kia: I think that there are probably many different ways, but for myself, I understand that the deeper insights and truth arise from stillness. So you have to practice stillness. In a world, and in a collective consciousness that praises doing, I have to practice being in order to access that state of stillness where I feel the deeper truths start to unfold. And once we make contact with that deeper sense of self, I think it’s possible to carry it forth in all of our activities.
But there is a relevance to meditation. What does meditation mean? On one level, it means to become familiar with. To become familiar with ourself. With our mind and the way we think. Much to what I was speaking to earlier, so that we can see where we are being blind and we can keep making smarter choices. So, many are afraid of meditation because they close their eyes and they get still physically, and the volume of their thinking is turned up. And it can be very overwhelming to come face to face with all the unconscious thoughts that are there… that are influencing you at any given moment. And there it is, we just have to outlast our noise. We just have to look in and breathe deeply, long enough. The heart-mind connection starts to grow. The mind becomes more coherent and the thinking that has been dominating starts to shift. And we start to connect and feel the expanded nature of our being. So to me, meditation has been an essential part of my journey.
Donna: I love the simplicity of it because things start to shift in silence. It’s so simple, but yet I know some of my students say that it seems like they think more, once I start meditating. I always say, “no, it’s just that you never noticed.”
Kia: Yes, exactly.
Donna: And you hear, as you say, all the noise, but you have to outlast the noise. It’s gritty.
Kia: Yeah, and the noise that we are hearing is reflecting the state of being that we are inhabiting. So, if we are inhabiting a sort of lethargic, dull state of being, the thoughts are going to reflect that same lethargic… we would call it tamasic. Or maybe unconsciousness. And again, if we’ve moved our energy… when we are out in nature, our thinking tends to shift and change and reflect something else. So again, what I try to tell people is to try not to take their mind so personally. Try not to take the thoughts so personally because they change. That’s why I think we use the phrase, “I’m going to sleep on it.” Because in sleeping on it, we know that we are going to change. Our state of consciousness is going to change and we are going to have a different insight into the state of consciousness where the problem was first presented to us.
And so, that is important to recognize, too. We can all take ourselves so seriously and so personally, and it’s good to understand that a depressive consciousness state emits depressive type thinking. An ambitious state emits ambitious thinking, a sattvic or calm state reflects more insightful thoughts. So if you can change your state of mind, you can change a lot of those thoughts that you may be having when you sit to meditate. And that’s why so many times within the Yoga tradition, we will change our physical and energetic state through the practice before meditating… So that when we do sit to meditate, there is a different clarity already there.
Donna: And so many people, especially this last year, have suffered from anxiety or depression, or their livelihoods have been challenged, and their routines have been brought to a halt. And it’s no secret that a lot of people have been struggling with mental health. What would you say to those that might be watching and asking, “How do I get unstuck?”
Kia: You have to move your body. Get out in Nature. Hug a tree. Sit on the Earth. Dig your hands into the earth. Take your shoes off, unless it’s frigidly cold outside, and put your feet on the earth. Tune into the sounds of nature. The birds, the bees, the coming into springtime. Let yourself open up into the expanse of nature. And what the scientists show is that the brain immediately becomes more coherent and harmonious and our thinking starts to shift.
And then move your body. Raise your heart-rate. That in itself helps to boost our energetic state and starts to alert us to other possibilities. And then if you can, get on a Yoga mat. Learn some Kundalini Yoga or Yogas that really work the whole being. The physical body, energetic body, mental body. Just do some Yoga. And also shift your energetic state and remember that energy is constant motion. And if energy gets stuck we have to move it.
So, if you feel stuck, then move your energy. If you feel anxious and disassociated, move your energy and then calm yourself. Learn how to deeply relax. Learn how to be still. And that anxiety will start to fade away. But I think most importantly, get yourself out in nature to tune into the natural harmony in nature. Eat healthy food, move your body. Breath well and make a habit of choosing where you are focusing your attention. If your habit is to focus on what you are afraid of, what could possibly happen, or what you have to do, but haven’t done, or the stress… just start to catch yourself.
And remember, you have a choice here as to where you put your attention. Where we put our attention is where the energy flows. Where our attention goes, our energy flows. Do we want our attention to be in negativity and fear? Or do we want our attention to be in love and possibility? That is a choice that we have.
Donna: And I know that you are teaching very deep trainings. And for someone who would like to find you and take a training, where can they find you?
Kia: On my Website, KiaMiller.com. I’ve got all of my upcoming immersions to pranayama… Into meditation. Into understanding kriya. They are all… It dives into what it means to be a human being and understanding the Yogic model of the mind and of the human being. So we can begin to free ourselves through meditation. The stuck-ness. To start to cleanse on an emotional level.
Donna: And are they online?
Kia: On Kiamiller.com and also…
Donna: I mean, are the teachings online?
Kia. Yeah. The teachings are all online this year. Taking in the ongoing restrictions on travel. I am doing them all online. And I did a 200-hour last year and it really was the most extraordinary experience with people from all over the world. And I realized that one of the things that we are awakening to by practicing in this way, is that when we close our eyes and we tune into the feeling of different bodies and different parts of the world… we actually tap into the unified field and what Yogis call the hiranyagarbha, the great cosmic womb. We can start to feel each other’s presence through the invisible space that connects us all. And to me, that has been one of the most extraordinary parts of this last year, is that we as human beings are gaining this new super power of connecting to each other through the field and healing one another through the field, as well. And so it’s powerful.
Donna: I love that. Is there anything that I should have asked, but didn’t?
Kia: No, your questions are beautiful. Your soul is so beautiful and so deep and I’m just so grateful for this opportunity to have a conversation like this.
Donna: Thank you.
Kia: These are the things that I contemplate every day and every day I learn something new and my awareness shifts and something else is illuminated for me. But thank you for having this level of discussion and thank you for listening to my explorations into consciousness.
Donna: It was rich and I so appreciate your time and what you gave would bear multiple viewings. I just love the wisdom that unfolded in the course of this conversation. And so again, I just want to thank you for your time and for sharing that wisdom with us.
Kia: Well, thank you so much for all that you are doing to bring these teachers to a wider audience. It’s so necessary.
Donna: Indeed it is. Thank you again, Kia. It’s been a pleasure.
Read and watch Part I Here: Awaken Interviews Yogini Kia Miller – Pt 1 – The Spiritual Heart That Is Within
Read and Watch Part 2 Here: Awaken Interviews Yogini Kia Miller – Pt 2 – Citizen of the Inner World