The Power of Spirituality: Unleashing the Awakened Brain

Neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Miller explores the connection between spirituality, mental well-being, and the awakened brain.

In a world that is becoming increasingly secular, the role of spirituality and faith is often overlooked. However, according to renowned neuroscientist and psychologist Dr. Lisa Miller, spirituality is an innate aspect of being human. Dr. Miller’s research has shown that engaging in a regular spiritual practice can have profound effects on mental health, leading to reduced depression and anxiety. Her work delves into the connection between spirituality, an “awakened brain,” and its impact on mental illness.

The Universal Nature of Spirituality

Dr. Miller asserts that spirituality transcends religious boundaries and is accessible to people of various beliefs. Through her research, she has discovered that individuals from different faiths, including Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Christian, and those who identify as spiritual but not religious, all engage the same neural correlates when perceiving a transcendent relationship. This suggests that our capacity to experience spirituality is hardwired within us.

A Profound Experience

Dr. Miller’s exploration into the connection between spirituality and mental health was prompted by a transformative experience early in her career. While working in an inpatient unit with individuals suffering from severe depression, she led an impromptu Yom Kippur service. During the service, she observed a sense of unity and transcendence among the patients, as they shed the limitations of their ego and connected with a larger, sacred presence. The effects on the patients were remarkable, highlighting the potential of spirituality as a healing force.

Sustained Engagement of Spiritual Awareness

Although the effects of the Yom Kippur service were profound, Dr. Miller noticed that they wore off after approximately four days. This realization led her to emphasize the importance of sustained engagement in spiritual practices. She believes that an “awakened brain” allows individuals to recognize that they are never alone, even in their darkest moments. It provides a sense of belonging and connection to the extraordinary presence of life, offering solace and support.

The Impact on Mental Well-being

Dr. Miller’s research has shown that regular spiritual practice can lead to reduced depression and anxiety. Engaging in rituals, acts of service, meditation, or simply connecting with nature can evoke a sense of spirituality and contribute to overall mental well-being. By fostering an awakened brain, individuals can tap into a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world, finding comfort and support in times of struggle.


In an increasingly secular world, spirituality remains a fundamental aspect of being human. Dr. Lisa Miller’s research highlights the universal nature of spirituality and its profound impact on mental well-being. Regardless of religious affiliation, individuals can engage in spiritual practices that awaken the brain and provide a sense of connection and purpose. By embracing spirituality, we can nurture our mental health and find solace in the face of life’s challenges.






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