It is sad to announce the passing of a dear friend, a practitioner of Ayurveda and founding supporter of NAMA, Light Miller. Below is an Obituary shared by her family.
Light was born in New York in 1947, daughter of an Indian Diplomat. Her family traveled the world, setting up embassies and consulates. Light’s mother was an Aromatherapist, and her grandmother practiced as an Ayurvedic Herbalist.
In 1988, Light’s spiritual advisor, Sandy Levy-Lunden, insisted that Light’s destiny was to receive a special Ayurvedic treatment called Kaya Kalpa from Dr. Ram Panday. During the treatment, Light awakened to her Ayurvedic heritage. She initially trained with Dr. Panday and pursued self-study through books by David Frawley, Vasant Lad, Robert Svoboda and Maya Tiwari. Light started an Aromatherapy company and was soon traveling throughout the United States teaching Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. Seeking deeper instruction in Kaya Kalpa, Light traveled to India. After a month of searching, she was introduced to Panchu Bai Chotay, an elderly man who lived in a small hut on the grounds of the complex where Light had been staying. Dr. Chotay was a compatriot/physician of Mahatma Ghandi, a local herbalist/healer, a former freedom fighter, the co-founder of Aruli Nature Cure Center, an Ayurvedic doctor, and one of the few remaining Kaya Kalpa practitioners in the world. Dr. Chotay graciously accepted Light as a student and began a years long training in the art. Light ultimately became the first female practitioner of Kaya Kalpa. Upon returning to the United States, Light passed her training along to her husband, Dr. Bryan Miller. Kaya Kalpa was soon added to the therapies and education programs offered by the couple as they traveled across the United States, Canada, and Europe teaching Ayurveda and Aromatherapy.
Light and Bryan were ultimately asked by Lenny Blank to write Ayurveda & Aromatherapy, which was published by Lotus Press. Light’s relationship with Santosh Kinsky of Lotus Press, flowered into the publishing of two more books: Ayurvedic Remedies, and Ayurvedic Curative Cuisine for Everyone. Light also self-published a textbook for correspondence and classroom teaching and a handbook for Pancha Karma. With Batool Merali, Light also co-authored The Divinity Within, a 12-month journal and guide to self-development.
By 2000, Light was timing her travels, to be a regular contributor to CAAM (California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine), working closely with Dr. Kumar. When NAMA (The National Ayurvedic Medical Association) was formed, Light became an ardent supporter of the organization. She coordinated the first annual conference, served on the Board of Directors, was a frequent presenter, and worked with Dr. Marc Halpern on the education committee. Light was also a member of NAHA (The National Aromatherapy Health Association). Light strongly supported the licensing of Ayurvedic Consulting as a profession.
In 2002, Light and Bryan founded The Ayurvedic College for Well-Being, in Sarasota, Florida. They subsequently moved their operations to Hollywood, Florida, and began teaching there and in San Juan Puerto Rico. Light and Bryan ultimately moved to Puerto Rico, and began teaching courses online. They recorded over 500 hours of Ayurveda lectures. Light and Bryan together trained over 1500 students in Ayurveda. Light taught that Ayurveda is an expanding science, incorporating new treatments, methods and teachings. Light believed that traditional Ayurveda preserved the past, but held no constraints for her. Light continues to teach through her videos, in the online incarnation of her college.
AS A PRACTITIONER
Light taught that healthy lifestyle was the basis for good health and that natural medicine worked best for people who lived naturally. Light insisted on the artful blending of herbs, taken as tea, for the various complaints of her patients. She was not an advocate of herbal capsules, as she believed cut and sifted herbal teas had greater potency. Light believed that the use of pills and capsules was a residual of the British medical influence on Ayurveda’s development.
Light pioneered the use of essential oils added to abhyanga oil, as an instant answer to a patient’s need, as opposed to medicated/infused oil blends. Light’s teacher taught the use of a colema board with triphala based tea blends as an improvement over medicated basti. Massage of the abdomen was made possible and produced improved results. Light’s teacher also taught the juice extractions of wheat grass, tulsi, and other fresh herbs. Light added these juice elixirs to her panchakarma green juice arsenal. Her Kaya Kalpa training allowed her to experience the power of releasing emotions and relationship entanglements with breath and intention. She incorporated this into her teaching and Pancha Karma. Not to be limited to kichari during Pancha Karma, Light unleashed a parade of gourmet vegetarian food that was spiced to heal the GI tract as it satisfied the palate. Light performed over 1200 Kaya Kalpa treatments and conducted over 450 Pancha Karma programs.
Over the last ten months, Light’s symptoms were largely countered with natural remedies of her own design. A contingent of possible causes were treated with mixed results, culminating with a diagnosis of advanced Lymphoma. Unexpected in a person of clean living and healthy lifestyle, it reminds us that lifestyle tips the scales in your favor but is not a guarantee of immortality. Never wanting to undergo chemotherapy, she slipped away peacefully in her sleep, in the presence of family on April 28, 2018.
Light will be sorely missed by her family, friends, students and patients. An online video live streaming of her Sarasota memorial service will be available May 17 at 7PM EST at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/unity-of-sarasota-s-sunday-broadcast.
Other services will be held in Miami and Los Angeles. Information on these services can be found on Facebook at Light Miller Tribe. In lieu of flowers or cards, the family is asking for contributions to Light's GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/LightsLymphomaHealing. These funds will help offset additional outstanding medical, memorial and travel expenses.