WELL BEING: Deepak Chopra

27 Feb

Deepak Chopra  photo by Lynn Van Noy

Together we can help create a peaceful, just, sustainable and healthy world.”  Deepak Chopra

Last week, I had the great privilege of attending a public discourse given by Deepak Chopra.  He spoke at the Long Center in Austin, Texas.  There were several hundred of us in attendance, anxious to hear what the wise doctor had to share.

Perhaps you have heard Oprah or Dr. Oz speak of him or maybe you have read one of his twenty-five books.  One thing’s for certain, Deepak Chopra has been developing the art of healing and wellness his entire career.

A master of integration, Dr. Chopra is a practitioner of Ayurveda (traditional Eastern Indian medicine) and an Endocrinologist.  He currently serves as CEO and founder of The Chopra Center for Well Being in La Jolla, California.  In fact, in 1999 Time magazine selected Dr. Chopra as one of the Top 100 Icons and Heroes of the Century, calling him “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine.”

“Poet-prophet” is fairly precise, as he started his speech by describing all the mineral elements that go into the making of a human body, saying “you are made of star dust.”  A romantic notion, indeed, especially from a scientist.

Deepak Chopra spoke for 2 hours; without intermission, without so much as a sip of water, and he did not refer to a single note.  He calmly set about the business of well being by describing his research and findings, experiments, and polling statistics.  Did I mention, he also works with the polling association, Gallup.

Speaking on the science of spirituality, Dr. Chopra informed us that many scientists are now claiming that we do not live in our bodies.  While science can easily prove the 5 senses; taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing, science cannot pinpoint the place personal choice resides.  A neurologist may be able to manipulate the brain to create involuntary movement but it cannot find the location of our desires, hopes, dreams, passions, creativity.  So, if a specific origin of inspiration cannot be found or proven, it is assumed by many in the scientific field to not exist.  By the same token, if such a spirit does exist, it must not be “in” the body.

Dr. Chopra reminded us that while there is a great deal that is unexplained about the human experience, science simply has not caught up to the intangible elegance of our soul.  Our beliefs and perceptions are as much, if not even more, responsible for our well being as the foods we choose to eat, our level of physical fitness and our inherited genetic code.  As he spoke about how transcendent we are, even in this human form, I thought it sounded very much like the old saying, “We are spiritual beings having a physical experience.”

Soon, he led all of us into a deep meditation.  At first, I did not think he could accomplish this.  Such a large audience to get aligned in silent unison.  Yet, very quickly and effectively, Dr. Chopra had us quietly looking within.  It could have easily been 20 minutes or more and as he brought us back from our meditation, he explained how balancing our breath helped re-set our blood pressure, focusing on feeling our heartbeat in our fingertips gets rid of head-aches and quieting the mind relieves anxiety and pressure in our entire body.  It felt amazing!

Finally, Deepak Chopra introduced elements that create wellness or disease in us every day.  This was especially fascinating, considering they are also the building blocks of civilization.

The Five Essential Elements of Well Being.”

1. CAREER:  Your job plays a major role in how happy you are each day.  Findings show that even if you don’t particularly enjoy your occupation, you will enjoy it over-all if someone genuinely appreciates your efforts.

2.  SOCIAL:  Good friends and healthy relationships can bring you good will and joy.  It is said that a happy neighbor can be more healthy for your over-all well being than an unhappy mate.  Connect with your friends, offer encouragement,  spend more quality time with your spouse or seek counseling to improve an intimate relationship.

3.  PHYSICAL:  One study showed that a test group that worked out lifting weights and another that merely imagined and meditated on lifting weights experienced nearly the same results in physical fitness and improvement in muscle tone.  So it only makes sense that imagining your ideal body and exercising will add quality to your life’s quantity.

4.  FINANCIAL:  Money makes a difference, mind and body.  We must have money to survive in this world, but it is not so much about how much we have or do not have that causes health benefits.  It is about accepting responsibility for our financial health.   Worrying about money can cause untold stress and pain, mentally and physically.

5.  COMMUNITY:  Being surrounded by a strong community of folks who maintain similar value systems, support each other, and uphold complimentary beliefs has the ability to create a network of strong bonds between you and others while strengthening your immune system, balancing hormones, and boosting your emotional outlook.

President Bill Clinton once said, “My country has been enriched by the contributions of more than a million Indian Americans, which includes Dr. Deepak Chopra, the pioneer of alternative medicine.”

I couldn’t agree more.  How absolutely grateful and inspired I am to have met such a thoughtful man, who continually teaches the unified oneness of all life and that the heart is more than an organ resting in our chest, it is the seat of inspired intention.

2 Responses to “WELL BEING: Deepak Chopra”

  1. Sam Harper March 6, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Thanks for posting this, Lynn. I had thought about going to this event, but completely forgot about it. This is a really good summary. His part about the spirit, will, desires, etc. was especially interesting, and I would like to have asked him some follow up questions about it.


    • Lynn Van Noy March 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

      Thanks Sam! It really was an amazing evening. I’m glad to share.


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