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I Met Deepak Chopra This Week
Coincidence Or Synergy
One day I was chatting with my sister at the end of October about the fact that in her mid-50's she's back at school making a career change. After our conversation I went to walk my dog, Pedro on that sunny, beautiful fall day. Pedro and I usually walk a couple of miles around the race track in our village when it's not being used for putting the trotters through their paces. Regardless of the whether, we really enjoy our laps. I spend the time, meditating and pondering deliberate manifestation. My chat with my sister about reinventing herself is playing on my mind and thoughts drift in and out about my own direction. As we come back home, Pedro bounds up to his dad to report in for a biscuit and I spot on the table our weekly newspaper with a large picture of Deepak Chopra on the front page announcing his appearance locally soon. What I found incredibly "coincidental" is that he was coming to talk about his newest book, "Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul".
Now I will leave the writing about spirituality to Dr. Chopra, but as I reflect on the little I know of his teachings, the few times I have seen him interviewed, and especially now that I have met him in person, I can tell you I like and respect him. About 10 years ago, I bought the video "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success", A practical guide to the fulfillment of your dreams by Deepak Chopra, which revealed him to be charming, and charismatic along with the myriad of accolades many others before me have bestowed upon him. I have travelled around the world with my favourite books and videos all my adult life, setting them up in my space wherever I have hung my hat. I took my video with me and it was finally autorgraphed this week by Dr. Deepak Chopra.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
1. The Law of Pure Potentiality - Take time to be silent, to just BE. Meditate for 30 minutes twice a day. Silently witness the intelligence within every living thing. Practice non-judgement.
2. The Law of Giving - Today, bring whoever you encounter a gift: a compliment or flower. Gratefully receive gifts. Keep wealth circulating by giving and receiving care, affection, apprciation and love.
3. The Law of Karma - Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind. Choosing actions that bring happiness and success to others ensures the flow of happiness and success to you.
4. The Law of Least Effort - Accept people, situations, and events as they occur. Take responsibility for your situation and for all events seen as problems. Relinquish the need to defend your point of view.
5. The Law of Intention and Desire - Inherent in every intention and desire is the mechanics for its fulfillment. Make a list of desires. Trust that when things don't seem to go your way, there is a reason.
6. The Law of Detachment - Allow yourself and others the freedom to be who they are. Do not force solutions - allow solutions to spontaneously emerge. Uncertainty is essential, and your path to freedom.
7. The Law of Dharma - Seek your higher Self. Discover your unique talents. Ask yourself how you are best suited to serve humanity. Using your unique talents and serving others brings unlimited bliss and abundance.
I am a reiki practitioner. Whenever I meet those who don't know what reiki is, explaining it always changes for me, depending on who I'm speaking to. I have also met other reiki pratitioners who have different takes on the practice. Then I once heard Deepak Chopra say "Whenever there is loving touch, there is healing." which confirmed to me why I began to do reiki in the first place. I recall once while visiting an aunt fighting cancer, being awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of her crying. I went into her bedroom and sat on the edge of her bed. It amazed me that her husband could sleep through this. She was laying on her side and as I tried to comfort her, I put my hand on her hip while we spoke. My hand and wrist immediately became very hot. Not knowing why, I asked her if she had pain in her hip, and she said no, but as my hand cooled down, she realized she had stopped crying and the pain she had in her ankle had gone. Incidentally, her crying was sadness at having this terminal disease and not from any physical pain. It would be another 2 years before I even discovered energy healing, but Deepak's words have always remained with me.
A Family Road Trip
The thing that struck me most about the talk and his explanation of the findings in his life work is his humanness, loosely defined as the quality of being human.
He talked about the death of his father 8 years ago being the event in his life which spawned his last 3 books. He told the story of his brother, nephew and he going to the Himalayas to personally prepare the body and perform the cremation. The three discussed Deepak and his brother having their ashes scattered in the garden back in the USA, or at the golf course where his brother hit a hole in one. As families often do at times like this and on a road trip, humour soothes and heals. Deepak's nephew told of a process whereby the ashes are crystalized and made into a stone, rather like a diamond. His brother liked this idea and said that his son could have a ring made and when asked about it could say, "That's my dad and I finally have him wrapped around my finger".
He went on to describe how they personaly washed the body and then as he lit the pyre to cremate his father some children were playing in the distance using the draft from the pyre to fly their kite while in another direction a he could hear there singing and dancing of a wedding celebration and he thought this was all just as it should be; the cycle of life. His father had lived a full life, working until the day he died, seeing patients and as he retired to bed, he told his wife he was leaving now, said he'd lived a good full life, asked her to say goodbye to the children and died in his sleep. They put his ashes in the sacred Ganges river. It was a very personal sacred ritual which has been in place since 300 B.C. according to the records where each person writes an entry into a book when they come to cremate a family member.
The monk showed them the entry their father made when he came to cremate their grandfather, their grandfather's entry when he came to cremate their great-grandfather and the writing was in various languages, Hindi, Urdu, etc. This was when Deepak asked how far the records go back amazed by the response. He also invited Deepak and his brother, Sanjiv Chopra to write letters to their children and grandchildren (he hadn't any then) so that when they came to cremate their remains, they would know that they were thinking about them on this day. As he walked across the stage comfortably chatting as if we sat around a coffee table, he shared that his brother's children call him "Big Daddy" and that his children call his brother "Small Daddy". Although both he and his brother lived in the USA and had discussed not putting their children through this ritual, after speaking with the monk, seeing the records and performing the very personal ritual of the cremation of their father, they had a revelation and that their children would do the same for them. That day Dr. Deepak Chopra wrote letters to those he would leave behind.
Writing and Inspiration
The sacred ritual of these two brothers putting their father to rest reminded me of one I had heard about another two brothers. In an interview with Andre Dubus III after writing his book "House of Sand and Fog", later made into a film, chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her book club selection some years back, he told the story of the passing of his father, Andre Dubus II also a writer. Andre III described how he and his brother cut the wood and made their father's casket personally, trying it out and lying in it to see how it would feel to ascertain whether their father would like it. They lovingly crafted it as the final vehicle to carry their father home. As I have collected nuggets of wisdom, little lights of dawning and truths that resonate with me thoughout my life this one stands out. Andre III said that his father always said "The job of the writer is to show up, pick up the pen and wait for the spirit to take over". When he said that, my truth sensor, that tingling sensation I get all the way up and down my spine switched on in mega watts! I knew that this is how I write. This is why, even with my love of writing, I cannot crank out anonymous emotion, and could not just take a job writing greeting cards or keyword articles. I must tap into by my divine guidance system from which all life, creativity and infinite possibility fueled by Love comes and I must say what I mean and mean what I say.
My favourite story of the evening was the one about Deepak Chopra's granddaughter. When she was six and half years old he was walking on the beach with her in California. It was a beautiful starlit night. As they walked he told her that he loved her. She asked "How much?", his reply was to ask her to look up, which she did as he said "As much as all those stars up there". Quickly she asked "Why?" and at this point he said he had a choice to either explain this so that she could understand or as he not so eloquently put it, "Tell her to shut up". He chose the former saying, "Because you come from there. They made you and they made your eyes and do you know why they made your eyes? Because they wanted to see themselves". For the first time this little girl was quiet. After a little while she said "Daada (Indian word for grandfather), look upstairs, they want to see themselves". Deepak concluded that if a six and a half-year-old child can understand this surely everyone could.
Time Magazine heralds Deepak Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century, and credits him as "the poet-prophet of alternative medicine". For me, he is the manifestation of a "dynamic flowing process", one which we can all tap into and realize. As he states on his Web site, "Transformation can’t stop with the body, however; it must involve the soul. The soul – seemingly invisible, aloof, and apart from the material world – actually creates the body. Only by going to the level of the soul will you access your full potential, bringing more intelligence, creativity, and awareness into every aspect of your life." The possibilities really are infinite.