By Shamash Alidina
I have just returned from a one day workshop with Deepak Chopra in London, called ‘Self-Power’. I’ve read a couple of his books but have never seen him live. He spoke for hours, to an audience of about a thousand people, in a relaxed way. Nice style I thought…
Anyway, here’s how I interpreted what he said:
- We, as human beings, are far less separate from each other than we think. Each time we breathe in, we’re breathing in millions of atoms that were also in every other living human being and creature on the planet. There is a constant interchange happening on a physical level. Your body is totally changing and in flux all the time with the biosphere.
- On the level of mind, there is also no separation. Mind is essentially a relational process that regulates the flow of energy and information – the key word is relational here. As I write this, my thoughts are turning to words. As you read this, your neurons are firing and beginning to wire together in a different way. So my mind is changing your mind. In that sense, no separation. The internet is essentially a global mind that has naturally evolved, offering a regulated flow of energy and information.
- On the level of spirit, we are one. In my opinion, by definition, the spiritual domain is one of unity rather than separation. What does spirituality mean to you?
- Happiness, wellbeing, love – all the really important things in life come from a deeper understanding that our body, minds and spirit as not separate, but one. This needs to be an experiential understanding, and comes from practices like reflective and contemplative meditation (mindfulness).
- He emphasised the importance of mindful living (yay!), and how mindfulness is about being aware of the external stimuli and the internal experience of thoughts, feelings, images, impulses. Through this awareness, you are able to stop reacting to the external world. This reaction is caused by the fight or flight response, and this unhelpful reaction switches off the modern part of the brain. Mindful living helps to keep the calm, compassionate part of your brain switched on.
- He also talked about perception. He used optical illusions to explain how your mind creates your reality. Reality is not out there, but in consciousness. Change the way you see the world, and you actually change the world itself. That’s because the world is nothing but a projection in your consciousness. There is some evidence to prove this – especially cutting edge physics theories. Professor David Bohm spoke about this, as have many others.
- Chopra called this unity we have with each other, ‘entanglement’. Our sense of wellbeing is entangled with our activities on a physical, mental, society, work and personal relationships level.
- Knowing someone happy, makes you 10% happier. If you friend knows someone happy, you’d be even happier, even if you don’t know your friend’s friend. Our happiness is entangled with our friends/family’s happiness level.
- Mindfulness and other meditations can actually change you in a positive way all the way down to your gene level. Genes can be turned on or off by the power of your mental thoughts/focus and mindful awareness. Through metacognition (awareness of your inner experience as an observer or witness) you begin to stop automatically reacting to life and meet living in a healthier way.
To summarise what the essence of his talk:
You create your own reality…literally. By understanding that you’re not separate from others or the universe, life flows much more easily. This understanding comes from looking within, being grateful for what you have, and asking the big questions, like ‘who am I’, ‘what do I want’, ‘what are my strengths’, ‘who inspires me’ ‘what inspires me’. You are much bigger than you think you are. Spread the peace, love, joy and look after the environment and other people – because they are you and you are them!