Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Deepak Chopra’s Advice for Changing Your Life

Photo by Pop Culture Passionistas

We’re still chewing on some of the life lessons we were exposed to during our Oprah’s Lifeclass tour and we keep getting pulled back to our meeting with Deepak Chopra. That’s partly because we’ve been reading his new book Spiritual Solutions, but also because his message seemed more accessible to people who don’t necessarily connect to any one brand of organized religion.

That’s partly to do with the fact that Deepak approaches spirituality from both sides of his background. In a recent backstage interview he explained how he merged his metaphysical beliefs with his secular training. He revealed, “I came from an Eastern tradition. I was trained in a Western model and I see the connection as others do, too.”

Chopra is an M.D. who focused on internal medicine and endocrinology and neuroendocrinology. He recounted, “When I was training we were identifying molecules that everyone talks about these days – serotonin, dopamine, opiates, oxytocin. Now we know that these molecules are actually molecules of emotion. And that they also are immune-modulators. They modulate the activity of the immune system. So whatever happens in your emotional life, in your spiritual life, in your mental life has a consequence in your brain, changes the chemistry of your brain. And these chemicals have receptors in other parts of the body. So your immune cells, for example, respond to these chemicals. In other words you cannot separate your mental, your spiritual and your emotional life from what’s happening in your brain or in your body.”

He’s not the only expert who has connected these distinct areas. Deepak remarked, “We are now seeing a very scientific connection or basis for what we call body-mind-spirit and how that influences everything from personal relationships to social interactions to how we treat the environment to how we interact in community. And so your life, which includes your physical well being, your emotional well being, your social well being, your community well being and your physical well being and your spiritual well being is all inseparably connected and that’s what great Eastern wisdom traditions have always said. Now we see a scientific basis for that.”

So not surprisingly, his suggestion for how people can affect a change in their own life melds all of these disciplines. Deepak described the key elements to a happy existence not just for themselves but for everyone, saying, “If you have good sleep, if you have loving relationships, nurturing relationships, if you eat a reasonably good diet, if you exercise, if you do yoga and meditation and breathing techniques and, essentially, if you have a good time. If you really enjoy yourself, if your life is full of joy and love and compassion and equanimity, you transform yourself physically and you transform the world. The only way you can change the world is by being the change you want to see in the world. So those who are not ready for it, they are frozen in an obsolete world view that’s collapsing.”

Watch Oprah’s Lifeclass: the Tour, which airs on Monday nights at 8 p.m. EST//10 p.m. Central on OWN. Follow the show online at and see the coursework that corresponds to each episode’s theme. Join the Lifeclass conversation online on Twitter @OprahsLifeclass and using #lifeclass.

And read Deepak Chopra’s new book Spiritual Solutions, available everywhere now.

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