Reprinted from my story in Longevity Magazine.Chopra Center, La Costa Resort and Spa, Carlsbad, California
I can’t resist the temptation to begin this story with the words of Deepak Chopra, the keynote speaker at the Living in Balance retreat I recently attended. He says, “To live without love, compassion, or any other spiritual value creates a state of such severe imbalance that every cell yearns to correct it. Ultimately, that is what lies behind the onset of disease; the body is sending a message that something lacking in the present—an imbalance existing somewhere—has given rise to highly visible, unarguable, physical symptoms.”
The man TIME magazine described as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century” who introduced us to the Seven Spiritual Law of Success, opened up this life-changing seminar at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa, in California.
We Are All Stardust
As he sauntered onto the stage the excitement among the attendees was palpable. I must admit, I too was mesmerized by his extraordinary persona. Deepak Chopra has a distinctive personal style. He made a statement in his black Nehru vest, with the red piping trim, teamed with a black turtleneck shirt and bright red suede Nike sneakers and of course his signature eyeglass frames. Along with his rock star magnetism, he exudes this almost uncanny sense of calm and tranquility.
During his opening address, he shared with us deeply thought-provoking topics. Speaking about the nature of existence in the universe, he made the most complex quantum principles sound simply poetic. He explained that we are all stardust. That the gene, a unit of heredity, is actually a protein code (enzyme) and he shared how our genomics influences our lives.
First there is the one cell, and then approximately 25 000 human genes that differentiate into the whole body and that our body is some 30-40 trillion cells, or more (the Milky Way has 250 billion ± 150 billion) and that the average cell will divide between 50-70 times before cell death. To make a body, there is morphogenesis, to give rise to form.
The Deepak Chopra Way
From that extraordinary introduction going forward, I would experience a virtual feast for the mind, body, and spirit that would shift my own way of thinking about health.
The event progressed with a seamless program of experts in the field of Ayurvedic healing. It provided the foundation for lifestyle enhancement through the Ayurvedic principles of preventative self-care to last a lifetime. Each presenter shared their personal passage into the world of alternative, integrative, complementary and functional medicine. They revealed how they too had arrived at the Chopra Institute at a pivotal time in their lives. Some were from the hardcore corporate America and had dropped out to follow their dream of living a more balanced lifestyle. Others were in mainstream medicine and realized there was a more comprehensive approach to heal the body, from the inside-out. They followed their inner guidance to this particular practice of wellness and became a beacon of light to share with patients.
Our first introductory lecture was with Dr. Sheila Patel. She introduced us to the basics of the ancient Ayurvedic healing. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems. It was developed more than 3 000 years ago in India. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. It’s a complete system of health, and the key is to identify what’s getting in the way of our natural healing. It is a consciousness-based healing system, beyond the physical.
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