Deepak Chopra – All-New Ancient Wisdom?
As one of the most prominent figures in the worlds of alternative medicine and wellness, Deepak has nurtured an incredible career. informed by ancient Indian traditions
Let’s start with the mind-bending stuff. At the heart of Deepak Chopra’s thinking are ancient Vedic ideas combined with modern concepts about quantum theory, the nature of the universe and humanity’s place within it.
For those not familiar with Eastern mysticism, Deepak’s message can come as a surprise. His central idea is that the world is inseparable from consciousness. So, what does that mean for people wanting greater wellbeing? It means you have more control over your wellbeing than you ever imagined possible.
His ideas are practical and commonsensical, revealing sound advice to create a wholesome mode of life. Wellbeing, Deepak argues, is supported by these pillars: good sleep, exercise, stress management, taking the time to understand your inner life and become emotionally intelligent, and using intuition and creativity to enrich your life and guide you. The advice he gives is holistic, and he does not regard the person as a symptom to be treated, but instead sees them as a complete entity existing in a wider environment in which they need to find harmony.
According to Deepak, Western medicine is not focused on true healthcare, but on health insurance. The emphasis that drives the health industry throughout the world is: how can pharmaceutical companies sell more drugs to make themselves and their associated industries more money, rather than ensure you are actually truly healthy? Deepak seeks to alleviate this malady in healthcare.
“True health reform will happen when we all collectively participate in the right information, the right knowledge and then help each other to create an ecosystem where we can actually create a more meaningful, purposeful life for ourselves,” he says.
He gives sound life advice, for example, when dealing with stress he places emphasis on the practicalities of meditation.
“I think one tip that works for anyone is to take a short breathing break. Just sit quietly and pay attention to your breath or do a deep breathing exercise. There are many apps right now that you can use to guide you with breathing exercises,” Deepak advises.
Another benefit of taking the time for breathing exercises is that it forces the mind to be in the moment. Our minds are often filled with all thoughts of the different tasks we need to complete throughout the days, weeks and months ahead that we can lose sight of ourselves and how we are living. If not focused on the future, we may also become overly engrossed in looking backwards, and get tangled in regret, which is how stress builds. By being present in the moment, and taking the time to think about the simple things you are in control of now, This is the start of mindfulness.
Deepak says; “If you’re at work, pay attention to what you’re doing — listen to the keys clicking on your computer keyboard or really pay attention to a conversation you’re having or information that you’re reading.” Simple things like this can bring the careering mind back under control.
Deepak also believes that diet is vital to wellbeing. In his book What Are You Hungry For? He argues that people eat in order to attempt solving essentially spiritual or psychological questions. He says; ”when we overeat, it’s often because we’re hungry for something completely different, such as love, self-esteem, security or success”.
Drawing on Ayurvedic principles which look at the whole person, Deepak includes the psychological effects of food as part of his regime. He advocates paying close attention to what you eat and why you eat it, and believes doing this will help eliminate many ‘lifestyle’ illnesses such as allergies and obesity, because eating is part of your lifestyle, after all.
Deepak, also strongly believes in the transformative, long-lasting positive effects of yoga. In many ways, he says, yoga is the ‘perfect’ holistic exercise. Not only does it strengthen the body and bring greater flexibility and control, its emphasis on breathing technique and spiritual balance reflect Deepak’s own approach to wellbeing. Deepak sees the body as an energy field, which is affected by mental state. Using meditation, Deepak believes that people getting their mind in balance will do the same for the body.
Further, Deepak believes that getting enough sleep is another important way to bring balance to the body, reduce stress and enhance wellbeing. He says he usually goes to bed at 10pm, and gets up around 4:00am and does two hours of meditation before starting his day. Deepak.
We all know that sleep improves health on many levels. It can boost immunity, memory, creativity and help the body process and expel poisons. Deepak believes sleep is “a way of returning to your soul, to the underlying or inner being… Get your seven to nine hours, whatever fits you, but a minimum of seven hours of sleep”.
Deepak’s advice may be unusual in a Western world that emphasises the physicality of the body, but it is precise, focused and full of sound common sense. He advises everyone to look at what you put into your bodies physically and spiritually to see how these inputs affect the way you operate as a human. Deepak says that staying in balance with your surroundings and applying his principles to your daily life will bring enhanced wellbeing, and greater joy and satisfaction to your life. And who’s to argue with that?
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