Human beings are known for their resilience, but the way we treat our bodies and minds often opens the door to illness, despair and a spiritual void in our lives. We may fall victim to our own success: working 12-hour days to climb the corporate ladder, while eating recklessly and neglecting to take time to refuel.
With his latest book, The Book of Secrets, Dr. Deepak Chopra-the iconic physician who has become synonymous with the intersection of Eastern and Western medicine-wants you to know that if you lead a purposeful life, time does not fly.
The secret about time, he notes, is that “it exists only as we usually think of it. Past, present and future are only mental boxes for things we want to keep close or far from us, and by saying that ‘time flies,’ we conspire to prevent reality from coming too close. Is time a myth we are using for our own convenience?”
According to Dr. Chopra, most of us are guilty of misusing time. We are anxious about the future, we replay our past transgressions, we neglect our “now” to anticipate tomorrow, we race through our lives without appreciating the world around us, and we resist change.
In “The Book of Secrets,” he demonstrates that you must have passion-and dedication-to truly appreciate your life, a seemingly lost art in a fast-paced, time-challenged society that focuses on the need for speed.
“As John Lennon once said, ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,’ ” Dr. Chopra tells OrganicAuthority.com in an exclusive interview. “Sit down quietly, with your eyes closed, for 10 minutes. Put attention in your heart and ask yourself: Who am I? What do I want? What’s my purpose? You will begin a journey of transformation.”
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That journey begins with being fully present-absorbed in the moment, at peace and, ultimately, satisfied because you have developed a keen sense of awareness. If you can achieve such presence, the reward is ecstasy, where “the body is no longer heavy and slow; the mind stops experiencing its background music of sadness and fear,” Dr. Chopra notes.
This sense of “perfect bliss,” he says, can then be traded for “spiritual sobriety”-a true commitment to remaining in the present and leading an attentive life.
Nurturing His Spirit
As the author of more than 35 books, you would expect Dr. Chopra to be the most motivated role model on the planet-but you’d be wrong.
“I don’t believe in motivation-only inspiration,” says the CEO and director of educational programs at The Chopra Center for Well Being in Carlsbad, Calif.-a state-of-the-art holistic health center that offers medical consultations, therapeutic bodywork, meditation instruction and yoga classes, and a full-service spa. “I meditate and exercise daily,” he shares, “and I don’t take myself seriously. I enjoy the company of my grandchildren, and I experience a lot of laughter around me.”
And while food plays a central role in his life, he does not follow an organic diet.
“I have never been compulsive about foods,” he says. “I take nutritional supplements, and I eat fresh food wherever I am-usually in a good restaurant.”
A Blissful Diet
As Dr. Chopra notes in his national bestseller Perfect Health: The Complete Mind Body Guide, a “blissful” diet follows the principles of Ayurveda-a system of preventive medicine developed in India more than 5,000 years ago.
Ayurveda, whose precise translation means “the knowledge of the life span,” operates on a basic guiding principle: “The mind exerts the deepest influence on the body, and freedom from sickness depends upon contacting our own awareness, bringing it into balance and then extending that balance to the body,” Dr. Chopra notes.
In the Ayurvedic tradition, you approach food by:
- Eating seasonal, fresh fare that has been grown or raised in your geographic area, including vegetables, fruit and dairy.
- Eating your largest meal at lunchtime, when your digestive system is at its hardiest.
- Keeping dinner light so it doesn’t interfere with sleep.
- Despite what Mom may have taught you, skipping breakfast-or keeping it small.
- Having your meals at the same time each day to promote good digestion.
- Avoiding snacks and bedtime binges.
- Enjoying meals alone or with people whose company you truly enjoy. Avoid eating with people who are literally bad for your digestion.
- Appreciating nature’s bounty and expressing gratitude for “the gift of food.”
The Essential Deepak Chopra Reading List
OrganicAuthority.com recommends the following Deepak Chopra classics:
Ageless Body, Timeless Mind
Journey Into Healing
The Path to Love
The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents
The Chopra Center Cookbook
The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire
Read about Deepak Chopra’s collaboration with the maker’s of the game: The Journey to Wild Divine; an “inner active” game that uses biofeedback to help one understand the mind-body connection utilizing ancient breathing techniques.