Excerpts from the works of Deepak Chopra


The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

'There are three components to the Law of Least Effort -- three things you can do to put this principle of "do less and accomplish more" into action. The first component is acceptance. Acceptance simply means that you make a commitment: "Today I will accept people, situations, circumstances, and events as they occur." This means I will know that this moment is as it should be, because the whole universe is as it should be. This moment the one you're experiencing right now -- is the culmination of all the moments you have experienced in the past. This moment is as it is because the entire universe is as it is.

When you struggle against this moment, you're actually struggling against the entire universe. Instead, you can make the decision that today you will not struggle against the whole universe by struggling against this moment. This means that your acceptance of this moment is total and complete. You accept things as they are, not as you wish they were in this moment. This is important to understand. You can wish for things in the future to be different, but in this moment you have to accept things as they are.

When you feel frustrated or upset by a person or a situation, remember that you are not reacting to the person or the situation, but to your feelings about the person or the situation. These are your feelings, and your feelings are not someone else's fault. When you recognize and understand this completely, you are ready to take responsibility for how you feel and to change it. And if you can accept things as they are, you are ready to take responsibility for your situation and for all the events you see as problems.

This leads us to the second component of the Law of Least Effort: responsibility. What does responsibility mean? Responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for your situation, including yourself. Having accepted this circumstance, this event, this problem, responsibility then means the ability to have a creative response to the situation as it is now. All problems contain the seeds of opportunity, and this awareness allows you to take the moment and transform it to a better situation or thing,

Once you do this, every so-called upsetting situation will become an opportunity for the creation of something new and beautiful, and every so-called tormentor or tyrant will become your teacher. Reality is an interpretation. And if you choose to interpret reality in this way, you will have many teachers around you, and many opportunities to evolve.

Whenever confronted by a tyrant, tormentor, teacher, friend, or foe (they all mean the same thing) remind yourself, "This moment is as it should be." Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.

The third component of the Law of Least Effort is defenselessness, which means that your awareness is established in defenselessness, and you have relinquished the need to convince or persuade others of your point of view. If you observe people around you, you'll see that they spend ninety-nine percent of their time defending their points of view. If you just relinquish the need to defend your point of view, you will in that relinquishment, gain access to enormous amounts of energy that have been previously wasted.

When you become defensive, blame others, and do not accept and surrender to the moment, your life meets resistance. Any time you encounter resistance, recognize that if you force the situation, the resistance will only increase. You don't want to stand rigid like a tall oak that cracks and collapses in the storm. Instead, you want to be flexible, like a reed that bends with the storm and survives.'

-Deepak Chopra, from The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success


The Return of the Rishi

'I recently had lunch with the dean of social medicine at a prestigious medical school. We had not met before, and this talk was at my request. I was proposing to him that a conference be held at his school on the medicines of the East, which are the last repositories for the old ideal of man in harmony with Nature. The dean is a physician, an expert in diseases on the larger social scale, including the Far East, but he was skeptical about what I proposed. He adamantly declared that he could not understand why anyone praised Eastern medicine, whose concepts were utterly mumbo-jumbo as far as he could tell.

"I've heard from Eastern doctors, and their heads are filled with mystical ideas. We won't have to listen to all this mystical rubbish, will we?" he complained. That I was from India and might have a personal stake in such ideas didn't phase him.

"The belief that man and Nature are bound up together in one body is part of these systems," I said, a bit coolly. "It's not some kind of mystical nonsense. They have found therapies that work as well as ours. It's just a different basic concept. Our medicine is based on a concept, too, as you know." He

snorted.

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I will not be forced to invent that he was a fat man in a pinstriped suit smoking a cigar, because he actually was all of that. He also made the memorable remark, "For God's sake, if you do hold this conference, don't let me hear from those holistic health people. I've got enough trouble from them already." The dean glared down at his luncheon plate, probably thinking about the holistic menace. No one who really believed in the medicine he practices could be that aggressively closed-minded.

After we parted, I became angry that his attitude had forced me to act like an enemy to real medicine. His sort of real medicine has its glaring faults, though not mystical ones. It is not news that confidence in doctors is becoming rare. The incredible expense and complexity of the present system is known to everybody.

What is less well known, because doctors do not discuss it very openly, is the futility of practicing medicine without a basic ideal. What kind of holistic rubbish would the dean have found in these two lines:

Rejoice at your inner powers, for they are the makers of wholeness and holiness in you, Rejoice at seeing the light of day, for seeing makes truth and beauty possible.

They happen to come from Hippocrates, and as long as they have meaning, medicine is saved from becoming soulless. I was probably lucky to go through a dark night in New Jersey. In a moment of insecurity, I felt that not the physician but the disease had the upper hand. My rational methods, the machines I controlled, and my concepts of treatment seemed to have too little to do with life and too much to do with death. Practicing medicine as we do now makes a doctor's life as nerve-racking as a soldier's. It consists of an endless struggle to conquer disease, and to keep at this, a doctor must deny to himself that disease ultimately wins. If you feel called to practice medicine, these are not the kinds of thoughts you permit yourself. But doctors do face up to them from time to time and wonder what the work is for.

After my troubled night, I became what I was headed for. I got to be a resident and a specialist. Like the big third-year man who urged me on to Boston, I became a chief resident myself, and so I got used to being right. The dormitories of large teaching hospitals became a second home to me; in time, I had my own practice. Success in the system, however, depended on believing in the system. I used to be much better at that than I am now. My beliefs have been changing very fast, and now I am probably part of the dean's holistic menace. I am amazed at how long it took me to discover something that is almost absurdly simple: a physician must trust in Nature and be happy in himself.'

-Deepak Chopra, from The Return of the Rishi


The Way of the Wizard

'To some extent or other, we all fall in love with images. We carry these images around inside ourselves, waiting until in we find a match in the external world. Usually we are searching for someone either to reflect our own self-image or to repair it. One kind of love seeks a mirror, the other wants to add a missing piece. In both cases there is an underlying sense of need. Feeling incomplete in yourself, you try to bolster your lack through someone else.

"If you want to feel love as God feels it, you must fill all your voids, for God can love only from the state of fullness," Merlin advised. To be a perfect lover would mean that you have no secret weakness or wound you want someone else to fix for you. Searching out your own voids is the first step, filling them with Being or essence is the second. The shorthand for this process is usually called "learning to love yourself," but we must be careful with that term. Too often it is synonymous with "learning to love your self-image." In the wizard's eyes, self-image is simply ego; it is denial papering over the void of lack.

The real process of learning to love yourself would be better termed "learning to love your Self," meaning your spirit. If you honestly look at your past, which is now stored as thousands of memories inside, you will always find a mixed bag--some experiences may have aroused love of self or others, many did not. Memories of shame, guilt, rejection, hatred, resentment, and other unloving feelings cannot be converted to love. These images are what they are. Accept them and move to a higher sense of Self, which is unconnected with memory.

Memory can only lock you into a suffocating sense of your personal past. Beyond memory is the quiet experience of Being, simple awareness without content. This is the region of love, the region of yourself entered through meditation. Many kinds of meditation exist; their tradition both East and West is guided by the principle that you have a core of Being or essence that can be accessed. Access comes not by thinking or feeling. Rather, to meditate is to go directly to the silent region within.

You can get a sense of what it is like to go beyond images through the following exercise: imagine a beautiful woman or handsome man in your mind's eye, someone who represents your ideal object of love. See the person as vividly as you can, then change their face, making it older and older, until the beauty is gone and what you behold is wizened and wrinkled. Is your feeling of love still as strong as when you started! Most of us find it extremely hard to have the same feelings for a wrinkled old face as for a young beautiful one. Can you call it love when a mere change of image causes such an alteration?

"Why does love change?" asked Arthur.

"Because the emotion of love always contains its opposite. The strongest love you feel masks a hatred equally strong," Merlin said. "The only difference is that the love is in blossom while the hatred is still a seed."

Or try this related exercise: think back to a time when someone you deeply loved hurt you. It might have been a moment of indifference or betrayal, or it might have been an act that revealed your beloved wasn't perfect but only human. If you are honest with yourself, you will remember how violently and suddenly love can turn into other feelings. The hatred, jealousy, hurt or indifference that sprang up was always there in seed form, hidden from sight by the love you preferred to feel. Why did you prefer it? Besides sheer pleasure, there is another reason: ego. The kind of love that is attached to another person is really about yourself, because what keeps it going isn't what is real in the beloved but something far more binding--your own need to possess.

When you think you possess someone else, what you're actually doing is finding a way to escape yourself, avoiding your denied fears and weaknesses. Instead of confronting yourself, you look in the mirror of love and see perfect fulfillment in the emotions you feel for your beloved. This is not criticism. As a wizard sees it, love really is a way to experience perfect fulfillment, but it can't through fantasy. The mirror of love is a divine way to go beyond ego, but only after you have gotten to the pure flow of Being that lies like a secret jewel inside every feeling of love.

"Remember," Merlin said. "Love is not a mere feeling but a universal force, and as such it must contain truth." If you are able to go this deep, you will find that every emotion turns out to be love in disguise. Jealousy and hatred seem to be the opposite of love, but they can also be seen as distorted ways to return to love. The jealous person is seeking love but has a distorted way of going about it; the hating person may desperately want love, but hates out of despair at ever getting it. Once you stop seeing love as a mere emotion, it makes sense that a universal force is drawing everyone toward it--this is the wizard's love. Thus we should honor every expression of love, however distorted. Though few people may be able to experience universal love at its fullest, all are walking the path toward it.'

-Deepak Chopra, from The Way of the Wizard


Ageless Body, Timeless Mind

'The deepest reality you are aware of is the one from which you draw your power. For someone who is conscious only of the material world, power is limited to material forces; but at a more profound level there is a creative power shaping mind and body--the power of evolution, or dharma. To get in touch with the core of life, you have to get in touch with the creative power of the universe. That power expresses itself through your personal creativity. When you are in the field of creativity, you lose track of time. Only the flow exists.

There are three forces pervading all life: creation, maintenance, and destruction. All three are present in the life span of cells, stars, trees, planets, and galaxies, since every form must come into being, be maintained, and pass away. Even though each life span unfolds in a sequence over time, the three forces themselves exist simultaneously. The genes of every species include the code for creating new cells, maintaining each cell for a certain time, and destroying it to make way for another generation of tissue. This three-in-one intelligence is what you are trying to affect when you consciously shape your life; it is up to you which aspect--creation, maintenance, or destruction--is most dominant. Because you have the power to shift the balance of forces, you are above and beyond them.

As long as creation dominates your existence, you will keep growing and evolving. Evolution thwarts entropy, decay, and aging. The most creative people in any field intuitively draw on this understanding. They grow with full consciousness that they are the source of their own power, and whatever their field, certain traits are generally shared by them:

1.They are able to contact and enjoy silence 2.They connect with and enjoy Nature
3.They trust their feelings
4.They can remain centered and function amid confusion and chaos
5.They are childlike--they enjoy fantasy and play
6.They self-refer: They place the highest trust in their own consciousness
7.They are not rigidly attached to any point of view: Although passionately committed to their creativity, they remain open to new possibilities.

These seven points give us a practical standard to measure how creatively our lives are proceeding. The following exercise demonstrates how to develop and strengthen these areas.

Exercise I: Creative Action Plan

Everyone has a set routine that dominates his or her day. Most of us fill our waking hours with the same activities--seeing the same family members and friends, working with the same co-workers, driving the same roads, even thinking the same thoughts (it has been estimated that 90 percent of the thoughts a person has in a day are a literal repeat of his thoughts of the day before). This routine allows little room for genuine creativity unless you choose to make room for it. Yet in quantum terms there is infinite space for creativity, because every second is full of unlimited choice and unseen possibilities. Once you begin to make space for the new and unknown, you open the way for deeper powers to emerge from the gaps of everyday existence. All the most extraordinary historical events took place on ordinary days, and the most extraordinary thoughts arose in minds that were having many ordinary thoughts…'

-Deepak Chopra, from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind


The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents

'The Seventh Law says, "You are here for a reason." A child's reason for being here can be put in simple, everyday terms, such as

How did I make a difference today?

What talent did I uncover?

What came to me -- a gift, a lesson, a beautiful experience -- that made me feel special?

What did I do to make someone else feel special?

These are all simple variations on the basic question Why am I here? We all asked that question as children and only quit asking it because we felt that our parents and teachers didn't really have an answer.

A child who has not learned to look for meaning in simple ways will one day have to try to find a purpose in life under much more difficult circumstances. Usually we postpone the search until our late teens or early twenties, sometimes not until midlife, unfortunately the most turbulent stages of personal development. "The meaning of life" gets confused with rebellion and the roller coaster of emotions that are typical of late adolescence, or the growing awareness of mortality that comes in midlife. In school we grapple with the ideas of the great religious teachers and philosophers. The debate over whether existence even has a meaning engulfs us. (I think anyone who lived through the sixties can painfully identify with all these phases of struggle.)

However, a child who was taught from the age of three or four "You are here for a reason" would face a very different future. Such a child would see the search for meaning in life as a natural thing, the spiritual equivalent of learning your ABCs. There would be no years of postponement, followed by desperate inner turmoil. "Why am I here?" doesn't have to be a fearsome existential question. It is the most joyful exploration a person can undertake, and we do our children an immense favor by presenting it as such. A child who paid attention to just this one principle would have a far richer life -- a more successful life -- than countless adults for whom "spirit" and "God" remain forever locked in a world of abstraction.

Real spiritual growth changes a person in a paradoxical way. It brings understanding at the same time as it preserves innocence. As parents we are sorely tempted to distance ourselves from childhood. We do this by seeming to know more about life, when in fact we have usually just experienced more. We have gotten good at knowing the rules and avoiding punishment, at hiding our weakness with a show of strength, at never letting slip the mask of invulnerability. There is no better recipe for destroying a child's innocence than to destroy our own.'

-Deepak Chopra, from The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents


Restful Sleep

'"Everything that happens according to nature ought to be considered healthy," wrote Cicero, the Roman statesman. Our bodies follow natural cycles or rhythms - or at least they were intended to. In contemporary society, with the realities of working, traveling, and all the possibilities for distraction and entertainment that are regularly set before our eyes, it's difficult to realize that a vast, orderly universe exists all around us, operating according to an intricately structured, almost symphonic rhythm. We may try to ignore that rhythm, but it still asserts itself even through the static of everyday life.

Your own sleep/dream/wakeful cycle is, or should be, an expression of this pervasive natural harmony. It can be seen almost everywhere, if one takes the time to look. Earth rotates on its axis every twenty-four hours. It takes 365¼ days to revolve around the sun. The moon takes twenty-eight to twenty-nine days to revolve around Earth. Tidal rhythms express gravitational effects of the sun and the moon. All this is on a grand scale, of course, and modern science has only recently begun to recognize the full extent to which these cosmic rhythms have a counterpart within the physiology of every human being. For instance, there is evidence that the point in her monthly cycle at which a breast-cancer patient undergoes surgery is a tremendously important factor in determining the outcome of her treatment. There is also important evidence that illnesses such as clinical depression are dramatically influenced by seasonal changes and even by different times of day.

In order to enjoy perfect sleep it is essential to understand the extent to which the cadence of our internal experience is influenced by the larger rhythm surrounding us, just as a dancer will be drawn to move in time with the beat of an orchestra. In fact, it's not an exaggeration to say that the internal biological rhythm that each of us perceives as his or her own is actually an expression of the external beat of nature. In other words, these external and internal rhythms are just two expressions of the same carefully ordered natural cycles. These cycles are found throughout the plant and animal kingdoms and have even been observed in isolated cells and unicellular organisms.

For example, studies have shown that certain plants, sensitive to the cycle of day and night, can be placed in a dark room for days at a time and still continue to open and close their leaves according to the cycle of day and night, though they have no direct exposure to sunlight. This demonstrates just how deeply these basic cycles are ingrained in every aspect of nature.

In terms of these cycles' influence on our everyday lives, there's one particular well-documented phenomenon that deserves our close attention. Scientists call it circadian rhythm, the pattern of biological cycles that recurs at approximately twenty-four-hour intervals. Many of your body's vital signs are governed by circadian rhythm: Neurological and endocrine functions, for example, follow a twenty-four-hour cycle, as do temperature fluctuations, hormone and enzyme production, electrolyte excretion, and sleep/wakeful cycle.

The importance of circadian rhythm was first established more than thirty years ago during a series of experiments in the basement of a Munich hospital. A group of volunteers was placed in a windowless room, isolated from all external clues as to the time of day or the day of the week. They were allowed to establish and follow their own schedules for eating and sleeping. This study and later ones revealed that the human body operates on a cycle of approximately twenty-five hours.

This is very significant, because it suggests that if our internal pacemakers are not reset on a regular basis, they will begin leading us toward a schedule further and further from what the world considers regular hours. In other words, within two weeks we could be eating breakfast at midnight and getting into bed at dawn.

If we look beyond superficial explanations to explore genuinely fundamental causes, irregularities in the internal biological clock stand revealed as one of the most significant causes of insomnia. It's interesting to note that this loss of synchronization between the individual and his or her natural surroundings is a relatively recent phenomenon, at least in the degree to which we experience it today, and for this I blame two innovations that are fundamental to the benefits we enjoy in contemporary life, but which are definitely enemies of the natural sleep that our ancestors enjoyed.

These two innovations, which appeared in America at almost the same historical moment, are the electric light bulb and the notion of standardized time...'

-Deepak Chopra, from Restful Sleep


The Path to Love

'There is, however, still the enormous issue of how two people can surrender to each other completely. No matter how much love you begin to feel within, you must still reflect it to your beloved. Two spiritual people living together don't automatically make a spiritual relationship. Therefore we want to ask in practical terms how love increases between two souls. The ego is not easily defeated in its preoccupation with everything but love.

Surrender is not achieved until you surrender completely to your beloved. To accomplish this you must relinquish everything that deprives you of love and nurture everything that comes from love.

One way that people deprive themselves of love is especially confusing because it seems to be a way to increase it: this is attachment. In its mildest form attachment is the desire to be with someone special. A baby attached to its mother won't accept other women as substitutes; a twelve-year-old girl selects a best friend from the girls she knows. Even in these pre-adult forms attachment has two sides – it both includes and excludes. Adult relationships carry attachment to a deeper level, but the exclusivity remains. The wedding vow to "forsake all others" implies not just fidelity but a life to be shared by two alone. Isn't it love when you share your world with someone else? Shouldn't intimate relationships be exclusive in just this way? The answer is surprising, for if you look deeper you will see that love and attachment are not the same thing.

Love allows your beloved the freedom to be unlike you. Attachment asks for conformity to your needs and desires.
Love imposes no demands. Attachment expresses an overwhelming demand – "Make me feel whole."
Love expands beyond the limits of two people. Attachment tries to exclude everything but two people.

Most of us would not automatically make these distinctions, because attachment is something we need. But a relationship based upon need is really just expanded ego. Being able to fuse your ego with someone else's brings a sense of security; it justifies being selfish because the selfishness is shared. "We" have our ways of doing things, our likes and dislikes, our sense of being set apart from others. At its most extreme there is a kind of mutual madness – folie a deux – in which two people try to possess each other body and soul. A wild love affair is the closest most people come to this extreme. In ordinary relationships attachment seems normal.

The seduction of attachment is that it bestows a sense of security through insulation from the outside world. The pet names no one else hears, the private language and rituals, the attitudes so deeply ingrained that they are never even referred to: these things make people feel safe because they make "we two" a tight, enclosed world.'

-Deepak Chopra, from The Path to Love


Body, Mind and Soul

"So what's the real picture of the world? So what's the real texture of the world? What's it really like? And the answer is: It depends on who's looking, what kind of instruments they are using when they make that observation and what kind of questions they're asking themselves when they make that observation. It is literally the response of the observer. The picture of the world is not the look of it, it is our way of looking at it. And we have learned how to look at it in a certain way. We have looked at it until now through what I can only call the superstition of materialism. The superstition of materialism which holds that this is a physical world and that we are physical entities in a physical world. This is the superstition of materialism. It says, "Trust your senses", when even common sense informs us that, if anything, our senses are the least reliable test of reality. After all, our senses tell us that the earth is flat - Nobody believes that anymore. And our senses tell us that this ground that we are standing on is stationary, and we know it's spinning at dizzying speeds and moving through outer space at thousands of miles an hour.

Our senses tell us that things have a texture, a color, a form, an appearance, a taste, a smell; and we tend to think this is the intrinsic nature of objects. It's not. It's the intrinsic nature of the observer that is making the observations. I think that if we want to get a new understanding of the human body-mind and of human potential, we have to discard our own notions of reality that are based on the superstition of materialism. We have to forget thinking of the human body as a frozen anatomical structure.

When I went to medical school, I wanted to know the meaning of life, that was my motivation for going to medical school. And the first thing I was introduced to was a corpse. I was supposed to understand the meaning of life by examining a dead body. And that model stays with us - we look at the human body as a frozen anatomical structure. And we look at consciousness as the epi-phenomenon of this material body. That if you have thoughts, and feelings and emotions and desires and instincts and drives; if you fall in love or you believe in God or Heaven or Hell or salvation or damnation; all of this is just a dance of molecules. Biochemistry produces this thing that we call thought. And if we just understand how these molecules behave, than we will be able to solve our problems. Science, based on the materialistic model, has attempted to understand the mechanism of disease, in the hope that if you could understand the mechanisms of disease, and interfere with these mechanisms of disease, you could be able to get rid of it. Unfortunately that hasn't worked, because the mechanisms of disease are not the origins of disease. Moreover, origins of disease are not the origins of health. Health, which is not the mere absence of disease, but in fact a state of vitality, of energy, of creativity; ultimately, a higher state of consciousness. So let us look at a model that is beyond the materialistic..."

-Deepak Chopra, from Body, Mind and Soul

Links

Random House site - This site has the world-famous Deepak Chopra online Forum as well as excerpts from his books including the latest, How to Know God

www.chopra.com - many features including itinerary & question of the day.

www.howtoknowgod.com

Excerpts from Deepak Chopra - includes way of wizard

Lesson 15 at soul self-help ...

Another site has the EXACT same lesson ... spooky

Review of the book

Brief review/excerpt

Polynesian Dreams mentions a quote or two ...

Conversation with Deepak

Another Interview

And another

Yet another

Guess what - actually an excellent interview at PHENOMENEWS website ...

Dalai Lama's Millennial Message webcast

Transcription of the message

Larry King Live on June 26, 2000 - click here for a transcript - Deepak and the Dalai Lama both spoke about Science & Spirituality - address or transcript may change ...

Audio Interview at Book Radio Site

Another CNN interview

And another about his search for God

We are the thinker behind the thought

Magical Mind Magical Body

Body, Mind & Soul, The Mystery & The Magic


November 2000 Update -

Another interview about "Transformation" -

She thinks I am a great intellect, but that I need to mature, that I am still trying to prove something to the world, and that I need to let go of that, and she is right. ...In the end, what helps me most is to constantly experience gratitude for everything I have, for the relationships I have. Gratitude always brings me to a place of peace. As long as I keep my awareness in the experience of gratitude, the grace of God is there.

Excerpts from Quantum Healing which I boorowed from the library ...




       

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