Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What I got out of a lecture by Deepak Chopra at the Naples Philharmonic for the Arts

If you are in the habit of reading motivational books, you probably have read one of Deepak Chopra´s books at some point. It is difficult not to come across one, since he is the author of over 50 books, audio programs and DVDs. If you haven´t, visit his website or google him and you will come across countless articles about his persona and lists of all his publications.
Chopra is a medical doctor (although some argue he is not) who turned away from medicine and towards meditation and Ayurvedic practice, to become a money-making guru in the eyes of some, and an alternative medicine expert to others. Born in India in 1947, he arrived in the U.S. at 23 years of age, and hasn´t looked back.
He came to the city where I live in Florida to give a lecture four years ago and back then I missed it, but he returned last week. I attended his lecture two nights ago, in order to write an article about it for a local publication. I thought I would take notes, but then I decided against it. I wanted to experience the lecture from the point of view of a regular attendee.
When I sat down at the Naples Philharmonic for the Arts on Sunday night, I saw that the lady next to me had a book in her hands entitled: “Golf for Enlightenment,” and I winced. Ok, so he´s out there to make money, I thought. His lecture was to be on his latest book: “Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul.” I have only read two of his previous titles: “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” and another one, the title of which I do not remember. I have listened to a couple of his audio books and find his voice puts me to sleep, but maybe that’s a good thing.
You gotta give someone who’s a money-making machine credit for at least that! I mean, who wouldn’t want to be in that position! I know I wouldn’t mind!
Deepak Chopra walked onstage, and the first thing I noticed was his enormous belly. For a person who advocates taking care of the body as well as the soul, you would think he would try to at least be in some kind of good shape. But, maybe he is very healthy. Fitness and health are two different things even though they are related.
So he was witty and engaging despite walking across the stage non-stop so that it felt I was watching a tennis game. We even did a meditation exercise, which I welcomed, since I’ve been feeling a little stressed lately. Chopra explained the science behind intention, mood, spirituality and more, and that was very interesting. As all good speakers, he repeated the key concepts and phrases of his lecture, and as all good marketers he repeated that we could find it all in his book.

The key concepts I took with me from the lecture were the following:

- You are not in your body. Your body is in you.

- When you change the way you look at things, what you look at changes (Ghandi).

- I discovered I am a happy person! Happy people enjoy making others happy, delight in other people’s success, are able to feel love and compassion and they focus on happy memories and happy outcomes. They also prefer to spend their money on experiences and education instead of on inanimate objects. Ha! I have not always been that way (All I have to do is bring to mind my teens and 20’s), but it was an epiphany! That is why people tell me I have such good energy. Yay! Just that made attending the lecture worth it!

The quirk of self-help and motivational writers and speakers is the following: some may resonate with you more than others. You may have read a certain message over and over and it just did not click, because you were not ready to receive it. Then you listen to, say, Deepak Chopra pronounce it in his words with an Indian accent, and you feel like you heard it for the first time and it makes an impact! I must say that I am more aware of who I am after listening to Deepak Chopra live.
I know people who adore Chopra and hang on to his every word and others who write him off as a quack. I believe in the old adage of “take what you need and leave the rest.”
What book of Chopra’s, if any, has impacted you? If you do not like his work, why not?



  1. Love Deepak and his books...he is such an inspirational writer... and he does resonate with me...love the big belly...que funny...

  2. Along time ago, I read The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. I keep it handy on my night stand, as once in a while I go back to it to be reminded what I need to do inorder to stay focus on things that matters to me.

    As to the question "has it impacted you?" in a way yes, as I keep his book on my night stand (just a little humor) but more so because his philosophy resonates with mine. With that said I have only read one of his books and listened to various interviews of his. Personally, I think that the impact a speaker like him has on someone depends on a few factors; such as the stage of life a person is currently in and his/her receptiveness to information. Being on the same “waive length” I believe it makes it easier to absorb information as opposed to the contrary where one additionally would need to be open minded and allow new information to come in.