Archive for » March, 2013 «

How to Recognize Life’s Abundance by Deepak Chopra

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Deepak Chopra: How to Recognize Life’s Abundance
The co-founder of the Chopra Foundation and author of Super Brain shows you how to feel more fulfilled.

Now more than ever before, anxiety about loss of income has replaced the sense of abundance and fulfillment. Most of our fears about not having “enough” are about money and time. But what about a lack of emotional fulfillment, a lack of love, a lack of creative solutions? Abundance is all-embracing. At least it should be.

The most crucial thing to understand is that abundance begins in the mind. Do you believe you only lack something because you haven’t yet found a creative way to solve the problem? Or do you believe there’s never enough to go around, unfair stuff happens, and there’s not much you can do about it?

Choosing a belief system that cultivates abundance is crucial. But how do we do it? The simplest way to look at this—and also the most productive—is to recognize that you are always processing your life. There is input and output, forming a feedback loop. Input is the term for all the experiences that come your way during the day, while output is all your responses: your thoughts, words and actions. You are the one who oversees both. You sift through the input, evaluate it and take what you like, while rejecting what you don’t like. Nothing is more crucial than your contribution to the feedback loop: You are the one who colors everything that comes your way, using intention, belief, expectation, wishes, hopes, dreams and fears. No input is neutral, because you are emotionally invested in your experiences. At the other end of the process, when you produce output, you again color it the same way. Your thoughts, words and actions indicate how involved you are in your life. Thus the circle of personal reality is shaped, every minute of every day.

Abundance reveals itself when you build a feedback loop that can accept and build upon what life has to offer. Look at the familiar story of lottery winners who are worse off 10 years after their sudden windfall. Why? Because they couldn’t adapt. They processed life on a limited scale, and suddenly they were asked to process millions of dollars, massive attention, public exposure and the demands of people around them. Unless you have prepared the way, abundance itself can turn into a drain on you. The secret is to constantly build in small steps, taking advantage of small victories by using them to create your own belief system, one that can accept higher and higher levels of opportunity. Here are a few guidelines that you can use…

The first step to accepting abundance

1. Turn negativity into positive action.
Take one thing today that you feel negative about. Before the day is out, take one positive action that diminishes the negativity. Such actions include the following: standing up for yourself, speaking your truth, fixing what can be fixed, asking for help, seeking wise advice, walking away from things that can’t be fixed, reducing the stress and looking at your role in creating the negative situation. But the possibilities are endless. Taking even a small action begins to change the feedback you’re getting.

2. Get a healthy outside perspective.
In bad situations, people tend to contract and withdraw inside themselves. “It’s my problem” leads to isolation, which makes lack and loss feel worse. I realize that no one wants to be a burden on others and that everyone wants to preserve his or her dignity. But other people have confronted lack and loss, survived the pain and eventually made it all the way through. It helps enormously to be in touch with someone who has walked in your shoes.

3. Don’t indulge the level of futility.
“It’s hopeless. I’m helpless. Nothing will change or ever get better.” Everyone hears these words; the voice of futility persists because we were all little children who felt helpless and hopeless at times. If you indulge the voice of futility, it will pull you down to its level. So reject the temptation to indulge in a defeatist viewpoint (if you are depressed, which is a serious mental condition, seek professional help). Tell yourself, “This negative voice isn’t me.” Gently but firmly reject the voice of futility, and when any good thing happens, however small, remind yourself that the voice was wrong.

4. Expand your awareness.
The greatest enemy of abundance is contraction. When you find yourself in a tight situation, feeling that there is no way out, drawing a blank when you try to think of new solutions, or carrying around a heavy burden, these are signs of contraction, in mind, body and spirit. Expansion is the great friend of abundance. It brings in the light, opening up new possibilities. In a relaxed, open state, your awareness sees farther, and life isn’t so confined.  How can you expand your awareness? To begin with, set aside time every day for peace and quiet. The brain has a natural mechanism for resetting itself and getting back into balance. Give this mechanism a chance. Being under pressure, putting up with noise and stress, and never stopping to relax are counterproductive. Go into a quiet place and sit with your eyes closed for a few minutes at least two times a day. Let yourself become centered again, and if you can, practice meditation.

5. Take full responsibility.
If you want a radical cure for being a victim, here it is. Victims are dominated by external forces—other people, circumstances—and since outside forces cannot be controlled, it seems natural to give up responsibility for the bad things in your life. “I can’t help it” is like a poison seed that keeps multiplying and growing. The solution is to recognize that situations change only after a person quits looking outside and starts taking responsibility.  In effect, you are saying something positive: This is my life. You reclaim ownership of your life once you take responsibility. At the same time, you are stating a simple, inescapable truth. If your life isn’t your own, whom else can it belong to? No one else has enough time, money, energy and love to give you everything. Abundance comes from within. When you take responsibility, you accept everything, the good and the bad, as your whole package.

How to change your perspective

6. Develop a higher vision of your life.
There is such a thing as rich but miserable—we all know people who fit that pattern—but there is no such thing as fulfilled and miserable. Material abundance, which can be useful, contains no fulfillment by itself. Fulfillment comes from a vision that comes true. The higher the vision, the greater the fulfillment.

In effect, vision acts like a trigger for abundance. It sets in motion a host of hidden processes, because awareness builds upon itself, as you probably have already experienced. If you practice, you get good at things. If you reinforce the positive, there is more positivity to come. This is the ideal kind of feedback loop that can be applied to everything you dream of, wish for and envision. But it requires focus. When you learn to ride a bike, you don’t want to be eating a sandwich and texting a friend at the same time. Riding the bike is your focused intention. Apply this same concentration to your vision.

But what kind should you choose? Some principles are common to all higher visions, and they can be simply stated: I will be good and honest; I will be sincere; I will hold on to my truth; I will aim to love and be loved as best I can; I will add to everyone’s life, not simply my own; I will do no harm; I renounce violence; I will revere the things I believe in the most.

As for getting to the specifics, look at the people you most admire. Write down a list of heroes and heroines that inspire you, either form real life or fiction. Read biographies. Delve into scriptures and inspirational literature from the world’s wisdom traditions. As you expand your search, you won’t get more confused. Instead, you will find that certain elements ring true with you, over and over. Maybe it’s the element of service or devotion or giving or creativity. As you incorporate it into your thinking, your own vision will be clarified in your mind. This germinal stage is important, so don’t hasten it or become impatient. The vision you select is actually selecting you.

7. Make full use of your successes.
It’s strange to realize that abundance starts small. Doesn’t that contradict what the word “abundance” means? It means a bumper crop, a flow of good things and unlimited supply. Those are all applicable, but you can’t assume that abundance happens all at once, like a thunderstorm quenching a parched land. The process is more like attaining a skill. If you want to master walking a tightrope, you start small and low down, not big and high up. This actually insures that you will reach your goal.

So don’t set yourself up for failure by short-circuiting the process. A lot of things, including the wiring in your brain, must become organized around your goal. Every wish brings a result. The world’s wisdom traditions teach this lesson. But they also teach that results can be tiny, or mixed, or hidden from view because our awareness is limited and distracted. It helps to know that the process will never let you down—your every thought and intention becomes part of the feedback loop.

Be focused and consistent. Notice every step forward and take advantage of each small success. In this way, you close the gap between what you want from life and what it is giving you. At the same time, trusting the process also means not straining or adding to your stress. We are all programmed to fear the unknown, and yet every good thing in life emerges from the unknown.

In the end, the gap that separates lack from abundance is self-created. Abundance, however, comes down to connecting with a natural part of life. It is lack and loss that are unnatural. Life is a field of infinite possibilities. The unknown isn’t filled with just a few good things; the possibilities are unending. Try to make the connection. You have the ability. Creating your own reality is the richest gift you received at birth. Abundance is a wellspring for you to tap into, and the process of getting there actually works.

Read more:  http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Deepak-Chopra-How-to-Feel-More-Fulfilled

http://www.chopra.com/
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/resources.html
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html

Perfect Health Meditation Day 21—Living Perfect Health {Deepak Chopra}

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“We must each lead a way of life with self-awareness
and compassion, to do as much as we can. Then,
whatever happens we will have no regrets.” 
—His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Congratulations! Today is the final day of our 21-Day Meditation Challenge™, and you now have all the tools to live perfect health!  We hope that you share our deep appreciation for all that we’ve experienced through our discussions and daily meditations. Being thankful for what we have in our lives is an important part of our journey to perfect health. Gratitude helps clear away the noise of our egos and allows us to connect more deeply with our inner wisdom.  As we move forward on our individual paths, remember how important it is to spend time with friends and family. Sharing what we learn also enables us to build a supportive community, which is essential to creating a positive lifestyle.

 

Today’s Centering Thought:
I create my perfect health.

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Sat Chit Ananda
Existence, Consciousness, Bliss.

We are so grateful for our time with you. Blessings,


MINDFUL MOMENT
Sustain the habit of writing in your gratitude journal and continue writing all the things for which you’re thankful every day. Take time each week to review what you’ve written to truly appreciate the gifts your life offers you.

http://www.chopra.com/
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/resources.html
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html
http://www.oprah.com
http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Deepak-Chopra-How-to-Feel-More-Fulfilled

Perfect Health Meditation Day 20 — Living Agelessly {Deepak Chopra}

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“Wrinkles should merely indicate
where the smiles have been.” 
—Mark Twain

It may be challenging to see ourselves as ageless beings that grow in wisdom and spiritual fulfillment in each passing moment. Yet, living in the present enables us to literally stop time. Meditation helps ground us in the present and, physiologically, increases growth hormones, which slow down the external signs of aging.  As we engage in activities that bring us joy and choose to live from an open-heart awareness, we approach our lives with a new, positive perspective and truly live agelessly.

Today’s Centering Thought:
I am ageless and timeless. 

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Aham Brahmasmi
The core of my being is the ultimate reality,
the root and ground of the universe,
the source of all that exists.

We look forward to enjoying the stillness with you today. Blessings,


MINDFUL MOMENT
Consider an activity that really excites you. Make the commitment to engage in that activity for some time every day. Witness how time stands still when you indulge your passion and you become firmly rooted in the present.

http://www.chopra.com/
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/resources.html
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html
http://www.oprah.com

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Change-Your-Life-Pursue-Your-Dreams

The Host

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Just saw movie The Host. Luved it & found it spiritual. Even though in movie Souls are aliens who take over bodies, it made me think deeper of our souls,
as we are souls who have a body. We are spiritual beings having human experience. Our purpose is to align with our soul’s desire.
With love, through meditation we can connect with our soul which is found in the gaps between our thoughts & feelings.
Even though all this was not in the movie, well thats what story made me think of. Want to read the book now.

 

image

Perfect Health Meditation Day 19—Living Optimism {Deepak Chopra}

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“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single
moment before starting to improve the world.”
—Anne Frank

Today, we discuss what it truly means to live a life full of optimism.  We become what we believe and, as we’ve learned, remaining positive sends our bodies loving messages that are crucial to maintaining good health. By being grateful for all that we have, we can move our egos aside and live the lives we were meant to live, full of enthusiasm for the present moment and confident about our futures.  By fostering an inner dialogue that is most nurturing to us, we support the clear vision we have for ourselves and live our lives in alignment with our true purpose.

Today’s Centering Thought:
My life unfolds in divine order. 

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Om Daksham Namah
My actions achieve maximal benefit with minimal effort.

We look forward to meditating with you today. Blessings,


MINDFUL MOMENT

If you are not doing so already, begin to keep a gratitude journal. Each morning or evening, take stock of your life and write down those things for which you are truly thankful.

http://www.chopra.com/
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/resources.html
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html
http://www.oprah.com

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Be-Optimistic-Focus-on-the-Positive

Perfect Health Meditation Day 18—Living Passion {Deepak Chopra}

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“Freedom lies in being bold.” 
—Robert Frost

Passion is energy. It’s the power that comes from focusing on what really excites you. When we live with enthusiasm, we fully engage our brains and bodies in our activities, building new pathways that foster health and wellbeing. One way to ensure that we live our lives with passion is to find our dharma, our life’s true purpose, through which we can serve our community and ourselves in deeply meaningful ways. Engaging in life in this way helps keep our minds active and sharp and strengthens our relationships with everyone we meet.

Today’s Centering Thought:
I live my life with passion and enthusiasm. 

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Om Varunam Namah
My life is in harmony with cosmic law.

We enthusiastically await our time together today. Blessings,


MINDFUL MOMENT
Begin to connect with your true life’s purpose. Before each meditation, ask yourself, “How can I help? How can I serve?” Then, listen to your heart for the answer.

http://www.chopra.com/
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/resources.html
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html
http://www.oprah.com

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Elizabeth-Gilbert-on-the-Importance-of-Curiosity

Perfect Health Meditation Day 17 — Living Creativity {Deepak Chopra}

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“You can discover more about a person in an
hour of play than in a year of conversation.” 
—Plato

Today, we explore our creative spirit. As long as we remain open to new possibilities and a willingness to escape our routines, we can enjoy lifelong creativity. Letting go opens the door to new discoveries and enables us to feel truly alive. Enjoy opportunities to explore without outside opinions or artificial boundaries. Do those things that make time disappear and witness the boundless joy that flows to you.

Today’s Centering Thought:
Through rest and play,
I open my
creative channel.

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Om Anandham Namah
My actions are blissfully free from attachment to outcome.

We look forward to creating with you in stillness today. Blessings,


MINDFUL MOMENT
Set aside time today to be totally free to express yourself. Find a quiet space, gather the tools you need, and just enjoy what happens. Notice how you feel after you’ve spent some time doing what you love.

http://www.chopra.com/
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/resources.html
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html
http://www.oprah.com

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Unleash-Your-Creativity

http://www.chopracentermeditation.com/Bestsellers/OnlinePage.aspx?BookId=179

Perfect Health Meditation Day 16 — Living Nature {Deepak Chopra}

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“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than
the journey-work of the stars.”
—Walt Whitman

(Not too late to register for these free online meditations or download them on your mobile
 http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/index.html#fragment-3)

Connecting with nature is a wonderful way for us to witness the dance of the universe and to see ourselves as part of this magnificent symphony. Today, we have a very special visualization exercise that takes us on a journey through nature, enabling us to enter the silence through the wonderland that is nature’s rich and limitless bounty.  Let today’s experience remind you how important it is for our health and wellbeing to connect with nature and enjoy all that it generously offers us each day.

Today’s Centering Thought:
I am an exquisite expression of nature. 

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Om Bhavam Namah
I am absolute existence. I am a field of all possibilities.

We’re looking forward to sharing today’s journey with you. Blessings,

  


MINDFUL MOMENT
Commit to spending some time in nature today. Whether you choose to be active or simply gaze at the stars in the night sky, express your heartfelt gratitude for all that nature offers you and for your place in this beautiful cosmic dance.

http://www.chopra.com/
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/resources.html
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html
http://www.oprah.com

http://www.chopra.com/ccl/choose-love/#

http://www.oprah.com/health/Health-Benefits-of-Nature-Spending-Time-Outside

Perfect Health Meditation Day 15—Living Well {Deepak Chopra}

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“Take the first step in faith.
You don’t have to see the whole staircase,
just take the first step.” 
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In order to begin integrating all that we’re learning into our daily lives, it’s important to create a healthy lifestyle matrix to support our goals. Examining all aspects of our lives—choosing our meals, the amount of time we have to exercise, or unhealthy habits that we long to change—will help us make those transformations, both small and large, that lead us to perfect health.

Today’s Centering Thought:
My little changes amount to big benefits. 

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Ram, Ram, Ram
Everything I desire is within me.

We are excited for our time together.  Blessings,

 


MINDFUL MOMENT
Take some time to analyze your current lifestyle. Ask yourself what changes you can make that can support your healthy goals. Then, one by one, begin to make those important changes to create a positive matrix to support your wellbeing.

http://www.chopra.com/
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/resources.html
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html
http://www.oprah.com

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/10-Ways-to-Increase-Your-Happiness

 

Perfect Health Meditation Day 14 — The Balance in Silence {Deepak Chopra}

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“The music is not in the notes,
but in the silence between.”
—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

It is in this stillness that we connect with the Highest Self, the field of pure potentiality, and plant the seeds of our dearest intentions for ourselves and others so that they flourish in our lives. In this stillness, we come to understand that we are indeed intrinsically part of the universe and connected with everyone and everything around us.

 

Today’s Centering Thought:
I intend to take steps each day
toward
perfect health. 

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Om Ritam Namah
My actions and desires are supported by cosmic intelligence.

We look forward to connecting with you in Spirit. Blessings,

  


MINDFUL MOMENT
Commit to writing down your intentions. Before each meditation, review your list, and then release your intentions into the womb of creation. Then, watch how what you desire manifests in your life.

http://www.chopra.com/
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/resources.html
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html
http://www.oprah.com/

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Noise-Pollution-Effects-How-Noise-Affects-the-Body-and-Spirit

http://www.chopra.com/ccl/no-dust-on-the-mirror/#

No Dust on the Mirror {Michael Bernard Beckwith}

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No Dust on the Mirror
By on Mar 23, 2013 in Lifestyle, Meditation

No Dust on the Mirror

We spend a good deal of time gazing at ourselves in the mirror with the physical eye, and into the mirror of our mind with an analytical eye, endeavoring in each case to size ourselves up in our own estimation as well as determining how others might evaluate us. Both of these mirrors are clouded with egoic dust, distorting our vision.  It is only when we turn our gaze inward with the inner eye of awareness that we can perceive our innate wholeness, for there is no dust on the mirror of the soul.

If we take away wholeness from wholeness, wholeness still remains.  Sounds like a Buddhist koan, doesn’t it?  Consider this:  a consciousness of wholeness reunifies us with our authentic self, so that even during those times when we are unaware of our wholeness, wholeness itself is intact, utterly dust free—only our awareness of it is missing.  When awareness returns, we are reunified with the Reality of our being.  We are freed from ego’s bondage and its ignorance-soaked history and habits.

Our practice is to become mindful—on the dot—of when we lose sight of our true nature.  Everyday experiences grace us with reminders by tapping on the shoulder of our awareness and bringing us back to the qualities we want to express in our interactions with others, with ourselves, with all life.  We are given the opportunity to reconnect with the high vision we hold for ourselves in our mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, professional, relational and communal life structures.

It serves us to remember that our human incarnation is about mothering our consciousness, just as the universe mothers us throughout our lifetime and beyond. Intelligence, wisdom, intuition, joy creativity—these are the qualities we want to mother within ourselves in order to unveil our original face.  We are here to set a conscious intention to evolve, living as the master artists that we are, creating, directing, and producing our lives.

Above all, the more we set aside time for meditation, contemplation, and life visioning, the more we have 20/20 vision in foresight rather than hindsight.  Our intuition is activated and we willingly dust off the ego and enter a consciousness of mindfulness and clear seeing.  It is through our spiritual practices that we actualize our highest potential for realizing our organic, enlightened state of consciousness.

________________________________________________________________

About the Author
Michael Bernard Beckwith is the founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center headquartered in Los Angeles, author of Life Visioning, and originator of the Life Visioning Process™.Dr. Beckwith’s life is a living testament to building spiritual community. In the 1970’s he began an inward journey into the teachings of East and West, and today teaches universal truth principles found in the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom tradition of spirituality. Dr. Beckwith will present his “Life Visioning” course.

http://www.chopra.com/ccl/no-dust-on-the-mirror/#

Perfect Health Meditation Day 13 — Moving for Balance {Deepak Chopra}

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“Consciousness is only possible through change;
change is only possible through movement.” 
—Aldous Huxley

Today, we explore the concept of balance through movement.  Yoga means “union,” the union of mind, body, and spirit. Moving our bodies in ways that help us feel peaceful and connected with everything around us—whether it’s a brisk walk, a focused run, or an hour of yoga—can shift our awareness. Exercise can help us feel open and alive, rebalance our perspective, improve our physiology, and help us experience all aspects of ourselves, in harmony.

Today’s Centering Thought:
“I am flexible, powerful, and balanced.”

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Om Varunam Namah
My life is in harmony with cosmic law.

We look forward to our union with you today.
Blessings,


MINDFUL MOMENT
Create a schedule so that you engage in the exercise you enjoy the most on a regular basis. Commit to keeping with your schedule and journal how you feel each time you practice that activity.

http://www.chopra.com/
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/resources.html
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html
http://www.oprah.com/

http://www.chopra.com/ccl/three-small-shifts-to-feel-good-all-day-long/#

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Stress-Relieving-Workouts-Calming-Stretches

Perfect Health Meditation Day 12 — Connecting for Balance {Deepak Chopra}

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“Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” 
—Anais Nin

We are social creatures, who thrive in community. Connecting with one another allows us to express our most heartfelt hopes and dreams and be of service to one another. Our supportive relationships enhance the positive messages we send our bodies each day and invite better health and wellbeing into our lives. As we prepare for meditation today, take a moment to be grateful for the many individuals who contribute to your life and in whose lives you make a difference.Today’s Centering Thought: I cherish my every connection. Our Sanskrit mantra: Tat Tvam Asi I see the other in myself and myself in others.

Today’s Centering Thought:
I cherish my every connection.

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Tat Tvam Asi
I see the other in myself and myself in others.

We greatly anticipate our time together today.
Blessings,


MINDFUL MOMENT
Make a point today of spending time with friends. Have lunch with colleagues or take a long walk with a group. Notice how you feel after sharing thoughts and laughter with others.

http://www.chopra.com/
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/resources.html
http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html
http://www.oprah.com/
http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/Deepak-Chopra-The-5-Step-Path-to-a-Life-of-Love

The 5-Step Path to a Life of Love (Deepak Chopra)

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Deepak Chopra, co-founder of the Chopra Foundation and co-author of the new book War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality, reveals how to create a life founded on the world’s most generous and joyful emotion.

Love has arrived at a strange crossroads. It seems very odd to say, “I want to be more loving. Is there a scientist who can help with that?” But in modern life, our notion of love has shifted. More and more we are told—in magazines, learned journals and media reports—that love can be broken down into medical explanations, that it is produced by reactions in the brain, both chemical and electrical. We may wish that love is divine, ideal and life-transforming, the news says, but to be realistic, we should throw out our old, unscientific notions and learn more about what the brain is doing to us.

I strongly oppose such a view of love—in fact, it frightens me. On the spiritual side, there’s a completely different and higher view of love, which goes something like this: Love is part of creation, woven into the very fabric of the universe. We love one another because we have tapped into nature at a deeper level. Yes, the brain is responsible for giving love its physical expression, yet ultimately, love comes from the soul.

A catchy phrase from an old pop song said, “Love the one you’re with.” Although you can journey outside yourself, the person to give your love to (and who, in return, must return that love), in truth, the one you are with every minute of the day, is yourself. The more rewarding way to find it is to go inward to the very source of love. If you do not do this, your love will depend on your mood swings, on how others see you and on the lovable and unlovable traits you see in yourself and others.

As soon as we measure people by what is lovable and unlovable, trouble arises. The unlovable person is labeled odd, an outsider, bad or an enemy. We create unhappiness instead. We practice nonlove, that voice inside that whispers in our ears, “They are different from us.” Or, “Fight for what you want and don’t quit until you win.” Or, “When bad things happen to other people, it’s their own fault.”

We need to restore love as the key to happiness—a difficult task. That’s why we need a spiritual path, so that we can walk away from nonlove and its confusions. Here are five basic steps that can lead you to a new life where everyone, most especially yourself, is worthy of loving and being loved.

Question

Step 1: Believe in Love
When you say, “I love my work,” or “I love my partner,” you are expressing belief and showing faith in something outside yourself. As good as that is, even better is to have faith in love as part of yourself. When anyone asks me, “How do I find the right one?” I always give the same advice: To find the right one, become the right one. Belief in love is a spiritual kind of belief. It holds that love exists as a universal quality, outside ourselves, that can never be defeated, only covered over. Thus love and nonlove are not equals. Love is permanent; nonlove is temporary.

Step 2: Don’t Limit Love to a Few People and Deny It to Others
It’s very common to say: “I love my own children, and I love my neighbor’s children. But when it comes to my kids, I love them more.” That’s perfectly understandable. But there’s a spiritual teaching, going back thousands of years, which goes “The world is my family.” If love is universal, no one can be left out. To leave others out of your love is the same as inviting them to leave you out too.

Step 3: Make the Search for Love an Inward Search
Often we feel loved and insecure at the same time. The one we love is somebody we invest in emotionally, and emotions, by definition, are changeable. The one you love may turn indifferent or worse. The problem here is a kind of illusion. When you take someone into your heart, it’s like filling a hole inside. If that person should spurn and reject you, suddenly the hole reappears as a terrible ache. Yet the hole was always there, and only you can fill it permanently. Ultimately, the inward journey is about finding your own fullness, something that no one else can take away.

Step 4: Seek Other People Who Value Love As Much As You Do
There’s an old tradition: If you want to be wise, be in the company of wise people. I’d say the same is true about love. If you want to know about any human experience, seek out those who have walked the path of that experience. In our society, we are embarrassed to talk personally about truth, compassion, faith and love. This inhibition is part of our insecurity. Think of spirit as a community; it’s not a talent you develop like a teenager learning to play the guitar. Perhaps community is too big a word, however. Perhaps you can start by finding one person who is wise in the ways of love, who knows what it means to live at a deeper level. That’s a wonderful step in the right direction.

Step 5: Believe in Love As a Powerful Force
The first four steps depend on this one, believing that love has its own power. This is a power to transform. It’s a power that cuts through doubt, suspicion, distrust and even hatred. Unless love has its own power, there are too many reasons to act from nonlove. We see all around us people who madly pursue pleasure or money or status because they don’t trust in love. Without such trust that love can make a difference, of course you will pursue surrogates. Pleasure, money and status are compensations when love is absent or too weak to transform your life. No one has to give up on such surrogates, but it makes a huge difference to know that they are nonlove. The power of love is that it dissolves nonlove. That’s the kind of power you find on the spiritual path.

None of the steps is automatic. Each takes work and practice. But now, more than ever, it’s all important to reinvent the spiritual side of love. The steps may not be easy, but they are not impossible either. You only need to follow them with all your heart.

Read more:
http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/
Deepak-Chopra-The-5-Step-Path-to-a-Life-of-Love#ixzz2OItR1DSp

 

 

 

 

Perfect Health Meditation Day 11—Eating for Balance {Deepak Chopra}

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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
—Hippocrates

While we often learn about food from external sources, Ayurveda teaches us to trust the inner wisdom of our bodies, which insightfully guides us to make the correct food choices. Eating an array of natural, colorful foods, rich in nutrients, that also provides the six tastes—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent—helps us align our doshas and keeps us balanced. Just as conscious breathing invites greater prana, or energy, into our lives, so, too, do nutritious foods and fresh, clean water. It’s important, then, to make choices that are in tune with our bodies and eat with awareness in order to optimize our health.

 

 Today’s Centering Thought:
I choose foods that help me thrive. 

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Om Vardhanam Namah
I nourish the universe and the universe nourishes me.

We look forward to meditating with you today.
Blessings,


MINDFUL MOMENT
Prepare one meal today that includes a full range of colors. Try to also use all six tastes. Savor each bite, eating with awareness, and witness how your body feels after your meal.

foods that improve mood

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Perfect Health Meditation Day 10—Breathing for Balance {Deepak Chopra}

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“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky.
Conscious breathing is my anchor.” 
—Thich Nhat Hanh

Today, we take a closer look at something we all do every day—breathing. Everything that is alive is energized by a force called prana. Prana means energy or life force and, in humans, that life force is the breath.  Whereas most of our breathing is regulated automatically, conscious breathing can completely shift our perception. When we close our eyes and simply witness the breath as it flows in and out of our nostrils, we invite peace and balance into our lives, bathing our brains and every cell of our bodies in energy and vitality.

Today’s Centering Thought:
I am one with the breath of life. 

Our Sanskrit mantra:
So hum
I am.

We look forward to our time together.
Blessings,


MINDFUL MOMENT
Spend some time practicing a more advanced form of conscious breathing. Get comfortable and close your eyes. Begin to imagine the breath as it flows in and out of the nostrils. After a few rounds of inhalations and exhalations, count to five on the inhale, hold the breath for five, and then exhale for a count of five. Do this several times for just a few minutes. After you’ve completed the exercise, rest for a minute or two, and then return to activity.

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http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Deep-Breathing-Methods-How-Breathing-Reduces-Stress

Clear Clutter and Enhance Your Environment

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Clear Clutter and Enhance Your Environment

By on Mar 18, 2013 in Lifestyle, Meditation

Perhaps the greatest gift of meditation is the way in which it cleanses the windows of perception, allowing us to experience our natural state of simple and open awareness. When we’re awake to our essential self, we feel happy, light, and at peace. In contrast, unhappiness is a state of complication and imbalance in our body, mind, and environment. Complications take many forms, including a non-nurturing lifestyle, toxic relationships, hidden emotional debts, resistance, indecision, addictions, and negative conditioned beliefs. When our life is overly complicated, we’re weighed down by superfluous things at every level.

We can begin to let go of the complications that cause unnecessary suffering by cultivating inner and outer simplicity. In this process, tiny steps yield big results, in part because simplicity is nature’s default position. Suffering and the complications that fuel it are unnatural; it wastes energy to maintain complexity.

Clear Clutter and Enhance Your Environment

Exercise: Let Go of Complexity
Here is a practice that will help you let go of whatever is no longer serving you and return to your inherent state of wholeness, happiness, and wellbeing.
First ask yourself, Is there anything in my life that is causing me to feel a sense of unease, discomfort, or pain? You can choose a persistent issue that has bothered you for years or it may be something that has recently come up for you.
Here are some of the most common complications:

Clutter and disorder:
Chaos is complicated, order is simple. Consider your physical environment. Is your house a mess? Is your desk buried under stacks of paper? Are you letting other people leave clutter and messes in the space you share? Have you hoarded so much junk that your environment is like an archaeological record of your past? Just as with the physical body, when we accumulate too much stuff in our environment, the flow of energy and information becomes blocked, creating stress and disharmony in our lives.

Stress:
While the pressures of life are inevitable, if at the end of the day you are unable to completely let go and return to a calm, centered inner state, you are overstressed. Consider all the things that are creating tension and dis-ease in your life. Are you going to bed too late and not getting enough sleep?  Are you ignoring signs of overwork or exhaustion?  Is your body stressed by being overweight or sedentary? Make a list of the choices and lifestyle patterns that are creating unwanted stress in your life. Then start to brainstorm ideas to either eliminate the source of the stress or to change the impact it is having on your emotional state.

Inertia:
When you feel stuck, you are most likely giving in to old habits and conditioning.  Rather than stepping into the unknown, you may be holding onto the past, repeating inertia’s motto: “That’s just how things are.” If you feel caught in a cycle of anxiety, depression, fear, or insecurity, it’s important to become aware that doing nothing is actually a way you’ve trained yourself to keep things the same. Notice if you’re dwelling on your problems. Do you reject helpful advice without even considering it?  Do you find yourself repeatedly complaining about a situation without taking any actions to change it?  Become aware of any aspects of your life in which inertia has taken hold, and consider what shifts you are willing to make.

Toxic Relationships:
Are you in relationships with people who don’t have your best interests and wellbeing at heart? Make a list of these relationships and consider what you can do to protect yourself from their toxic influence. Sometimes setting better boundaries and practicing the tools of conscious communication can be transformative. In some cases, ending a relationship may be necessary. At the same time, focus on nurturing your healthy relationships so that they are even more loving and fulfilling.

Negativity:
Health and wellbeing are the natural state of the body and mind. By dwelling on negativity, we prevent ourselves from living in the simple state of wellbeing.  Do you often gossip about others or relish their setbacks? Do you tend to choose friends who like to criticize and complain? Do you feel compelled to watch every disaster or catastrophe unfolding on the evening news? Remember, whatever we put our attention on expands in our experience, so consider where you are focusing your time and energy.

Non-nurturing Habits: 
Do your daily routine, diet, and overall lifestyle support your health and wellbeing? When we don’t nourish ourselves with fresh, healthy food; restful sleep, regular exercise, a daily spiritual practice such as meditation or journaling, and other mind-body healing habits, we will inevitably feel tired, out of balance, irritable,  and sometimes even depressed. What aspects of your lifestyle would you like to transform to bring you greater health and happiness?

For the next few weeks, sit by yourself for at least five minutes each day with the intention to clear away complications. In the time you set aside for this clearing, determine what area you need to focus on the most and work on that. It may be one of the complications mentioned above or a different area that is preventing you from experiencing a state of peaceful simplicity.

Take the Smallest Possible Step
Start by coming up with the smallest possible action you could take – and then take it. Then choose the next smallest action, and do that. The action can truly be as small as opening your closet to find your gym shoes. Then the next day you can commit to putting on your shoes, and the day after that you can decide to walk to your mailbox. Although such small acts can seem trivial, over time they help you build momentum and experience transformation.

As you focus on simplifying your life, make sure that your approach is loving and accepting. Know that you are now doing all that you can do right now, and that is all anyone can do. When you stay in the moment, you have all the time in the world and whatever needs to be done will be completed in the exact right time.


About the author

Deepak Chopra, M.Dis the author of more than 65 books, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and an adjunct professor of Executive Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also a Distinguished Executive Scholar at Columbia Business School, Columbia University, and a Senior Scientist at the Gallup organization. For more than a decade, he has participated as a lecturer at the Update in Internal Medicine, an annual event sponsored by Harvard Medical School’s Department of Continuing Education and the Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Deepak Chopra also leads the advanced meditation retreat, Silent Awakenings. In addition to meditation, you’ll experience daily lectures centered around the “Awakening” of the day, and interactive discussion sessions with Deepak Chopra that may include Vedic teachings, practical spiritual guidance, and more.

http://www.chopra.com/ccl/category/meditation/

Silent Awakenings

Perfect Health Meditation Day 9—Creating Balance {Deepak Chopra}

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“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” 
—Lao Tzu 

Today, we spend time thinking about our environments—at home and away—and find ways to make them more nourishing and peaceful.  Consider those things that you enjoy—the scents, sights, sounds—that bring calm to your mind and spirit, and warm your heart. With just a little bit of thought and effort, we can create environments that support our success and enable us to feel positive and alive. So, as you enjoy your home and work in your professional space, we encourage you to make those small, simple changes that will allow your environment to enhance your life.

 Today’s Centering Thought:
My outer world reflects my inner world. 

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Sat Chit Ananda
Existence, Consciousness, Bliss

We look forward to our time together today.
Blessings

 


MINDFUL MOMENT
Take some time to examine your environment and consider those things you’d like to change. Perhaps it’s time to sweep away some clutter, add fresh flowers, turn on some soothing music, or light a stick of incense. Remind yourself that your outer world is a reflection of your inner world and invite those elements into your environment that truly make you feel good inside.

http://www.chopra.com/
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http://www.chopra.com/ccl/clear-clutter-and-enhance-your-environment/#

http://www.oprah.com/health/10-Easy-Things-You-Can-Do-to-Improve-Your-Life-by-Next-Week

 

Perfect Health Meditation Day 8—Restoring Balance {Deepak Chopra}

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 “Your visions will become clear only
when you can look into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams;
who looks inside, awakes.”
—C.G. Jung

This week, we have even more transformational information to share with you, and it all has to do with cultivating greater balance in our lives. Today’s discussion and meditation focus on restoring balance and how we can become more self-aware. Throughout our days, we tend to repeat the same activities without thinking much about them. At some point, though, we become aware of these habits and, later, we may even become self-aware, wondering why these habits are part of our lives and deciding whether they benefit us. Our entire journey together over these three weeks is one that will lead us to greater self-understanding.

 Today’s Centering Thought:
With awareness, I create healthy habits. 

Our Sanskrit mantra:
Om Kriyam Namah
My actions are aligned with cosmic law

 We look forward to connecting with you in meditation.
Blessings,


MINDFUL MOMENT
Examine your habits today. Ask yourself, “Why did I begin doing this?” and “Does this benefit my body, mind, and spirit?” If you find yourself habitually engaging in activities that do not support your healthy lifestyle, begin taking steps to change those habits that do not serve you.

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http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/video.html

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http://www.oprah.com/health/Work-Life-Balance-Building-Boundaries-
Between-Your-Job-and-Your-Home