Is Your Body at Peace?

Is Your Body at Peace?

  • Deepak Chopra

Put fear in perspective. Realize that positive outcomes are possible. Discuss how you feel with others; work together to change the stress. Be in control where you can. Don’t let chaos dominate. Stay centered, and whenever you are thrown off center, take time to return there. Find an outlet for your anger and anxiety.

These are common-sense suggestions, but I wonder how many people use them. For every lunch meeting where two friends fret over living in a time of war and terror, there should be one where they speculate about the best way to find peace. In a time of crisis, putting your body at peace can seem like a full-time job.

Spiritual life is all about finding a center and holding on to it. Negativity can feel like your center. You must confront the fact that not just your body, but the body politic is affected by violence. When you find yourself fixated on war and violence you are empathically drawing in what others feel. This osmosis isn’t healthy per se. Collective consciousness is part of you. But it isn’t your real self, and if you mistake what others feel for what you feel, you are putting your body at war for a bad reason; because everyone else is doing it.

You have to put your own body at peace, and then, in the absence of turmoil, you can find out what you want to hold on to. Spirituality without a core of peace is very limited.

Adapted from: Peace is the Way, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2005).

 

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Affirmation on Meditation

Affirmation on Meditation

  • Deepak Chopra

The true self contains the light that no darkness can attack. Daily affirmations are steps out of pain toward a higher reality. We can become living memorials to tragedy by restoring the power of life. You are that life, you are that power. Let us see if we can find the spark that will make the spiritual flame spring up.

Meditation is the practice of going inward to access awareness that is deeper than thought. Meditation isn’t just a time for peace and quiet, although both are needed. You are returning to your source. Make it your habit to find time alone, preferably once in the morning and once in the evening, in which you can close your eyes and go inside.

There are many forms of meditation. A simple but effective one is meditation on the heart. Sit quietly for a moment, placing your attention on your heart, at the center of your chest under the breastbone. When you are settled, repeat the word “peace” silently, and see its influence radiating out from your body in all directions. Do this three times, and then say the word “happiness” the same way. Repeat three times, then go on to “harmony,” “laughter” and “love.”

For longer meditations, you can use these words for as long as you like. Start with five minutes a session and work up to half an hour. Sit quietly for a few minutes after each session with eyes closed and simply appreciate the simplicity of quiet awareness.

Adapted from The Deeper Wound: Recovering the Soul from Fear and Suffering by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2001).

Are You Aware Of Your Unconscious Tendencies?

Are You Aware Of Your Unconscious Tendencies?

posted by Deepak Chopra
 

The question of free will versus determination is huge. In the one reality, every pair of opposites is ultimately an illusion. We’ve already blurred the division between good and evil and life and death. Is free will going to turn out to be the same as determinism? A lot seems to ride on the answer.

Free Will = Independence, Self-determination, Choice, Control over events, Future is open.

Determinism = Dependence on an outside will, Self determined by fate, No control over events, Choices made for you, Future is closed.

These phrases sketch in the common understanding of what’s at stake. Everything in the free-will column sounds attractive. We all want to be independent; we want to make our own decisions; we want to wake up with hope that the future is open and full of endless possibilities.

On the other hand, nothing seems attractive in the determination column. If your choices have been made for you, if your self is tied to a plan written before you were born, then the future cannot be open. Emotionally at least, the prospect of free will has already won the argument.

And at a certain level nobody has to delve any deeper. If you and I are marionettes operated by an invisible puppeteer – call him God, fate, or karma – then the strings he’s pulling are also invisible. We have no proof that we aren’t making free choices.

There is a reason to delve deeper, however, and it centers on the word Vasana. In Sanskrit, a Vasana is an unconscious cause. It’s the software of the psyche, the driving force that makes you do something when you think you’re doing it spontaneously. As such, Vasana is very disturbing.

Vasana is determinism that feels like free will. If unconscious tendencies kept working in the dark, they wouldn’t be a problem. But human beings, unique among all living creatures, want to break down Vasana. We crave the assurance of absolute freedom and its result – a totally open future.
Is this reasonable? Is it even possible?

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).

What Is Real Happiness?

What Is Real Happiness?

posted by Deepak Chopra

 

What is real happiness? It is being at one with your soul. So, then what’s a soul? Its everything that the ego is not. The ego tries to build you up. It makes you feel special and protected. But what’s really happening? You wind up being incredible insecure.

“I’m stuck on myself, on my way of doing things. I don’t love the way I am, but I’m addicted to it, and I don’t know how to stop.”

Your soul and your ego are as invisibly mixed as white wine and water. That’s why people are so confused. They wander through life searching for the soul when it’s right there. They all believe their soul will go to Heaven after they die, but the soul is everywhere already.

In other words, the soul is a mystery. It can’t be lost or found. It is neither here nor there. It belongs to you and yet it belongs to God. Without a process, no one would ever get to the bottom of it.

You’re searching for a label. Don’t. The process can’t be named. It’s invisible and yet all-powerful. It alters everything you say and do, yet nothing you say and do is part of it.

You can’t own the process. You can’t cling to it, any more than you could hold on to the smell of the ocean. The process happens entirely in the present. It’s here one second and gone the next.

You keep going back to your old self. That’s the worst addiction. As long as you crave the old self, you can never fully contact the unknown. Everyone is addicted to their old self.

You can’t have real roses, so you buy plastic ones. You can’t think sweet thoughts, so you gobble down sugar. You can’t figure out how to be happy, so you make other people laugh. There’s nothing wrong with what you do, but that’s not real happiness.

Adapted from Why Is God Laughing? The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2008).