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Soul On Fire: The roots of The Chopra Center

Thanks for tuning back into Soul On Fire, North County’s Quest for Enlightenment. In today’s column, we are going to check out the Chopra Center, located in Carlsbad at the Omni Resort.

Everyone feels like they know Deepak Chopra personally, he is such a household name. I have read most of his books starting back in the ’80s with “Quantum Health” and the ’90s with “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.”

But let’s take it back to the ’70s when the feminist revolt, the peace movement, desegregation, and Watergate was creating national turbulence, and a quiet and peaceful immigrant medical student left his home in India to start his residency in Boston.

Quick to discover that there is a connection between mind, body and spirit and an advocate of natural remedies rather than the use of prescription drugs, he started to introduce the eastern philosophy of the Ayurvedic principles to the consciousness of those hungry for answers and knowledge of self. Ayurveda is believed to be one of the oldest healing sciences, originating in India and dating back more than 5,000 years. It literally means the “Mother of All Healing.”

About this time, Chopra was attending a conference in La Jolla and met up with his soon to be co-founder, Dr. David Simon, a neurologist, a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system. This complimented Deepak’s study of neuroendocrinology, a branch of biology which studies the interaction between the nervous system and the endocrine system, that is how the brain regulates the hormonal activity in the body.

East meets West and a stint on “Oprah” talking about literally finding the Fountain of Youth, and BAM! People were flocking to find themselves and live forever. Especially in California. Particularly in Hollywood. The Chopra Center comes to Carlsbad, the Sweet Spot of the Universe, and Deepak becomes the guru of integrated medicine selling dozens of best-selling books on spirituality and revolutionary healing practices promising the wisdom of age, but the biology of youth.

Chopra set out to prove that a shift in consciousness creates a shift in biology — and the quickest way to have this shift take place is in the practice of meditation. The average person has approximately 60,000 thoughts per day. Rumi wrote “There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.”

How can we listen when our society and lifestyle is so barraged with chatter and constant thought? Well, the goal of Primordial Sound Meditation is to become conscious of those thoughts and slow them down enough to get into “the gap” of no thought … even just for a moment.

The ancient Vedic technique taught at Chopra calculates the date and time you were born when the earth made a particular sound that is as individual as a fingerprint. This mantra is then used to quickly create a state of deep relaxation. When we can finally settle down enough and calm down our nervous system, we are able to find all the answers within. Then the mysteries of the Universe, the burning question of “Who is God?” can be answered for yourself. But it takes conscious thought and effort to have no thought and hear the answers.

According to Chopra, we have Spiritual Alzheimer’s. If we can just get still, we can achieve all the wisdom that is available and needed on the quest for enlightenment. Wisdom is the new criterion for evolution. The world is only going to change from within and the essence of who we are is in that awareness. That’s why it is called a practice. And Chopra recommends making it a daily discipline to gain the most value — body, mind, and spirit.

There are currently thousands of certified instructors who have come out of the Chopra Center. They are bringing these principles and practices worldwide in the hopes that once we are connected to ourselves, optimal well-being will come naturally to ourselves and to the planet.

The word on the street is that the Chopra Center is moving from La Costa. I was unable to verify this with a representative of the center at the time of publication.

If your Soul is on Fire to learn more, don’t wait to visit the center while it is here in our own backyard.
We return in two weeks and we’ll let you know what’s going on out at the Deer Park Monastery in Escondido.