Posted on: March 3, 2014 | Comments: 0
By Deepak Chopra, MD, Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., and Subhash Kak, Ph.D.
Despite their many divergences, science and philosophy are both led forward by reality. This is inevitable if facts, concepts, axioms, and other mental models are to be reliable. There are two ongoing projects, thousands of years old by now, that sprang from a different response to reality and where it leads. Roughly speaking, they are materialism and idealism. Materialism is fact-based, data driven, and wedded to the notion that “reality as given” is essentially trustworthy. Idealism cannot accept “reality as given” but looks to a hidden intelligence or level of Nature (if not God or the gods) that invisibly originates the physical universe.
Posted on: February 24, 2014 | Comments: 0
The internationally acclaimed Rumi Symphony Project is the awe-inspiring creation of composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Hafez Nazeri, Iran’s most influential and innovative young composer.
This groundbreaking project features Hafez’s legendary father, Shahram Nazeri, dubbed the “Pavarotti of Iran” by the New York Times, and the winner of the Chevalier Medal by the French Government, along with one of the most iconic figures of our time, the legendary Deepak Chopra whom has greatly impacted and influenced our world with his depth of wisdom and insightful words. These revolutionaries will be accompanied by an eclectic ensemble selected from some of the most renowned and influential performers from the East and West.
Rumi Symphony’s 2014 world tour celebrates their accompanying release of one of the most anticipated albums of the year from Sony Classical worldwide, “Untold“.
Posted on: February 24, 2014 | Comments: 0
By Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP and Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD
There are two reasons why radical well being hasn’t captured the imagination of the general public. As we saw in the first part, people all too often let their health go and then depend on the standard medical approach of drugs and surgery. Taking an active role in their own well being doesn’t seem crucial compared to the powerful interventions of modern medicine once symptoms of illness appear. The second reason, however, carries just as much weight. People aren’t aware of the new findings that indicate how central the mind-body connection actually is.
We’re all accustomed to seeing our bodies as a set of separate parts (cells, tissues, organs) operating like a machine, and since machines tend to break down one part at a time, medicine has been compartmentalized into specializations for the heart, liver, brain, and so on. If your car doesn’t start, a mechanic examines the alternator or the battery; if your heart stops ejecting enough blood, a cardiologist checks it out with diagnostic tests.
Radical well being jettisons the model of body as machine for something closer to reality: a model that is living, dynamic, fluid, and adaptive. This new model leads to a state of higher health controlled and monitored by each person. The reason that directing your own health is so powerful can be summarized in a few insights that have taken decades to develop. As we emphasized in our book “Super Brain”:
Mainstream medicine finds itself in a paradoxical position at the moment, because these new insights, which came about from cutting-edge research, have had minimal effect on medical school training and the practice of physicians. The “body as machine” model, complete with outmoded notions of fixed genes, “hard” inheritance, and duty to treat patients only after symptoms appear remains firmly rooted in doctors’ minds.
Photo Credit:University of Waikato
Which leads to the conclusion that each person must decide to take advantage of the new model. The things that health-conscious people already do aren’t negated. It remains of primary importance not to smoke, avoid excess weight, and minimize use alcohol (with perhaps an exemption for drinking a glass of wine a day, at most). If you already have taken these steps, the new model also supports other familiar advice: exercise moderately, eat a good, balanced diet, and avoid environmental toxins. But these steps bring us only to the very edge of radical well being.
The really fascinating area to explore is known as “self-directed biological transformation,” which has enormous implications for your present health and everyone’s future evolution. Change is inevitable, and transformation is taking place in your body many thousands of times a second. For the most part, each of us has played a passive role in our own transformation, allowing biological processes, governed by our genes, to run automatically. The problem is that, as miraculous as the body’s feedback loops are, they deteriorate over time and are susceptible to imbalances that aren’t self-correcting. The result is unhealthy aging and disease. Short of that, the level of well being you experience is vulnerable to degradation biologically, much of which can be avoided.
Intervening in the body’s feedback loops comes down to a simple principle: The more positive the input your body receives, the more positive its output. Your body, down to the genetic level, is altered by the events of everyday life. (It’s already known that positive lifestyle changes directed at preventing and healing heart disease alter as many as 500 genes.) The time is right for proving just how much overall control we have over this enormous potential in the mind-body connection. One can foresee the future as self-directed biological transformation.
The platform for self-directed transformation is available to everyone. It includes yoga and meditation, exercise for strength, agility, endurance and play, a balanced farm-to-table and Mediterranean diet, good sleep, and stress reduction. These are well-established ways to improve bodily function. But there’s more to explore, given another basic principle: Every experience in consciousness has a physical correlate. A mystic experiencing deep inner silence, a Buddhist monk meditating on compassion, or a saint having a vision of angels isn’t exempted from this principle, because the label of “spiritual” doesn’t diminish the mind-body connection – that connection is actually amplified.
Whatever activity you undertake is a step in self-directed biological transformation. Knowing this, how should you choose to live? Certainly a higher priority should be given to those things that make you more conscious, with the aim of being more centered, free of psychological deficits, capable of experiencing love, bonding with others, and pursuing happiness with the dedication we show in pursuing success.
These intangibles assume central importance in achieving radical well being, for the simple reason that the true controller of well being, which is consciousness, is intangible. By opening up the doorway between consciousness and your gene activity, well being takes a leap forward. For example, recent studies indicate that meditation can have a strong effect on the length of chromosome telomeres, the nucleotide sequences that protect chromosomes from the deterioration linked to aging. That these beneficial effects occur so quickly indicates just how responsive genetic activity is to mind-body interventions – something never previously suspected.
Courtesy of YouTube/The ChopraWell
To validate the effects of consciousness on biology requires imaginative, forward-looking research. At the Chopra Center alliances have been made with top-level medical-school researchers to delve into exactly how self-directed biological transformation works. Groups of subjects are being recruited to undergo intensive experiences of enhanced well being, with the aim of using the latest digital monitoring to detect change at heart and brain activity at the cellular and level of gene expression through blood samples.
Studies planned include:
The current thinking holds that genes are fixed, but new research shows gene activity can be changed by experience. The results have been entirely encouraging so far, and there are other related studies that are exploring consciousness-related changes in such areas as risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The public has become deeply confused – as have practicing physicians – by recent findings questioning many standbys of mainstream medical interventions, from antidepressants to statins, from mammograms to PSA testing for prostate cancer, up to and including the benefits of cardiac bypass surgery and angioplasty in reducing mortality rates from heart attacks. Sometimes, these interventions are unavoidable. But, the positive thing to do is to embrace a new model of human biology that will keep people in the best possible condition of well being. A person who is thriving in mind and body holds the key to most medical mysteries before they are solved.
Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 75 books with twenty-two New York Times bestsellers including Super Brain. Join the weightlessproject.org to eradicate obesity and malnutrition. For more interesting articles visit The Universe Within
Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School Vice-Chair of Neurology and Director of Genetics and Aging Research at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Posted on: February 19, 2014 | Comments: 0
Posted on: February 17, 2014 | Comments: 0
By Deepak Chopra, MD and Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD
As far as our health goes, America is about a little of this and a lot of that. The little is self-care, the lot is drugs and surgery. Thirty years after a mind-body revolution took place in medicine and fifty years after the Surgeon General launched a prevention campaign against smoking, the public hasn’t fully embraced the simple, unalterable fact that doctors aren’t responsible for the well-being of their patients. Self-care is the one need no one can afford to ignore.
Self-care is a better term than prevention. First of all, it’s positive – you take steps to insure a better lifestyle, not simply to ward off disease. Second, self-care proceeds on every front that creates well-being: physical, emotional, spiritual, and environmental. If you attend to your own well-being by taking advantage of the latest medical findings, a leap is possible into a higher state of health that can be termed radical well-being.
The Chopra Foundation's Mission is to participate with individuals and organizations in creating a critical mass for a peaceful, just, sustainable, and healthy world through scientifically and experientially exploring non-dual consciousness as the ground of existence and applying this understanding in the enhancement of health, business, leadership and conflict resolution.
The Chopra Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization.