the Talks: Past events

Who exactly is Deepak Chopra: the world’s leading alternative guru?

the Antidote to... thinking your health is in someone else's hands

Ahead of Suzanne’s talk in The Hemsley+Hemsley Cafe at Selfridges London tomorrow with one of the world’s most influential thinkers, we take a closer look at some of his philosophies.

One global internet survey ranked Dr Chopra #40 influential thinker in world and #1 in Medicine. So, what does the world’s leading New Age guru actually believe?

  • Chopra argues that everything that happens in the mind and brain is physically represented elsewhere in the body…
    with mental states (thoughts, feelings, perceptions and memories) directly influencing physiology by means of neurotransmitters such as dopamine,oxytocin and serotonin. He has stated, “Your mind, your body and your consciousness – which is your spirit – and your social interactions, your personal relationships, your environment, how you deal with the environment, and your biology are all inextricably woven into a single process … By influencing one, you influence everything”.
  • Chopra believes that “ageing is simply learned behaviour” that can be slowed or prevented. He expects “to live way beyond 100″…
    He states that “by consciously using our awareness, we can influence the way we age biologically…You can tell your body not to age.” Conversely, Chopra also says that ageing can be accelerated, for example by a person engaging in “cynical mistrust”
  • In discussing health care, Chopra has used the term “quantum healing”
    which he defined in Quantum Healing (1989) as the “ability of one mode of consciousness (the mind) to spontaneously correct the mistakes in another mode of consciousness (the body)”.
    This attempted to wed the Maharishi’s version of Ayurvedic medicine with concepts from physics, an example of what cultural historian Kenneth Zysk called “New Age Ayurveda”. The book introduced Chopra’s view that a person’s thoughts and feelings give rise to all cellular processes.

Deepak’s manifesto

It’s worth having a short checklist of how to live life to the full, with easy fixes along the way. These are Deepak Chopra’s 10 keys to happiness…tick, tick, tick.

1 Listen to your body’s wisdom

2 Live in the present, for it is the only moment you have

3 Take time to be silent, to meditate

4 Relinquish your need for external approval

5 When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realise that you are only struggling with yourself

6 Know the world ‘out there’ reflects your reality ‘in here’

7 Shed the burden of judgement

8 Don’t contaminate your body with toxins, either food, drink or toxic emotions

9 Replace fear-motivated behaviour with love-motivated behaviour

10 Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence

About Deepak Chopra

Chopra was born in New Delhi, India in 1946 to Krishan Lal Chopra (1919–2001) and Pushpa Chopra; his native language is Punjabi.

He comes from a medical family: his father was a prominent cardiologist at New Delhi’s Mool Chand Khairati Ram Hospital for over 25 years; his younger brother, Sanjiv is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and on staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Although Deepak dreamed of being either an actor or a journalist as a child, he followed his father into medicine and graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in 1969. In his early career he was drawn to study endocrinology, particularly neuroendocrinology, to find a biological basis for the influence of thoughts and emotions.

He married in India in 1970 before emigrating with his wife that year to the United States.

Chopra’s Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative to Growing Old was published in 1993. The book and his longtime friendship with Michael Jackson gained him an interview on Oprah, which made him a household name.

Deepak Chopra is the author of more than eighty books translated into over forty-three languages, including twenty-two New York Times bestsellers in both the fiction and nonfiction categories.

TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century and credits him as ‘the poet-prophet of alternative medicine’.”

Writer and critic Cosmo Landesman wrote in 2005 that Chopra was “hardly a man now, more a lucrative new age brand – the David Beckham of personal/spiritual growth”.

He has enjoyed a couple of film cameos – one in Meet the Parents: Little Fockers (2010) and the other in Mike Meyers’ The Love Guru.

If you missed out on a ticket to this exciting event, look out for our post-talk analysis and video clip here next week…

Buy Deepak’s latest book Super Genes here