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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, October 2, 2023

Meditation, mindfulness, reconstructing reality with Deepak Chopra

A screenshot from Deepak Chopra's virtual talk about her book "Total Meditation: Practices in Living the Awakened Life" (2020) is pictured.

Deepak Chopra, a prominent doctor, author and figure in alternative medicine, 'Zoomed' to Boston on Oct. 1 to talk about alternative medicine and his new book “Total Meditation: Practices in Living the Awakened Life” (2020). The event was sponsored by Harvard Bookstore, RJ Julia Booksellers and Northshire Bookstore

Chopra has authored more than 90 books and has had numerous best-sellers throughout the past 30 years, including “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind” (1993) and "Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential" (2019).

“Total Meditation” takes readers through the exploration of the body, mind and spirit, the reinterpretation of those realms and the transformative process brought by this exploration, which ultimately results in an awakened body.

He began his talk by placing his book within this current moment and the landscape of grief people are experiencing because of COVID-19. From losing loved ones to losing our way of life, people are in all different phases of grief, Chopra commented.

Chopra discussed how meditation and mindfulness can also decrease the activity of internal dialogue and go to the source of thought. He said that we can manage the bodily effects of our internal dialogue because the body is a reflection of that dialogue. 

“Therefore,” Chopra continued, “we should think of mind-body as a single entity.” According to him, by going to the source of thought through meditation, you are able to change your inner dialogue to be positive and removed from negative cycles of thought.

“The real point of meditation is to get us to know ourselves,” Chopra said. 

“Total Meditation” is connected to his previous book “Metahuman,” which is about waking the deepest self up in order to free yourself from anxiety, tension and conditioning. This enables you to reach, as the subtitle suggests, your infinite potential. “Metahuman” includes a 31-day guide to get to that space. “Total Meditation” is a continuation of this, and discusses how to stay in that place and make your infinite potential your reality. 

Chopra discussed the seven pillars of well-being: sleep, meditation and mindfulness, movement, emotional regulation, nutrition, relationships and laughter.

“Total Meditation,” according to Chopra, is intended to guide your biology in the direction of healing to a place of mental stability and lightness of being.

“The real purpose of meditation in the great spiritual vision is to wake up from what we call everyday reality, which is a lucid dream in a vivid now,” Chopra said.

In his talk, Chopra spoke about how he believes that reality is really a dream, yesterday and tomorrow are dreams and the moment we are in now, by the time we understand it, is a dream. In turn, meditation can help us wake up from this dream, he believes. 

“All our experience is a construction," Chopra said.

Through “Total Meditation,” Chopra says we are able to construct our reality. You are able to reconstruct it, projecting meaning into lived experiences and stop recycling old stories, as he puts it. 

In addition to talking about his book, Chopra put it into practice by leading attendees through a 10-minute meditation. Asking them to close their eyes and put their hands, palms up, on their knees, he began guiding them through the exercise. 

The exercise itself was all about being aware and still. Some comments he made during the meditation were “just be present in your own presence” and “this presence is pure consciousness.” 

I have never meditated myself and definitely have not meditated at an author talk before. However, Chopra's soothing voice and oozing expertise made me comfortable embracing the exercise. It was quite lovely to sit and enjoy being present in myself instead of being lost in all of the chaos and stress that has encompassed this period in all of our lives.