*Changing Your Reality - Deepak Chopra
The direction of life is from duality to unity: Today I want to belong. I want to feel safe and at home. I want to be aware of what it's like simply to be, without defenses or desires. I will appreciate the flow of life for what it is–my own true self.
I will notice those moments of intimacy with myself, when I feel that "I am" is enough to sustain me forever. I will lie on the grass looking at the sky, feeling myself at one with nature, expanding until my being fades into the infinite.
The fragmented mind cannot get me to unity, but I have to use it along the way: What does unity really mean to me? What experiences of oneness can I look back upon?
Today I will remember the difference between being at one with myself and being scattered. I will find my center, my peace, my ability to go with the flow. The thoughts and desires that drive me are not the ultimate reality. They are just a way to get myself back to oneness.
I will remember that thoughts come and go like leaves in the wind, but the core of consciousness is forever. My goal is to live from that core.
I am living in many dimensions at once; the appearance of being trapped in time and space is an illusion: Today I will experience myself beyond limitations.
In the same way I will experience love as a light that begins in my heart and spreads out as far as my awareness can reach; as images arise in my mind, I will send love and light in their direction.
Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).
*What Is My Life Challenge?
posted by Deepak Chopra Jan 20, 2011 5:01 am
Nothing would seem easier than to be yourself, but people complain endlessly about how hard it is. When you are little your parents won't let you be yourself. Later on teachers keep you from being yourself. Then teenage peer pressure takes over, and finally, once society has imposed its demands, freedom is more restricted still.
Alone on a desert island you might be able to be yourself, only guilt and shame would pursue you even there. The inheritance of repression is inescapable.
The whole problem is one of boundaries and resistance. Someone imposes a limit on you, and you resist it in order to break free. Thus "being yourself" becomes a relative thing. Unless someone tells me what I can't do, I have nothing to push against. By implication, my life would be shapeless. I would follow one whim after another, which itself is a kind of prison.
To be in unity, you cannot have limitations. You are wholeness; that is what fills your perception. Choice A and B are equal in your eyes. When this is true, desire can flow where it will. I am not my desires. Being myself no longer has the slightest outside reference.
Doesn't this deprive me of choice? Both yes and no. A person will want to dress and talk in a certain way; there may even be decided likes and dislikes. Yet these are karmic holdovers from the past.
My real existence is simply to be. How would I be able to tell that such a state is real? The skeptic would claim that unity is just a form of self-deception. The problem of self-deception seems trickier still when you realize that the ego, in its need to continue as the center of all activity, has no trouble pretending to gain enlightenment.
Adapted from How To Know God, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2000).
*Stop Defending Your Self-Image
posted by Deepak Chopra Jan 10, 2011 5:02 am
Over the years you have built an idealized self-image that you defend as "me." In this image are packed all the things you want to see as true about yourself; banished from it are all the shameful, guilty, and fear-provoking aspects that would threaten your self-confidence.
But the very aspects you try to push away return as the most insistent, demanding voices in your head. The act of banishment creates the chaos of your internal dialogue, and thus your ideal erodes even while you are doing everything to look good and feel good about yourself.
To really feel good about yourself, renounce your self-image. Immediately you will find yourself being more open, undefended, and relaxed.
Much time is spent in self-help trying to turn a bad self-image into a good one. As reasonable as that sounds, all self-images have the same pitfall: They keep reminding you of who you were, not who you are. The whole idea of I, me, and mine was erected on memories, and these memories are not really you. If you release yourself from your self-image, you will be free to choose as if for the first time.
Self-image keeps reality away, particularly at the emotional level. Many people don't want to admit what they are actually feeling. Their self-image dictates that being angry, for example, or showing anxiety is not permissible. Such feelings don't accord with the "kind of person I want to be."
Certain emotions feel too dangerous to be part of your ideal image of yourself, so you adopt a disguise that excludes those feelings. Deep-seated rage and fear belong in this category, but sadly so does immense joy, ecstasy, or freewheeling spontaneity.
You stop being ruled by self-image when: You feel what you feel, you are no longer offended by things, you stop appraising how a situation makes you look, you don't exclude people you feel superior or inferior to, you quit worrying about what others think about you, you no longer obsess over money, status, and possessions, and you no longer feel the urge to defend your opinions.
Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).
posted by Deepak Chopra Jan 6, 2011 5:01 am
We need Nature to free up our nature. We are surrounded by the best of all healing influences–fresh air, sunlight, and beauty. In India, the Hippocrates of Ayurveda, a great physician and sage named Charaka, prescribed some sunlight for all diseases, along with a walk in the early morning, and his advice will never grow stale.
If I find a green meadow splashed with daisies and sit down beside a clear-running brook, I have found medicine. It soothes my hurts as well as when I sat in my mother's lap in infancy, because the Earth really is my mother, and the green meadow is her lap. You and I are strangers, but the internal rhythm of our bodies listens to the same ocean tides that cradled us in a time beyond memory.
Nature is man's healer, because Nature is man. When Ayurveda says that the sun is our right eye and the moon our left eye, we mustn't sneer. By bathing us in the moon, the sun, and the sea, Nature fashioned the bodies we inhabit. These were the ingredients that provided us each with our piece of Nature–a shelter, life-support system, intimate companion, and home for seven decades or more.
The discovery of the quantum realm opened a way to follow the influence of the sun, moon, and sea down deeper into ourselves. I am taking you there only in the hope that there is even more healing to be found there. We already know that a human fetus develops by remembering and imitation the shapes of fish, amphibians, and early mammals. Quantum discoveries enable us to go into our very atoms and remember the early universe itself.
Adapted from Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine, by Deepak Chopra (Bantam Books, 1990).
*From This Lifetime to the Next
posted by Deepak Chopra Jan 5, 2011 5:00 am
People who are disconnected from themselves will be as baffled by the afterlife as they are by the present. For them, cause and effect aren't clear. Feelings of being alienated, alone, victimized, tossed around by fate, out of control, or abused by authority clash with one another. In this fog of confusion they cannot take responsibility for their own motivations and desires, and the afterlife may frighten or baffle them.
Being disconnected is an illusion from the soul's perspective. And however long it may take, understanding, symbolized by light, begins to dawn. In clarity you realize that "I am" is your basis, not the things you did. You no longer identify with being a certain person; you now identify with being conscious, and what fills your mind is fresh possibilities.
The karma you brought into the last lifetime has been exhausted, and fresh seeds of karma are ready to sprout. Being reborn enters your mind gradually. For a long period (speaking objectively) you experience bliss; you have gained pure being, which brings its own fulfillment regardless of any karma, good or bad.
You find yourself in the same gap as the one between two thoughts, only this time you are aware of uncountable possibilities from which to choose. You will witness as the dream of a new identity begins to clothe you, and you will fall into your next life in complete surrender to past actions that you still know almost nothing about.
But all of us can take a more active role in how we reincarnate. The elaborate rituals in the Tibetan Book of the Dead are designed to make freedom of choice real, to bring the person fully aware into the gap so that karma can be shaped, controlled, or even fully resolved.
Adapted from Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2006)
*What is Your Belief System about Trauma?
posted by Deepak Chopra Jan 4, 2011 5:00 am
If someone randomly commits violence against you, the facts seem to scream that life is unfair, you are innocent, random human cruelty took away your sense of self-control. But despite all that, what's really happening is that you have shifted into relating to the world through a trauma.
It isn't the trauma itself that caused the shift. There had to be readiness inside. In truth life is neither fair nor unfair. The world is a reflection of who we are inside. If you can stop relating to the world through your trauma, there is hope that you can begin to relate through your soul. Here is how the process needs to go.
Victims hang on to their status because they feel innocent. The specific idea I am innocent is a blind, a mask. Yes, you are innocent. But only a stronger sense of self is going to rescue you. Your mind will never resolve why you, of all people, got hurt. Its struggles are futile from the outset.
I've met people who spend years in an attempt to figure out whether their misfortunes are due to bad karma. This becomes the magical word for a twisted logic that says, "I didn't think I deserved to be hurt, but if you look at a deeper, more mystical layer, I did."
This isn't really the answer. First of all, it doesn't heal the wound. Secondly, it exists as a mental construct and does little to salve the emotions, which are the chief fuel for ongoing victimization. You feel victimized, regardless of what your mind says.
The whole package–the event itself, the wound, the feelings that erupt, and the mind's scramble to find an explanation–is so interwoven that it cannot be untangled. If you can face this fact, you have come a long way to understanding how life works.
Adapted from: Peace Is the Way, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2005)