Home > Wellness Guru Deepak Chopra Dazzles and Silences His Audience
Wellness Guru Deepak Chopra Dazzles and Silences His Audience

Short Description of Wellness Guru Deepak Chopra Dazzles and Silences His Audience

By Stacey Morris
Contributing Writer

Wellness Guru Deepak Chopra Both Dazzles and Silences the Audience
at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady Tuesday Evening

For more information on Proctors’ future schedule of speakers, visit: http://www.proctors.org/genre/talkers

For more information on Deepak Chopra’s books, speaking engagements, and programs, visit www.DeepakChopra.com  .

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Within the world of the wellness, self-help and spirituality, Deepak Chopra is the undisputed king of the sacred sphere. And he proved it Tuesday evening when he took the stage at Proctors Theatre to a nearly sold-out and very attentive crowd. 

The world-famous M.D., lecturer, author, and wellness expert returned to the Capital District to promote his latest, book, "Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being." The book is co-authored with Harvard University neurologist Ruldolph Tanzi.

Chopra, in person, is as unassuming as he is popular, strolling quietly onto the stage, clad in jeans and sneakers to present "roadmap for higher health," based on the latest findings in both mainstream and alternative medicine.

“So…,” he began, shielding his eyes with his forearm, squinting at the first few rows to make direct eye contact. “How’s everybody doing?”

Chopra, who has written more than 80 books on health and wellness, opened with a 10-minute video on the wonders of the human structure, from conception and rapid cell-splitting to the magnificent automation of the formation of the body, from its blob-like embryonic state to the finely formed fetus in flawless detail. In essence, he explained, we are amazing, perfect machines who’ve spent 38 billion years evolving to our current state. 

But unfortunately, thanks to modern-day stress and its myriad emanations, all that evolutionary work is being decimated. And that’s where Chopra and his message come in.

At the heart of the nation’s stress factor, he explained, is the fight or flight instinct that’s embedded in the reptilian brain. It’s a response that’s designed to prolong our survival, but the original intent was usage in short spurts, such as when being chased by a predator. Today, Chopra explained the response in many of us is in effect frequently throughout one’s day, and its overuse is riddling the population with diseases, driving us to destructive behaviors in order to cope, and in essence shortening our lives.

Using a information-packed slide show as a side kick, Chopra went through some of the main points from his most recent book, offering his prescription for wellness, and not surprisingly, there isn’t a singular, magic answer.

Although genetics play a role in your health, he estimates their influence to be at only 5%. “The rest depends on your lifestyle and behavioral choices,” he explained. “You can affect your DNA and control how you feel.” Famous for blending alternative medicine with western science, Chopra said the field of epigenetics focuses on how external or environmental factors influence the behavior of genes. And that’s good news, because we can do things that not only make us feel better, but influence our chemical composition.

“Your body is not a thing, but an activity,” he said. “Nouns are simply a convention of language; all the universe is activity. The body is an energy and information field influenced by many things, including our emotions, behavior, and habits.”

Good news for those interested in taking a pro-active role in their health and wellbeing, not so great news for fans of the ever-manipulative pharmaceutical industry, whose slickly produced ads Chopra poked fun at during his nearly two-hour delivery.

He also gave a brief outline of a typical week at the Chopra Center for Wellness in southern California, noting that adopting habits such as plant-based eating, practicing yoga, meditating, massage, journaling, and healthy cooking are a good overall blueprint for long-term wellbeing.

Chopra listed five practices that can have the biggest impact on wellness (in order of impact on health):

• Sleep

• Meditation and stress management

• Mind/body coordination, which can be learned through practices like yoga breathing

• Managing emotions

• Nutrition

Preaching the virtues of meditation is nothing new for Deepak Chopra, and he knows it’s an uphill battle to get most busy and preoccupied Americans to agree to even 10 minutes of it. So he took the opportunity to give the practice a test drive, so to speak, on Tuesday’s audience.

It was truly slight of hand genius that Chopra employed that night, knowing the captive audience hung on his every word.  Gently, he instructed everyone to relax in their seats with palms facing up. What followed were a subtle list of instructional cues designed to diminish not only the outside world, but the cloying identity we were born with.

“The name you were given at birth, your race, station in life, it’s all just a story,” he smiled. “None of it is real.  Who are you really without all that? Take a deep breath. Now silently say to yourself  I Am, plus your first and last name; silence….Now silently say to yourself I Am, plus your first name…silence….”Now simply say, I am….silence

And perhaps for the first time in Proctors’ history, there was pristine stillness in a theater filled with more than 2,000 people.  They don’t call Chopra the king of wellness for nothing.

Stacey Morris is a cookbook author, wellness blogger and public speaker based in Albany, N.Y. Her website is www.staceymorris.com .

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