An Evening with Deepak Chopra: “The Future of Wellbeing” at the Long Center

It was one of the biggest draws I’ve seen at the Long Center. Deepak Chopra, M.D., Godfather of the mind, body, medicine movement and author of more than 60 books, begins the evening presentation with an overview on the state of our “well-being”.  A timely subject, considering the current state of our health care system. Dr. Chopra urges us to “shift our thinking”, to a new paradigm, that is, to take responsibility for our own health.

Flower Mandala courtesy of David J. Bookbinder

As a pioneer, he has carved the path for a generation of practitioners we have today, teachers, healers and medical doctors alike. I remember when his name was just getting out and his revolutionary concepts broke barriers in the medical field. Here we are today, decades later and Dr. Chopra’s insights continue to prove true. Being a yogini, I was thrilled to hear affirmations of my beliefs.

Dr. Chopra explains, if we look at our “physical body as a process” rather than solid matter, we will realize that we are in a constant state of transformation. Our body is continually re-generating. For example, our skeleton system regenerates every three months, our stomach every 6 weeks. Our thoughts, feelings, emotions effect our physiology, either positively or negatively.

From a scientific perspective, if we are constantly changing, then who are we? This is the question of all times. Scientists have no theory for this one, just yet. But new scientific studies are proving we are capable of changing our own genetic code. By intentionally changing our state of being, we can change our DNA. Powerful medicine indeed.

Having practiced yoga (pre-revolution), I know first hand, the transformative power of these yogic principles. We can use meditation to enter into a state of “divine consciousness” to tap our vast resources, “pure potential”, the “infinite mind”. When our mind, body, soul, spirit is connected, it brings us into a state of balance.These principles change our vibratory rate and effectively regulate our genes. Simply put, we can change what is happening in our bodies.  It’s exciting to hear Dr. Chopra corroborate that the scientific community is catching up.

Ultimately, Dr. Chopra concludes, the future of well-being is in our own consciousness, this is the evolution of healing. To experience our whole-ness and interconnected-ness, he guides us in a group meditation, asks us to focus on and repeat to ourselves, “I AM”.

To see more David J. Bookbinder works, go to: www.davidbookbinder.com

Blog by Lucas

DeepakChopraPhotoCreditJeremiahSullivan1.jpg

“Way of the Heart” Kirtan and Workshop with Krishna Das

Poster design by Lucas

Jai Jai Raam! This was a special weekend for those who joined Krishna Das for his first Kirtan and Workshop, held at the Central Presbyterian Church, here in Austin. For those of you not familiar with Kirtan, by definition, is Indian devotional music, chanting the names of God.

At Friday night’s Kirtan, Krishna Das, (KD), was accompanied by Arjun Bruggeman, tabla player, and Mark Gorman, on electric bass guitar. KD who is known as the “Rock Star” of Kirtan, brought us a lively and spiritually intoxicating experience. In the style of music known as “call and response”, (used in many cultures), they rocked the house! Many of us in the audience got up to dance.

Photo courtesy of Greg Jordan

At Saturday’s Workshop, there was more chanting and KD answered questions from the audience, told stories of his life experience, traveling to meet his Guru in India and his path back to the States. In KD’s usual style of humor he had us laughing. His love and devotion for his teacher Neem Karoli Baba, lead him to realize he needed to sing, specifically with other people. This evolved into what would become a life’s work of devotional singing.

It was 15 years ago in 1997, when I first heard of Krishna Das. At that time I was living in northern California, in a valley below Mount Tamalpais, in a very small, Japanese tea house. It felt like one of the most hidden places on the planet, far away from my native NYC. Strangely, it was there that I felt most connected. It was during a life-changing experience and an adventurous period in my life, a perfect place to reflect. I am sure I was led there for this reason. It was then I made my first connection to KD and a world of experience that would prove to be meaningful in my life.

Just when I thought I was living alone on the edge of the universe, I met my neighbor, (also recently from NY) who was handling Public Relations for KD. She took me to my first Kirtan, gave me his first CD’s and that was it! Since then, after moving back to New York City, it became one of the treasures in my life, a ritual I would look forward to. Now living in Austin, I really missed it.

Photo courtesy of Greg Jordan

Finally, KD has put Austin on his tour schedule, thanks to his dear friend Amparo Garcia-Crow of “Inspirit Studios” who together with Becky Jordan of “Heart of Texas Yoga” brought us this event. I was honored to be asked to contribute the design of the poster and flyer.

Krishna Das inspires us to remember who we truly are and what we are really looking for is within us. We look forward to having KD back again so that we can continue this uplifting tradition of chanting that brings us all home, here in Austin.

For more about Krishna Das, go to www.krishnadas.com

Blog by Lucas