Lessons in Seducing Spirit
An Interview with Dr. Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra, founder of The Chopra Foundation and the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, in Carlsbad, California, is a New York Times bestselling author and world-renowned authority in the field of mind-body healing. Regarded by Time Magazine as the “poet-prophet of alternative medicine,” he will be leading a “Seduction of Spirit” workshop in July at Eaglewood Resort, in Itasca. The seven-day event is an opportunity to slow down, tune into the peace of present moment awareness and dive into the stillness and silence that flows beneath life’s chaotic surface.
How do the tools and techniques you teach help individuals to achieve higher states of consciousness?
The practices and primary tools we teach at Seduction of Spirit—meditation, yoga, and mindfulness—are rooted in the 5,000-year-old wisdom teaching known as the Vedas. In ancient times, Vedic sages explored consciousness and discovered practices for awakening to higher states of awareness, knowledge, and bliss. My friend and colleague, Dr. David Simon, and I developed Seduction of Spirit because we wanted to make these teachings accessible to people living in the modern world.
In the Seduction of Spirit workshop, do participants seduce Spirit; or does Spirit seduce them?
Both! As we meditate, practice yoga, and explore other timeless tools, we are creating an inner and outer space that allows us to experience the deepest layers of ourselves—our spiritual essence. At the same time, since spirit is the core of who we are, you could say that participants are also being seduced by the wonder and beauty of their spiritual Self. It’s an intertwining, interconnected process.
What is spirit?
Spirit is our essential nature, the aspect of ourselves that isn’t subject to change. It is timeless and space less, free of the past and the future. It dwells in the silent bliss of the eternal. When we awaken to our spiritual nature, life ceases to be a struggle. We realize that we are inextricably connected to the universal intelligence that orchestrates everything in the universe. And as our awareness expands, we experience increasing grace, happiness, love, and the spontaneous fulfillment of our desires.
Does achieving a higher state of consciousness automatically or naturally transform an individual’s life?
Yes, our state of consciousness affects every aspect of our life. A simple example of this is how we react and live when we’re in a state of physical and emotional balance. In this state, when someone cuts us off in traffic or we face a setback at work, we’re able to find creative solutions without reacting with excessive stress. If, on the other hand, we’re in a “lower” state of consciousness, the same set of circumstances can lead us to react with a great deal of stress or anxiety. Our restricted awareness limits our ability to see new possibilities and potential in any situation. In higher states of consciousness, every challenge is a creative opportunity. We feel aligned with the forces of nature and we view ourselves, and the world, with compassion and understanding.
Is action and participation in life still necessary after attaining inner peace and happiness?
Yes, life is an ongoing, evolutionary process, and even those who reach a state of bliss and enlightenment still continue to grow and expand in consciousness. It is true, however, that as we evolve in awareness, we are able to do less and accomplish more. We waste less time in reactivity and conditioned behavior, we come into alignment with the highest intentions of the universe.
I find it most useful to think of awakening or enlightenment as a journey rather than as a fixed goal. To be rigidly attached to the idea of arriving at the destination takes away from the joy and spontaneity of the unfolding of consciousness.
Does achieving a higher state of consciousness affect the collective consciousness?
Yes, in reality there is only one consciousness. At the deepest level, we are all part of the infinite field of intelligence or consciousness. Each of us is a strand in a cosmic thread that is connected to all the other strands. While we may think of ourselves as separate individuals, we are all connected, and therefore our thoughts, actions, and emotions ripple out into the universe and affect it in every moment.
As a famous Vedic verse states, “It is our duty to the rest of mankind to be perfectly healthy, because we are ripples in the ocean of consciousness, and when we are sick, even a little, we disrupt cosmic harmony.” By starting with ourselves and cultivating a higher state of consciousness through meditation, yoga, and other mindfulness practices, we have an unlimited potential to affect and transform the collective consciousness.
For more information about Seduction of Spirit, call 888-736-6895 or visit Chopra.com/Seduction/Pathway.
Linda Sechrist is a staff writer for Natural Awakenings.