Mesmerize me: Poet-prophet comes to Madison
By Rita Papazian, Special to the Times
Published: Friday, November 13, 2009

The prolific author of 55 books was so mesmerizing that many times throughout the 45 minute talk, in which his soft black cotton two piece outfit seemed to blend in with the low lit stage, he seemed to take on an omnipresent demeanor. He has been called the ‘poet-prophet.’

Deepak Chopra stood on stage in the Polson Middle School before an audience of over 500 and in his distinctive mesmerizing steady style of thoughtfulness and inspiration he offered a new way for people to see themselves as a “flowing process” that has the power of change and connection to live as one with the universe. If people would just become aware of this and live in their “consciousness” or their “soul” this will lead to a more joyful, creative and healthy life, he said.

That is the message Chopra brought to Madison Oct. 15, in a talk and booksigning for his new book, “Reinventing The Body, Resurrection the Soul: How to Create A New You.” R.J. Julia Booksellers sponsored the event.

The prolific author of 55 books was so mesmerizing that many times throughout the 45 minute talk, in which his soft black cotton two piece outfit seemed to blend in with the low lit stage, he seemed to take on an omnipresent demeanor. His soft red leather sneaker-like footwear signaled the impression that this man was definitely comfortable in his shoes.

In his talk, Chopra, which Time magazine described as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine,” set the groundwork for his audience to be open to the power they have to change themselves and their lives. He began by asking:

“Do you all believe you have a soul? Anyone who doesn’t believe he has a soul should leave,” said Chopra in his friendly, soft-pedaling manner that has a way of grabbing an audience’s attention.

Throughout his talk it became evident that it is the soul or as he repeatedly noted, one’s consciousness that should be a person’s focus and through this consciousness one is able to direct and change one’s life; in other words, a people can reinvent themselves to lead better lives, especially healthy lives.

In particular, he said, people can influences their “genes.” He cited a study of 500 genes representing such ills as obesity, cancer and diabetes that showed the power people have to change their genes and therefore not to fall or remain victim to illness. People have that power to change their genes, he said.

Chopra invited his audience to close their eyes and imagine a “beautiful red rose, a sunset over the ocean, the face of a loved one. He asked them to imagine the sound of a new baby crying and a dog barking. He invited them to imagined their tasting Chinese food, smelling Italian food or a locker room in the gym. The ability to imagine the sights, sounds, smells and tastes come from a person’s intention, he said, which leads to the experience. These pictures that he asked the audience to imagine came from “the consciousness which is the same thing as saying they are in your soul…So all experience is happening in your soul, not your brain.

“Something unknown is doing we don’t know what,” said Chopra, a mantra he repeated during his talk to underscore the importance of developing a new awareness of one’s consciousness or soul, individually as well as “one with the universe.

“Where is Deepak?

“In my consciousness,” he said.

A stirring moment during his talk came when he asked his audience to listen to the listeners. A silence engulfed the room and he broke the silence by pointing out during that moment the audience still felt a presence and that presence was their soul.

“Everything comes and goes. Only the soul remains. Hang on to it. If you understand this, you’re ready for my book,” Chopra said.

In his book, Chopra offers 10 breakthroughs – five for the body, five for the soul – that lead to self-transformation. If a person commits to a deeper awareness and focuses on relationships instead of consumption and sees every day as a new world, they can “transcend the obstacles that afflict the body and mind.”

Focusing on the reinventing of the body, Chopra addresses the following breakthroughs:

• Your Physical Body is a Fiction

• Your Real Body is Energy

• Awareness Has Magic

• You can Improve Your Genes

• Time Isn’t Your Enemy

In resurrecting the soul, the breakthroughs are as follows:

• There’s An Easier Way to Live

• Love Awakens the Soul

• Be as Boundless as Your Soul

• The Fruit of Surrender is Grace

• The Universe Evolves Through You

Chopra writes:

“Life is meant to be a complete experience. People keep struggling with problems, both physical and mental, never suspecting the root cause: that the bond between body and soul has been severed. I wrote this book in the hope of restoring that bond…the world needs healing. To the extent that you wake up your soul, humankind is waking up the world’s soul.”

Fran Friel of West Haven, a fiction writer and former holistic therapist, described Chopra’s talk as “packed with power. He has the energy; you feel that energy.” Friel who had seen Chopra in the early 90s at an Anthony Robbins’ Life Mastery event said his teachings have always resonated on a deep level for her

“The mind and body connection has been a powerful message. That is central to real healing and medicine is finally going down that road,” Friel said. “You can heal an illness but it will return or something else will take its place unless you have that mind-set, unless you clarify why the mind, body and spirit are out of place.”

Kelly Griffin of Middlefield, a Middletown High School English teacher, described Chopra as a “wonderful speaker who has a profound effect on his audience. Her colleague, who declined to give her name, said. Chopra’s talk was “phenomenal. There is something experiential that he taps into. Most people in the audience probably felt something,” she said.