Ahead of Human Metamorphosis in November, where Chopra will partake in eye-opening conversations and guide a sunset beach meditation for the global community — discover how the world-renowned pioneer of integrative medicine found his calling.
There are few people alive today who are more qualified to offer insights into the power of transformation than Deepak Chopra.
As one of the world’s best-known spiritual healers, the self-help guru has made it his life’s work to explore and espouse the boundless potential of consciousness, meditation, and mind-body awareness. His philosophy has touched millions, including prominent supporters such as Oprah Winfrey and Madonna, who have both raised his meditation teachings.
Chopra, who is also a prolific writer and accomplished speaker, is known for his message of hope, and an unwavering insistence that personal transformation is within reach for those willing to believe in themselves. “Simply with a change of mind you can change your life,” he wrote, in 2014. A poignant message in line with GCF’s Annual Summit trilogy theme, The Butterfly Effect.
Wonders of the mind
Born in 1946, Chopra studied medicine in his hometown of New Delhi, India. As a young physician, he showed an early interest in the biological origin of thoughts and emotions, electing to specialize in neuroendocrinology – the study of the brain’s influence on hormonal activity and reactions within the body.
After several months practicing in rural Indian villages, Chopra immigrated to the US in 1970. Amidst a shortage of American doctors serving abroad in the Vietnam War, he had been offered the opportunity to work in a small community hospital in Plainfields, New Jersey.
Over the next 11 years, he completed various residencies, teaching at some of the country’s most prestigious medical schools, including Harvard and Boston University. In 1981, Chopra was named Chief of Staff at New England Memorial Hospital (now Boston Regional Medical Center) – a stunning evolution for a young clinician who, just a decade earlier, had arrived in the United States as a fresh medical graduate from India.
Making universal connections
A short while later, his life would dramatically change course once again. On a trip to India, Chopra began exploring Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine rooted in natural remedies and holistic healing. Based on a belief of universal interconnectedness, Ayurveda posits that our internal life forces (or doshas) comprise natural elements as well as individual consciousness, and that the key to a long, healthy life is to balance our doshas through a variety of purifying lifestyle practices, such as diet, meditation, yoga, massage and herbal remedies.
In this traditional Eastern practice, Chopra found a different path forward. He had been feeling disillusioned with the Western medical system, and as the Chief of Staff, his role was demanding and exhausting. He worried about the effects on his physical, mental and spiritual health and knew he needed to make a change.
It was a turning point for Chopra, one which calcified into a tenant he continues to embrace: “Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”
A continued exploration of Ayurvedic practices eventually led him to Transcendental Meditation, a silent mantra-based meditation long known for its powerful, life-altering effects. Using this practice, Chopra was able to overcome his heavy smoking and coffee addictions, employing only his mind and the power of intention to eliminate his body’s cravings.
Letting and moving forward
It was a revelation that marked the start of a new chapter for Chopra. After nearly two decades of striving to understand the mind-body connection, he had finally experienced it firsthand. It was a defining point in time that fundamentally transformed his outlook on life and inspired a radical shift in his life.
“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself,” he has said. “It will be a permanent Self, rooted in awareness and creativity. Once you have captured this, you have captured the world.”
In 1985, he resigned from his post as Chief of Staff and founded the American Association for Ayurvedic Medicine. He relocated to California, serving as a spiritual advisor to celebrities and changemakers. After he was invited to appear on The Oprah Winfrey show in 1993, he catapulted into the public eye as a world-renowned expert in integrative medicine, alternative healing, and personal growth.
Finding peace within us
Today, he is the founder of The Chopra Foundation and The Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California and has been recognized as one of TIME’s Top 100 Heroes of the Century. He has authored over 90 books, ranging on topics such as mind-body healing, spiritual growth, the afterlife, enlightenment, and addiction, to name just a few.
Through his own journey and metamorphosis, Deepak Chopra has transformed the way the world views physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social wellness. Now more than ever, he argues for personal transformation as a means to changing collective consciousness in these uncertain times.
“By thinking peace, being peace, feeling peace, acting peacefully, creating peaceful solutions and sharing what we do with each other,” he says, each individual offers the potential to create meaningful impact. “If we don’t have love within us then we can’t love. Action without love is meaningless, and love without action is irrelevant.”
Deepak Chopra will be joining us at this year’s Global Citizen Forum “Human Metamorphosis” on 16-17 November in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.
Secure your tickets now to experience his life-changing lessons and holistic approach to wellbeing in person.