Posts

Your Beliefs Change Your Life by Deepak Chopra!

Deepak Chopra 2Your Beliefs Can Change Your Life
In Spirituality – On January 6, 2016

Everyday life is impossible without holding your own set of beliefs. Just because belief exists silently doesn’t make it less powerful. Most people are guided by belief in the work they do, their religion, loyalty to their family, and all kinds of values they hold dear.

But there’s a problem when your beliefs start to gain the upper hand and get into the driver’s seat. Much of the violent or crazy behavior in the world is associated with a deeply held belief (in tribalism, religious fundamentalism, and “us versus them” thinking) that is actually imprisoning the people who are trapped in their beliefs.

They have lost sight of two things. First, you are meant to be in control of your beliefs, not the other way around. Second, the switch that can create a new belief also creates a new reality at the same time. When enemies turn into allies, when frustration turns to fulfillment, when being a victim turns into being strong and self-sufficient, the switch has been pulled and reality shifts.

The most powerful beliefs are the ones I call core beliefs, because they tell you who you are. If someone deeply believes “I’m a winner” and someone else believes “I am unlovable,” the outcome of their core beliefs will be very different. It’s critical to hold positive core beliefs and to activate them in your daily life. The more you activate your core beliefs, the more dynamic and transformed your reality will be.

There are four core beliefs that make the most difference:

Love

Self-worth

Feeling safe and secure

Feeling whole

In everyone’s heart there is a belief about all four of these things, and this belief isn’t always simple. Your entire life has shaped your core beliefs, while at the same time your core beliefs have shaped your entire life. Take the area of love. Here are some possible core beliefs that someone can hold about love, either positive or negative.

Negative beliefs:

I am not very lovable.

Love is temporary and fleeting.

Love can easily turn into hate.

Falling in love is a delusion, a kind of romantic insanity.

Positive beliefs:

I deserve unconditional love and also want to give it.

Love is eternal.

Consciousness itself contains the power of love.

Human love can connect with divine love and rise to its level.

As you can see, someone who holds the second set of beliefs will be happier and more fulfilled than someone who holds the first set. Given a choice, most people who read inspiring words about love have a “Wouldn’t that be nice?” response. In other words, their personal life has brought them mixed experiences of love, neither all positive nor all negative. But core beliefs aren’t simply a box of opinions you trot out and examine if you have the time. They are microchips, we might say, buried at some level of the mind, constantly sending out the message encoded into them.

These messages don’t change unless you bring self-awareness in to change them. Left to themselves, microchips mechanically perform the same task over and over. So a young girl who believes “I’m not very lovable” is likely to grow up being an adult woman who thinks the same thing, because in the intervening years, the microchip has been beeping away, sending out the same message, and eventually the girl’s personal reality will conform to a negative belief, which in this case is about self-worth as well as love.

If you want your life to change at the deep level of core beliefs, awareness is your most powerful ally.

Here’s a useful way to begin to change a core belief. Take one of the four areas: love, self-worth, feeling safe and secure feeling whole. Sit down with a piece of paper and make two heading, “My positive beliefs” and “My negative beliefs.” Now list all the beliefs you hold around this one topic, such as love. Don’t restrict yourself. Write down any belief that comes to mind.

Now return to your lists at least two more times in the following week. Add to the negative and positive side as your mind continues to cogitate–you will find that deeper beliefs take more time to surface. Now that your lists are complete, sit back and assess them. By each belief put a mark: S = strong belief, W = weak belief U = uncertain or not quite sure belief. You are mapping out the territory of your core belief system, which is incredibly useful. Since this is your private communication with yourself, don’t be ashamed to put down a belief you think is wrong or unacceptable–this is your time to take charge of all your beliefs.

Now begin to foster change. Take one strong negative belief and one strong positive belief. As an example, the negative belief might be “I will only get love from a few people” and the positive belief “Love can heal.” Your task is to diminish the negative belief and reinforce the positive belief. This is a kind of brain training, where you lay down new pathways of thinking and feeling. So in the case of these two beliefs, what steps can you take?

“I will only get love from a few people”

To minimize this belief, you need to feel more secure about love outside your close-knit circle of family and friends. Tell yourself that this is possible. Just because only a few people love you now doesn’t mean that more won’t love you if you seek their love. Start where it feels safe, like working in a shelter or helping underprivileged kids–an activity where you can see an immediate response of appreciation and gratitude, which are expressions of love. In general, be with people who are loving–they exist all around you. They may intensely love their work, their mission, their vision of life, other people, the beauty of Nature. There are infinite ways for love to express itself, and when you become involved with them, you become part of this love.

“Love can heal”

To activate this belief and make it expand, there are two directions you can go in: healing yourself and healing others. They are connected, and it’s good to focus on both as you grow and evolve. But you can only give the love you feel, so most people will first focus on healing themselves. This project begins with self-care, expressing love for yourself by adopting lifestyle choices–in diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management–that enhance your sense of well-being. Everything you do to care for body and mind is a form of self-healing based on loving yourself. Next comes self-compassion, which means being kinder and more forgiving of yourself. Then comes self-purification, the process of clearing out toxic residues from the past, old wounds, bad memories, and outworn conditioning. Finally comes communion with your higher self, which has always been the source of healing and love at the same time.I’ve looked at only two beliefs out of many, but the general process is the same for any belief, positive or negative, that you want to address. You consciously diminish negative input and consciously increase positive input. Setting up such a program insures that your life will always be dynamic, because nothing creates change and transformation like gaining control over your core beliefs. As they evolve, so do you, moving ahead on a never-ending journey that is based on your deepest belief in who you really are.

Is Karma Fair? – Deepak Chopra

5 Spiritual Mysteries – #1 Is Karma Fair?
We live in an especially dispirited time when people say, totally without irony, “Life is unfair” and “No good deed goes unpunished.” Is there proof that life is, in fact, fair or unfair? The question doesn’t even make sense if you believe that the universe is cold, random and devoid of meaning. That’s the usual rationale for saying that life is essentially meaningless, sometimes posed as a scientific view. But no one experiences their own life as being without purpose and meaning, so this rationale begs the question.
The Indian spiritual tradition argues that life is completely fair, down to the fall of a leaf, because the universe is morally balanced by the Law of Karma. The Vedic scriptures go into extensive detail about the operation of karma — in Sanskrit the word simply means “action” — but the gist of a moral universe is simple, as stated by Saint Paul in the New Testament: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7)
In this advice there is an implicit warning about not trying to fool God, who sees every good and bad act. Jesus makes the same point without the warning: “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38) The idea of God balancing good and evil goes back to the Hebrew Bible, as for instance in this verse from the Book of Job: “As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.” (Job 4:8)
But as soon as you mention Job, you’re reminded that he was a totally righteous man who suffered horrific afflictions essentially because of a wager between God and Satan. Job doesn’t know that God is testing him, only that the only way he can endure his predicament is to have faith and not renounce the Lord. And the fact that Jesus, the very emblem of holiness, died on the Cross would seem, on the face of it, to defy and mock the notion that God, the universe, and life are fair. The game seems rigged to the benefit of evil, which can have its way without divine interference, and if you decide that there is no force of cosmic evil, then the alternative is a blind fate, striking down the innocent and the guilty alike.
Yet somehow none of this has eradicated the widespread belief that goodness is rewarded and evil punished. Delaying the reward and punishment until the afterlife or Judgment Day is one way to patch up the holes in the law of Karma. A similar way is to postpone them until a person’s next incarnation (this escape route is quite common in India, where ill fortune is often passed off, usually with a shrug, as the result of bad acts in a former lifetime).
If you want to save the Law of Karma in a serious way, one that makes a difference to how people live their lives, there are a few genuine alternatives that should be considered:
1. The balance of good and evil can be taken as basic morality, leading one to live a virtuous life.
2. Evidence of the balance of good and evil can be sought within, through insight and intuition.
3. The doctrine of the afterlife, with or without reincarnation, can be accepted and justified.
The first option is simple and practical. It says, in essence, that the balance of good and evil belongs in the human world. It is we who do good and bad things, so it’s our responsibility to be moral. That’s why a stable, workable society values justice, sets up laws and a court system, adopts a constitution, etc. Human nature may contain much badness, but our better angels — and centuries of experience — have guided us to choose morality over immorality (with a lot of secret slippage). Even gross evils like war can successfully fit into a model of justice, hence, the “good war.”
The problem with this version of karma, making it a human responsibility, is that we are left with a potentially cruel, indifferent, or absent God. We are also stuck with a dead-end universe that offers nothing but random events at its foundation. Beneath the surface of a civilized society lurks monstrous things — crime, famine, cruelty, repression, despair, famine, poverty — that call humanity itself into question. Indeed, the weight of inhumanity and suffering in the world has been a major motivation for religions, which promise a better life, higher, consciousness, and a transformed world.
Which bring us to the second and third versions of karma. They argue that life isn’t meaningless, that religions aren’t indulging in fairy tales to distract people from total misery, and that a moral creation is, in fact, the one we live in. these points seem ridiculous to many doubters and outright evil to militant atheists, who argue that surviving in the reality of a cold, meaningless universe requires true courage — accepting the nonsense of religion is pure myth and fantasy papering over the countless wrongs committed in the name of God.
To counter this rational, secular position requires a deeper look into the Law of Karma and why there are viable alternatives than either blind faith or blind skepticism.
(To be cont.)
deepakchopra.com

Deepak Chopra – There is Only One Consciousness

An Interview With Deepak Chopra:  There is only One Consciousness by the Omega Institute

Omega: You’ve had such a prolific career as an author, teacher, lecturer, and physician. How do you stay inspired and centered after all these years?

Deepak: I am always writing about things that I’m exploring; I find myself doing it quite effortlessly. I am disciplined. I practice meditation and yoga and do a workout almost every day. The rest of the time, I am writing about what fascinates me. At this moment, it’s further elaboration of understanding consciousness — its fundamental existence in the universe, and how it projects in our life as our body, our mind, our environment, and our universe.
Omega: How long do you think it will be before mainstream science accepts that consciousness isn’t rooted in matter, catching up with both ancient teachings and the latest leading-edge science?

Deepak: It almost amuses me to think that consciousness is rooted in matter. It’s a form of primitive animism to think like that.
How long will it take? It’s happening slowly. I am getting some traction in collaborating with eminent physicists and neuroscientists who share the worldview that consciousness is fundamental and everything else is an epiphenomenon, including mind and matter.
We’re getting some papers accepted in peer-reviewed journals. I had a paper accepted in the Journal of NeuroQuantology and another paper in the Journal of Philosophy.
Omega: You’ve talked about the rise and fall of what you called “militant skepticism.” Can you elaborate on that? How does the skepticism that underpins the scientific method becomes militant?
Deepak: Skepticism is actually healthy. It is not the same thing as cynicism. Cynicism is to already start with mistrust. On the other hand, skepticism is open-minded and says, “I’d like to see the evidence. I’d like to understand more and I don’t want to rely on belief.” That skepticism underlies the scientific method.
However, if you really begin to understand how we perceive anything, then you’ll realize that what we call evidence or empirical data is not really glimpsing at fundamental truth. It is a description of a mode of observation, through a human nervous system, to questions that scientific human minds ask. So, science is not looking at nature as it is, but nature as it reveals itself to a human nervous system and the questioning of a particular modality in a human consciousness by a scientist.
What we’re seeing here is that our perception is the result of a cosmic censorship. Perception is species specific. It’s culture specific. It’s a learned phenomenon. We learn how to perceive. And then we end up thinking that what we perceive is what is really there. Actually, there’s nothing out there.
All experience is created in consciousness, and the only way to explore this is through transcendence, through self-awareness, through self-reflection, through questioning perceptual reality, through making conscious choices.
Very slowly, what unfolds is the realization that there’s only consciousness. You can’t even say consciousness and its contents because the contents of consciousness are actually patterns of behavior of consciousness itself. Therefore, the universe exists in consciousness as a perceptual experience. The body exists in consciousness as a perceptual experience, and the mind exists in consciousness as a mental experience. There’s only consciousness. If you were religious, you would say there is only God.

Omega: One way to explore consciousness is through meditation. If someone asks you how to begin meditating, what do you recommend?

Deepak: Spend a few minutes every day sitting quietly and just reflecting on who you are, what you want from your life, what is meaning and purpose for you, or what you’re grateful for. And then just sit quietly, either observing your breath, or feeling your body, or if you have a mantra practice, use it. But transcendence is the key and transcendence happens if you just give it time.
I think the biggest obstacle that people have is that they’re impatient. They’re very result-oriented, and also, they’re not really diligent in their practice, even though they say they are.
Omega: If a student asks, “How do I know if I’m making progress in my meditation?” what do you tell them?

Deepak: You shouldn’t be attached to progress, but yes, there are signs. On the level of cognition, you realize that your thoughts are not who you are. On the level of emotions, you are less drawn to melodrama, but you do have experiences of joy, love, compassion, empathy and equanimity. On the level of memory, you’re not victimized. Your memory is sharp, but it’s there only when you need it, so your internal dialogue, which is mostly memory and desire, is very quiet. On the level of sensory perception, it’s a much richer present moment, multisensory experience. On the level of identity, your sense of self is no longer confined to your body.
Those are the earlier signs. Then later, there’s more synchronicity, more flow, loss of fear of death, and less identity with the personal self. That takes a while, but it does happen.

Omega: What can parents do to introduce their children to a meditation practice?

Deepak: During the first years, the more you can totally envelope them in love, attention, affection, and appreciation, that’s the most important thing. At the age of five years, you can start playing games of silence or have one minute of silence every day. Then at six years go to two minutes, and at seven years go to three minutes, like that. When they’re 10 or so, I think you can start the formal practice with them.
Deepak Chopra is teaching a workshop The Future of Well-Being, June 27-29, 2014 at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.

Are You Secretly Lonely? by Deepak Chopra

If you find loneliness difficult, you are not alone. For many of us, loneliness is a crippling experience, fraught with a toxic dose of shame and self-criticism. We’d rather keep it hidden than admit that we suffer from feelings of isolation, emptiness and anxiety. Yet, when we try to wall off our painful emotions, they don’t go away; they brood and become even more painful. Over time, these buried emotions can manifest in the symptoms of physical illness, if for this reason that we recommend you to use high CBD hemp flower strains to reduce anxiety.
Connecting to the Self Who Isn’t Lonely
Healing loneliness requires more than simply seeking out company. As you’ve probably experienced, you can feel lonely in the middle of a crowd, at a holiday party or with a group of caring friends. The root of loneliness isn’t the absence of other people but an inner absence — you don’t have a centered awareness of your true self.
Your true self is your spirit, which is infinite and eternal. Its qualities include love, compassion, equanimity, joy, creativity, intuition, pure potentiality and bliss. When you’re established in the awareness of your true self, you feel lovable and connected, whether you’re in a packed stadium or spending a quiet afternoon by yourself. At the most basic level, the company you enjoy the most is your own. Loneliness, on the other hand, is the condition of feeling negative about your own company and therefore requiring other people to fill that inner lack, and if you decide to use the medicine use this cbd oil as the best complement for any body pain and mental stress relief.
Feeling an inner lack is almost universal. It’s a result of a restricted state of awareness that is constricted, unable to look beyond rigid boundaries. The more you try to defend these boundaries, the more fearful and insecure you become. Loneliness is only one symptom. When your awareness is constricted, it’s easy to get lost in the drama of the ego-mind (that limited aspect of ourselves which feels separate). In a misguided attempt to feel secure, the ego-mind relies on reinforcement from other people to feel lovable, never realizing that love is our essential nature. This struggle is a crucial cause of loneliness and pain.
Practices for Healing Loneliness
The first step in healing loneliness is to offer yourself compassion and to begin to cultivate an acceptance of all your emotions. Emotions are commonly categorized as “positive” or “negative,” but in reality every emotion is valid. But when you add self-judgment, any emotion can be damaging.
Every time you feel lonely or anxious, rather than heaping judgment and shame on yourself, practice self-compassion. It can help to think of how you would treat a scared child or pet. You wouldn’t snap or speak harshly, tell them to ” buck up” and stop being ridiculous. You’d offer them affection, loving attention and gentle understanding.
See your loneliness as a messenger letting you know that your awareness of your true loving nature has temporarily become clouded by thoughts generated by the ego-mind. As you become more accepting of your emotions, the need to hide how you’re really feeling will drop away and you will find yourself relating to others from your authentic self. This self-love and acceptance is the basis of fulfilling relationships.
Finding Fulfillment in Meditation
Meditation is one of the most powerful practices for expanding your awareness of your true self and your essential spiritual nature. In meditation, you go beyond the ego-mind’s restless, confused state and experience your true self, which is calm, centered, unshakable and fulfilled. In the silent space between thoughts, you experience pure being. It is pure because there isn’t any content. Being just is. Yet this won’t feel empty like the cold void of outer space. You’ll discover that it is very full. It has infinite possibilities.
When you meditate on a regular basis, you cultivate all the qualities of spirit, including love, equanimity and bliss—not just during your meditation sessions but as you go about your daily activities. As your awareness of your inner abundance expands, the search for external fulfillment — with its inevitable loneliness and fear — will gradually drop away.
Here is a simple meditation practice you can try right now:
Meditation on the Heart
a) Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Now, gently place your attention on your heart, in the center of your chest. As you breathe in and out naturally, keep your attention there. Allow any feelings and sensations to arise and pass. If your attention drifts away, gently bring it back to your heart as soon as you notice what has happened.
b) After a few minutes, open your eyes. Rather than immediately jumping into your next activity, take a few moments to notice how you feel after the meditation. For the next half hour or so, observe yourself to see if you remain centered.
c) Almost everyone will find that the effects of this simple meditation linger for a while. Colors seem a bit more vivid, or sounds seem clearer. There’s a sense of calm inside and less tendency to be pulled out into activity. If you meditate twice a day for 10 to 20 minutes, you will start to learn the difference between being centered in your true self and being distracted by the drama of the ego.
As you cultivate self-compassion and awareness, you’ll realize that connection, love and joy are innate qualities of being. They can never be lost, only forgotten. As you remember who you really are, your loneliness will dissipate in the fullness of being and the radiance of infinite spirit.
Deepak Chopra, MD, is the author of What Are You Hungry For?: The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of Soul, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center.