By Deepak Chopra, M.D., Chopra Center Co-Founder
Before I began meditating I felt that I had two advantages: I came from India, and because of my medical background, I had looked into the health benefits of meditation. So when I think of five things that I wish I’d known 30 years ago, I would amend the topic to “things I wish everyone knew.”
- Meditation is natural. It’s not an exotic import from the East and the cultural values of the East.
- Meditation is about mind, body, and spirit as one continuous whole, not three separate things.
- The benefits of silent meditation probably go deeper than we imagine. At the very least, genetic activity responds very quickly and substantially to meditation.
- Meditation uncovers the true self that lies at the core of every person.
- The state of pure awareness that is reached through meditation is the ground state of everything.
I wasn’t completely unknowing about these things. Three decades ago, the mind-body connection was quickly emerging, with research to back up experiences that had previously been dismissed as subjective, religious, alien to Western values, or pure fantasy. But I did assume, wrongly, that meditation was somehow in my genes as an Indian, and this would make me a “natural,” while my Western friends who meditated were driving with a learner’s permit, so to speak.
As you look over the five things I’ve listed, their importance will vary, of course, depending on your background, how long you have meditated, and other factors personal to you alone. But one common thread runs through the list: There is a hidden reality in human awareness.
I use a fairly neutral term, the true self, so that this hidden reality doesn’t get confused with various religious traditions. In the world’s wisdom traditions, there is always the contrast between two states of consciousness. The first is the state of duality or separation. The second is the state of wholeness or unity consciousness. READ FULL ARTICLE