Tag Archives: enlightened

Deepak Chopra: Why Did Buddha Get Enlightened Under the Bodhi Tree?

As the story goes, Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree and meditated. For a long time. As a result, the Bodhi tree later became now known as the Tree of Enlightenment or the Tree of Knowledge. What happened in the time he spent under the tree?

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak poetically describes what Buddha may have seen and explores what we can learn from this experience – including interdependent origin, impermanence, and more.

What do you imagine Buddha’s time under the Bodhi tree might have looked like? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and check out Deepak’s book, Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment!

Deepak Chopra: What Is Enlightened Awareness?

Perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and everything else we experience in life comprise the contents of our awareness. How, then, do we move from passive awareness to enlightened awareness?

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak discusses methods for developing enlightened awareness and moving toward universal consciousness:

How do we know that we, other people, and the world exist? Because we are aware of their existence. How do we experience our world? We experience them as thoughts, sensations, feelings, moods, and images in consciousness. All that exists is awareness and the contents of awareness. To know this and to feel this is to have grounding in a universal awareness. Our world is only a “qualia gestalt”, a perception in our quality of awareness. To be able to be grounded in that understanding is moving in the direction of enlightened awareness.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

The Coolest Meditator In The World

The Dalai Lama @ The Vancouver Peace SummitHe turned 78 last Saturday and still says he meditates for three hours every day, starting at 4 am. He says he is just a simple monk and that kindness is his religion, calling for love and compassion to promote world peace.

When we met with the Dalai Lama he was standing on his veranda overlooking the beautiful Himalayan Mountain range, smiling and waving for us to come. We went to bow as is the tradition but he lifted us, took our hands, and said: “We are all equal here.”

We really didn’t know what to expect as he walked us into his sitting room. We imagined this spiritual leader to millions would be a serene Buddha-like figure sitting on a throne, yet he sat between us on his couch, still holding our hands, for forty-five minutes. He was the most ordinary person we ever hung out with. The world’s greatest meditator was simple and unassuming, he felt like our best friend, and he laughed a lot.

Ed and Deb Shapiro with the Dalai LamaJust by sitting with the Dalai Lama we realized the effect of his years of meditation, as his very presence emanated all those qualities that meditators seek, such as inner peace, loving kindness, authenticity, and mindful awareness. This is particularly seen in his devotion to ahimsa, non-injury, and his policy of non-violence, which is why he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

Research, such as that conducted by neuroscientist Richie Davidson, a friend of the Dalai Lama’s, at Wisconsin University, and shared in our book Be The Change, proves how meditation actually develops the part of our brain that increases compassion and loving kindness. “By training the mind, we can actually change the brain toward greater contentment,” says Dr. Davidson in Be The Change. “There is certainly evidence to show that meditation practices designed to cultivate compassion and loving kindness change the brain in many positive ways.”

However, the mind desires endless entertainment and much prefers being distracted than facing the constant dramas racing around inside it. The idea of sitting still and watching our breath can appear boring, meaningless, even a time-waster, and not at all fun or creative. Yet meditation invites an undoing of what isn’t and a revealing of what is; we don’t become someone else, rather we become more who we really are, which is far from boring! It is about being fully present in this moment, no matter what we are doing: if washing the dishes, then let any thoughts and distractions dissolve into the soap bubbles; when eating, be aware of every bite, taste, and texture.

As the Dalai Lama wrote in the foreword to our book:

I strongly recommend anyone interested in meditation not to simply read what these people have to say, but to try it out. If you like it and its useful to you, keep it up. Treat this book as you would a cookery book. You wouldn’t merely read recipes with approval, you’d try them out. Some you’d like and would use again. Like cookery, meditation only makes sense if you put it into effect.

A regular practice of meditation can produce discernible changes in the brain in a matter of just six to eight weeks. To feel the difference in yourself try the practice below.

Weed Pulling Meditation

Find a comfortable and upright place to sit. Take a few deep breaths, then watch the flow of your breath as it enters and leaves.

Now bring your focus to your heart, and as you breathe in feel as if your heart is opening and softening; as you breathe out, release any tension or resistance. Sit here for a few minutes.

Now visualize yourself walking in a beautiful but overgrown garden. All sorts of colorful flowers surround you, but among them are numerous weeds.

You find a place to sit amidst the plants and mindfully begin to remove the weeds. Each one represents a negative aspect of yourself or your life. Name it as you remove it, and watch it leave your mind as you discard it.

The more weeds you remove the lighter you feel, as if a weight is being removed from you. As you do this, the flowers are growing stronger and brighter.

Stay here as long as you like. You may not have time to pull up all the weeds, so before you leave promise that you will be back again to remove some more.

When you are ready, silently repeat three times, “May I be happy, may my mind be like a beautiful garden.” Take a deep breath and let it go. Then fill the rest of your day with kindness and smiles.

* * *

Listen to our weekly LIVE radio show every Tuesday at 8:00pm EST: Going Out Of Your Mind.

Join our Be The Change Meditate e-Conference that will uplift and inspire you. 30 eclectic meditation teachers, including Marianne Williamson, Congressman Tim Ryan, author of Mindful Nation, Sharon Salzberg, Robert Thurman, Gangaji, Joan Borysenko, Seane Corn, neuroscientist Richie Davidson who proves how meditation affects the brain, Roshi Joan Halifax, Tara Stiles, and us, Ed and Deb Shapiro, authors of the conference companion book, BE THE CHANGE: How Meditation Can Transform You and The World. Expect your life to never be the same again!

For more information: www.edanddebshapiro.com

photo by: Kris Krug

Find Yourself


 It really bothered me. It really, really did.

This link a man sent me, to a blog. The blog was about enlightenment. It described it in detail. It described the shift, it described the reality after the shift. It described the world and it described life. Perfectly, precisely, accurately.

This man, this man who wrote this blog was, is enlightened – or at least he is what is called enlightened though, of course, it looks nothing like what enlightenment is supposed to look like. But he is here, he is present, he sees reality clearly and … he still does not see himself.

And this bothered me. It really did.

Seeing the reality he does not see himself as reality, seeing life precisely, distinctly, he does not see himself as life. Looking at God he does not recognize himself.

And that bothers me.


Because of the sense of pointlessness, because of the emptiness and a quiet desperation with which this man speaks. Because of the helpless, ineffectual existence he spends observing the dance of creations resolving before his eyes. This is how he spoke and this is how I felt. This is how it feels to not know yourself for what you are, even though, or especially when the ego is gone, and the mind. This is how it feels to be in-between spaces, between the person made of limits, stories and separations and the being that is unlimited, boundless. This is how it feels to be between the person who endures and survives creation, and the being that creates reality.

This is how it feels. Empty, pointless, useless.

And it bothered me. It bothered me that this man who saw so clearly that he is no man, did not see all the way to what he is though … ah, but maybe that is what he is, you might say. Maybe he is nothing. Maybe there is nothing more to see. Maybe he does not exist, maybe there is no him, maybe there is no me and my reaction is the mind objecting to that truth?

And maybe you are right. Maybe I do not exist indeed, but — here is what I have to say to that: when I am what I am there is boundless happiness and unlimited bliss. This is how truth feels. This is how reality feels.

Emptiness, pointlessness and uselessness … that is not me. That is not the reality. That is not the truth.

Deepak Chopra: Tweets from the Cosmos – Tune In

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 12.38.08 PMWhen Twitter first appeared, I responded to its idealistic side, which aimed to form a global community that could create change beyond national boundaries. Tweets are now used for a million reasons that don’t aim as high. But it occurred to me that tweeting might be an excellent way to test the shift in consciousness that has been long awaited and equally long pooh poohed.

Who is right, the skeptics who see no evidence that consciousness is rising on a mass scale or the futurists who foresee a completely altered humanity? It’s impossible to measure such a huge phenomenon, but I decided to start small. On a daily basis for the past two or three years I’ve tweeted about cosmic consciousness, mind outside the brain, the nature of reality, the failure of materialism to explain awareness, and other Big Ideas on the edge of acceptability by mainstream science.

To my surprise, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Each tweet starts a dialogue almost the instant the tweet starts circulating. Naysayers and skeptics also participate, but instead of dominating the conversation – or crushing it – which is what you’d find in official scientific circles, the main result is open, eager curiosity.

Here are the three most popular tweets from a day last week:

Photons have neither color nor brightness. The world is made manifest through the light of awareness.

Taking existence for granted & assuming that science or religion are the path to truth are the greatest impediments to awakening.

The perceived physical world is a representation of a perceiving physical brain. Both the world and brain are immaterial in their essence.

Although each one states my own viewpoint, the statements are broad enough to be good debating topics, and each touches on a mystery that needs exploration.

1. Light is transmitted as quanta known as photons, which strike the retina and travel through a complex processing in the visual cortex to produce the experience of brightness in the world. But photons are not bright themselves, or dark. So how does the world “out there” light up?

2.  Science and religion both claim to offer a form of enlightenment. The scientific version consists of a rational explanation of all natural phenomena, along with the attendant elimination of superstition and other irrational beliefs. Religion’s version is a clear connection to God and the higher reality represented by divinity. If you assume that these opposing choices are the right answer, or if you turn your back on the whole issue, no form of awakening is possible.  The mystery is to find a way forward that makes enlightenment real and personal.

3. There is a long tradition in philosophy and mystical religion that sees the physical world as either an illusion or something unprovable. Against this tradition stands materialism, which takes as its first premise the reality of the physical universe. But this common-sense stance solves nothing. Reality must be processed by the brain before it can be experienced or measured. There is no objective platform outside the brain where we can stand and see the real for what it is. This fact upsets conventional science but has become a fruitful seed for thinkers who want to solve the mind-brain problem.

As you can see, the topics aren’t easy, yet a wide range of responses soon crops up. Since a tweet can be no longer than 140 characters, it engages those who understand my position along with those who ask, “What’s he smoking?” and others who just offer abuse. A twitter following of 1.5 million has burgeoned around these discussions, which rolls forward by a thousand people every day, often several times a day. I’ve come to believe that moment-to-moment engagement is what forms a community that transcends not just boundaries but the constraints of conditioned thinking. Those constraints are the main obstacle, not religious or political opinions, to a new level of consciousness everywhere.



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The Average Business Person Misses 60,000 Opportunities To Build Confidence Everyday

 Human beings have an average of 60,000 thoughts a day.  Every one of these thoughts is either confident and effective towards one’s goals, or takes them further away from that success.   From regularly surveying her audiences of thousands of businesspeople, speaker Sharon Melnick, PhD. found that most people report at best only 50-70% of their thoughts are confident and effective towards their goals. 
Thus, for the vast majority of people, at least 20,000-30,000 of their daily thoughts are worried, doubting, or negative.   
The bottom line – these thoughts create stress, interfere with performance in work, and cause unhappiness.  When considered on a scale of millions of people, this points to an enormous waste of human potential.  That’s energy and potential urgently needed to improve the way we do business, foster our health, or role model for children.  
“Each thought is like a command sent down from the captain of a ship to the crewmembers below the deck, says Dr. Melnick.  “And, each thought directs the muscles and cells of your body to act.”  If a person has low self confidence in their work, they won’t have the energy or persistence to succeed at learning new skills.  In their work relationships,  they might take things personally, get reactive, and lose their concentration.  In meetings they will not speak up with valuable ideas.
In contrast, a highly confident person would take the lead and find solutions to problems. They would ask for the fee or the promotion that will help them earn what they are worth.  The result is they will be more financially secure and they will model confidence better for their children.    
With over 10 years of research at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Melnick has developed techniques that give people fast and lasting confidence.  In fact, according to Dr. Melnick, “In the next hour after reading this, a person will have another 2,500 thoughts. With the right skills, they can make a few or hundreds of thoughts more confident – and that creates momentum and positive energy to be even more confident."



Britain’s Next Top Coach Award Winner Dr. Christian Pankhurst Launches Innovative Program To Inspire And Empower People

A pivot in feelings of positivity can just as simple as listening to those who teach it. I find time everyday to just that. For those not aware, Dr. Christian Pankhurst, D.C. is a coach, speaker, seminar leader and author. He is a leading expert in a variety of fields including intimacy building, addiction recovery, emotional awareness, male sexuality, couple dynamics, conflict resolution, stress management and heart-centered communication.
After working as a Chiropractor, Christian studied with some of the most well known leaders in the personal development industry and later founded the ‘Embracing Change Experience’ a powerful weekend event that has touched the lives of thousands of people around the world.
Today, Christian is a sought after teacher and travels extensively sharing his huge heart, clarity and wisdom.  In fact, he recently launched a brand new series of free introductory videos entitled “Removing the Resistance." 
These videos contain the essence of Christian’s unique and profound message and powerful tools that everyone can apply immediately in their lives to make positive changes. 
Through this powerful video series Dr. Pankhurst will teach you how to make the law of attraction work for you. He will give you answers to these relevant questions:  How to remove the resistance that holds you back in life? How to make changes in your life or business? How to change your emotional state instantly? You can learn more about Christian Pankhurst at  http://www.GetToKnowChristianPankhurst.com


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