Tag Archives: Sanjiv Chopra

Best of Intent 2013: The Hangouts from The Science of Survival to Coping with Bullying

The creation of The Chopra Well – the Chopra YouTube channel – has allowed us to do many awesome things, but one of them that means the most to us is having been able to host several Google+ hangouts with inspiring people around the world. We did one for the launch of The Chopra Well last year, but in 2013 we tried to step it up a notch. In April the Chopras hosted a hangout series called “Aspire to Inspire” which covered an array of topics each day of the week. Mallika also stepped in to host a hangout on Mindfulness as part of another series. What we found was that these hangouts enabled us to have in-depth serious conversations with experts and people with first hand experiences to enlighten ourselves and our audience about the world around us and the capacity for the human race to do great things.

As we wind down on 2013 and reflect on the year we’ve had, some of these conversations really stuck out. If you missed them the first time around or simply want to revisit them we’ve reposted a few of them below.

1. The Science of Survival – Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra

Deepak and Sanjiv discuss the physical, mental and emotional process of surviving a trauma or deep loss. Paralympic snowboarder and activist Amy Purdy and pro-surfer Bethany Hamilton who had her arm bitten off by a shark at age 13 join in to share their stories of loss and overcoming these significant challenges.

2. How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life – Mallika Chopra

Mallika and a knowledgeable panel of experts look at the role of intention and other mindfulness practices in living a more meaningful and healthy life. The discussion will help answer questions about how to turn goals and aspirations into reality; understanding the difference between an intention and a goal; and the relationship between intention and other practices that lead to mindfulness such as meditation, prayer, service, and yoga.

3. Coping and Surviving Bullying – Gotham Chopra

Gotham Chopra is joined by poet Shane Koyczan, whose video for “To This Day” went viral due to it’s honest, heartbreaking prose about the lifetime effects of bullying. Other guests include: Martin Shervington who will offer insight from his experience in psychology and life coaching, Margot Leitman – a comedian who just released her first book “Gawky: Tales of an Extra Long Awkward Phase,” and Kevin Epling, the National Co-Director and Michigan representative for Bully Police USA.

4. Supporting our Veterans Overseas and When They Come Home – Mallika Chopra

Mallika Chopra is joined by Levi Newman, Rob Schware, and Rick Collins to discuss veterans and PTSD. Newman is a veteran with over 10 years of service and a writer for Veterans United and the Huffington Post. Schware is founder of the Give Back Yoga Foundation, which helps soldiers returning from duty transition back to civilian life and provides resources to deal with PTSD and other mental disorders that occur after time in the field. Collins is the founder of Vet360, a charity that gives Veterans upon their return home a 30 day program to help educate, counsel and prepare them for civilian life.

5. Coping with Loss – Mallika Chopra

Mallika Chopra hosts a discussion on “Coping with Loss.” She is joined by Todd Hartley, CEO of WireBuzz who lost both of his grandparents at the same time; Chelsea Roff, who has been featured on CNN and the Hallmark channel with her story of coping with a mother who has alcohol induced dementia; and Laurel Lewis who practices as a hospice nurse and also runs Death & Dying Dinner events in Southern California. (You may remember Laurel from 30 Days of Intent!)

Which of the hangouts were your favorites? Tell us in the comments below!

Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra Discuss the Meaning of Brotherhood

In Brotherhood, a new memoir by brothers Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra, the two reveal the story of their personal struggles and triumphs as doctors, immigrants, and siblings. In this first installment, the brothers discuss the nurturing side of India, the importance of family in their lives, and what brotherhood means to them.

Stay tuned for more upcoming discussions between Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra on the meaning of brotherhood and life in the Chopra family.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and order your copy of Brotherhood today!

Deepak Chopra: “Immigration Is Us,” an American Story (Part 2)

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Click here to read part 1. 

By Deepak Chopra and Sanjiv Chopra

Psychological survival meant relying on the time-honored mechanism of the immigrant community. Ours was peculiarly select. It consisted of poor Indian doctors living in the largely black neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain in Boston, where rows of cheap apartments served as the temporary shtetl (the term “Indian diaspora” came into being, although this appropriation isn’t something to be proud of – Indian emigration is voluntary, not forced, and unlike the Jews, we’ve always had a homeland).

It took a decade or so for the shtetl to move to the suburbs. Jamaica Plain was all about curry, beat-up VW beetles, and lonely wives whose husbands slept at the hospital. With prosperity came backyard barbecues, Scotch whiskey, and husbands bragging about their first Cadillac. Willed amnesia became fun. We were fortunate. Our choice to assimilate wasn’t made under hostile scrutiny, unlike the fate of today’s poor Mexican-Americans or religiously conservative Muslims.

A combination of anxiety and ambition drove the founders of the major Hollywood studios. Five studios were founded by Polish Jews born within the Czar’s pale of settlement. These early moguls did everything they could to disguise their origins – sometimes their own children weren’t told – but familiar scenes in Hollywood movies were linked to ancestral memories: the bad guys riding into a Western town at night to burn it to the ground echoed mounted Cossacks burning down Jewish villages during a pogrom.

The darkest suspicion that can be aimed at immigrants is doubt over their desire to become “us,” because remaining “them” is always a threat. After 9/11, many observers were astonished that the band of terrorists who crashed the planes weren’t seduced by their stay in America. Embedded for months in Florida, Las Vegas, and elsewhere, the terrorists partook of American luxuries, but they hadn’t been seduced. Their hatred only deepened. Now there seems to be a pervasive feeling that other immigrants might follow the same path.

Sikhs wearing their traditional turbans look like Muslims to many Americans and suffered for it in the aftermath of 9/11. A harsher spotlight shines on immigrant Muslims who want to retain not just their clothing but their own private schools, the madrassas where strong emphasis is placed on the Koran. In essence their desire to retain a strong religious identity and aloofness from American culture is the same as that of ultra-orthodox Jewish groups and Hasids. The political difference, however, couldn’t be greater. (The Muslim connection to the two Chechen brothers behind the Boston Marathon bombings will probably add to the general suspicion, even if overt Islamophobia remains confined to the harsher corners of the blogosphere.) Historically a stigma was attached by turns to the Irish, Italians, and poor Russian Jews as their waves of settlement arrived. “Anarchists” and “Reds” were secretly infiltrating and subverting American society a hundred years ago when imaginations were as inflamed as they are against Muslims today.

Only now a tipping point has been reached, the so-called demographic time bomb.  The influx of illegal immigrants, combined with higher birth rates compared to the white population and a preponderance of young people, has skewed immigrants as never before. As of 2010, the Census Bureau reports that 12.9% of the population is foreign born. The last Presidential election exhibited how strongly this growing cohort has skewed toward the Democratic Party, creating anxiety and soul-searching among the Republicans. Young voters tend to become imprinted with the political party they first vote for. Among the so-called millennial generation, the skew to the Democrats is strong in general but overwhelming when it comes to Asian-Americans, for example.

The children of the foreign-born are succeeding in their aspirations. According to a 2013 Pew Research study that profiled the 20 million children of immigrants who have now reached adulthood, they are outpacing their parents in college degrees, household income, and home ownership. The generation of Indians that we represent quickly shed the anxiety of assimilation – at least we thought so – but this new generation’s anxiety is about being too successful at the game. Some universities are having to confront suspicions about an Asian quota (heatedly discussed in a recent Times discussion). Such a quota probably doesn’t exist. The most prestigious colleges have embraced an influx of Asian students. CalTech is typical, reporting that their freshman class in 2008 – last summer’s graduates – was 40% Asian, compared with a total U.S population that is only 4% Asian. The number has only increased, so that the brilliant home-schooled Asian kid has even become a stereotype.

Are “they” taking over, or will this new slice of “us” be the most useful immigrants ever, taking care of an aging population, doing the menial jobs that no one else wants, competing in technology with China, lowering the age of our workforce compared with Europe, Russia, and Japan, and in the end swinging national politics leftward in the direction of social justice? We can only surmise. But it was poignant to attend a recent charity event where young Indian-Americans were asked to help the poor in India. They gave lavishly, with tears in their eyes, and more than one said, “I never had any idea that things were like that over there.” Our amnesia has become theirs, except that they have nothing to forget.

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Borotherhood cover1Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, is the author of more than 70 books with twenty-one New York Times Bestsellers in both fiction and non-fiction. Chopra is the Founder of The Chopra Foundation, co-author with Sanjiv Chopra, Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny and the American Dream

Sanjiv Chopra, MD, MACP is professor of medicine and faculty dean for Continuing Education at Harvard Medical School, and author of  seven books including, Leadership by Example: The Ten Key Principles of All Great Leaders.

www.deepakchopra.com

Follow Deepak on Twitter

Deepak Chopra: “Immigration Is Us,” an American Story (Part 1)

Lady Liberty By Deepak Chopra and Sanjiv Chopra

When you hear the word immigrant, what conjures up in your mind? Is it illegal vs. legal immigrants, contentious debates over immigration reform, or the Arizona lawman, Joe Arpaio, who styles himself as “America’s toughest Sheriff?” Chances are that most people are not aware of the fact that nearly one of every four Americans – 70 million – is an immigrant or the child of parents who came from abroad.

Immigrants come to America for a number of reasons: To escape persecution, to get post-graduate training, to enter the work force and have a better future for themselves and their children. Immigrants have made seminal contributions in academia, business, entrepreneurship, innovation, and in groundbreaking scientific discoveries. In 1906, 30% of all U.S. Nobel laureates were foreign born. The percentage has been as high as 39% in the 1950’s.

America is an immigrant country, but the American identity isn’t an immigrant identity. These two ideas contradict each other. Many of the thorny issues involved in immigration reform get stuck because of that. One kind of immigration (arriving long ago) makes you more American than the other kind of immigration (arriving recently). There is social pressure to forget your old identity and assimilate quickly, yet even if you succeed at this, forced amnesia has its price in loneliness and anxiety over belonging to no country at all.

As first generation immigrants, we have gone through the process of willed amnesia. We were lucky to arrive in the ’70s, when the Vietnam War caused a doctor shortage. We had medical degrees in hand, and there was a community of Indian doctors in Boston that we fit into while making the transition to “real” Americans. So it’s troubling that the country seems to be more hostile and suspicious toward immigrants of every sort, including those who earn university degrees here but are not allowed to get work without returning to their home countries first.

After 9/11, and with the dramatic rise in illegal workers from Mexico, the case for immigrants feels like guilty until proven innocent. One’s heart sank when the two Boston bombers turned out to fit the stereotype of angry Muslim males who hated the country that had given them asylum. One’s heart rose when the New York Times reports on a study showing that the health costs for illegal immigrants is less than the cost of caring for a native-born person. (Of course, giving medical care to undocumented immigrants is largely a subsidized venture and a burden on the whole healthcare system – no one can deny that.)

But, then, prejudices about the undocumented as freeloaders aren’t going to change simply by airing the facts. Guilty until proven innocent holds too much sway even if you arrived legally. To be really successful at turning into an amnesiac, the best tactic is to be born the child of immigrants. Your parents will have worked so hard to disguise their foreign roots that you have a good chance of not knowing they exist.

Assimilation is ambivalent, a happy/sad, win/lose affair. It could hardly be otherwise. At the present moment, during one of America’s periodic waves of hostility toward immigrants, we are suspect outsiders. The animus of toxic nativism is doubly ironic. Those casting suspicion must first forget that they themselves came from immigrant stock, while the accused must work as hard as possible to agree with their accusers that forgetting where you came from, as fast as possible, is your only defense.

Community hospitals were anxious about staffing, and so an active outreach began – foreign doctors were made to feel desirable. Not that India wanted us to go. Deepak had to travel to Sri Lanka and Sanjiv to Hong Kong to take the necessary qualifying test to come to the U.S. since India had banned it. We were allowed to take only a few hundred dollars in currency with us. When we arrived here, the jobs existed, as promised, but the welcome was more a push/pull. American-born doctors were suspicious of anyone with foreign training. Deepak’s first appearance in print was a letter to the Boston Globe protesting a prejudice against Indian physicians that became stronger in the ’80s once Vietnam was over and the doctor shortage a thing of the past.

Stay tuned for part 2!

* * *

Borotherhood cover1Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, is the author of more than 70 books with twenty-one New York Times Bestsellers in both fiction and non-fiction. Chopra is the Founder of The Chopra Foundation, co-author with Sanjiv Chopra, Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny and the American Dream

Sanjiv Chopra, MD, MACP is professor of medicine and faculty dean for Continuing Education at Harvard Medical School, and author of  seven books including, Leadership by Example: The Ten Key Principles of All Great Leaders.

www.deepakchopra.com

Follow Deepak on Twitter

Deepak Chopra: Brotherhood – Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream

Probably every immigrant has encountered the appeal of the “American Dream.” But many also feel pulled and deeply tied to their cultural roots.

In Brotherhood, a new memoir by brothers Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra, the two reveal the story of their personal struggles and triumphs as doctors, immigrants, and brothers going down two very different paths toward achieving their goals. Both pursued medicine, one from a straight, Western approach, the other from a path informed by ancient practices and his own cultural heritage.

Brotherhood is available now at Amazon and other booksellers. Read Deepak and Sanjiv’s remarkable journey, and tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

 

Subscribe to The Chopra Well for more from Deepak Chopra and friends every week!

8 Amazing Photos of Athletes Who Rose to the Top In Spite of Missing Limbs

In the spirit of today’s Google+ Hangout on The Chopra Well – a conversation about “The Science of Survival” with Deepak Chopra, Sanjiv Chopra, Amy Purdy, and Bethany Hamilton – we are celebrating the remarkable resilience of the human body and spirit.

Mastering a sport is no easy business, even with fully functioning limbs and organs. Yet some athletes reach this level of physical prowess even in spite of tremendous obstacles, such as paralysis, cancer, or losing a limb. The difficulty associated with lost limbs, especially, is on the minds of many in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, which makes it all the more inspiring to see what athletes like snowboarder Amy Purdy, surfer Bethany Hamilton, and others have been able to accomplish.

Sarah Reinersten – Ironman Triathlete and Paralympian

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Zach Gowen – Professional wrestler

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Kyle Maynard – Mixed martial arts athlete

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Bethany Hamilton – Professional surfer

Bethany Hamilton driving through a barrel in Indonesia Fall 2009.

Amy Purdy – Snowboarder and Paralympic athlete

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Melissa Stockwell – Paratriathlete and U.S. Army Officer

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David Weir – Paralympic wheelchair athlete

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Telegraph.co.uk

Jessica Long – Paralympic Swimmer

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Joe Kusumoto/U.S. PARALYMPICS

“The Science of Survival” Live Google+ Hangout with Deepak Chopra, Sanjiv Chopra, Amy Purdy, and more!

Welcome to the first Google+ hangout in our “Aspire to Inspire” series! The discussion begins LIVE, right here and on The Chopra Well at 12pm PST – so if you’ve come here early then be sure to refresh the page right at noon.

In this conversation, the Chopra brothers – Deepak and Sanjiv – will discuss the physical, mental and emotional process of surviving a trauma or deep loss. Paralympic snowboarder and activist Amy Purdy will also be joining to share her story of losing both her legs to meningitis and what it took to come back stronger than ever.

Survival is more than just staying alive. It entails maintaining or rebuilding a sense of strength, purpose, and optimism in spite – or perhaps as a result – of facing tremendous odds. We hope this conversation will inspire you to find the greatness and resilience present in your own being.

 

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and don’t miss next week’s Google+ hangouts in our “Aspire to Inspire” series!

Deepak Chopra: The Journey to Enlightenment

In the latest episode of “The Rabbit Hole” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra discusses the seven stages of consciousness and how they lead to enlightenment. Which stage of consciousness are you at currently?

Reality is entirely dependent upon perception, and perception occurs in consciousness. That is why reality may be different in the seven different states of consciousness (the first three of which we are most familiar with):

  1. Deep sleep
  2. Dreaming
  3. Waking
  4. Soul consciousness – In this state you become aware of yourself as the observer of reality. Who is listening? Who is watching? Ask yourself this right now, and see if you become aware of a silent witness: your core consciousness – or soul.
  5. Cosmic consciousness – This is to be in the world but not of it. Your silent witness – or soul – has awoken and is alert in all states, including deep sleep and dreaming.
  6. Divine consciousness – You witness the universal in the particular. All of existence is present in every manifestation of creation.
  7. Unity consciousness – The personal witness merges with the universal witness, and you experience the whole universe as your own extended body. In this state, your inner being radiates passion, love, and ecstasy.

So, would you like to make the journey to enlightenment?

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and join us tomorrow at 12PM PDT for our LIVE Google+ Hangout with Deepak Chopra, Sanjiv Chopra, Amy Purdy and other guests on “The Science of Survival”!

Deepak Chopra: The Science of Survival – Live Hangout on Thursday 5/23!

How do individuals survive horrendous accidents, illnesses, and traumatic events? The resilience of the human body, mind, and spirit is truly awe inspiring, and that’s why Deepak Chopra will be hosting a Google + Hangout on Air, “The Science of Survival” on May 23 at 12PM PDT to highlight some of these incredible stories. Deepak will be in conversation with his brother Sanjiv Chopra, paralympic snowboarder and activist Amy Purdy, as well as other guests. Please join us at The Chopra Well or on Intent Blog for this one-of-a-kind event!

 “The Science of Survival” will kick off our “Aspire to Inspire” Hangout series which will also have hangouts hosted by Mallika and Gotham Chopra on coping with loss, veterans, bullying and culminating with a National Cancer Survivor’s Day discussion on June 3.

Make sure you tune in for the hangout on air at The Chopra Well YouTube channel, leave questions for our guests here, and tweet with the hashtag #AspireToInspire so you can see them asked live during the Hangout!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well to receive all our updates about the #AspireToInspire series, as well as other events and videos!

VIDEO: Dr. Sanjiv Chopra Reads From New Book “Dr. Chopra Says: Medical Facts And Myths Everyone Should Know”

 

Buy Dr. Chopra Says: Medical Facts And Myths Everyone Should Know on Amazon here

Intent.com is giving away free copies of Dr. Chopra Says this entire week starting today! Learn more about our book-giveaway by following us on Twitter and Facebook

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