Today we are joined by Dr. Deepak Chopra where we discuss how you can take control over your mental and spiritual well-being by starting with your mind and breath. He discusses his new book “Living in the Light” and how he believes the Metaverse and AI will help with wellness and longevity. Lastly, Deepak shares the core principles of Yoga - that are deep rooted in science and how you can practice simple habits to improve your life.
Dr. Deepak Chopra is the Founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global, a modern-day health company at the intersection of science and spirituality. Dr Deepak is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. For the last thirty years, Chopra has been at the forefront of the meditation revolution. He is the author of over 90 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers and his latest book Living in the Light: Yoga for Self-Realization is out now. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.”
You can find the book Living in the Light: Yoga for Self-Realization here.
[00:00 - 00:20] Hey, everybody, and welcome to a new episode of Savvy Talk. As you know, we're focusing this season on experts, and today I am delighted to get one of the world's biggest experts when it comes to meditation, yoga, spirituality, wellness,
[00:20 - 00:43] longevity, and being. Dr. Deepak Chopra has written more than 93 books and is still going, and we had a great conversation which I'm really excited for you to hear. We focus a lot about what we can be doing every day to improve our health, how we can reverse aging, how we can reverse disease. Oh, my gosh, you guys, we learned so much from Dr. Deepak.
[00:43 - 01:04] I'm really excited for you to listen to this episode. What I'm really excited about is to hear how you're going to take some of the tips that Dr. Deepak shared with us today and integrate it into your life. We can control our health and well-being, and he really helped me today understand what are some of the things I can do, you can do to improve your longevity, the stress in your
[01:04 - 01:27] life, and improve your overall happiness. Dr. Deepak, thank you for joining us. Thank you. It's good to be with you. I always love spending time with you because I feel like you calm and center everyone around you. And I want to tell you that one of the things we did last year together, which I really enjoyed, was when we did the meditation at VeeCon.
[01:27 - 01:48] That was amazing. With so many thousands of people, I think there's never been so much silence in the world. It was beautiful. 7,000 people doing meditation at the same time. It was complete silence and it was beautiful. So the last time I saw you, actually, we were in Dubai together. Tell us a little bit about what you were doing in Dubai and some of the initiatives that
[01:48 - 02:10] you want to bring to the community in the Middle East. Well, Dubai is an amazing place. Every time I go, I've taken a leap into the future, even more than I could imagine. And one of the best experiences I had was at the Museum of the Future, doing a conversation, [02:10 - 02:33] but also meditation. And since then, I think we've kept in touch and probably go back to do a meditation from the Burj Khalifa, hopefully soon. But I also met, thanks to you, the Minister of AI, who was very interested in how we could use AI for mental well-being and suicide prevention.
[02:33 - 02:56] As you know, we have a program at Never Alone, for suicide prevention using AI, emotional chatbots, which is very successful. So we now want to bring that in Arabic, in Urdu, in Farsi, and in the greater global domain, including Spanish and Hindi.
[02:56 - 03:18] So a lot of encouragement from people in the Middle East. We also spent time in Abu Dhabi, which was amazing because we're doing a lot of stuff on the Medj-e-Avars, creating something called Jobra-Avars, Houses of Enlightenment, and so much encouragement and support from the Middle East.
[03:18 - 03:43] I'm deeply grateful. Yeah, I love seeing how you've been doing this, obviously, for a very long time. You were a practicing physician, and then you ended up spending, you wrote 75 books, Deepak? 93. 93 books. 93 books, okay, but you're really taking on technology, right? So I want to talk about the two things you just mentioned now, AI and the metaphors.
[03:43 - 04:08] How is AI going to help with wellness and mental health and suicide prevention? So AI lends itself to something called machine learning and deep learning systems. And AI can be now used to not only monitor well-being, everything from sleep to stress
[04:08 - 04:31] to exercise to heart rate variability to emotions to nutrition to nutrition supplements, biological rhythms can all be monitored by AI. In fact, as we speak right now, I'm designing something called wellness instead of a selfie. So all you have to do is say, Hi, I'm Maha.
[04:31 - 04:54] Good morning, how are you? And the well-being will read your eye movements, your facial expressions. We have 43 facial muscles, over 100 emotions associated with them. Eye movements also tell us about emotions, and read your tone of voice, match it with your heart rate variability and blood pressure and breathing, and then correlate it with
[04:54 - 05:15] everything in your body, including immune system, endocrine system, inflammation. So just by doing a 30-second video on this, everything about you will be predictable. What's your state of mental well-being? And then offer immediate real-time intervention.
[05:15 - 05:36] And so this is the new era, digiceuticals instead of pharmaceuticals. Digiceuticals, that's a new term. So using digital technology to activate healing in the body, including activation of the vagus nerve, which is the healing nerve in our body, the opposite of the sympathetic overdrive [05:36 - 06:02] that is driving everybody crazy. We will activate that part of your nervous system, which is involved in healing, self-regulation, homeostasis, longevity practices, and much more. So that's AI. That's AI. Metaverse. Metaverse. Metaverse, Chopraverse, is an extension of this universe, but in the digital space with
[06:02 - 06:28] 3D real-time avatars. You can have an avatar of Maha, Avatar of Deepak. They interact, and every time they interact, they evolve, and then they report to us back. So we evolve. Metaverse, we are also creating houses of enlightenment. And where every room in the house will serve some purpose.
[06:28 - 06:48] So if you go to the library, you have access to all the prophets, sages of the past. You go to the meditation room, you have access to every possible meditation. You go to the kitchen, you have access to nutritional psychiatry, and much more, how to repair your micro-bonds, and so on and so forth.
[06:48 - 07:10] It can be a real place, an extension of this reality with your avatars interacting, evolving, reporting back to you. But then somebody might say, you know, these are houses of enlightenment, which are virtual. They might say, we want to build a real home with all these technologies, passive monitoring
[07:10 - 07:31] of health and well-being. And so we give them the basic blueprint, and then they design their own houses. And their businesses, when we went to Abu Dhabi, one of the ministers said, well, this should be not only houses, it should be businesses, hospitals, everything. So that you can have that kind of understanding of well-being as part of your daily life and at work.
[07:31 - 07:53] The mind, spirit, and environment all into it. It's fascinating. It's fascinating how much the space of wellness has changed. Completely. And it starts with self-awareness, knowing a little bit about how you need to take care of your spirituality, your mind, your body, gut health, inflammation.
[07:53 - 08:14] All of that, yes. You know, we now know that only 25% of the genes in our body are human. We can upgrade that activity, that's called epigenetics, through sleep, stress management, diet, nutraceuticals. But then we have 2 million plus exogenous, which are microbial.
[08:14 - 08:38] That's most of the genetic information in our body. So if you change that genetic information through proper nutrition and other ways, including now there are things like signal molecules and probes that help us adapt to stress, to senior levels. So you can change 90% plus of the genetic information in your body.
[08:38 - 09:01] The remaining 5 to 10% which is human, you can upgrade it. And if genes are the software and your body is the crypto, then you can reinvent your body by resurrecting your soul. I'm doing it, by the way. I'm 76 now. I don't feel 76. You're 76, but your body... Biologically, I'm probably less than 50.
[09:01 - 09:21] Less than 50. Because you are working on controlling and managing inflammation, stress, sleep. Meditation, yoga, sleep, nutrition, basically emotions, biological notes. Anyone can do it. Tell me about meditation in your life and how important is it to you? And why do...
[09:21 - 09:43] Because a lot of people are like, I can't do it. It's hard. I can't sit still. I can't focus. Like, really, what are the benefits that you have seen and how do you practice meditation? So I'm now, as I told you, 76, so I've been meditating for close to 45 years. Wow. Every day. I also do yoga every day.
[09:43 - 10:05] And there are many types of meditation. You have something called inquiry, self-reflection, mindfulness of breath, of emotion, of mind, of mental space, of physical world. But the eight limbs of yoga cover everything. And that's my new book. The Light. Living in the Light, Yoga for Self-Realization.
[10:05 - 10:27] So eight limbs of yoga. First is social intelligence. Second is emotional intelligence. Third is yoga practices. Fourth is breathing techniques, hundreds of them. Fifth is withdrawal of the senses, learning how to control your autonomic nervous system. Sixth is focused intention, attention.
[10:27 - 10:50] And seventh is meditation, and eighth is consent. So that's the complete practice. People say don't have time. Those who don't have time need it more than anybody else. We have just spent so much time relaxing and de-stressing because of the environment around us, work, social media, stress, lack of sleep, lack of good nutrition.
[10:50 - 11:11] Why do you think it's such an effort to focus on ourselves when actually if we focus on ourselves we'll be able to do all the things we want to do? I start my day with those practices but also with four intentions. Joyful energetic body, loving compassionate heart, clear reflective creative mind, and lightness in beings. Now if you have that you have everything.
[11:11 - 11:33] So let's say those again slowly. The first one? Joyful energetic body. Joyful and energetic body. So what does that mean? Break that down. It means on a scale of one to ten how much energy do you have to do everything that you want. On a scale of one to ten I have I think a hundred. I have too much energy. The second one? Loving compassionate heart.
[11:33 - 11:55] Loving compassionate heart. Emotional well-being. Because if you're upset, angry, depressed, anxious, basically you can't function. Loving compassionate heart. Number three? Quiet mind. Not positive mind but quiet mind. Positive mind can be stressful. Everybody's trying to be positive all the time.
[11:55 - 12:16] They become a Pollyanna and they get stressed. So it's more important to have a quiet, reflective, creative mind. So that's the third. And lightness, the last one is? Lightness of being. Lightness of spirit. Your spirit has no weight. So that's if you're connected to your spirit. You feel light?
[12:16 - 12:37] I've seen you talk. Lighter than the wind. Lighter than the wind. You've talked several times about activating the fargus nerve and the breathing exercise. But the fargus nerve is where you really want to focus on. How do you do that and why is it so important? Because when I hear you talk about like there's so many breathing exercises but the one you want to get to is that one.
[12:37 - 12:59] So actually the vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve. It's the healing nerve in our body. And it interacts with the eyes too so you can tell if somebody is nervous, anxious, happy, jittery looking, the rest. If you do an exercise where you just move your eyes clockwise, anti-clockwise, up, down,
[12:59 - 13:19] up there, up there, up there, you're stimulating the vagus nerve. Every time you smile, you stimulate the vagus nerve. And every time you chant, you hum and chant. That stimulates the vagus nerve. Yeah. And that stimulates. Every time you take a deep breath, you stimulate the vagus nerve.
[13:19 - 13:40] Every time you put your attention in your heart, you stimulate the vagus nerve. Every time you do yoga, you stimulate the vagus nerve. Every time you take, you know, in yoga there are things called bandhas and kriyas, squeezing and relaxing the centers. There are innumerable ways of stimulating the vagus nerve.
[13:40 - 14:00] But deep breathing is one of them. So it's simple. Breathe in to the count of three, breathe out, and without pausing, to the count of five. And then once you get good at that, breathe in four, breathe out six. Get good at that, breathe in six, breathe out eight. Eight.
[14:00 - 14:23] Et cetera, et cetera. Now I can breathe in six, breathe out 12, hold 12, and then breathe in six. That's two breaths a minute. When you do two breaths a minute, your brain waves go down to what is called deep sleep. So as relaxed as you're in deep sleep, but you're still awake. So you can do two breaths in one minute?
[14:23 - 14:43] Two breaths a minute, I can do that, yeah. That's part of my daily practice. Your daily practice. How long do you meditate for every day? I meditate with the yoga combined for two hours in the morning and then half an hour at night. I remember when we were having breakfast in Dubai and I asked you something about what
[14:43 - 15:05] are you excited about? And you said, I don't get excited, I experience joy. Yeah, joy, which is also equanimity. Yeah, I want to ask you about equanimity. It's one of my words on my list here. I was going to ask you, what does that mean and what is it? Equanimity means you're not involved in the melodrama of the world.
[15:05 - 15:26] How do you actually do that, Dr. Deepak? By getting in touch with yourself. Yourself is just observing everything that's happening and it's not involved. But we are so hypnotized by social conditioning that we think we are the mind. We are not the mind.
[15:26 - 15:49] The mind is just a projection. It's the collective mind, it's insane. To be well adjusted to an insane society is not a measure of sanity. Wow. That's really profound. I do not want to adjust to an insane society. I would be declaring my own insanity.
[15:49 - 16:11] By doing that. What are you focused on this year? I am, of course, this book, but then I'm doing another book, which is called Quantum Biology or Quantum Body. It's looking at the body at a more fundamental level, which is the level of what you might
[16:11 - 16:32] say energy and information. And then I'm going to do another book on what it means to wake up from the sleepwalking that the world is involved in. It's called Awakening, my story. I'm going to share it with the world. Your story? My story. What is the longevity initiative?
[16:32 - 17:00] We see a lot of people, obviously, in the market thinking about science, nutrition, inflammation, things that they can do to live longer, but live better, better quality of lives. What is your longevity? There's a lot of data that shows that if you can prevent chronic illness like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, 95% of these are reversible
[17:00 - 17:23] or treatable. So if you only 5% of disease or less is genetically determined, even for that, there's soon going to be technology called gene editing. So you'd be able to read the barcode of a gene, metaphorically speaking, just like you cut and paste your emails and be able to cut and paste genes.
[17:23 - 17:44] So that's, but that affects less than 5%. The rest is actually our lifestyle. So our lifestyle is what's breaking out this disease for all of us. So when we correct that, now research on longevity has to do with longevity molecules.
[17:44 - 18:05] And they're called signal molecules. There's a lot of good research on them. Also some herbs that are called adaptogens. We do a lot of research on that. But that's the physical part. The rest is actually things like sleep, stress management, vagal stimulation, how we experience
[18:05 - 18:27] dying. You know, people who are running all the time, they run out of time. You know, they say, I don't have time. Well, if that's your lifestyle, you will run out of time. If you have all the time in the world, I say only busy people have time. Or can you engage in a practice where you don't experience time at all?
[18:27 - 18:52] I'm doing a series right now on YouTube on living in the moment, living in the present, so there's no time. And when you live with no time experience, your body stops aging. So there are many ways to slow down aging, but also reverse aging. So your biological age does not need to be your chronological age.
[18:52 - 19:13] You can be chronologically 60, but also biologically 40. And the other way around, you can be 40, but you're physically, emotionally burnt out. You'll be 60 biologically. What would you say to the generation, Gen Z, who is a very, it's a community that's
[19:13 - 19:35] like very active. They're very much on social media. We're talking about meditation and yoga and spirituality and longevity and anti-aging and inflammation. What would you say to the younger generation that they should be thinking about, knowing where the future is? Technology is irreversible, so use it for good. Use it to improve your life.
[19:35 - 19:59] Use it to connect with people. Use it for service. Use it for love in action. Because technology is irreversible. We either adapt or use it for what I call divine purposes. But a lot of people aren't doing that. Cyber hacking, bullying, all the stuff that's happening in the world, which is insane.
[19:59 - 20:19] So we need to have a critical mass of people in the world. This is my mission, one billion people, who should be the change they want to see in the world. Instead of fighting the darkness, bring in the light. Dr. Jeevath Chopra, before we let you go, three things our audience can do today to
[20:19 - 20:44] focus on their well-being, if we can leave them with a message. Three things. Number one, don't take yourself seriously, which means don't seek validation, approval. Number two, be the change you want to see in the world. And so enjoy, always cultivate joyful, energetic body, loving, compassionate heart, clear mind,
[20:44 - 21:06] light and sick being. And number three, spend time in play and laughter. Because if you don't have time to play and laugh, you're wasting your life. Dr. Jeevath Chopra, namaste. Thank you, ma. It is wonderful to be with you.
[21:06 - 21:27] Hey guys, thank you for listening to this episode of Savvy Talk. I hope you gained some valuable nuggets from Dr. Deepak Chopra for our Expert Series. Please follow us on digital and savvy and please leave us a review. All of your comments and feedback help us make the show better. We want to make sure we understand what you care about, who do you want to hear from.
[21:27 - 21:33] Let us know in the comments.