Hearts at Work
A Column by James Tipton
If you change your perception you change your world.
I have been re-reading Deepak Chopra’s Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative to Growing Old, a book I might usefully have paid more attention to when I discovered it years ago. His insights come from both Ayurveda, “India’s ancient system of mind-body medicine,” and “modern particle physics.”
“We,” Chopra boldly declares, “are the only creatures on earth that can change our biology by what we think and feel.” And “If you change your perception, you change the experience of your body and your world.”
Your body is constantly changing. “The skin replaces itself once a month, the stomach lining every five days, the liver every six weeks, and the skeleton every three months. By the end of this year, 98 percent of the atoms in your body will have been exchanged for new ones.”
When we live consciously, the tendency to age declines, but when we live unconsciously, numerous deteriorations set in. There are now abundant techniques to consciously influence our bodies. This knowledge has actually “been imparted for centuries through spiritual traditions in which masters have preserved the youthfulness of their bodies far into old age.”
We are all familiar with the placebo effect. Give a patient a placebo, an inert or dummy drug, sometimes simply a sugar pill, and the pain stops, excessive gastric secretions stop, blood pressure drops to normal. This is the key point: “the body is capable of producing any biochemical response once the mind has been given the appropriate suggestion. The pill itself is meaningless; the power that activates the placebo effect is the power of suggestion alone.”
Why not, then, simply bypass “the deception of the sugar pill and go directly to intention? If we could effectively trigger the intention not to age, the body would carry it out automatically.” Chopra suggests that “In place of the belief that your body decays with time, nurture the belief that your body is new at every moment.” The most valuable lesson to learn is that “If you want to change your body, change your awareness first.”
Quantified research shows that “Biological age responds to psychological age”.
Chopra offers techniques that will help us to gain clarity about “the mechanics of intention”, This is one of the exercises he suggests: 1) Sit quietly and relax your body using one of the methods given in the book. 2) “Intend the outcome you want. Be specific.” 3) “Don’t get bogged down in details. Don’t force or concentrate.” 4) “Expect and believe in the outcome. Know that it is certain.” 5) “Realize that doubt, worry, and attachment will only interfere with success.” 6) Let go of the desire. You don’t have to mail a letter twice…. 7) Be open to the feedback that comes to you either inside yourself or from the environment.”
Chopra also discusses the importance of meditation (“Meditation lowers biological age.”) and also how to drastically reduce stress (“Stress always arises if you concentrate on how something has to turn out.”)
Finally, “the most powerful and potent medicine” is Love. “Real love gains complete satisfaction simply by flowing out to what is loved; if love comes back, that is an added joy, but it isn’t required or demanded.
In addition to his printed and electronic books, I also enjoy the various lectures and meditations by Deepak Chopra available gratis on YouTube.