It all Boils Down to this
I have recently had the very great privilege of spending a week, locked in a dark room in Hawaii, with Deepak Chopra. Along with 472 others, of course, at one of the Chopra Centre’s “Seduction of the Spirit” retreats. To say that it was a life changing experience may be a mild understatement. Particularly given that I would not say I’m a huge Chopra fan. Or at least, I wasn’t before I went. I am now. I’m quite the disciple these days.
Deciding to attend this event was interesting in itself. I do normally plan at least one retreat per year, as part of my own professional development, refresh, upgrade etc. I’ve been to several with Eckhart Tolle, Carolyn Myss etc. I am aware that around the December – January time frame, the marketing juggernauts behind these people start their advertising. I see all the Chopra stuff every year, but this is the first one I felt “pulled” to investigate. Even then – heavy Yoga basis. Ugh. I’m not a very bendy person, so I find yoga hard, I’m better with Tai Chi. So, I did what I do with most big decisions. I let it go. It kept coming back to me. So, then I ran my next “test” – I filled out the reservation forms on line – and then I hovered over the “Confirm” button and waited. Waited, for the “joy response”. If I get joy, I do it. If not, I don’t simple. Needless to say, I got the joy response, so off I went.
Part of the retreat was a Meditation process prior to the retreat – Primordial Mediation with a personalised Sutra. Have to say – I did not “feel” it. It’s very, very silent. Leading up to the trip – I often asked myself if this was the right thing, should I do it etc. By the time the trip came around – it was mid-winter here (and a harsh one) and the thought of getting on a plane to a tropical climate pretty much ruled out any other doubts. What the hell – if I hate it, I’ll spend a week swimming with the turtles.
The first part of the trip was easy. 3 days in Honolulu – my only plan was to rest, shop and eat. Mission accomplished. Then over to Kona – and upon checking into the flight, I could feel the energy shift. This is one of the reasons group meditations and group retreats are so very important for our continued development. The power of a group of like-minded souls coming together for the purposes of sharing and growth, is unmatchable.
The Hotel is lovely. The beach is great. There is an App with a full agenda for Day One – Monday – and it starts at 9am. With jetlag still hovering, this is fine. I’m wide awake at 4 am still, anyway. I also had no idea what to expect – from Chopra. I had packed my favourite book – The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success. But was not sure where this whole thing was going. I made two new best friends at breakfast – in my experience this is normal – and look forward to keeping in touch with them for many years to come.
I took my place in the conference room (yes it looks like a corporate conference. In fact, there is a room full of Doctor’s next door. If anyone needed Deepak more than us, it was probably them.) Another new best friend beside me – and a kindred Aussie soul on the other side. We start the morning with overviews, introductions, meditations and insights. Ok, it’s already interesting. But 5 days in this dark room……. when there is a beach right there……. still not sure about this.
Then Deepak arrives. Jeans. Badly printed T-shirt. Passionate. Very probably, the most intelligent person I’ve ever been in a room with. When I say “intelligent”, I mean holistically. I have no idea what Deepak’s IQ is, but it would be up there. Round that out with Emotional Intelligence, Spiritual Intelligence and a humble passion……and you have the personification of “human intelligence”. Quite awe inspiring really. Not only that – in the first 10 minutes he showed us an exercise he uses to demonstrate the “now”. How to show people what “presence” is. Where the “gap” is. So simple, so powerful, if nothing else – I’m glad I came all this way just to see that. I will be using it, over and over again, for the rest of my life. With a little nod to Deepak every time.
Then he started, and for around 4 hours a day, every day, for 5 days, we had the privilege of Deepak pretty much “breaking it down” for us. Quantum Physics, Science, Medical Studies and Research. The why’s and how’s of every single thing in the universe. In layman’s terms. It was hard going. And frankly, scary to think that this is only a small percentage of what is actually inside that head of his.
Several things stood out to me – particularly around healing (it’s holistic and love is the key), reality (it’s fake, don’t fight it), and the art of being (do it). Most of these things I already knew, as do we all, but it always helps to have it spelt out by a credible teacher. In the end, it brought together for me, why Reiki as a healing modality is so important, and so effective. Because illness is generally in our spirit and energy, before it ever appears in our body. I knew that. But it helped to hear it again. Why therapy generally doesn’t work, because memory is not in our brain, it’s in our spirit. Why peace is so elusive to so many, because we have separated ourselves from our oneness. My choice of service areas; insight, healing, counselling via the curriculum of ACIM, all came “home” with a confirmation that this is, indeed, an authentic form of service, with processes and outcomes grounded in credibility. I needed this confirmation, and I am so grateful to have received it here.
By day 3 – the meditation “hit”. When it did – I “got it”. I’ve had a book floating around in my head for a while, but I didn’t know how to write it. On Wednesday afternoon, I was pretty clear I was skipping the afternoon mediation and heading to the beach. But then the gut alert went off again. Go, go, go to the meditation. Sigh. Really? But the turtles…. Ok then. The first paragraph of the book was dictated at that time. I now had the “voice”, the structure and way forward with the book. I’ve since had chapter suggestions, and content “sent through’ and I am making notes and commencing now. I have no idea where it’s going. I’m just doing as I’m pulled, confident that this is all that anyone can ever do, and everything will be as it should be.
I joked with some new friends on the Friday, after hours and hours of research, talking, references to studies etc – that I could sum up this whole week in two words: It is. Simple, but I don’t want to put Deepak out of work……😊. Finally, it all boiled down to three things; Love. Surrender. Be. And if you got this far, you also now have the gist of the book that is coming through. With such gratitude, both for Deepak, and for me for being surrendered enough to follow that “pull” – Namaste.