By Eric Ladd

Humans average over 70,000
thoughts per day, with at least one
thought per second. We were not
raised with the skills to process the
immense amount of information
we take in. When coping with this
overload of information and stress,
many of us are taught to “burn off
some steam” or to fall into a pattern
of overeating and drinking.

Very few humans are
able to live in
the present
moment.

“As a western
society, we
spend too
much time
living in our
heads and not
our hearts,”
says Deepak
Chopra M.D.,
founder of the
Chopra Center
for Well Being based in California.

In pursuit of a personal way to cope
with stress, I sought out The Chopra
Center. There, I discovered meditation,
an art that has been practiced
for thousands of years. Over the
last three decades, Deepak and his
team have mastered the art of mental
health. They’ve also developed
programs to share his methods with
us wired westerners.

The act of meditation is finding
the gaps between thoughts and
spending more time
in that void. It’s focusing time and
energy on the mental gaps and allowing
our bodies to disarm from all the
tension that haunts us.

The practice is simple: 20 minutes a
day, two times a day. Find a calm spot
to relax in silence and focus on your
breath. The Chopra Center taught
me a meditation
technique
called
primordial
sound where
a mantra is
used to help
focus your
mind on
‘nothing’.

Within days
I witnessed
amazing
transformations
in myself and
in the others
practicing
meditation
at the Center. Urges escaped, sleep returned
and calm and peace settled to
its normal, natural state. As motivation,
I witnessed a student who was
accustomed to smoking 25 cigarettes
a day quit smoking seven days after
beginning meditation.

Meditation acts as a battery recharge
for the human spirit and body. It
allows us to be more present in the
moment, not dwell on the past or
worry about the future. Meditation is
not an instant fix, but a practice that
takes dedication and
planning. The
payoff can be
life changing. It
may not sound
as fun as a G&T
after work, but it
could be worth a try.

chopra.com/namaste/may07