MPC’s Anne Deffley to Lecture on Dr. Deepak Chopra Insights
February 14, 2011
Monterey Peninsula College Gentrain Society lectures are similar to those found in a liberal arts college—the material is infused with literature, theater, history, philosophy and religion and delivered by credentialed experts—only the crowd isn’t college students and the tuition isn’t astronomical. Instead, the class is stuffed with silver-haired retirees and the discussions are free and open to the public.
The MPC Gentrain Program was established in 1974 and stands for General Education Train of Courses. In addition to its one-off lectures and specialty four-week courses, students also have the opportunity to take far-flung field trips to places such as Ashland, Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival and Cairo, Egypt to study its ancient remains.
The third lesson of the Gentrain season arrives this Wednesday, Feb. 16, when Anne Deffley lectures on "Bridging the Mind Body Gap: Ideas and Insights of Dr. Deepak Chopra."
Deffley, an MPC faculty member, is also a certified mind body educator, personally trained by Chopra. Prior to MPC, Deffley was executive director of the Lyceum of the Monterey Peninsula, an educational enrichment program for grades K-12; her work has been rooted in the community through civic and educational engagements for the past 30 years.
The Weekly attended the previous Gentrain lecture to get a feel for what they’re like. Here’s what transpired:
Among a sea of silver haired community members, Dr. Richard Kezirian delivered the lecture "Historical Clues to Present Discontents.” The MPC History Department head and Panetta Institute professor’s compelling points included the following:
• As human beings, although we are living better, we are behaving worse. We are operating at our own interest now, pleasing the source within ourselves. Our behaviors will induce the greatest change the human race has ever experienced in terms of technology development, information overload, globalization and migration.
• Technology development is accelerating. With that, life has become a passing blur because rapid technology updates do not offer time to understand each mechanization. In turn, we never completely understand new technologies as they proceed past us—we tend to forget about yesterday's shootings, disease outbreaks and natural disasters because we are tied up in today's shootings, disease outbreaks and natural disasters. Information is constantly being thrown at us, leaving us no time to assimilate and shape it in any coherent form.
• Meanwhile, there is a lack of globalization in terms of cultural awareness. We must expand our awareness of other cultures, beliefs, and religions in order to view the world as one entity with equitable benefits, gaining a sensitivity to all nations. Fourth, national migration increases the disappearance of culture. If we do not preserve all cultures, then we risk the depletion of certain languages, traditions, beliefs and behavioral patterns.
• There are plenty of reasons for our discontent and dissatisfaction in life. First our expectations are too high. We expect a romantic and exotic vacation, yet it must be cheap. We expect to eat, yet remain thin. We expect more than the world can offer. Second, massive changes in science have brought humanity as much harm as good—cell phones are nice, bombs not so much. Third, we are on a great spiritual search: Books on Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism fill the shelves at bookstores and people are voluntarily studying this material to gain a higher understanding of their purpose in life, all at a previously unprecedented rate.
Kezirian’s lecture aimed to go beyond the apparent factors that shape our discontent. Mission accomplished. That bodes well for this Wednesday’s lecture.
“Bridging the Mind Body Gap: Ideas and Insights of Dr. Deepak Chopra” happens 1:30pm in the Gentrain Forum at MPC (980 Fremont St., Monterey). Free to the public. Call 655-2038 or 646-4000 for more.