Insights From Anne Deffley's Lecture on Deepak Chopra
February 23, 2011
It’s been raining this entire week. That means there’s a chance you’ll be splashed or soaked by a careless driver zooming through a puddle. As a human being, how will you react?
Anne Deffley, a certified mind body educator personally trained by Dr. Deepak Chopra, used this scenario to explore how humans deal with the world around us as part of her lecture “Bridging the Mind Body Gap: Ideas and Insights of Chopra.”
An audience packed with MPC Gentrain members and their accompanying paisley umbrellas listened attentively as she explained the rain splash emotional cleansing exercise.
A lot of people react negatively to that situation, she said, and unnecessarily so. “If you get splashed you just want to yell at the driver,” Deffley said.
Borrowing from Chopra's approach, Deffley instructed those souls to first identify the emotion by internally saying, “I’m mad.”
Next, she said, witness the feeling in your body by becoming aware of the thought (“I’m mad”) and its physical manifestation (anger building up in your body).
Third, take responsibility for your emotion by acknowledging it, rather than ignoring it and pretending it's not happening.
Fourth, she continued, express your emotion either out loud or through writing.
Fifth, release the emotion—let it go.
Sixth, next time you have a chance, share the emotion with someone who’s experienced something similar, perhaps, "Have you ever gotten frustrated when a driver nailed you with water?"
Last, rejuvenate yourself by doing something you enjoy, like attending a concert or cooking a dinner (those were her recommendations—this writer would rather go shopping).
While going to a rock show every time because something isn't going your way might be a little excessive, Deffley's point is this: Understanding this naturally occurring process leads to less judgment of a person who might've ticked you off. Less judgment leads to more tolerance. Tolerance produces forgiveness. Forgiveness opens the channels to love.
That ultimately teaches us not to blow up at the driver doing the splashing. Rather, we must gain an open mind and forgive the driver, thus leading to greater love on our parts and a less stressful experience. Ahhh.
Deffley said our experiences affect our bodies on a chemical level, citing the example of an intense roller coaster at Magic Mountain. If you feel excited you will experience exhilarating adrenalin seizing your body. Conversely, if you feel nervous you will experience jitters.
“If we can change our perception, we can change our experience, and thereby change our bodies,” Deffley said.
That's a challenge, of course—changing perception is no small feat. Deffley, though, clearly believes that perception can be transformed through meditation, quieting the mind's thoughts.
Some 60,000 thoughts per day, that is. Deffley contended that's an accurate approximation of just how much we think, and added that 95 percent of those thoughts are the same ones we experienced yesterday. Listening and being silent will do us good. “Notice how the word listen is within the word silent,” Deffley said.
Deffley concluded with health. Our health isn’t merely something that represents an absence of disease; health illustrates a vibrant state of joy, a harmonious relationship between mind, body and environment.
Deffley suggested taking the insights “in increments, in small doses.” Which presents an appropriate inspiration to check out future Gentrain lectures.
“Ancient Egyptian Astronomy” presented by Tom Logan happens March 2, 1:30pm in Lecture Forum 103 at MPC. 980 Fremont St., Monterey. Free to the public. Call 655-2038 or 646-4000 for more.
“Opera-Essence Performances” presented by Soprano Norma Mayer and her husband flutist Richard Mayer happens March 11, 1:30pm in Lecture Forum 103 at MPC. 980 Fremont St., Monterey. Free to the public. Call 655-2038 or 646-4000 for more.