THE BLOG
01/23/2014 12:16 pm ET Updated Mar 24, 2014

What I Learned From Deepak Chopra's Presentation In Aspen

Aspen was blessed to have Deepak Chopra himself give a presentation at the Aspen Institute last Sunday.

The topic was: " Self-Directed-Biological Transformation Initiative"

It was fascinating to hear Deepak Chopra give us a wrap-up on what science knows as of today about what we human beings are made of and what this knowledge means for our health. Here are some ideas that Deepak Chopra presented:

Stardust and empty space are what constitute our world, whether material or human. This may be a difficult concept to comprehend because we tend to think that what we perceive IS THE TRUTH. But we can also recognize that the world and our own bodies constantly change. Our body is very much influenced by our environment and how we relate to it. Our body is linked to our mind. Does science really know why and how we think? Not yet!. Is the mind only in the brain? No, it is also in our body. What we are right now exists only because we have awareness of it at this present moment. Consciousness is our Self, it is our mind, our body. Consciousness, body, brain are not nouns, they are verbs, in constant evolution.

Today we understand more and more the mind-body connection. There are constant electric impulses going from the body to the mind and vice versa. We know that when we bring compassion, gratitude into our life and live in the present moment we can be amazed by our own life. We also understand that negative emotions are not good for our health. Eastern philosophy ( Veda, Buddhism) stated this long time ago.

Deepak Chopra reminded us that good health is related to exercise, good nutrition, sleep, and meditation. He was very assertive about it: no toxic food, no toxic relationships and no toxic emotions. Instead, cultivate joy, compassion and love, so you will have a positive influence on our genes.

Today, neuroscience research shows that our body is constantly recycled. We live in a field of possibilities and not a fixed environment. Epigenetics is already studying the influence of our life experiences on our genes. But can we change our genes? We may have a certain age (our chronological age), but the real state of our health (our biological age) may not match it. Can we reverse the clock?

The "Self-Directed-Transformation Initiative" is studying the effect of mind-body practices on our genes.

The Aspen experiment will study 50 people and the effects of different types of exercises, meditation, yoga, stress reduction, play, good sleep, good diet. Deepak Chopra suggested that Aspen could become the first city of well-being.

As a health coach, I am very interested in this study. We will be able to understand more precisely, even at the gene level, what are the benefits of different types of exercises, diet and meditation. Will they be the same for everybody? How does WHAT we do and HOW we do it matter?

As a world traveler, I am also thinking that if we can develop a better health and well-being for ourselves we can also extend it to the whole world, develop a better sense of global health and well-being. Having compassion is one of the factors that benefit our health. Can we have real compassion, which serves others, and not just us?