Deepak Chopra brings message of peace and love to Tampa Bay area

Here is an interesting article on Deepak Chopra from the St. Petersburg Times

PALM HARBOR — They came. They saw. They didn’t conquer.

Instead, they felt the love.

More than a thousand people were expected Friday night as celebrity doctor, Deepak Chopra, a world leader in mind, body and soul medicine, came to the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club to instruct others how they could “Be the Change.”

Dale Colton, a Palm Harbor resident who works with Chopra, put the outreach program together.

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[TERRI BRYCE REEVES | Special to the Times]

Deepak Chopra autographs a ticket for Donna Kashtan, who showed up two hours early to hear his talk. The proponent of mind, body and soul medicine was expected to draw more than 1,000 people to Innisbrook Resort Friday night for the presentation.

“We’re trying to bring people together and raise their collective consciousness,” she said. “Basically, the message is that we all have to start caring about each other if we want to solve the problems of humanity.”

It’s a grass roots, worldwide movement presented by the Alliance for a New Humanity, which aims to build a just, peaceful and sustainable world by connecting people and raising awareness.

Chopra is a founding director and its president.

During a phone interview earlier on Friday, Chopra — in his very gentle Indian accent — suggested that we must give up our militaristic approach to solving world problems.

“What we’ve tried in the past is just not working,” he said. “Even the peace activists are angry.”

Oh, and we may want to drop the warring rhetoric too, such as the “war on poverty,” “war on terrorism,” and “war on AIDS.”

Instead he advocates for a peaceful, nonviolent approach that involves changing ourselves, finding our passion, making a difference in our communities, then sharing our success stories through a worldwide network.

We’ll all be happier for it, he said.

He gives the example of abject poverty.

“We aren’t going to have peace when 50 percent of those in the world live on less than $2 a day and 20 percent of those live on less than $1 a day,” he said.

And trade in those tanks for turnips.

“Only 4 percent of the U.S. military budget would solve hunger,” he said.

Chopra, an endocrinologist, splits his time between New York and California .

He’s written more than 45 books dealing with themes of alternative medicine, spiritualism, life after death and such. He has also appeared on shows like CNN’s Larry King Live and Fox’s the O’Reilly Factor.

Chopra is optimistic that attitudes are changing and that we are moving in a positive direction.

“If enough people do this, we’ll have a different world,” he said. “It just takes one person at a time.”

By Terri Bryce Reeves, Times Correspondent, St. Petersburg Times
In Print: Saturday, February 7, 2009

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