Luckily for you, I receive Deepak Chopra‘s “Chopra Centered Lifestyle Newsletter” -– how’s that title for narcissism? — so you don’t have to. (You’re welcome.)
Yesterday, Chopra alerted me to go read about the power of Primordial Sound Meditation, written by “The Editors at Chopra.com”:
As scientific research reveals, when you meditate, your breathing slows, blood pressure decreases, and stress hormone levels fall.
Thanks for the reminder, Deepak! I know that medical science has found health benefits to meditation, so I’m going to go meditate right now!
“Stop!” shouts my e-guru (though his actual words are prettier and more camouflaged). “To do it right, you must have my special (read: expensive) scientific mantra!”
At the Chopra Center, we offer instruction in Primordial Sound Meditation, a powerful meditation technique rooted in the Vedic tradition of India. Chopra Center co-founders Deepak Chopra and David Simon have revived this ancient practice of sound meditation and made it available in a format that’s easy to learn.
When you learn Primordial Sound Meditation, you will receive a personal mantra. A mantra is a specific sound or vibration — which when repeated silently — helps you to enter deeper levels of awareness…
The mantra you will receive is the vibration the universe was creating at the time and place of your birth, and it is calculated following Vedic mathematic formulas. When you silently repeat your mantra in meditation, it creates a vibration that helps you slip into the space between your thoughts, into the complete silence that is sometimes referred to as “the gap.” Your mind is no longer caught up in its noisy internal chatter and is instead exposed to its own deepest nature: pure awareness.
As many studies show, a regular meditation practice offers numerous health benefits… Today doctors are increasingly citing stress as a major contributing factor to most illnesses.
And that, my friends, is the classic Chopra Bullshit Sandwich: Take two slices of science-based statements no different from what a medical doctor might recommend, like “stress can be bad for you” and “meditation can be good for you.” Next, slather between them some gooey, wooey Deepities like “I can give you a mantra that exposes your deepest nature using the vibration the universe was creating at the time and place of your birth.” Season liberally with phrases like “scientific research reveals,” “studies show,” and “research has found.”
Now for the most important ingredient: Marketing. Carefully wrap your bullshit sandwich in dreamy New Age rhetoric; sell it with snide digs at “conventional science,” charge thousands of dollars… and PBS and other major media outlets will be clamoring to take a bite. They will happily pretend they’re not presenting an astrologer as a credible voice on science and health. It may not give us food poisoning, but minds everywhere become just a bit more crippled.
I know I speak for all of us nerds when I say we want to see what the hell “Vedic math” is — and we also want to see Baptist, Catholic, Muslim and Santería math! I have so many questions! Is this what they think “higher” math means? Does 2 + 2 produce different sums depending on which god you worship? Can you use Vedic math to calculate, say, storm prediction models? Surely a formula capable of calculating the vibration of the universe that reveals our deepest nature could be expanded to track monsoons? Has Chopra revealed this incredible mathematics to conventional scientists? (In between sneering at them, that is.) Or do we have to switch to atheist math when lives are at stake?
Here’s some atheist math for you: Just within this one article, I count thirteen ways the Chopra Center offers to take our money so we can learn about their special healing birth vibrations:
- The Seduction of Spirit meditation and yoga retreat
- The Journey Into Healing mind-body health workshop
- The Perfect Health 6-Day Program
- Meditation Weekend
- A variety of special programs
- The Primordial Sound Meditation online course
- The Primordial Sound Meditation in-person course
- The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga by Deepak Chopra
- The Soul of Healing Meditations CD
- 21-Day Meditation Experience Guided Meditations
- Breathe… Move… Meditate Yoga DVD
- Free introduction to meditation classes (free as in don’t forget your wallet)
- The Chopra Center’s Primordial Sound Meditation certification program where you can become a teacher
As is the case for so many of Chopra’s articles, the list of the many ways you can purchase his wisdom is nearly as long as the article itself. Personally, I’m less concerned with a vibrating gap for the mind than I am with minding the gap, as the Brits say -– the one between my wallet and Deepak’s pocket.
Deepak, here’s some wisdom from me to you: we can all learn deep relaxation techniques from free medical science websites. We don’t need to buy your pseudoscientific astrologically vibrating mantra to do it.