Last Sunday almost 1,200 people gathered to hear Deepak Chopra speak at the Center for Spiritual Living Newport-Mesa’s new location in the University Synagogue in Irvine.
Chopra has been a best-selling author for decades, and has written more than 65 books on health and spirituality, with more than 19 titles on the New York Times bestseller list. His books have been translated into 35 languages and have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.
“We were so excited to be able to have Chopra here,” explained Patricia Griffith, Newport resident and Marketing Director for the Center for Spiritual Living Newport-Mesa. “He’s very, very hard to get as a speaker; he’s a beautiful man, and his draws are huge. He’s a physician, a scientist, and a philosopher who weaves all that together with Western and Eastern spirituality to present a mind-opening view of our universe and our experience of it all. We are so lucky that he picked our center as one of the places he agreed to speak at as part of the launch for his new book. We tried to have him multiple times over the years. This was his exclusive Orange County appearance. It was a dream come true.”
“Chopra wanted the ticket prices to be affordable and that the price of admission include his book,” Patricia continued. “Our center has had several different locations in Costa Mesa. We recently moved to the University Synagogue across from Boomers. We share space with the synagogue, which is a wonderful arrangement because they don’t use it Sunday morning. It’s really a beautiful, contemporary facility, perfect for Chopra.”
The Center for Spiritual Living Newport-Mesa, founded by Dr. Jim Turrell in 1987, has had numerous homes to accommodate its growth. The Center’s Vision is “Opening Hearts and Minds to Infinite Possibilities.”
“The Center provides a fresh approach that is a practical and down-to-earth way to understand God, Nature, the Universe and your relationship to all,” Dr. Jim explained.
Dr. Jim welcomed the crowd as well as Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer Paul Williams, and Rabbi Arnold Rachlis of the University Synagogue. Chopra walked on stage to the audience’s standing ovation.
Chopra spoke about his new book, “God: A Story of Revelation,” which he described as a brief history of God.
“This book is about 10 people who asked these questions: Where did the universe come from? Does God exist? Do we have a soul? What is the meaning of death? If God exists, does he or she or it care about us? Are we just one small dimension in a minor galaxy somewhere in the junkyard of infinity? and Is there any meaning and purpose?” he explained.
Chopra then expanded on each of the 10 historical prophets, saints, mystics and martyrs he selected, and their lessons about the nature of God.
“All these people in different times tasted God and used language familiar to their time and experience,” he said. “The message wasn’t the same each time. Job in the Old Testament heard something very different from what St. Paul in the New Testament heard – yet one sees a pattern.”
The 10 people Chopra chose comprise the 10 chapters in his new book. They are: Job, Socrates, St. Paul; Shankara, Rumi; Julian of Norwich, Giordano Bruno, Anne Hutchinson, Baal Shem Tov, and Rabindranath Tagore.
Chopra is a master teacher of Eastern philosophy in the Western world and co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad. He is an Indian-born, American physician as well as a writer and speaker. He has taught at the medical schools of Tufts, Boston and Harvard universities.
Chopra received another standing ovation at the close of his talk.
Dr. Jim describes Chopra’s new book as “a journey that reaches into the deeper depths of spiritual consciousness.” For the next three weeks, Dr. Jim’s talks at the Center of Spiritual Living Newport-Mesa will focus on different aspects of the book. Each talk will ,” Patricia said. “It’s all inclusive and anyone is welcome.”
For further information, go to cslnm.org. Cindy can be reached at [email protected]