What It’s Like To Meditate with Deepak Chopra
I’m not one for meditating. It’s not that I don’t believe in the virtues and benefits of the practice, but my mind tends to wander and instead of coming out of a session feeling zen, I instead emerge worried about my next deadline or the mysterious cough my 4-year-old daughter might have. Oh, and I’m eight months pregnant, so I feel my little girl kicking me pretty much constantly.
But when alternative medicine advocate and meditation guru Dr. Deepak Chopra organizes a small group, 20-minute meditation, it’s an opportunity not to be missed. Such was the case at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego, where on Tuesday, Chopra led a meditation for the conference’s two-hundred plus attendees.
Meditation has increasingly become a booming business. In 2015, the meditation and mindfulness industry raked in nearly $1 billion, according to research by IBISWorld, which breaks out the category from the alternative health care sector. There’s also revenue collected from the growing number of mindfulness apps, like Calm.com and Headspace.
Subscribe to Brainstorm Health Daily, our brand new newsletter about health innovations.
Here’s what the Chopra experience was like:
Chopra first instructed the group to relax their stance and close their eyes with their palms open. He then asked the group to start paying attention to their breathing, and told the group that if their mind wandered that was ok, and to be bring it back to the present.
Chopra then asked the group to ask themselves a series of questions, including: “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose?”
He asked the audience to try to listen to their heartbeat, and see if they could feel the energy of it in their fingertips.
Chopra also asked the group to repeat their name to themselves, starting with their full name and then shortening it to their first name. And he called on the crowd to say a silent mantra to themselves.
Lastly, he told the group to slowly open their eyes.
I’m surely missing some of the moments—because at times, I felt like I was meditating. Twenty minutes felt more like five, and I returned to the present feeling surprisingly rested. And ready to tackle the deadline for this article.