We had friends introduce us to Deepak Chopra‘s work maybe 15 years ago by giving us his landmark book, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,” on cassette. We listened to it over and over again in our car.
Now that we don’t own a cassette player any more, I listen to Seven Spiritual Laws on my iPhone as I exercise. It centers me and reminds me how I want to live my life.
Chopra opens the book by saying, “Success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals. Success is the ability to fulfill your desires with effortless ease.”
It’s not about working harder or exploiting people and resources. It’s about understanding how giving and love are connected to receiving, for example, and the importance of serving the world with your unique talents.
Noting that success is often considered to be at the expense of others, Chopra says, “We need a more spiritual approach to success and to affluence, which is the abundant flow of all good things to you.” That abundance don’t just mean money, but happiness, good health, creative freedom, fulfilling relationships and more.
Chopra defines seven laws, rules he asserts apply to the process by which anything happens in the world, whether that’s a tree growing, an animal being born or a person achieving success.
Seven Spiritual Laws has been such a touchstone for me that I’m going to recap each of these laws over the coming weeks.
If you’re new to the language of meditation and yoga, mindfulness and mind-body connection, this law might feel hard to grasp at first — but really all it’s saying is that anything is possible.
Chopra says our essential nature is one of pure potentiality, and we know we have the potential to fulfill our dreams because we’re connected to and through the power of the universe.
We can either navigate the world with a self referral view or object referral, he says.
What’s that mean? If you are object referent, you’re evaluating your success in life against a measure of what’s outside of you. Do you have the approval of others? Do you have power or influence? This comes from fear, because you’re focused on preserving your delicate ego and its intense need for approval. Your ego craves power so you can control people.
Meanwhile, your spirit is immune to criticism. It recognizes your connection to all others, so there’s no need to be fearful or to control others or benefit at their expense. Why would you harm someone when we’re all connected?
So being self referent allows you to let go of those exterior yardstick measures and focus on your internal health and happiness.
Self power draws people, situations and circumstances to you to support you, and you enjoy a bond with people that comes from love, not power or influence. It’s not about your title or your money but about love and connection.
- Meditate to experience silence. Chopra recommends 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening daily, plus extended periods of perhaps a day or more of silence.
- Practice non-judgment, avoiding evaluating things as good and bad. This judging separates you from other people and zaps your energy. Try to commit, “Today, I shall judge nothing that occurs.”
- Spend time in nature to connect to the intelligence in every living thing. The lavish display of nature is a demonstration of all that is possible.
I admit that even after listening to this hundreds, maybe thousands, of times, I don’t totally understand how these steps connect to the potential of the universe, but after years of resisting meditating, I finally made a (nearly) daily commitment to meditation in 2014. So I’m trusting the process, and still have something to learn from repeated listenings.
Want to learn more? Check out this synopsis or join me listening to Seven Spiritual Laws during your January health resolution workouts.