SAN JOSE, Calif.--()--Mavericks transform lives, and this year’s Life of a Maverick Award recipient, Deepak Chopra, has transformed the lives of millions.
“It had what I needed - the hero was a doctor and the doctor was a hero. At moments he was almost a god, bringing healing to skeptical mortals like an angelic doctor.”
“The possibility of stepping into a higher plane is quite real for everyone. It requires no force or effort or sacrifice. It involves little more than changing our ideas about what is normal.” –Deepak Chopra
Cinequest presents its Life of a Maverick Award to inspirational individuals who touch the world of film while their greater lives exemplify the Maverick spirit. Past recipients have included Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Desmond Doss, a man whose convictions would not allow him to carry a firearm in WWII, yet he still provided miraculous and heroic service to countless men in harm’s way; and Emmanuel Benbihy, a powerful figure who overcame a severe disability to inspire his nation, Ghana, via a consciousness raising bike tour.
The mediums of film and television have carried Deepak Chopra’s influences and wisdom to global audiences for years. Recently, Chopra began working directly in the screenwriting and producing mediums, and he is now collaborating with filmmakers Gotham Chopra, his son, and Shekhar Kapur on several exciting projects.
Chopra has written the screenplay and co-produces The Sadhu which is currently in development. The Sadhu, a comic book series based on the character of the same name, was created by Gotham Chopra and Jeevan Kang and is part of the Shakti line of comics published by Virgin Comics. The plot revolves around a British soldier who finds he is the reincarnated form of a powerful sage from the past. The story deals with the lessons he has to learn to remove his connection with his current life. Kapur is slated to direct.
Currently in production, The 36 is based on Deepak’s novel, with Gotham producing. The story portrays a belief by many ancient religions that to prevent the destruction of mankind and the unraveling of reality, there must always be 36 pure souls on earth, maintaining the balance of good and evil. When one of these 36 pure souls is lost, a replacement must be chosen, and unbeknownst to American Doctor Michael Aulden, he is the chosen one.
“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.”—Deepak Chopra
Chopra was born in 1947 in New Delhi, India. Unlike most, different perspectives of West and East influenced his formative years including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Catholicism. In high school, Chopra wanted to be a journalist or an actor. However, it was a character in the Sinclair Lewis story Arrowsmith that inspired him to become a doctor. In his 1988 autobiography, Return of the Rishi, Chopra described the Lewis novel: “It had what I needed - the hero was a doctor and the doctor was a hero. At moments he was almost a god, bringing healing to skeptical mortals like an angelic doctor.”
Chopra attended the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and studied Western medicine. Chopra’s Western ‘mission’ began in 1968 when he came to the United States to work at a hospital. His career blossomed while he calmed his body with heavy drinking and a daily pack of cigarettes. Increasingly he became uneasy with his approach to life, while becoming aware of the limitations of Western medicine. This wariness led him to an interest in Ayurvedic medicine, which stresses a more holistic approach. On a quest to “bridge the technological miracles of the west with the wisdom of the east,” he founded the Chopra Center for Well Being in California in 1995.
Chopra has devoted his life to spreading the message that happiness can be attained after the consideration of several things. He stresses the idea that we must rid all negative emotions and rather develop our own intuition by listening to the signals of our body. Due to his extensive work in this area, Chopra is considered one of the pre-eminent leaders of the mind-body-spirit movement. One of his most successful books, Seven Secrets of Success, talks about keys to leading a happy life based on the Hindu yoga systems and the law of karma. The Third Jesus examines the journey towards inner transformation triggered by sayings of Jesus that can move a person from ordinary states of consciousness to “cosmic consciousness.” Ageless Body, Timeless Mind is probably his most well-known work, where Chopra maintains his distinct and revolutionary points of view. He states that individuals can influence, slow down and even reverse the deterioration of the mind through self-taught methods, which can lead to an increased lifespan of up to 120 years. Though Chopra's school of thought has been classified as alternative, the relevancy of his methods can be verified by the large following he has maintained throughout the years and the profound influence he has had even on mainstream medical journals.
Chopra has published over 50 books that have been translated into over 35 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His ideas and beliefs are so ground-breaking and unique that in 1999 Chopra was named one of Time Magazine's top 100 heroes and icons of the century and is credited as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine.” Chopra has also been designated as one of the top ten motivational speakers in the country by Esquire magazine and received the Einstein Award through the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in collaboration with the American Journal of Psychotherapy.
“The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers” –Deepak Chopra
Chopra uses his wisdom and influence to help others enrich their lives whether it is through his countless publications, instructional videos or motivational speeches. He has appeared on “Oprah,” been on the cover of People and was even given the title “Lord of Immortality” by the Maharishi. Chopra's passion and conviction are evident to anyone who has heard him speak, and he possesses the rare talent of being able to connect with his audience and inspire them to renovate their lives for the better. He has become a spiritual leader for millions of people in America and around the world. Even with his success, Chopra continues to chart new pathways to unleashing the potential for optimum health.
The arts have such a transformative power, yet so many artists disconnect from spirit, leaving audiences floundering in the shadow or in a spectrum of cynicism. William Faulkner called upon artists to reconnect with the human heart while Joseph Campbell called upon artists to play the role of the new Priests. Cinequest presents Life of a Maverick Award recipient, Deepak Chopra, with a presentation that will explore the potentialities of art to transform and to connect.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
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