The next revolution
In conversation with DR PARTHA NANDI.
Q: Tell us about your work.
PN: I have been a practicing physician for almost twenty years now. I also have a passion for giving people tools to live a better life. I created and host a television show called ‘Ask Dr. Nandi’, which is syndicated worldwide including the United States. I am also the chief health editor for Channel 7 and we try to spread our message with social and digital media as well. Giving somebody a tool like meditation is simple. It helps them achieve some of their goals, live a better life and get perspective. And once you get that perspective you find the joy that you are lacking sometimes.
Q: How are people’s perception and reception of meditation shifting as you talk more about it?
PN: Number one, give them the sort of proof that they are used to, which is scientific proof. You can’t just tell people, “Well you have to experience it,” because people don’t buy that in the beginning. Once they experience it they understand, but in the beginning, “Hey listen, when you first start meditating, the heart rate goes down. If you measure cortisol levels, the SG (glucose effectiveness) goes down. And then it also affects blood pressure and diabetes.
“In the work place, when people meditate they are more productive, they are more efficient. There is less turn over.” So these are things that people understand. Speak about that in the beginning. “Listen, this is not just hocus pocus where you sit and close your eyes and sleep.” So this is for the skeptics.
I think more and more people want more than just the newest model car, the best salary, etc. Especially young people, the millenials, are really forcing the issue, pushing to know more. And that is why there is the whole concept of corporate responsibility.
In the Heartfulness conference in Detroit, Gopi Kallayl spoke about that – the chief branding evangelist from Google. Every major corporation is starting to look at, “How do we have corporate responsibility?” No longer do you have to step over a dead body to succeed. You can succeed and thrive along with people who are supposedly your rivals. I think that’s critically important.
Q: Do you have cases of people who were skeptical of mediation at first, but then felt a transformation from practicing?
PN: I have talked about one of my patients, Mary. She had a transformational experience. She was taking medication, but she really didn’t turn the corner until I gave her some simple meditation techniques. In Crohn’s disease, the immune system is dysfunctional, so in order for the body to right itself, if you have spirituality I think you can achieve that so much easier. There have been many patients, but she strikes me because Crohn’s disease is a disease of young people, when their lives are ravaged and you take away the best years of their life. And if you give that back, with meditation and medication together, how beautiful is that? How powerful is that? You are using the power of your own body to heal itself so to speak.
… you keep on pressing forward towards a goal
that even you are not sure about.
And when you do that, you have to step back.
And when you step back,
what techniques do you have for reflection?
Q: Can you share with us something about your meditation journey?
PN: I was very driven and always striving for more. Then I stepped back to ask, “What is it all about?” I learned first about Mindfulness meditation then about Heartfulness. Daaji speaks about it as the 360-degree view. And to me that is important. Because you keep on pressing forward towards a goal that even you are not sure about. And when you do that, you have to step back. And when you step back, what techniques do you have for reflection?
I was sitting on a plane to Los Angeles, and there was a producer. He said, “Have you heard about Mindfulness? Have you heard about meditation?” I said, “I know about it, but tell me more.” And he told me about the profound effects in his life. I learned more about it and looked at it and said, “This is amazing.”
To me it was not even about not thinking about the consequences of an action, but just taking the action for what it is. Take the classic example of being at a party and the person who is talking to you is looking beyond you, looking for the next best thing. Have you ever been there? So they are not in that moment, and they don’t care what you are saying. They don’t even know what they are there for, because they are looking for the everpresent next best thing. So then you get lost in it and you eventually find no purpose. And then you find your happiness quotient is not being accomplished. It happens with all of us.
I said, “What can we do?” And I didn’t know what techniques. There is yoga and I liked relaxation. But meditation gave me a way to just go inside. And the more I do it, the better off I am.
And then we had a guest on our show, Dr Evan Alexander, a neurosurgeon who had a near-death experience, and he talked about what happened. He was a total agnostic who almost died. For a week he was in the ICU. To all intents and purposes he died, and he saw the life force that controls everything. He said, “You know what, I just saw the meaning of it.” When he came back he said, “How do I get back there?” And meditation afforded him the way to do that. We all have it. It is being able to go through the morass and nonsense.
So that is how it was introduced to me. More and more guests on our show had the same story. And he said one thing: if it doesn’t really do anything for you, why would you do it? You hear the same story again and again. So that was part of the reason, and now I am immersed in it. I tell people, “Even if you can do it five minutes a day, or two minutes a day.” Especially in cities like New York, Los Angeles, or any big city, or even in rural life, you just never stop and pause to ask what’s it all about. Even a simple two-minute pause, or five-minute pause in your day will affect your spiritual life, and your physical health will benefit. As a physician, that is huge because we are dying from diseases like high blood pressure and we can solve that. We can take away some of the hormones naturally.
When hearts come together
like has been happening in this room, imagine the world.
That is the next revolution.
It is not just fiction because the twenty-fiveyear olds are getting it.
They are demanding more than just, “When can I get my next raise?”
They want something more. People ask, “How did this happen?”
Because it is a natural evolution in our society.
It is a natural evolution of our species.
Q: We have been so happy to have you at the Heartfulness conferences in Detroit and New Jersey. Can you share anything about your experience connecting with Daaji?
PN: Daaji has a presence about him that really transcends what you can describe. For me it is important to say that he is a real guy, a real dude. You can talk to him like a normal guy. And that is important because if you have some guy who is hocus pocus, really unapproachable, it defeats the purpose. All this is supposed to be easy and approachable. That is number one. And his spirituality is undeniable.
It is great to see thousands of people experiencing this for the first time and actually meditating for twenty minutes and really understanding and immersing themselves. They are getting an introduction, dipping their toe in the water, and also learning from great speakers. We had Gopi Kallayl in Detroit and Gabby Bernstein here in New Jersey to tell them about their experiences, to empathize with them and say this is what you can experience too. It is a great way to introduce people.
Finally, you take a group of two thousand people and perhaps you can reach 200,000. And that is what it is all about, all over the world. It will not solve the world’s problems in one swoop, but it can help some fundamental things.
When hearts come together like has been happening in this room, imagine the world. That is the next revolution. It is not just fiction because the twenty-five-year olds are getting it. They are demanding more than just, “When can I get my next raise?” They want something more. People ask, “How did this happen?” Because it is a natural evolution in our society. It is a natural evolution of our species.
The next revolution will be spirituality. And that is when we will take a quantum leap, one that will take us to a level we cannot even imagine. Then we will have to stop talking BS. We talk about BS all the time: who has less and who has more? We have plenty for everybody. But that is a giant leap for people to take. When you take giant leaps you need a tool, a spaceship. This is the beginning of that.
If somebody has a different religion from me, they may not be horrible. So someone like Swami Vivekananda studied all religions and applied them and said, “You know what, they are all paths to the same goal.” Imagine if more people felt that way. Despite the fact it seems like there is a lot of divisiveness going on in the world, a greater movement of spirituality is going to take over. And that transcends religious conflict. That is my dream, and I think it is actually happening.
Interviewed by EMMA IVATURI
November 01, 2017
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