Q&A with Deepak Chopra

The spiritual guru on stardust, dark matter and why he's getting into gaming.

At first blush, Deepak Chopra and video games seem to have about as much in common as, oh, chicken and waffles. But like the Roscoe's favorite, they have a certain symbiosis — at least when it comes to "Leela," Chopra's just-debuted guided meditation for the Nintendo Wii and Kinect for Xbox 360. While researching his next book, Chopra took time out to tell us what appealed to him about virtual reality, how he stays fit and why you'll never need to tell him to "chill out."

Why he got in the video game business:
Playfulness more than anything else. I realized I’d been talking about consciousness, the mind/body and spirituality for 25 years, and it takes a long time for people to really get it. But if you give them an experience, they get it right away.

This week’s workout:
Somehow I manage to walk 10 miles every single day (I wear a Fitbit to track myself). I also go to the gym seven days a week. I do weights, I hold a plank for two minutes, I do some breathing exercises and I do sun salutations. I never sit still other than when I’m in meditation.

His biggest vice:
I used to smoke a lot of cigarettes, drink a lot of alcohol, and I tried all kinds of mind-altering drugs, but I don’t do that anymore. Been there, done that. 

His latest obsession:
Right now, it’s the game. But my new book is about how the universe began, the meaning of life, evolution, the connection between brain and mind and whether there is a God. I’m really obsessed with the intermingling of science and spirituality.

His favorite decade thus far:
The decade I’m in is always my favorite. If you’re fully awake, then every season is the best.




His favorite healthy meal:
I’m not a fanatic about food; I go to places like Chipotle. 

What his kids would say about him:
"Don’t take him seriously."

The best advice he’s ever received:
It's from my mother: Take it easy.

How he demystifies meditation:
Just sit for 5-10 minutes a day with your eyes closed and no agenda. You’ll find that you experience great insight and inspiration.

Where he feels most at home:
Wherever I happen to be.

His all-time favorite city:
New York City. It’s got the whole world right there. 

What book is on his bedside table:
View from the Center of the Universe by cosmologist Joel Primak. I’m understanding the nature of dark matter, dark energy and how stardust, space/time and consciousness come together to create luminous stardust beings called humans. 

What totally relaxes him:
You know, I’m always relaxed, so I don’t know. I don’t know how to not relax. 

His "healthy living" heroes:
All the great comedians, like George Burns, Bob Hope and the guys on the comedy shows at night. I think the healthiest response to life is joy and laughter. 

His dream vacation:
The best are with my family in the wilderness, whether it’s the canyons of Utah, the rainforest in Puerto Rico or the Maldives.

What’s still on his bucket list:
I’ve been to over 150 countries, but I’d like to explore Africa more than I’ve done so far.

His number one reason for taking care of his body:
It feels good. I think if your body feels good, then your mind feels good. 

Message he’d like to send to the world. (Only catch: It has to be 140 characters or less.):
Love yourself. Don’t judge yourself or anybody else. Be natural. That’s more than enough.