I was awakened by a dream. It was my first attempt at meditation, and instead of finding enlightenment or inner peace, I fell asleep in my chair.
I was at The Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California, a mind and body wellness retreat that intertwines holistic philosophies with the rationale of modern science. I figured if I was going to tackle this ancient stress-relieving technique and quiet my hyperactive mind, I might as well learn from the best: the retreat’s founder, Deepak Chopra…
Science has unambiguously proven that meditation decreases stress, lowers blood pressure and strengthens the immune system. Some studies even suggest meditation can heighten intelligence and creativity. Count me in. I signed up for a five-day workshop promising not only to teach me primordial sound meditation but to help me spontaneously fulfill all of my desires.
The Chopra Center operates inside the lush confines of La Costa Resort, where my suite—with songbirds on the terrace—overlooked the golf course’s 17th hole. Each morning began with sunrise meditation followed by yoga. Afternoons were filled with more meditations and conversations with Deepak himself about quantum physics and the meaning of life. I found time daily for an Ayurvedic massage—and by day three, I started letting go of the chatter that was cluttering my email-and-breaking-news-filled mind. By day five, I was the most relaxed I’ve ever been.
So, obviously, meditation works. But check back with me in a couple of years on that spontaneous-fulfillment-of-my-desires thing. I haven’t quite mastered that just yet.
Rooms at La Costa from $339; lacosta.com; three-day meditation workshops from $375; chopra.com.