October 5, 2010
Posted: 01:36 PM ET
Deepak Chopra’s son, Gotham Chopra, spoke to LKL Blog about his new book: “Walking Wisdom: Three Generations, Two Dogs, and the Search for a Happy Life.” It’s an observation about relationships, life and how to find inspiration from, of all places, your pets.
LKL Blog: You talk about your influences in the book, your dad, teachers, mentors…and your dog. A lot of people love their pets but probably don't look at their dog as inspiration. How did you come to find that?
Gotham Chopra: It's sort of a playful take on everything. And in my family, certainly my father is looked to have answers for everything. And I think I got to a stage in my life where I started to examine some of these questions myself.
The first person I went to was my father. But as I listened and learned certain things from him or reflected on them, Cleo, this dog we've had, has sort of lived many of those examples for many years. So it became a fun process – myself, my father, my son and the dog – in these conversations. It’s lighthearted and fun. And the more I asked other people about things in their own lives and stories – you know people are very, very passionate about their pets – and so it became fun to hear what other people had to say and to hear their stories. So I wasn't alone in feeling that there are certain qualities to be learned from our pets.
LKL Blog: Not everyone has Deepak Chopra for a father, someone who can find inspiration in unlikely places. Give us some examples of what people take away from their pets, maybe something they haven't paid attention to?
Gotham Chopra: I’ve started to describe this book as a book about relationships – whether it's with siblings or parents or pets. And so when I started to ask other people, I found everyone has stories. For example, people who have lost loved ones or endured breakups in relationships – while we have conflicted relationships between humans to humans, there's sort of this devotion, loyalty and unconditional love we get from our pets. That’s where you start to realize you get to "just be" with your pet, not feel judged, not feel antagonized. Those are sort of interesting lessons.
LKL Blog: The subtitle of the book is: ‘Three generations, two dogs and the search for happiness in your life.’ Where are you with that? Are you still searching? Are you happy?
Gotham Chopra: I’m happy but I think happiness for people of my generation, it's a never ending search. It’s moment to moment. We had contemplated many subtitles and I think "the path to happiness" was one of them at some point. But I really fought against that because I thought it was way too presumptuous for me at my age – with still having things I want to do – to say that I found the path or that I’ve found happiness. So I think it's still more of a search and it sort of defines the path, so to speak.
I’m fortunate because of my family and how close I am with my family. And it's all about enjoying and indulging in those moments, but not feeling completely satisfied. The point at which life stops being exciting, it turns into something rather banal. So I’m still on the journey.
LKL Blog: The stories you tell of your dad in this book, he's a figure to millions of people obviously, but to see him not so much as a spiritual leader but more as "comic relief" in this book, it’s interesting.
Gotham Chopra: That's a good way to describe it. I think a big part of this book and where I am in general in my life, is decoding my father. And I think part of that is just personally now being a father myself. But part of it is just getting to a stage in life, a maturity, where I’m more comfortable – it hasn't always been easy to live in that shadow – but I find now that I have my own family, I really want to one, understand him better and two, help him understand himself better. He talks about being at that stage in his life where he's reflecting a lot and says 'the whole world comes to me looking for answers, but you know, I have questions.'
Click here to learn more about “Walking Wisdom” or share stories about your own life and your pet
Proceeds from the sale of “Walking Wisdom” will benefit freekibble.com, an organization provides food for rescue animals living in shelters.
Filed under: LKL Web Exclusive
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