Namasté Reader Spotlight
Rick Dore ― San Diego, California
Namasté Reader since 2005
Rick Dore is a beloved figure at The Chopra Center, frequently dropping by to meditate, volunteer at events, or enjoy a meal in the warm sun that shines on Carlsbad, California, for much of the year. Three years ago, life was very different. Rick had been diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer and was in a state of physical and emotional pain. In this Namasté Reader Spotlight, he describes his experience moving from the dark night of the soul to a place of deeper meaning and peace.
How long have you been a Namasté reader and what led you to subscribe?
I’ve been reading Namasté since I started coming to The Chopra Center three years ago. At the time, I was living in Phoenix, Arizona, and the monthly Namasté newsletter gave me a sense of being connected to the Center – of being part of a long-distance community, so to speak. The stories are inspiring and heart-felt and the information is very useful.
What was going on in your life that led you to enroll in a Chopra Center experience?
I was diagnosed with cancer eight years ago, underwent surgery and radiation, and entered remission. Then five years went by and the cancer came back and I was not doing well at all. I felt spiritually and emotionally bankrupt and was in a state of turmoil. Having dealt with addictions in my early 20s, I’d been clean and sober for years, but now I found myself with an opiate addiction as I took pills to deal with the pain and my anxiety about the recurrence of cancer.
One day during that period, my wife, Susan, was on the Internet trying to find a place where I could learn how to meditate or get on some kind of wellness path that would help me through this crisis. The typical spas and resorts came up, but they seemed un-special . . . too stuffy or country club–like. A few minutes later she said, “Come look . . . here’s an amazing program developed by Deepak Chopra."
I came in from the living room to her office and together we looked at The Chopra Center’s website, which explained the format of the weekly Perfect Health program. Much to my wife’s surprise (as I was brought up very Catholic and the Eastern thing was a bit intimidating to me), I said, “Let’s check into it.” So we called the Center and I talked to Jen Fitting, one of the program consultants.
I’d already talked to about 30 doctors, oncologists, nurse practitioners, and others at that point, but Jen was the first one who seemed like she was genuinely concerned about how I felt. She explained everything that happens at the Perfect Health program, from the daily massage treatments to the Panchakarma cleansing process, instruction in meditation, and so on. I was very interested but not 100% sure and so I told her, “Let me think about it.”
About two days later, Jen called me back to see if I was feeling better. It wasn’t a call to sell me on the program. I could feel her concern in her voice and tone. I thought, This girl doesn’t even know me but she's checking in to see how I'm doing and I felt very touched. I decided to attend the next Perfect Health program the very next week, and that was the start of a radical transformation for me. It was really Jen and my angel, Susan, who got me here.
How have you transformed?
I have been transformed on a number of levels, and I think that coming to The Chopra Center was probably the best thing I ever did for my physical and mental wellbeing. Before I came to Perfect Health, I’d tried lots of things to heal from cancer and addiction – surgery, radiation, therapy, hypnosis, self-help tapes, and so on. It wasn’t until I immersed myself in the Ayurvedic lifestyle that I began to experience deep healing. Now I’m meditating, following an Ayurvedic diet and daily routine, and am feeling grounded and calm. Overall, it’s just been a radical lifestyle change for the better.
I don’t have cancer anymore and I’ve also overcome hepatitis C, which the doctors tell me is a rare disease to survive. As I was getting better, they asked me what I was doing differently. Though I can’t know for sure what has helped me heal, I have to think that everything I’ve learned at The Chopra Center has made the difference.
What is the favorite thing you have experienced at a Chopra Center program?
I’ve never felt safer, more love, and cared for than I have at The Chopra Center. It’s not only Deepak and David and their message, but also everyone else at the Center, who implement the teachings and wisdom on a daily basis, creating a special environment for healing. I’d say my best experience here has probably been the relationship I have with the staff at the Center. They make me feel a part of the place.
Another of my favorite experiences is the Seduction of Spirit meditation retreat – I’ve attended four so far . . . in Whistler, Austin, San Diego, and Colorado. Each Seduction of Spirit has been a unique experience for me, but at all of them I have felt the same deep feeling of love and renewal. It’s a rare opportunity to spend a week with 300+ like-minded, compassionate people, meditating and basking in the peace and silence. How often do you get to experience that!?
How would you describe your life at this point?
Things have never been better. After living in Phoenix for 27 years – and 21 years in the same house – my wife and I are now living in Carlsbad, where we’ve rented a home by the ocean. We are able to participate in many Chopra Center events or just drop by to meditate and visit with davidji, Jen, and all the others. There’s something magical about this stretch of Southern California coast between La Jolla and Carlsbad, with the ocean on one side, The Chopra Center, the Self-Realization Fellowship founded by Yogananda, and spirituality everywhere. Without a doubt there’s definitely a vibration along this coastline that you don’t often find. My wife has become certified as an instructor of Primordial Sound Meditation and the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. My son has now gone through the Perfect Health program, and my oldest daughter has attended several Chopra Center programs as well. This year, in fact, she will be doing the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga teacher training with Claire Diab.
I’m continuing with my work creating custom cars for museums and auto shows; spending time with my wife, son, and three daughters; and staying tapped in to the teachings of The Chopra Center. I'm on the Teacher’s Path to become a meditation instructor and will be volunteering at the SynchroDestiny workshop in Carlsbad this January. In August I’ll be going to back to Whistler, B.C. for Seduction of Spirit. I’m really looking forward to it. Until then, I’ll keep reading Namasté and opening my heart.
Let us know how Namasté has changed your life – email Namasté editor, Kyla Stinnett, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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