(WSJ) Health guru Deepak Chopra is sitting in his wellness-infused apartment, breathing in purified air, drinking filtered water and hearing nary a peep through his soundproofed windows overlooking a busy New York City street. After offering me a piece of a honey-sweetened organic 70% cacao bar, he shouts, “Alexa! Give me my flash!”
From across the room, his Amazon Alexa device says, “Deepak, as of now here’s your daily reflection.” It continues in Mr. Chopra’s voice saying, “Topic: Creating a joyful energetic body.” Mr. Chopra suddenly shouts, “OK stop!” Alexa doesn’t listen, so Mr. Chopra stands up and walks toward it. “Alexa, stop!” he exclaims. “I never listen to my own voice, ever,” he says. “It makes me too self-conscious.”
But Mr. Chopra, 72, is not too bashful to broadcast his daily meditations to potentially millions of Alexa users. His new Alexa meditation program, a daily “flash” of a short message of reflective advice that launched this month, is the latest way that the best-selling author, professor and doctor is peddling his view of the future. The self-fashioned wellness guru, who has written or co-written 86 books, including “Perfect Health” (1990), “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” (1994) and “Grow Younger, Live Longer” (2001), believes that consumer technology and artificial intelligence can play an important role in personal health care.
He dismisses critics who consider his prescriptions, which include meditation, yoga and Ayurvedic medicine, as New Age eccentricity. “What was ‘woo woo’ is now mainstream,” he says. “I have a professorship at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine after all these years.” He notes that his for-profit Chopra Center, which provides education in Mr. Chopra’s wellness principles, has published research attesting to the benefits of lifestyle changes in treating chronic diseases.
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